Google Tells Us To File DMCA Complaint

from the not-what-I-was-looking-for dept

Last week, we mentioned how Google News was prominently displaying articles from another site that was simply copying Techdirt's content (with attribution in a tiny font). While this is exactly the kind of thing that others have threatened to sue over, I don't think it's that big of a deal (though, it would be nice if the attribution was a bit clearer). If anything, it shows that someone has found our content valuable enough to re-publish. The problem, though, was that Google News seemed to be displaying this content with a link to that site instead of ours, even though the content was originally from our site -- not theirs (and our version isn't smothered with ads as this other site is). In my message to the Google News team I said I had no problem with what this other site was doing, but thought it would be more appropriate to show the Techdirt page. It seems only fair that if they must show this other site, they should at least show our site as well, since that's where the content is from. Google has now responded, saying they "are unable to manually alter the position or ranking of individual stories found in Google News," but telling me that I should file a DMCA complaint against this other site -- at which point Google will take action and (supposedly) remove their site from the index. That's a pretty extreme response. I don't want their site to be taken out of Google's index. I simply think that Google News should be able to recognize that our content belongs in the same results, since it's content we created in the first place. Shouldn't there be some sort of middle ground, where Google notices a site is simply copying others' content and works to make sure the original source is linked, either instead of, or alongside, the copycats?

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  • identicon
    Tim, 20 Jul 2005 @ 2:18am

    No Subject Given

    Sounds reasonable enough to me. (I hope the copy-cats aren't making money off the content, at least.)

    I think PageRank is probably flawed in this regard. There are quite a few queries that give exactly the same content from a multitude of different sites, such as a search for something that really lives on Wikipedia, but everyone+dog has copied it - or last night, I discovered that hotel spiels are copied rampantly from site to site as well.

    Don't quite know what they could do to pull texts together and say which is the authoritative source, though... but that's what they've got all the Ph.Ds for, isn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Just Me, 20 Jul 2005 @ 5:46am

      Re: Making Money

      Well, if we assume the other site receives ad revenue for page views then I'd say they are profiting from being higher in Google's PageRank and having a better chance of people visiting their site from Google.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    amasa howard, 20 Jul 2005 @ 6:12am

    it's a cheap lesson

    If google can't get that straight, take it for what it's worth as an indication of the legitimacy any content found through a google search engine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, 20 Jul 2005 @ 6:13am

    Nice, but firm

    The copycats are making money off it, apparently through ad revenues mentioned in this post. It's really up to the publisher to decide whether a work is plagiarising or not.

    It certainly poses an ethical dilemma for Techdirt. On the one hand should you do nothing and let others profit scot-free off the backs of Techdirt's hard work? Or should you invoke the very beast you've been so adamantly opposed to in the past.. the dreaded DMCA?

    Whatever you guys decide, it'll be a tough call.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it's the blog of some kid who hasn't a clue about copyright law. Be gentle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed, 20 Jul 2005 @ 6:41am

    That's a shame!

    I'm a TechDirt frequent reader, as for several other great sites, seaching for news and thech news.

    It's very common to see articule from one showed in another. No problem to this point.

    The problem is about respect. I like Google but they need to fix this mess. The problems is about the Google work method to find the articules. So they must to fix it.

    Keep up the great work at TechDirt and best regards for all
    Eduardo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Carter Rabasa, 20 Jul 2005 @ 6:56am

    Uh, automation, hello?

    I'm surpised to see a post like this on Techdirt. Can you really imagine the technical feat that would be neccessary to comply with your request? Or the human cost to accomplish the same thing for all the sites that they index? I can't believe you really think that coming up with an accurate distinction between "original" and "copied" content is so trivial.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ron, 20 Jul 2005 @ 7:01am

      Re: Uh, automation, hello?

      I'm surpised to see a post like this on Techdirt. Can you really imagine the technical feat that would be neccessary to comply with your request? Or the human cost to accomplish the same thing for all the sites that they index? I can't believe you really think that coming up with an accurate distinction between "original" and "copied" content is so trivial.

      Quit copying me!!...or am I copying you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      detail, 20 Jul 2005 @ 8:35am

      Re: Uh, automation, hello?


      The other site is giving attribution, just not easily seen by human eyes. However , it seems a spider should "see" it anyway, and recognize when the news is posted from a secodary source, then act accordingly in a reverse page rank system.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 20 Jul 2005 @ 8:40am

      Re: Uh, automation, hello?

      I'm not asking for it to be automated necessarily. However, at the point it's been brought to their attention, then it would seem that they should figure out why their algorithm is picking up that site instead of Techdirt's (we're both in the index). It represents a problem with their existing algorithm that when someone points out that it's picking up the copycat site, they're unable to figure out why it's not picking up the original at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Maresca, 20 Jul 2005 @ 8:34am

    Block the IPs

    Just block the IP addresses for the other site so they can't re-publish *your* articles using the RSS feed.

    And send a note letting them know why.

    Chris.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mike (profile), 20 Jul 2005 @ 8:49am

    And the best part...

    This exact story shows up in Google News... from the *other* site, but not Techdirt's version.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Poobah, 20 Jul 2005 @ 12:21pm

      Re: And the best part...

      I visited the site to check things out. When I tried to highlight a person's name and right click it to copy - I got a message that copying wasn't allowed.

      "Sorry, that function has been disabled. Images should NOT be taken from this site without permission. Thank you."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    opit, 20 Jul 2005 @ 9:14am

    google rank

    This problem is so bad it can be a trial to find the original site everyone is linking to when googling to find it. This has been going on for a while but there doesn't seem to be any easy fix. I've followed the link to navigate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bradford, 20 Jul 2005 @ 11:01am

    It's potentially easy to solve

    I remember hearing a while back (month or two) that google was working to release a site mapping tool so that site owners can set options and rules for google's spiders (resulting in a site-specific xml file) Sounds like a good place to add attribution info and similar fields. Wouldn't that make this a non-issue??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    yourargument, 20 Jul 2005 @ 11:11am

    you wanted this now you have it

    Mike,
    You've argued countless times here that users have the right to use tools to change website content however they see fit. You even said that you wouldnt care if people changed your website, replacing your techdirt logo and putting lots of ads all over. You said that was their right to do.

    Now here you are contradicting yourself. People are using a tool (not claria, but google news) to read your content with someone elses name and ads all over and you dont like it.

    Still think users have the right to view website content any way they please? So does google news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pete Austin, 20 Jul 2005 @ 11:22am

      Re: you wanted this now you have it

      Sorry, Yourargument, but actually google news doesn't think users have the right to view website content any way they please...

      "Use of the Service. You may only display the content of the Service for your own personal use (i.e., non-commercial use) and may not otherwise copy, reproduce, alter, modify, create derivative works, or publicly display any content."
      Google News Terms of use

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 20 Jul 2005 @ 11:25am

      Re: you wanted this now you have it

      You've misunderstood my argument. Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I get the feeling that you're misreading it on purpose.

      As for your first point, I did say that people had the right to do that on their own machine -- which was the point of the Claria discussion. It's a different case when it's being done on a server for everyone else to see. I made that abundantly clear in the Claria discussion. Do you still not understand the difference between content open on a server and content on a local machine for personal use?

      Second, as you can clearly see if you read what I wrote above, I don't have a problem with the site that's displaying our content. The complaint is that Google News should be smart enough to recognize that our content belongs in the list as well. So, the issue isn't that we don't like people seeing our content on another site, but that Google News seems to be ignoring our original content in favor of this other sites'.

      And your final point doesn't make any sense at all. Google News isn't giving people the option. They're not listing our original content at all, so your sentence doesn't actually make sense.

      So, yes, I stand by my claim that people should have the right to do whatever they want with content on their own computer. Publishing it on a server for everyone else to see is a different issue, but even in this case, we're fine with the way it's been done. The question raised here is a completely different issue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        contradict yourself some more, 20 Jul 2005 @ 4:06pm

        Re: you wanted this now you have it

        So somehow when claria changes your website for ALL users of claria, it is perfectly okay for you because the change happens on a pc. But when google news makes the change for ALL users of google news it is TOTALLY DIFFERENT... because the change is done on the web? The result is your content is changed without your permission for ALL users, but because it is done in one place or another it makes a difference.

        Your second argument above is exactly the same argument. Google news is changing YOUR content to point to someone else instead of you. When it actually happens to you it is a problem, but when it is theoretical it is a persons right.

        Your third argument about google not giving people an option? What are you talking about options for, there is no option in the issue. It is a third party changing your content without authorization, no option involved. Unless you are talking about the option to use or not use the tool. Which is identical. People can choose to use claria and people can choose to use google news. Or not. Identical.

        You claiming that this is completely different from the claria issue that you wholeheartedly supported as user rights is completely nonsensical.

        A third party tool is changing your content. It is pointing to a website that has ads and small attribution. Dont like it? Dont use google news tool. Just like your argument about claria.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike (profile), 20 Jul 2005 @ 4:22pm

          Re: you wanted this now you have it

          Hmm. Of course, there's another MAJOR difference here. The argument with Claria was whether or not it was illegal for them to do this. It shouldn't be. Nor am I saying what Google is doing is illegal.

          However, back to the specific points you make... my content isn't being changed. That's not my complaint at all. The complaint is that our link should be included. That's not about changes in content at all. I'm confused how you could possibly think it is. Google hasn't changed my content at all. THey've just decided not to include it, and I am (politely, not legally) suggesting they should include it. What this has to do with the Claria situation isn't clear at all.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            got what you fought for, 20 Jul 2005 @ 7:11pm

            Re: you wanted this now you have it

            Your content is being included in google news. What is changed is your links are going to a competitor. So a competitor is getting paid for your content. This is done because the google news tool is including your content with different links.

            Do you think your links are not part of your content? Or are you just pretending to be unclear about this so you wont have to admit this is exactly what you said you would welcome as fair user rights when claria does this?

            Claria can do the exact same thing. Change the links and logo on your content to point to someone else and ad advertisements to your content for which you get nothing.

            This doesnt ring a single bell? You just argued that this exact case was fair user rights about a week ago.

            Just about every time you write about claria/gator you defend their right to do this and your only objection is their sneaky installs.

            But here you are complaining that someone else is getting credit and pay for your content without larger attribution and without the links pointing to your site.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Mike (profile), 20 Jul 2005 @ 7:54pm

              Re: you wanted this now you have it

              Um. No, that's not what I'm complaining about. The complaint was simply that Google News would be more accurate if it included links to our site, as that's where the content is from. Google News *can* do whatever it wants. I'm not saying they have a legal obligation to do anything. All I'm saying is that Google News would be a better product if they included our links, because it would be more accurate.

              That has nothing to do with the Claria situation. In fact, I could just as easily argue that Claria would be a better product if they did something different... but that has nothing to do with their legal right to let someone install the product if they want.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          DAMARI STRATFORD, 18 Apr 2006 @ 4:14am

          Re: Re: you wanted this now you have it

          CITIBANK ETHICS PLEASE POST AND FORWARD MY STORY I NEED YOUR HELP PLEASE HELP US GET THIS STORY OUT
          PLEASE FORWARD TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW
          The letter I’ve include with this email is from a concern client of Citibank
          My question is will the teller be fired and if not why not? This teller left out about $10,000.00 in the unlocked front drawer 2 different times with in a two week period and had two shortages in one year, one for $100.00 and the other for $450.00.
          Where the cash drawer is concern two employees signed the vault book stating they witness her put the cash away, obviously not true.
          One of these two employees had the bank pay for her daughters overdrafts and the manage was aware, against company policy.
          This teller entered false referrals into the systems to make the banks numbers look better and this was done under the supervision and direction of the supervisor, when I brought this up to the manager none of the three tellers which input false referrals were written up, falsifying bank documents and no write up but I get written up for missing a Saturday, why? Unfair and unequal treatment by the manager. Where are the ethics?
          As I’ve stated, the unethical employees still have jobs and I get fired after the manager receives my email on 12/13/05 at about 1:45 p.m., and he acknowledges receiving it, it clearing answers his question/comment that he was calling to see if I was coming. The email states that my doctor had called in and spoke to Kathleen: as well as faxing in my doctors note which the manager returned to me with my termination letter received two days after I had been fried with no check, with no break down explanation, no vacation pay, misleading information and so on, note clearly stating my disability time off. Did he read the doctors note? Did he let upper management know that my doctor had call and faxed information?
          The manager called I returned his call but he was with a client.
          I requested to communicate via email and I emailed him, Kathleen and Human Resource, so why was I fired sometime after he received my email and the end of the day if he was just calling to see if I was coming in and if not to contact HR? Unfair and unequal treatment.
          It makes no sense. Why weren’t the labor codes followed? Did he get HR permission to fire me?
          Why then wasn’t my check included with my letter of termination? Aren’t I to be fired at the location which I work? Were my rights violated when he had Kevin send me my termination letter, did he know I was getting fired prior to me receiving my letter?
          March 25, 2006 Dear Ms. Deloney,
          I would like to take a moment and thank you for responding to my comments regarding Damari and the manager. I am sure that you are a very busy and important person and I appreciate your time. Damari is truly missed at the bank, since her unfair termination by the manger, the atmosphere at the bank is boring to say the least. Damari added life and laughter and she enjoyed serving the customers. I feel deeply, that the manager made a huge mistake in dismissing her while she was ill. What kind of a manager would dismiss an employee while they are ill?
          As I say this, I now have further concerns about another teller name Andrea. I was in the bank and was told that she has injured her knee and will be out of work for about six weeks. I’m sure that Andrea has a doctors note as Damari did, I hope that the manager doesn’t make the same mistake and decides to terminate her and mail her a letter before she returns as he did Damari when he terminated her instead of waiting for her to get well and return to work. Although I would understand if he were let her go as she spends most of her time at work doing her homework , reading and she isn’t available everyday. Andrea will move on, on her own to become a teacher, this is what she goes to school for two days a week. By her going to school, I feel this puts a strain on the staff. I understand that the rest of the tellers along with Kathleen are now having to work six days a week and Kathleen is running a window: she doesn’t have the charm or customer service skills which Damari offered the bank.
          We go into the bank often and we rarely see that manager. I feel that it would be in the best interest of the bank to find a permanent manager as soon as possible, one whom appreciates competent employees as Damari. Frankly, I don’t understand how a temporary manager was given the authority to dismiss an employee such as Damari with her wonderful skills , talents and dedication to her job. Therefore my concerns are now for Andrea whom doesn‘t compare with the kind of service Damari offered your customers. As I stated before, the other tellers spend too much time speaking to customers about personal things and shopping on the computer instead of banking conversations. I frequently witness them reading and eating while at their windows: this is very unprofessional.
          I feel it would be in the best interest to Citibank to launch a complete investigation on the manager, as you stated would be done and seriously consider removing him from Carmel. In my opinion since he arrived the atmosphere is tense and if I can sense it I am sure that other customers do. This manager has taken all the personal touch and charm out of the bank and I feel the employees fear for their jobs: no one should have to work under those conditions. Keeping this manager at this or any branch is sure to destroy you business. Again, thank you for your letter and taking the time to look into this situation.
          Sincerely, Clifford Bagwell
          In a letter dated 01/06/06,Citibank states, Pursuant to Section 1089 of the Ca. Unemployment insurance Code, regarding notification of changes in employment status, please be advised that your employment was terminated on 12/13/5 for failure to follow call in procedures
          RE Section1089 and other codes which Citibank may have violated
          Other codes they may have violated labor code section 208, 226, 226.3,201.25,2441, 2800,2802,2926,2927,6400,3602(6),3852,2922,civil code 47(c)
          I was fired on 12/13/05,it states that each employer shall notify the employee immediately, yet I didn't find out until 12/15 as I received my notice of termination via UPS on12/15
          When I was fired I was not supplied with "copies of printed statements or materials relating to claims for benefits by Citibank.
          Citibank claims that I didn't follow the call-in procedure yet my doctor called on 12/12 & faxed in a notice which stated that I would be out from the 12th-16th.
          Jeff claims that he called me to see if I was coming in on 12/13 at 10:25am,almost 2hrs after my shift started, he states that if I wasn't coming in that he wanted me to contact HR to inform them of my extended absence. How does one go from calling to see if I'm coming in & ask me to call HR to Jeff stating & deciding that I should be fired yet in my email to him at 1:45pm on 12/13 it states that the doctor had spoken to Kathleen & faxed in my doctors note which he returns to me w/letter of termination.
          How does he justify terminating me? I was out on work related stress and my blood pressure, my doctor called for me to keep my stress & blood pressure down, as far as not calling in I had my doctor call: the call was made for me to protect my health. Why wasn't it stated in my termination letter that I failed to follow the call in procedure. Why does Citibank state to the DFEH that I called in on 11/15 & said that I would be out the rest of the week yet I worked on the that day & the supervisor approved my timecard on 11/22. What else are they not being honest about?
          Why are the employees which falsify bank documents & break policy still have jobs?
          Reply to Damari Stratford 1291 Ord Grove Ave, Seaside 93955 831-583-9077
          CITIBANK IS NOT BEING HONEST WITH DFEH
          THIS IS A LETTER I SENT MY GOVERNOR
          Dear Governor, First Lady and staff,
          I have been awake since 1:05 a.m. I was having a difficult time sleeping again due to my conversation with Ann Lueckeman from the DFEH. Ann and I spoke on 3/08/06, Citibank apparently faxed in their reply on 3/07/06. Ann read to me some of the statements that Citibank made on their reply Citibank states: that I called in on 11/15/05 and that I stated that I would be out the rest of the week, this is a lie!!! I happen to have my time card for the week ending 11/19/05 and it clearly shows that I worked the 15th, I was off the 16th and I worked the 17th and that I was out sick on the 18th and 19th and that the manager approved my time. Citibank states that I refused to work on Saturdays but they don't mention that I, unlike them, was willing to meet them half way. Citibank is not telling the truth. To further support that I was at work on the 15th and 17th I have my journal notes with specific times of things that occurred on those two days. How does an honest and ethical person fight against unethical people who lie? How can I protect myself if I can't afford an attorney and I can't find one to work on a contingency basis? The other night, on TV, my husband and I heard that the government spends 4 million to train wasp and I can't get help from The White House or our Senators or Congress, to defend myself against a corporation which is taking advantage and lying about this situation? The only one that has offered to help is the Governors office and although I appreciate the letter and the call from the Governors office this does not get me an attorney. I have diligently search for assistance to no avail. I am now begging for help, I can't continue to loose sleep and live on anxiety medication; this situation is wearing on me. Again, please, is there anything more that you or our government can do to help my family and I, for this wrongful termination? Why is Citibank lying? I feel like I am going to have another panic attack and I had to resign to taking medication to calm down. This is totally and completely unfair, unjust, wrong and no one should have to go through what Citibank has put my family and I through. I only wonder how many other wrongful termination's Citibank has gotten away with because people are afraid to go up against them or just don't have the money to fight and protect them selves? My husband and daughter are worried about me and so am I.
          PLEASE HELP US. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give up.
          Sincerely.
          Damari Stratford
          A BETTER EXPLANATION Mother fired by Citibank for no good reason
          I am searching for an Employment Attorney willing to work on a contingency basis. I was fired while I was out sick, the managers states in a note added to my personnel file that he had called me to see if I would be coming into work on Dec. 13th but yet with my letter of termination he returned to me the faxed in doctors note, faxed in at 3:44p.m. on 12/12/05 by my doctor, which clearly stated that I would be out from 12/12-12/16/05. He sent me my letter of termination thru UPS, which arrive on 12/15/05. The manager knew that I was out on work related stress and I had a workers comp case pending. The manager states that I was fired for not complying with my warning and I asked how I could comply if I wasn't there to comply so then I get a letter from HR stating that I was fired for failure to follow the call in process but my doctor had called in for me on the 12th due to my stress level and blood pressure. The doctor had spoken to the supervisor on the 12th so they were aware that I wouldn't be in on the 13th and my doctor has the notes on my file that she had made a call in for me. Citibank did not follow their own procedures when they fired me. The EEOC has given me the right to sue and the letter arrived on 2/17/06 so my 90 days have started. The DFEH has also launched their own investigation which Citibank received notice on 1/23/06 and should be responding to the notice any day now, (as of 3/8/06they haven’t responded). I had an outstanding performance history with the bank; I had worked there for 4 years 2 months 6 days. I was the head teller one of the notary and the only Spanish-speaking teller. I have at least 40 letters of support from Citibank clients and I can prove that the manager was not equal with all the employees and although he was aware of the teller cooking the books under the direction of the supervisor none of them were put on corrective action yet I was written up for missing my first Saturday and then again when I missed my 2nd Saturday although I had a doctors note to be out of work due to my blood pressure and stress brought on by the manage and the unfairness in treatment. I had been threaten with job abandonment but at that time I hadn't missed any work long enough to be accused for this. Citibank violated code 132A of the worker comp law and I do have an attorney for that but they are unable to deal with all the other issues. I have a strong feeling that the manager never told HR that my doctor had called in for me nor did he share my doctors note with them, he is to get approval from HR before firing me yet fired me by 4:30 pm or so, I had also emailed him that day at 1:45 pm and explained that my doctor had spoken to the supervisor and faxed in a note, again he was aware that I wouldn’t be in. The manager had called my cell phone and left a message at about 10:25 am, he states that he called because I hadn’t called in a half an hour prior to my shift, which started at 8:30 a.m., why did it take him 2 hours before calling me? And I would bet that the supervisor had made arrangements to have a teller there to cover my shift since my doctor called her. Please help my family and I.
          Sincerely, Damari Stratford
          Home 831-583-9077 all calls to this number are screen due to telemarketing calls and my current situation so once you hear my voice saying that all calls are screened please leave a message, once I hear who is calling I pick up the phone.
          Cell phone 831-236-0112 this is the best number to leave a message
          Again please help us

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2005 @ 11:29am

    No Subject Given



    I think that it is interesting that google is unable to comply with your polite request, but will be happy to oblige you once you get nasty and file a complaint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, 20 Jul 2005 @ 11:17pm

    Next step

    This banter is going nowhere. You'll just have to agree to disagree, nothing wrong with that.

    Remember there is a fundamental difference between the site in question and a site like freshnews: one compels you to visit the originating site for the content, the other does not. It's considered courteous to provide attribution if doing the latter.

    Though the consensus here seems to be a flaw in the PageRank system, aside from any debate of linking or RSS, the fact remains: Google will do nothing until presented with a legal complaint with DMCA fangs. So you have three options at this point:

    1. File the complaint. Some of your readership will support you, some won't. Anything could happen.

    2. Ignore it, though it may embolden more sites to do the same.

    3. Politely ask the site owner to provide clearer attribution to Techdirt in the interim, until the PageRank system is fixed. If they refuse, see 1., above.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    diane bremser, 11 Apr 2006 @ 3:11pm

    your service is not good

    I am really not happy with every time i go to sign on google, i have to try at least three times, as the page is not displayed,,this gets old. why cant your service be any better, is it because you gave half the service to china. and like the mexicans they get everything good and we just take what is left.. this gets old..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2006 @ 4:15am

      Re: your service is not good

      CITIBANK ETHICS PLEASE POST AND FORWARD MY STORY I NEED YOUR HELP PLEASE HELP US GET THIS STORY OUT
      PLEASE FORWARD TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW
      The letter I’ve include with this email is from a concern client of Citibank
      My question is will the teller be fired and if not why not? This teller left out about $10,000.00 in the unlocked front drawer 2 different times with in a two week period and had two shortages in one year, one for $100.00 and the other for $450.00.
      Where the cash drawer is concern two employees signed the vault book stating they witness her put the cash away, obviously not true.
      One of these two employees had the bank pay for her daughters overdrafts and the manage was aware, against company policy.
      This teller entered false referrals into the systems to make the banks numbers look better and this was done under the supervision and direction of the supervisor, when I brought this up to the manager none of the three tellers which input false referrals were written up, falsifying bank documents and no write up but I get written up for missing a Saturday, why? Unfair and unequal treatment by the manager. Where are the ethics?
      As I’ve stated, the unethical employees still have jobs and I get fired after the manager receives my email on 12/13/05 at about 1:45 p.m., and he acknowledges receiving it, it clearing answers his question/comment that he was calling to see if I was coming. The email states that my doctor had called in and spoke to Kathleen: as well as faxing in my doctors note which the manager returned to me with my termination letter received two days after I had been fried with no check, with no break down explanation, no vacation pay, misleading information and so on, note clearly stating my disability time off. Did he read the doctors note? Did he let upper management know that my doctor had call and faxed information?
      The manager called I returned his call but he was with a client.
      I requested to communicate via email and I emailed him, Kathleen and Human Resource, so why was I fired sometime after he received my email and the end of the day if he was just calling to see if I was coming in and if not to contact HR? Unfair and unequal treatment.
      It makes no sense. Why weren’t the labor codes followed? Did he get HR permission to fire me?
      Why then wasn’t my check included with my letter of termination? Aren’t I to be fired at the location which I work? Were my rights violated when he had Kevin send me my termination letter, did he know I was getting fired prior to me receiving my letter?
      March 25, 2006 Dear Ms. Deloney,
      I would like to take a moment and thank you for responding to my comments regarding Damari and the manager. I am sure that you are a very busy and important person and I appreciate your time. Damari is truly missed at the bank, since her unfair termination by the manger, the atmosphere at the bank is boring to say the least. Damari added life and laughter and she enjoyed serving the customers. I feel deeply, that the manager made a huge mistake in dismissing her while she was ill. What kind of a manager would dismiss an employee while they are ill?
      As I say this, I now have further concerns about another teller name Andrea. I was in the bank and was told that she has injured her knee and will be out of work for about six weeks. I’m sure that Andrea has a doctors note as Damari did, I hope that the manager doesn’t make the same mistake and decides to terminate her and mail her a letter before she returns as he did Damari when he terminated her instead of waiting for her to get well and return to work. Although I would understand if he were let her go as she spends most of her time at work doing her homework , reading and she isn’t available everyday. Andrea will move on, on her own to become a teacher, this is what she goes to school for two days a week. By her going to school, I feel this puts a strain on the staff. I understand that the rest of the tellers along with Kathleen are now having to work six days a week and Kathleen is running a window: she doesn’t have the charm or customer service skills which Damari offered the bank.
      We go into the bank often and we rarely see that manager. I feel that it would be in the best interest of the bank to find a permanent manager as soon as possible, one whom appreciates competent employees as Damari. Frankly, I don’t understand how a temporary manager was given the authority to dismiss an employee such as Damari with her wonderful skills , talents and dedication to her job. Therefore my concerns are now for Andrea whom doesn‘t compare with the kind of service Damari offered your customers. As I stated before, the other tellers spend too much time speaking to customers about personal things and shopping on the computer instead of banking conversations. I frequently witness them reading and eating while at their windows: this is very unprofessional.
      I feel it would be in the best interest to Citibank to launch a complete investigation on the manager, as you stated would be done and seriously consider removing him from Carmel. In my opinion since he arrived the atmosphere is tense and if I can sense it I am sure that other customers do. This manager has taken all the personal touch and charm out of the bank and I feel the employees fear for their jobs: no one should have to work under those conditions. Keeping this manager at this or any branch is sure to destroy you business. Again, thank you for your letter and taking the time to look into this situation.
      Sincerely, Clifford Bagwell
      In a letter dated 01/06/06,Citibank states, Pursuant to Section 1089 of the Ca. Unemployment insurance Code, regarding notification of changes in employment status, please be advised that your employment was terminated on 12/13/5 for failure to follow call in procedures
      RE Section1089 and other codes which Citibank may have violated
      Other codes they may have violated labor code section 208, 226, 226.3,201.25,2441, 2800,2802,2926,2927,6400,3602(6),3852,2922,civil code 47(c)
      I was fired on 12/13/05,it states that each employer shall notify the employee immediately, yet I didn't find out until 12/15 as I received my notice of termination via UPS on12/15
      When I was fired I was not supplied with "copies of printed statements or materials relating to claims for benefits by Citibank.
      Citibank claims that I didn't follow the call-in procedure yet my doctor called on 12/12 & faxed in a notice which stated that I would be out from the 12th-16th.
      Jeff claims that he called me to see if I was coming in on 12/13 at 10:25am,almost 2hrs after my shift started, he states that if I wasn't coming in that he wanted me to contact HR to inform them of my extended absence. How does one go from calling to see if I'm coming in & ask me to call HR to Jeff stating & deciding that I should be fired yet in my email to him at 1:45pm on 12/13 it states that the doctor had spoken to Kathleen & faxed in my doctors note which he returns to me w/letter of termination.
      How does he justify terminating me? I was out on work related stress and my blood pressure, my doctor called for me to keep my stress & blood pressure down, as far as not calling in I had my doctor call: the call was made for me to protect my health. Why wasn't it stated in my termination letter that I failed to follow the call in procedure. Why does Citibank state to the DFEH that I called in on 11/15 & said that I would be out the rest of the week yet I worked on the that day & the supervisor approved my timecard on 11/22. What else are they not being honest about?
      Why are the employees which falsify bank documents & break policy still have jobs?
      Reply to Damari Stratford 1291 Ord Grove Ave, Seaside 93955 831-583-9077
      CITIBANK IS NOT BEING HONEST WITH DFEH
      THIS IS A LETTER I SENT MY GOVERNOR
      Dear Governor, First Lady and staff,
      I have been awake since 1:05 a.m. I was having a difficult time sleeping again due to my conversation with Ann Lueckeman from the DFEH. Ann and I spoke on 3/08/06, Citibank apparently faxed in their reply on 3/07/06. Ann read to me some of the statements that Citibank made on their reply Citibank states: that I called in on 11/15/05 and that I stated that I would be out the rest of the week, this is a lie!!! I happen to have my time card for the week ending 11/19/05 and it clearly shows that I worked the 15th, I was off the 16th and I worked the 17th and that I was out sick on the 18th and 19th and that the manager approved my time. Citibank states that I refused to work on Saturdays but they don't mention that I, unlike them, was willing to meet them half way. Citibank is not telling the truth. To further support that I was at work on the 15th and 17th I have my journal notes with specific times of things that occurred on those two days. How does an honest and ethical person fight against unethical people who lie? How can I protect myself if I can't afford an attorney and I can't find one to work on a contingency basis? The other night, on TV, my husband and I heard that the government spends 4 million to train wasp and I can't get help from The White House or our Senators or Congress, to defend myself against a corporation which is taking advantage and lying about this situation? The only one that has offered to help is the Governors office and although I appreciate the letter and the call from the Governors office this does not get me an attorney. I have diligently search for assistance to no avail. I am now begging for help, I can't continue to loose sleep and live on anxiety medication; this situation is wearing on me. Again, please, is there anything more that you or our government can do to help my family and I, for this wrongful termination? Why is Citibank lying? I feel like I am going to have another panic attack and I had to resign to taking medication to calm down. This is totally and completely unfair, unjust, wrong and no one should have to go through what Citibank has put my family and I through. I only wonder how many other wrongful termination's Citibank has gotten away with because people are afraid to go up against them or just don't have the money to fight and protect them selves? My husband and daughter are worried about me and so am I.
      PLEASE HELP US. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give up.
      Sincerely.
      Damari Stratford
      A BETTER EXPLANATION Mother fired by Citibank for no good reason
      I am searching for an Employment Attorney willing to work on a contingency basis. I was fired while I was out sick, the managers states in a note added to my personnel file that he had called me to see if I would be coming into work on Dec. 13th but yet with my letter of termination he returned to me the faxed in doctors note, faxed in at 3:44p.m. on 12/12/05 by my doctor, which clearly stated that I would be out from 12/12-12/16/05. He sent me my letter of termination thru UPS, which arrive on 12/15/05. The manager knew that I was out on work related stress and I had a workers comp case pending. The manager states that I was fired for not complying with my warning and I asked how I could comply if I wasn't there to comply so then I get a letter from HR stating that I was fired for failure to follow the call in process but my doctor had called in for me on the 12th due to my stress level and blood pressure. The doctor had spoken to the supervisor on the 12th so they were aware that I wouldn't be in on the 13th and my doctor has the notes on my file that she had made a call in for me. Citibank did not follow their own procedures when they fired me. The EEOC has given me the right to sue and the letter arrived on 2/17/06 so my 90 days have started. The DFEH has also launched their own investigation which Citibank received notice on 1/23/06 and should be responding to the notice any day now, (as of 3/8/06they haven’t responded). I had an outstanding performance history with the bank; I had worked there for 4 years 2 months 6 days. I was the head teller one of the notary and the only Spanish-speaking teller. I have at least 40 letters of support from Citibank clients and I can prove that the manager was not equal with all the employees and although he was aware of the teller cooking the books under the direction of the supervisor none of them were put on corrective action yet I was written up for missing my first Saturday and then again when I missed my 2nd Saturday although I had a doctors note to be out of work due to my blood pressure and stress brought on by the manage and the unfairness in treatment. I had been threaten with job abandonment but at that time I hadn't missed any work long enough to be accused for this. Citibank violated code 132A of the worker comp law and I do have an attorney for that but they are unable to deal with all the other issues. I have a strong feeling that the manager never told HR that my doctor had called in for me nor did he share my doctors note with them, he is to get approval from HR before firing me yet fired me by 4:30 pm or so, I had also emailed him that day at 1:45 pm and explained that my doctor had spoken to the supervisor and faxed in a note, again he was aware that I wouldn’t be in. The manager had called my cell phone and left a message at about 10:25 am, he states that he called because I hadn’t called in a half an hour prior to my shift, which started at 8:30 a.m., why did it take him 2 hours before calling me? And I would bet that the supervisor had made arrangements to have a teller there to cover my shift since my doctor called her. Please help my family and I.
      Sincerely, Damari Stratford
      Home 831-583-9077 all calls to this number are screen due to telemarketing calls and my current situation so once you hear my voice saying that all calls are screened please leave a message, once I hear who is calling I pick up the phone.
      Cell phone 831-236-0112 this is the best number to leave a message
      Again please help us

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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