Med Express Apologies For Suing Customer, Says It Was A Mistake, But Doesn't Mention The Long List Of Similar Lawsuits

from the what's-the-opposite-of-truthful? dept

Earlier this week, we posted about eBay seller "Med Express" suing a customer for leaving accurate, but negative, feedback on eBay. We found the story from Paul Levy's original post on the Public Citizen website, and a bunch of other sites picked up on the story, including our friends at Popehat and Ars Technica.

Yesterday, Richard Radey, the President of Med Express made the rounds on all of those sites, including ours, issuing what may appear to be a heartfelt apology, saying that he never intended the customer to be a target, that the company fully supports any and all feedback, and that he had not read the actual lawsuit until the issue got attention. He also claims that he was trying to deal with a separate, but related issue in getting eBay to remove a "Detailed Seller Rating" which impacts how much Med Express has to pay. He claims that the "low ratings caused us to lose our Top Rated Seller Plus" standings, which could lead to "a potential fee increase of tends of thousands of dollars over the course of the year." And, he claims, the only way to remove those "is by court order" and he "was told that such court orders were not uncommon." He concludes:
The only person to blame here is me. You have spoken and I have listened. A terrible wrong needs to be righted. I am instructing our attorneys to drop the lawsuit. I want to assure everyone that you may feel free to leave any feedback on our company without fear of reprisal. I have learned my lesson.
That certainly sounds sincere. But is it? The first thing that struck me was that he said low ratings, plural -- not the single low rating we had heard about. And, indeed, Paul Levy has presented a compelling argument that Radey's apology raises more questions than it answers. First off, he discovered that Med Express has been filing similar lawsuits for years, all against customers who leave ratings that Med Express does not like. In one, quite incredible, case, they even sued a guy who left an accurate neutral review. Yes, it wasn't even negative. And the company still sued.
Of the current crop of lawsuits, the suit against Nicholls isn’t even the worst.  I haven’t yet been able to see the original documents from the transaction on which Med Express’ lawsuit against Guam resident Tan Jan Chen is based, but the lawsuit against Scranton-area resident Dennis Rogan is over a two-word “neutral” buyer feedback stating “Order retracted.”   Apparently, Rogan bought a piece of equipment on eBay but Med Express had to refund his money because, as it explained in a message accompanying the PayPal refund, “This should not have been still listed—we removed this item a few weeks back-it broke.”   As in Nicholls’ case, the statement over which Med Express sued for libel was true, but even worse than in Nicholls’ case, Rogan had not even left “negative” feedback. 

Rogan could have suggested that the advertising and sale of an item that the seller knew it could not deliver violated FTC rules for mail-order merchants, but he gave the company the benefit of the doubt while concluding, at the same time, that other customers ought to learn that Med Express cannot always be trusted to have the goods that it is advertising.  His generosity did not prevent Radey from signing an affidavit averring that the neutral feedback and negative statement were “false,” attempting to get an injunction requiring that the feedback be taken down, and demanding an award of compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney fees—not the $1.00 in nominal damages that Radey claims are all that he wanted his lawyer to seek against Nicholls.
Yeah, also, that signing an affidavit thing is a problem. Radey suggests in his apology that he didn't know what was going on, and seems to imply that this was a one off thing. But based on Levy's research, we see a long list of similar lawsuits -- and they include affidavits signed by Radey. So for him to claim he was unaware of what was going on seems quite questionable.

In the meantime, it appears that the customer who was at the center of the original lawsuit, Amy Nicholls, has found highly qualified pro bono help in the form of Tom Haren and Jeffrey Nye, and they've already filed a response and counterclaims. That also means that, even if Radey wants to dismiss this lawsuit, he can no longer do so unilaterally. If Nicholls, represented by Haren and Nye decide to pursue this, Radey may really regret trying to silence customers.






Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    Med Express: our apologies are as good as our products.

    Buy today, and use our trusty Low Ratings (TM) as proof we're here for you, not our bottom line.

    Right. I've learned that apologies after the fact are just a poor excuse for doing something stupid in the first place.

    Apology not accepted. Fix your ratings, left by disgruntled buyers, than worry about the internet.

    Priorities, genius. Priorities.

     

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    what's-the-opposite-of-truthful?

    That's easy! It's Mike Masnick, super-opinionated blogger who claims he just can't, no matter how hard he tries, pick a side in the copyright wars. LOL! Nobody's more dishonest than you, Mikey. And you fucking know it.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

      Hint: you're not a Jedi

      So there's nothing other than piracy and no piracy?

      It must be great to see the world only in absolutes...

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      S. T. Stone, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      Mike has picked a side.

      He sides with the general public and their vested interest in copyright.

       

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, of course. How have I not seen it? We don't need to pick sides, because were all on the same side! The pirates really have copyright owners' interests in mind. It's so simple. They steal from the copyright owners because that benefits everybody. Obviously. Mike doesn't need to pick sides, because he represents all sides.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          AC Unknown, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          We know you hate Mike, you ignorant troll. Now go away.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          How can you not of seen it? Simple you don't have a brain to see stuff with.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 6:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So whats your opinion on Disney?

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 1:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          My lord, I was wrong all along! You're right, the copyright owners lie and cheat to make up laws to benefit everyone, not to allow them to extort and terrorize decent people. Of course.

          And that extortion and terrorism benefits the public and arts by allowing better media, instead of illegitimately lining the copyright maximalists' pockets.

          I have seen the light. Down with techdirt, yay to wrongdoing!

           

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

    •  
      icon
      btr1701 (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 2:31pm

      Re:

      > That's easy! It's Mike Masnick,
      > super-opinionated blogger who claims
      > he just can't, no matter how hard he
      > tries, pick a side in the copyright
      > wars. LOL! Nobody's more dishonest than
      > you, Mikey. And you fucking know it.

      Wow, you really are coming undone mentally, aren't you?

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Reality Check, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 7:31pm

      Re:

      All I hear is waaaaaaaaah.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 8:12am

      Re:

      I guess it's true what they say, sour grapes make for bitter whine.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      DP, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      I must be missing something. Just what relevance does this misguided rant from a demented troll have to the subject in hand? Oh - and by the way, a sentence does not start with an "And", so do brush up on your grammar, dear boy, before you post again or preferably NEVER post again!

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Maybe he should get Prenda Law to represent him; those guys know a thing or two about both filing frivolous lawsuits and talking out of their asses…

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

      Re:

      Maybe Med Express's lawyers are already from Prenda Law. That would explain how Radey could be ignorant of what's going on and yet still be signing affidavits about it.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    let's hope that the law suit goes forward and that all the previous, unwarranted law suits that Radey has signed affidavits on are brought out into the open, so he is exposed as what he is, basically, an arse hole! it could even get better than that, perhaps, and some of the other suits that are exposed then get joined? now that would be worth getting the pop-corn for!!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Zos (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    this should be good.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Zos (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    why are comments suddenly being moderated? or did i trip a filter somwhere with ""

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Med Express's new slogan: "Please buy from us so that we can sue your ass off for posting about our poor quality work"

     

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

  •  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

    What is said vs. what is meant

    So from the looks of it while he may be saying "I'm sorry", what he really means is "I'm sorry we got caught this time".

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

    Pro Tip for Richard Radey

    Lawyers are not a part of your customer satisfaction team.

    If you want good ratings provide good service.
    If you want excellent ratings provide excellent service.

    As shown in this case, most of your customers will be honest in their evaluations. When there is a problem step up and take care of it and they will praise you. Yes, there are some people who are never satisfied but they are easy to spot when reading reviews and savvy buyers see through them.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      apauld (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 12:05am

      Re: Pro Tip for Richard Radey

      It is unfortunate that your pro tip will be completely ignored by Mr. Radey. I posted on the popehat thread a comment that tried to directly point out how he could quickly and honestly raise his DSR's, and he basically responded that everything is still everyone else's fault. Richard Radey is clearly incompetent and unwilling to learn how to fix his actual problem; and his actual problem is that he is incompetent and unwilling to learn.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Practices like this show clear consumer contempt, and demonstrate the reason nobody should ever trust 'Testimonials'. The point of a rating and review system is to provide feedback to potential consumers as to various aspects of the product or service. Before the internet, this took the form of critic reviews, user testimonials, ratings, awards... in short... things that were largely either inflated/artificial by industry , at the distributors sole discression , or relatively obscure.

    Now, people are able to take a direct role in holding companies, products and services accountable. The companies response? The same as always. Exercise as much control over their public image as they can. Now I can understand and even appreciate the need to carefully craft their public image, but that is limited to actions and statements from the company itself.

    A person should not fear being sued because they said a company treated them poorly, or offered bad service, or whatever. A person shouldn't even have to DEFEND themselves that right! The fact that an individual needs to hire an attourney, show up in court, face appeals, and quite likely sacrifice all hope of integrity just because they warned people of poor service they received is absurd!

    The fact that TRUTHFUL negative reviews impacts your position on Ebay is NOT the consumers concern, nor responsibility. The fact that a company can resort to litigation as an alternative to improving customer service and relations is a bastardization of how the consumer/supplier relationship is supposed to work. Guess what, the whole point of salesmanship is making people want to buy something, not rubbing your hands in a sinister fashion because they don't have a choice.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    I'd like to ask Mr. Radey a question:
    Is your legal team paid a regular salary, or are they paid based on how much work they do? Because if they've been trashing your company's reputation as an excuse to rack up billable hours, you should probably fire them.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

    Where is eBay in all of this? Seems like having a seller like this reflects badly on them too. Why wouldn't they step in to defend the buyer?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Geo, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 9:10pm

    The whole thing is ridiculous. MedExpress is stupid, and Ms Nichols is just another eBay dork. Let me take it a little further in saying that ebay is stupid. No, the whole concept of eBay is stupid and ridiculous. 90% of what's listed on eBay is garbage. Junk that nobody would have the guts to sell in front of their own house. Ebay/PayPal burn in hell.

    ..as you were.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This