It never ceases to amaze me what bad decisions some corporate executives can make. But here comes a brand new one…
Three years ago I gave VistaPrint.com a try for some cards or something. Who cares what it was… I had a bad experience. I wrote about it on my blog. End of story. Except that it wasn’t. Many other people have since chimed in on that topic, one of whom is someone by the name of “Hubbers”. He claims to have had a really bad experience and then did a whole bunch of research to suggest that VistaPrint is associated with some fairly shady dealings.
I have no idea if that is true or false, but the information certainly seems to have some validity to it. Furthermore, I spot checked some of Hubber’s claims and the information presented does appear to be fact based. But I never would have known this if I hadn’t been forced to do the research when I received the following email from VistaPrint HQ!
UPDATE: Stop the presses! VistaPrint is NOT threatening to sue me! Their Ex-partner Adaptive Affinity Ltd is!
After putting out a tweet regarding this post I was contacted by Jeff Esposito from Vistaprint who very politely informed me that his company was not the ones behind the threatening letter you will read below. After doing some research he found that VistaPrint used to partner with Adaptive Affinity to offer some subscription based services, however they ended that affiliation some time back.
Apparently some customers were inadvertently subscribing to these third party services, there was a class action lawsuit, the lawsuit was dismissed, and VistaPrint decided it was no longer in their best interests to offer these programs.
So, to summarize – Adaptive Affinity, kiss my ass. VistaPrint, we’re cool.
Author: John P
RE: DEFAMATION/LIBELLOUS STATEMENTS â€“ Review: VistaPrint.com Business Cards
We are writing on behalf of Adaptive Affinity Ltd and refer to the webpage listed above. This web page contains allegations regarding Adaptive Affinity and its partners that is inaccurate and defamatory in nature. It is our view the contents of this post left by â€˜Hubbersâ€™ on April 9, 2009 at 8:10 am is causing and could continue to cause serious reputational harm, not only to Adaptive Affinity but VP rewards also.
The accusations made in the post is simply untrue and no proof is offered to validate these claims.
The language used by â€˜Hubbersâ€™ is unacceptable and suggests to the ordinary user that the practices of Adaptive Affinity are unethical or at worst illegal. The entire post is an unfair attack on Adaptive Affinity and its partners. These are legitimate businesses with legitimate business practices.
Although the burden of proof lies with you to prove the truth in these statements made, as proof to you (and not for publication elsewhere) that Adaptive Affinity is a legitimate business we can confirm that less than one half a percent of the millions of consumers marketed to and the many thousands of members enrolled in Adaptive Affinityâ€™s membership programs complain about their memberships.
Adaptive Affinity has always followed high standards of responsible corporate practice. We regularly undertake quality controls to ensure our respective business practices comply with or exceed industry standards and applicable law. These practices extend throughout the organisation. We rebut the assertions made in this article and accordingly we request that it is removed with immediate effect.
As the primary publisher and the person who exercises direct editorial control over what is published we would like to point out that you are responsible for all the posting on your site. This matter can still be resolved without incident if you act very quickly to our satisfaction now. However, if you fail to do so, we reserve all our legal rights and remedies in respect of this matter. We also reserve all our rights and remedies (in respect of all relevant posts) if you are involved with any other posts about us or if there is any other publication made as a result of your posts.
Please respond to this letter by return and in any event within 7 days of the date on which it is sent with full details of the actions and the timeframe you will be taking to urgently rectify this matter. Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.
369 Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware.
HA8 5AW. United Kingdom
t: +44 (0) 8701 432 343
f: +44 (0) 8701 432 344
Let’s examine this, shall we?
- The part that I put in bold there is fantastic. They are “reserving their rights and remedies”. Um, aren’t they always in reserve? What they mean is, “We are threatening to sue you in a court of law to force you to do what we want.”
- When I take a look at Hubber’s comment critically all I see is a link to a random Washington Post article, and another link to his own site where he provides what appears to be a lot of information to support his claim.
- I’m not here to take sides. If Hubbers was merely insulting VP without any merit, I’d delete the post, but I think that to any reasonable person this thing could go either way, so it’s not obviously defamatory (considering that truth is an absolute defense).
- Even if it was defamatory, who in the heck was the moron that decided the best way to approach a well known blogger was to send a threatening email? Honestly, is that supposed to scare me?
The only thing this message did was make me angry, remind me of the bad experience I had with VistaPrint, cause me to really pay attention to Hubbers comment where I hadn’t even noticed it before, and get this additional spotlight on the whole affair.
Why in the hell do people do this? And what advice would you have given them if they felt like they had a legitimate complaint to lodge?
PS – Can you believe that at the same time they sent me this letter, they left a comment on the blog trying to appear “helpful”? What is going on? Good Cop / Bad Cop?