Decormyeyes, A Bully, Finds a Pulpit on the Web

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shopping online in late July, Clarabelle Rodriguez typed the name of her favorite eyeglass brand into Google’s search bar.

In moments, she found the perfect frames — made by a French company called Lafont — on a Web site that looked snazzy and stood at the top of the search results. Not the tippy-top, where the paid ads are found, but under those, on Google’s version of the gold-medal podium, where the most relevant and popular site is displayed.

Ms. Rodriguez placed an order for both the Lafonts and a set of doctor-prescribed Ciba Vision contact lenses on that site, The total cost was $361.97.

It was the start of what Ms. Rodriguez would later describe as one of the most maddening and miserable experiences of her life.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

Posted November 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. A Senior Priest wrote:

Ok, I am wondering why this person was not arrested and tried on the numerous violations of the law that even I can think of in a couple of minutes, and if he wasn’t born a US citizen… if found guilty, revocation of citizenship and deportation. Is there something being left out here that we don’t know?

November 29, 12:02 am | [comment link]
2. Chris wrote:

to the Google issue, perhaps people will become sophisticated enough to not link to his site and reference it as decormyeyes(dot)com or some such.  The consumer feedback sites, where Decor is getting most of their Google hit, should do this right away, remove all reference to urls of bad actor companies.  I say this because I don’t think Google will change their algorithm for the reasons the search engine guy mentioned.

November 29, 9:50 am | [comment link]
3. Chris wrote:

you’ll notice the NYT did not give them an inbound link, good for them…

November 29, 9:51 am | [comment link]
4. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

This is a much too familiar story. My in-laws are from eastern Europe, and if you think it’s bad here—where Russians are big into fuel tax fraud and gigs like the one described—well, maybe you need to get out more.

After three generations of communism, the only successful people apart from the apparatchiks running the show were the decidedly criminal element. Today, with little semblance of democracy remaining in Russia, things are reverting to median. The entire culture is dark, xenophobic, and broadly criminal ... from top to bottom.

I say that as one once rather fluent in Russian, now somewhat rusty, and reasonably conversant with Russian history. It might explain a thing or two to realise that what passes for the Russian renaissance began only in the early 1860s. The great Russian courts—Peter, Catherine—were outward looking, especially to pre-revolutionary France. French, not Russian, was the language of those courts and they each failed in their efforts to drag Russia out of its dark, xenophobic, nasty culture.

This guy in New York is cut from standard-issue Russian cloth. There are exceptions, of course, such as Borodin (both world-class chemist and competent musical composer), but so tragically the “go-getters” mostly tend to follow the eyeglass bully’s trajectory.

November 29, 10:01 am | [comment link]
5. Catholic Mom wrote:

Low level criminals can get away with this stuff for years.  High level criminals (ones stupid enough to be written up the NY Times) eventually get screwed.  Although usually they go on to reinvent themselves in another scam.

Last year I got a phone call from a woman purporting to be a secretary at a law firm.  She was trying to get information about somehow I knew.  My husband is Israeli and he has a friend from Israel that he grew up with whose father is a holocaust survivor who lives in Philadelphia.  For complicated reasons I won’t explain my husband had co-signed for a phone that was put into a nursing home where this man lived.  The man moved to another nursing home to be near a son in another state and the phone was not immediately turned off.  Apparently numerous nursing home employees used it to make long distance calls.  After the bill got up to a couple hundred dollars and was not paid, the phone was turned off.  Verizon (the phone company) then turned the bill over to a collection agency.

Verizon uses National Enterprise as its collection agency.  Google them and in the first five hits you’ll see that they are the DecorMyEyes of collection agencies.  Its outrageous that Verizon does business with them.  Anyway, this woman, misrepresenting herself as being from a law firm (which is illegal for a collection agency to do) was actually calling from National Enterprise.  I could immediately tell it was some kind of scam but I had no idea it was a collection agency.  I refused to talk to her and hung up. 

As it happened, my husband was away (in Israel) for a couple weeks.  For those two weeks they called up in the middle of the night, played mind games, threatened me that “I better tell them where Mr. Schubert is or I could get into big trouble” etc.  I finally figured out who they were.  I called the telephone company to say I was being threatened (couldn’t care less) Better Business Bureau (“file a complaint”) Verizon (“we have no connection with National Enterprise”—a total lie which takes less than 60 seconds to disprove).  No help and nobody interested in helping.  Finally my husband came home, called them, and the whole thing was eventually taken care off by him paying the bill and getting the money back from his friend in Israel.

Well, a couple months ago I get a letter in the mail from the Ohio Attorney General.  (National Enterprise works out of Solon Ohio).  They had just filed a class action suit against NE and anybody who filed a complaint with the BBB in the last few years could sign on.  That ITSELF looked like some kind of a scam but I signed and sent the paper back and a couple weeks ago I got a check for $250 in the mail from the Ohio Attorney Generals office!  So there is a God!! smile

November 29, 2:32 pm | [comment link]
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