10. Myth—Ed Magedson is a “fugitive” wanted by the FBI.
Truth—oh, please! This one has been around for so long it’s doubtful anyone really believes it, but for the record: FALSE! Ed Magedson is not a fugitive. This is just another bogus story used to try to discredit Ed which makes no sense given that Ed’s “credibility” isn’t relevant – he’s not the person who writes the reports posted on the Ripoff Report, so what difference does his credibility make?
Has Ed ever been wanted by the FBI or other law enforcement agency? NO! But don’t just take our word for it – if you find someone spreading this lie, just ask them to provide backup for this claim.
9. Myth—Ripoff Report is being investigated by law enforcement.
Sorry, this is 100% false.
Again, this lie has been around for more than half a decade – since at least 2004. If law enforcement was really investigating the Ripoff Report, don’t you think that they’d have completed their investigation by now? And if Ripoff Report or Ed Magedson were really breaking the law, don’t you think the police would have stepped in by now?
In reality, as part of his mission to protect consumers and prevent corporate wrongdoing, Ed Magedson works closely with many branches of law enforcement including local police, federal agencies, and federal and state attorneys general. In all his years working with law enforcement, no one has mentioned to Ed anything about the Ripoff Report being investigated, so we’re confident this is another hoax.
8. Myth—Ed Magedson creates fake reports.
Truth—no way! While Ed’s critics wish this was true, it’s not. This is just another smear campaign trying to discredit the Ripoff Report by spreading lies about Ed. It’s honestly very sad.
Really, since the sole mission of Ripoff Report is to help protect consumers, why would Ed create fake reports about someone? How would that be consistent with his goals? It wouldn’t.
But don’t take Ed’s word for it. Instead, consider this—under the Communications Decency Act, Ed and the Ripoff Report are protected from liability so long as they did not create the material at issue. On the other hand, if Ed creates statements that are false and harmful, his are 100% liable.
Over the years, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the Ripoff Report, and each one really boils down to a simple question—who created the statements involved? If a user did, then Ed is not liable. If Ed did, he would liable and would have to pay any damages caused.
Now, in all of these cases and with millions of dollars in legal fees spent attacking Ed and the Ripoff Report and trying to prove Ed has written defamatory statements, do you know how many have succeeded? NONE. Why not? Because Ed does not create reports, nor do he materially alter reports posted by our users (full disclosure—minor, non-material edits which do not change the meaning of a report are permitted and may occur on a limited basis). Ed knows better than anyone that he would lose his legal protection if he created reports, so he doesn’t do it.
Oh, here’s another point to consider – there are currently almost 700,000 unique reports on the Ripoff Report, and many millions of comments/rebuttals/responses. Even though critics of the Ripoff Report would like you to believe that all of the posts (or even a few of them) were created by Ed Magedson, we have news for you — Ripoff Report logs the contact information for the author of every single post on our site, including name, IP address, email address, etc., and the site keeps that information forever.
Think about that for a minute. If Ed’s critics were correct and if Ripoff Report really creates all the posts on the site, that means Ed would have to fabricate not just the details of all the stories on our site which relate to tens of thousands of companies across the country, he would also have to fake the underlying contact information for the millions of posts on our site, including fake IPs and email addresses.
Sorry folks, but that’s just IMPOSSIBLE.
7. Myth—Ripoff Report pays Google to get higher ranking.
False! This myth is based on the fact that Ripoff Report postings often appear in the first few pages of Google’s search results. Because Ripoff Report ranks so high, people assume Ed must be cheating or paying Google for the privilege. Not true!
Once again, please don’t forget to consider the facts—Google is a massive, multi-billion dollar business. The Ripoff Report is relatively small and even if Ed wanted to bribe Google for favoritism, it’s not likely that he could afford to do so. Also, many, many lawsuits have been filed against us over the years, and each time the plaintiff’s lawyers have had the option of sending a subpoena to Google asking for any records of payments received from Ripoff Report. Has this ever produced a shred of proof that Ed pays Google for better results? NO!
6. Myth—Ripoff Report violates Google’s Terms of Service.
Not true! This is yet another bogus claim made by self-appointed but largely clueless ‘experts’ who don’t like Ripoff Report…and why would that be? The most obvious reason—they have been featured in reports on the Ripoff Report site!
In case you’re not an SEO guru, here’s the deal—some people think that Ripoff Report deliberately “stuffs” the titles of each report with “keywords” by copying names in the title and repeating them extra times in order to ‘trick’ Google into thinking that the page is more relevant than it would otherwise be. In other words, if someone writes a report complaining about “Fox News” and they only use the name once, critics accuse Ed of looking at the title and copying the name numerous times so it says “Fox News Fox New Fox News”, as if this would make Google rank the page higher!
Seriously now, this is just nonsense circulated by ignorant people who are trying to sound knowledgeable and impressive. Here are the facts:
Fact #1—Ed and the Ripoff Report staff DO NOT create titles to reports! Whatever is there is whatever the user typed when they wrote their report. Don’t believe it? Try this—create a draft report and you will see that every single word in the title comes from the author, not from Ripoff Report.
Fact #2—There’s no evidence that repeating a keyword makes a page rank higher in Google. Honestly, do they really think Google is that stupid? If this claim was true, don’t you think that every page on http://www.starbucks.com/ would contain the word ‘coffee’ about 1 million times so they could rank higher than http://www.peets.com/?
5. Myth—ED & Ripoff Report has been sued and lost.
Truth—well, Ed and Ripoff Report certainly have been sued many times, so that part is true. Most cases were thrown out of court by the judge and some cases were settled when the plaintiff agreed to drop their claims (Ed has NEVER paid a dime to settle a case).
However, for the record: Ed and Ripoff Report have NEVER lost a case…with one exception.
The only exception was in 2003 when a lawsuit was filed in the “High Court of Justice, Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis”. Where the heck is that? It’s a tiny island nation (about 4 miles wide) off the coast of South America! A default judgment was entered but the case was eventually resolved without any money being paid.
4. Myth—Ripoff Report has class action lawsuits pending against it.
While people have suggested that a group may want to band together and bring a class action lawsuit against Ripoff Report, this has never happened and it’s not likely to ever happen. Why? Well, putting aside the fact that the Ripoff Report is generally immune from liability for user-generated reports, the requirements for class action cases are extremely strict. Most importantly, class actions can only be maintained where the plaintiffs in the class have injuries which are caused by nearly identical events (i.e., workers in an asbestos factory who all get sick from breathing the same air). Because every report on the Ripoff Report is factually distinct and specific, it is not really possible for one plaintiff to say they were harmed by a report about someone else. Also, because the issue of truth always plays a role in defamation cases, claims arising from online postings are always highly fact-specific and inherently inappropriate for class action status.
3. Myth—SEO services can “remove” reports.
Sorry, this is 100% false. These are phony promises from fly-by-night companies who claim they can remove reports in exchange for a fee. This may sound like a huge temptation to anyone seeking to mitigate the effect of a negative posting, but this is just a scam to get your hard-earned money.
Here’s the reality: unless someone illegally hacks into the Ripoff Report’s servers (which would be a federal crime), no third party has the ability to change or remove anything from the site. Really, what these companies are selling is a service called “SEO” or “search engine optimization” which is a euphemism for spamming the web with junk pages in your name in an effort to hide negative information. If this works at all, it won’t result in a report being removed…it just means that a report may temporarily drop down to the second or third page of Google’s results. This is just a temporary Band-Aid that won’t make the problem go away. The report is still visible and it will still be seen by anyone who looks beyond the first page of results. Also, by hiding reports, you’re really cheating yourself out of the opportunity to show customers how much you care about them. As we always say — customers LOVE to do business with a company that’s not afraid to show how it has resolved past complaints!
If you feel that using an SEO service is the best option for you, that’s your prerogative. However, we have heard LOTS and LOTS of horror stories about people being cheated by false promises from SEO companies that can’t deliver the results they advertise, so we strongly caution you about dealing with any SEO company. In fact, we’re even aware of one particular SEO company threatening its own customers — if they refused to pay, the SEO company ITSELF would create and post NEW reports about the victim! Talk about a scam!
If you are still thinking of hiring a SEO company despite these warnings, you should be sure to get everything in writing and make sure you do NOT agree to pay anything up front. Also, make sure to do your homework by reading reports posted by other consumers who have tried SEO services. CLICK HERE to read Ripoff Reports about SEO companies.
2. Myth—Ed Magedson is an “internet extortionist”.
Here’s the truth—Ed Magedson is a consumer advocate who fights for the rights of consumers every day. As part of that fight, Ed created the Ripoff Report to help balance the scales by giving more power to consumers who were previously helpless against huge companies with lots of money.
Because of the awesome power of free speech and the Internet, companies who previously ignored consumers complaints have found that the saying “buyer beware” no longer applies. Instead, it’s “seller beware”…because if you are a seller and you rip off your customers, they will not remain silent; they will let others know to stay away from any company who doesn’t treats its customers well.
Bad companies often blame Ed Magedson for this newly created consumer power, and they claim he’s “extorting” them by creating the Corporate Advocacy Program which is a paid service in which Ripoff Report helps companies deal with unhappy customers (sorry, it does NOT include removing reports). Every detail of the CAP program is explained on the site here, so you can read all about it and once you do, we’re sure you will understand how the program helps, not hurts, anyone who becomes a member.
However, consider this – imagine that Ripoff Report no longer offered the Corporate Advocacy Program. Would that really make things better? Good companies who needed help resolving complaints wouldn’t be able to receive any assistance from the Ripoff Report, and consumers trying to get complaints resolved would have no one on their side. Everyone would lose.
1. Myth—Ripoff Report removes reports for money.
This is easily the most offensive and therefore the most popular lie out there.
Sorry guys, it’s just a lie.
Here’s the truth—Ed has NEVER and will NEVER remove reports for money. PERIOD. Don’t believe it? Try this — pick a report, offer Ed a boatload of cash to remove it and see how far you get. It won’t happen!
Of course, you may also try asking people who make this type of claim what proof they have to support it…surely, if Ed removed reports for cash there must be someone who can come forward with proof this actually happened, right? Perhaps there isn’t any proof because it just isn’t true.
You have to wonder – why do people spread this fake allegation if there’s no truth to it? The reason is pretty obvious – people who have been criticized on Ripoff Report by true reports can’t fight back any other way, so they try to discredit the site by claiming that it is only there to make money by publishing and then removing fake complaints. By making this outrageous claim, they think they will make people doubt the accuracy of anything on the Ripoff Report. Don’t be fooled by these lies!