The time has finally come for people who have been taken advantage of to receive the voice and attention that is appropriate, rather than to be lost in the sea of powerless people who have no chance of receiving justice.

Who is Ed?

Who is Ed?

Ed Magedson (pronounced Maj-ed-sen) is the founder and “ED”itor-in-Chief of the Ripoff Report web site located at which he began in 1997.  Over the past decade, Ed has been called everything from “consumer hero” to “internet terrorist”.  However, Ed’s story began long before there was such a thing as the Internet.

A native New Yorker, Ed was born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island, New York.  His family lived across the street from a carnation farm and when he was 10 years old, Ed occasionally worked around the farm.  This prepared him for his first business venture, a nationwide flower business called The Flower Children.

When ED was 14, he wanted to be a veterinarian.  He bought several horses over time and competed in many horse shows with many trophies.  He worked nights in a Long Island bakery and spent his days helping a veterinarian at the Roosevelt Raceway.  He was fired after turning in trainers for pumping injured horses with drugs so they could race.

ED also had a natural ear for music.  He taught piano and, at the age of 15, he became the organ player in several popular rock bands.  The other band members were in their 20’s and 30’s, and although Ed himself wasn’t old enough to drink, they often played in bars and nightclubs around Long Island and the New York City area.

Ed’s first step in the direction of being an entrepreneur came when he had the idea of selling flowers on street corners.  Ed eventually developed that idea into a business at the age of 18.  By the mid-1970s, he was founder and president of his first business.  Eventually, that business grew into a nationwide firm called The Flower Children.  The business hired young hippies and senior citizens to sell small bunches of fresh-cut carnations, daises, roses and pom-poms on street corners across America under red and yellow umbrellas.  At its peak, the business operated in 25 different states and at the age of 21 Ed (known as “Eddie” back then) was called “The Flower Child Entrepreneur” by the local media in Florida.

Click here to read a 1973 Tampa Tribune article about Ed’s flower business


From the very beginning, the flower business flourished. But the business also met with serious adversity, which started Ed in the direction of his current passion for consumer advocacy.  In many cities, the local floral shops instigated authorities to harass Ed’s flower vendors. The big flower companies were using their power and connection to put the little guy out of business.

Click here to read about Ed’s battle with zoning inspectors

Ed always fought the cities and never lost.  This planted the fateful seed that led Ed in the direction of exposing corruption and bad business practices. Ed later convinced several grocery store chains to let him put his flowers into their stores. These grocery store chains said, “Flowers will never sell in grocery stores”.

Ed’s next business venture also helped to prepare him for the launch of Ripoff Report.  In the 90’s Ed was working on developing housing in upstate New York, Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake.  He purchased real estate and apartment complexes.  Ed was contacted by government agencies in Albany, New York and asked if he would create additional housing for the underprivileged, disabled and other victims of housing discrimation.  Ed immediately agreed, but he was considered by some to be an outsider in the small rural town.  Eventually, Ed became the target of discrimination, anti-Semitism and harassment from the same people he thought could be trusted – local agencies and law enforcement.  Once again, this experience drew Ed further down the path of a life spent fighting and exposing corruption.

Coming Soon – Read newspaper articles on Ed’s experiences in upstate New York

The final chapter in the story leading to the creation of Ripoff Report was a run-in Ed had with city officials in Arizona. In 1990, Ed moved to Arizona to take care of his parents so they would never have to experience assisted living facilities.   At that time, there were many large vacant buildings in Arizona and many small businesses trying to make ends meet.  Seeing this as an opportunity, Ed came up with a new way to put them back in business — operating indoor swap meets.  The business venture was a big success, but once again, Ed encountered bad business practices and political corruption.  Frustrated with the lack of an effective way to fight back, he created his first website where he described his experience in Mesa.

At the same time he was experiencing political corruption in Mesa, Arizona, Ed was also outraged at the treatment of the hard workers from Mexico and South America that came to the US in desperation to help their families.  Ed has always been a firm believer in securing the border while allowing people to come here legally for work.  At the same time, he also feels those who are here working to support their families are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.  He was shocked to learn that many immigrant workers are never paid for their labor.  Even worse, some have been treated as modern-day slaves, even being threatened with deportation if they complain about not being paid.  Ed began raising awarenesss and calling for a stop to these practices back in 1997.  You can read more about Ed’s efforts to stop the abuse of immigrant workers here and you can click here to see the educational flyer that Ed has distributed to immigrants for more than ten years.

Ed’s numerous business ventures and his fights with City Hall eventually led him to create the Ripoff Report.  As Ed Magedson explained in his book, Rip-off Revenge, he wants to give others the power to fight back by giving them the tools needed to do battle with business bullies.  For more information about Ed’s book, visit:

One little-known fact about Ripoff Report is that it was started as a mission, not a business.  Ed never expected to earn a living from the Ripoff Report.  Instead, he put his own hard-earned money and time into the website with the sole intention of giving a voice to consumers who had previously been powerless.  He had no revenue plan or any idea how or whether the site would ever generate any money.  The website was set up as a free service and it was created long before Ed had any understanding of how to monetize a website.  In the early days, it was funded entirely by Ed’s personal savings.  It was not until several years later when the lawsuits started that Ed needed to create programs to earn revenue or face losing the Ripoff Report website.  Now, 13 years later, the Ripoff Report has grown into one of the most popular consumer complaint resources on the Internet.

Today, Ed Magedson is living and working somewhere in Arizona.  (If you received constant harassment and death threats, you’d be quiet about where you lived, too.)  In addition to constantly fighting to protect free speech and the First Amendment, Ed devotes his life to his beloved pets and to raising money for no-kill animal shelters.

Over the past 30 years, Ed has traded his music, his freedom and his privacy for a computer.  He is well aware of the many lessons he’s learned in his life so far-lessons that are relevant every single day; lessons that led him to commit his life to changing the way that businesses deal with their customers.

At Ripoff, hundreds of consumer complaints are reported every day. Consumers come to Ripoff Report to warn other people about deceptive business practices.  Ed and Ripoff Report are true pioneers who have literally changed the way that business is done and created an entire new industry.  Thanks to Ed Magedson’s tireless work, day in and day out, consumers today have a new and powerful voice and have saved millions of dollars.  Ed also assists every government agency to help prosecute those ripping off consumers.  No matter what his critics say or do in their efforts to silence him, Ed will never stop fighting to protect the rights of little guy.

Thank you, Ed Magedson!

Ed Magedson

Prev: Did You Know? | Next: Top 10 Myths About Ed

This blog is about issues that are important to ME and that I want to share with my friends, colleagues and the public. If you want to comment on the issue at hand, please do. Please keep in mind that THIS IS NOT THE PLACE to bring up specific reports. If you have a specific issue please email [email protected].

67 Responses to Who is Ed?

  1. Sherri Greene says:

    this company crscr has taking money from my card and i dont have any idea who they are and what they do

  2. Joanna says:

    I run a lot of online businesses globally and while none of them is on your site, what worries me (along with other sites of the same nature) is the name of your service automatically suggests wrongdoing.

    We know that the word “ripoff” or “scam” in a social media post or online forum comment can have an instant and very measurable impact on sales (even the question “is this a good deal or a ripoff?) through to wildfires that become uncontrollable if a “motivated” consumer (AKA justice warriors) decides that the comment has veracity and fans the flames, sometimes burning down entire expensive & legitimate campaigns based on misinformation and group-think sparked by that sort of language

    I am all for consumers having the right to give feedback, and they should. However, as a business, it’s hard to be on the front foot when often the first person to comment is someone who is not happy (and if you sell 1000 widgets, at least one person won’t be) Anger is more motivating than happiness, which is why happy customers are often hard to motivate to write positive comments.

    Customers also lie and exaggerate, relative to how much they have worked themselves up (if they have the word rip off or scam ringing in their ears, this is usually quite a lot) and businesses are left to react. Just as in real life, dignifying crap that is thrown often leads to people assuming it has some truth to it…. the cycle begins.

    I am sure you know all of this and while I believe people should be able to comment good and bad, there should be as much responsibility on that person and a relative consequence (a potential cost) as there is on business who may lose thousands or even millions of dollars due to unwarranted or exaggerated negative comments. Right now there isn’t. Anyone can say anything under the guise of “free speech” – having real effects on other people. (loss of income, jobs, stress, depression)

    There are scammers and ripoffs out there, but the vast majority of business is not either of those. Those terms should be used very carefully.

    Maybe you named this site impulsively and you’d now give it another. In any case, the domain name bestows an inference most businesses would prefer not to have.

  3. Angie says:

    I thought this was very
    Helpful to a very good
    Friend who is having
    Hella problems w/this
    Slumlord in Toledo
    Oregon shes something else.

  4. Dawn EM says:

    Hello, am primary care giver for parent. Asked local county worker assist re: labs from home as last visit local hospital parent say 4 hours no saline hooked up, no premeds given, no chemo for 4 hours in a chair and health conditions for parent aren’t conducive for such a long stint with nothing done and even longer yet to administer order. Home RN stated never seen in 30 yrs a company bill a patient for home lab supplies. Hosp RN said if labs are predone less time administrative orders complete. Now case worker states oops ins won’t pay didn’t realize and multitudinous efforts with company to resolve have not yielded results. Now filing against parent credit mentioned from main company Asheville, NC. Spoke with county agency program coordinator again said just disregard for now wait for a call from them 1st …. Would rather solidification be motto than not secure against going to parents credit report. When point & purpose was assist in less time
    of pressures on body in location.
    So lab supplies of $1k+ for 2 visits.
    Ty for your site & fight. Realized myself since 2008 there is a presentation of aimable society, there covert society meant to bludgeon any who challenge status quo for real civil rights, and there are those who demand oblivious society to continue same function, review your next hospital er visit folks check your entrance door if it reads select population pretty sure you’ll find root solutions to your questions about your life’s hardship its been a created paradigm, not in your favor.
    When I say all things are not equal as our country’s forefather Creed we learned …. Well pretty sure you know the answer by reviewing the US for last 100 years.

  5. Ed I just want to say that your site has always been appreciated. I remember when one need not even search for your site yet still find it in results. My memory isn’t so great anymore so I searched and using search terms to find you, starting with: “place where consumers can leave a review” and couldn’t find you; so I refined the terms: “consumers can leave a review” and couldn’t find you; then I searched “consumers leave review”, and couldn’t find you; so then I searched “consumer advocate” and this one really surprised me (I couldn’t find you). Luckily I keep your banner in the root of our site!!×60-Rip-Off-Report-Link.gif
    When a Nation is censored by a central group, we all fall down.

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