SMS.ac Tries to Silence and Bully Yahoo! Blogger Russell Beattie

Russell Beattie Cache

So an unfortunate thing happened to blogger Russell Beattie. He felt like he got conned and scammed into this text messaging service offered by SMS.ac and then blogged about it. Very quickly he found himself on the short end of “cease and desist” letter from law firm McDermit, Will and Emery. They write, “your statements regarding SMS.ac are false and without merit, and your website entry is cleary designed to unfairly depict SMS.ac through false representations and statements and to drive subscribers away from SMS.ac. SMS.ac highly values its strong relationship with its subscribers and is committed to maintaing that relationship. We are informed that you currently work for Yahoo and, if this is the case, it is additionally distressing that you are continuing to publicly maintain such false and anticompetitive statments.”

Russell Beattie Cease and Desist Letter
Russell Beattie’s Cease and Desist Letter

WTF? A blogger blogs about a bad experience he has with a shitty product and he gets this? He gets personally threatened (enough that he’s now taken the post down) and what’s all this about bringing his employer into it? It would seem to me that Beattie didn’t like the service and blogged about it and now they want to get Yahoo! his work involved? This is outright bullying and shouldn’t be tollerated. So in the spirit of free speech, contained in this post are the original post that Russell wrote, his pulled post, and his cease and desist letter (isn’t Google cache a lovely thing). By the way McDermott, Will & Emery, if you want to try and squash this one some more you might try going back to Yahoo! one more time as I’m currently hosting these images of your letter and Russell’s post on another Yahoo! service called Flickr.

Russell Beattie

And SMS.ac. Really stupid move. This is only going to further highlight how crappy your service is. Threatening bloggers is probably not the best PR strategy. How about trying to be a part of the conversation instead?

Thanks for the tip Tom!

Update: For more on the tactics of SMS.ac, Jeff Poskanzer points us to this article in the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday. I wonder if they sent them a cease and desist letter too?

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13 Comments

  1. The same SMS.ac folks were in a newspaper column a couple days ago.

  2. Billy Baroo says:

    Whoa….so SMC is trying to cover up the fact that they leech into your email address book and spam everyone in it by harrasing this guy?

    Way to be Draconian!

    So could me saying they are a con here in the comments be grounds for more C&D;?

    !+1

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here is a cached link to the original post

  4. Anonymous says:

    SMS.ac are HACKERS

    they hacked into free email accounts and connected the users. How else can they send out personalized one to one invites that the invitor never sent?

    I KNOW coz I received an invite from my wife and she did not send the invite.

    Even my BRO who never sends an e-mail sends an invite? Of course he did not send the invite – he was spoofed, his email account hacked into, his identity stolen.

    SMS.ac offenses
    – Privacry Breach
    – Identity Theft
    – Fraud

  5. Jake says:

    After reading the original post, Beattie’s position does not seem greatly sympathetic. He may have got conned & scammed, but he presents very few facts to the reader and instead relies on inflammatory language to, well, inflame.

    If I were he, I’d probably remvoe the original post as well. And I’d follow up making a new post which lays out the straight facts of the case. Then let the reader decide if it is a “complete con.”

  6. D'Arcy says:

    I had a similar experience with SMS.ac a while back and then noticed that they were asking for my password to my hotmail. I didn’t give it and went looking on google for more about them. I argue [come get me SMS.ac] that their business practices are at the very best on the margins of acceptable interaction with their customers. But I’m with Russ, I think they are a scam and the average user doesn’t realise that he’s being giving SMS permission to spam his address book.

  7. D'Arcy says:

    I had a similar experience with SMS.ac a while back and then noticed that they were asking for my password to my hotmail. I didn’t give it and went looking on google for more about them. I argue [come get me SMS.ac] that their business practices are at the very best on the margins of acceptable interaction with their customers. But I’m with Russ, I think they are a scam and the average user doesn’t realise that he’s being giving SMS permission to spam his address book.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I worked in sms.ac for some time. And yes, there is alot more to it then just sending messages without a user’s permission. Most of the ‘users’ of this website aren’t even real people. They made fake account, called phantom accounts with pictures and personal information added just like a real account. Messages in the form of “hi im so and so and i would like to be your friend, please reply with a yes or no” from those fake account would be sent out to real users. Whats ridiculous is that those users who received messages would be charged for them. I’m sorry i cant give out alot of information about myself, because they first thing they make you do when you get hired is they make you sign ALOT of legal contracts. The only permenant people in the company are : The CEO Mike pousti, and executives like brandi , ken, tim, dennis , greg. All other employees are just recycled. Theyre either fired after or quit because they cant handle the fraud going on. CREEPY Business. And i had access to their financial records. Its amazing how much money they make, just by conning people with those fake messages. and dont be surprised if you accept the “friends message” and never get a reply back from the person, because theyre NOT EVEN REAL!!
    Just be aware you all!! 🙂

  9. bbcitis says:

    Cattle spoofing Americas realitis TV stars. Like human trafficking with much more $ with life insurance policies. Really a huge step for the sex cult

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