I debated whether or not to post this, but decided to (obviously). This is my personal blog, so I feel it’s ethically okay.

An online competitor of mine sells e-books (something I’ve been encouraged to do by several different people, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon — sorry). Competitor in the sense we’re presumably going after the same market. Since I don’t trust e-books or e-book sellers (the exceptions can be named on one hand), I never bought her book, plus it was too expensive for mere research purposes.

In my Google Alerts, I noticed she had a new blog. Its subject matter seemed a little odd, but okay. Then I discovered she outs people on her blog. In particular, customers who order her e-books. I found this out because an escort paid for the e-book, never received it and got blasted when she dared contact the seller about the issue. Not only has the poor girl not gotten her money back, all the information she put into the ordering system is now posted online in connection with the escort book.

Thought tempting, I’m not going to discuss the morality of this. I think any sensible person is on the same page with me.

What I have to wonder is, how someone who is writing a book (a couple books, actually) about running small businesses and making money having such difficult times with her customer service? I had to make a refund once and though it put me in the hole (what with the cost of fulfillment services and payment-processing fees), I cheerfully refunded the money once I received the book and receipt. It sucked, but I guarantee refunds. End of story. (I sold the book on Amazon as a “used” copy and recouped some of my loss.)

If the customer wants their money back and provides a receipt, the required action is very clear. Ranting at them and posting rants online along with their information is no way to run a business, especially when the customer requests are reasonable.

One rant I read was directed at an under-age purchaser. Fair enough, I ask that those under 18 not buy my book either. But simply refund the kid’s money and request they do their research elsewhere. (My lover pointed out that publicly posting a minor’s information is probably illegal.)

Is her business suffering so much she needs to fleece her customers? And then totally alienate them? Maybe this is just some of the crap that goes along with selling e-books? (Then count me out!)

I’ve certainly spent a lot of space on here moaning about the self/small publishing industry and trying to get my work accomplished. And there have been times I’ve been tempted to name names, but I have not, even though I would be naming businesses and not individuals. I try to think through my knee-jerk angry reactions.

Mostly, I’m trying to figure out if I should put something on the book’s site reassuring buyers they never need fear being “outed” by me in any way. That sounds good, but on the other hand, I feel I present myself to the point where it doesn’t need stating. (Yes, there’s a Privacy Policy I wrote over a period of several days and abide by.) I wonder if I should try to use this appalling blog as a selling point for me, or just let my natural good looks and charm do all the work.

It’s a bad day when escorts who want hard-to-find information are punished for their need by the very people supposedly helping them.

No, I don’t think I’m a saint of any kind, simply a business-person behaving as I expect to be treated. And besides, I’m selling a book. You can buy one or dozens, either way it’s just a book. Not much to argue about. Everything else I offer is free of charge. Maybe that’s stupid, but it’s how I’ve decided to do things. It sure seems to make business simple, though.

PS: The good looks and charm comment was a joke, FYI.

PPS: Buy dozens.

UPDATE: Amazon won this round. But the authorities quoted in the article certainly seem to believe Amazon won’t win every round. Not good news for any of us, even if the info requested isn’t posted online.

11 thoughts on “girl-on-girl “outing”

  1. I’m glad you said something about this! Not only is it unethical to do what this seller has done, it could also be illegal. If this seller put personal information about a buyer out there on the internet, that’s downright dangerous — and the problems with the e-book could look like child’s play compared to what a good attorney would do.

  2. Gwen,

    It is probably illegal, but I don’t know. However, I did encourage the escort who complained to contact the hosting company of the site, the payment processor and the BBB. It’s a start.

    I certainly hope enough public noise is made about this among escorts that this girl takes down her blog and rethinks her business. I’m not going to post a URL because I’m not directly invovled. I hope those that are DO post the URL publicly so it shows up in Google searches!

    It’s mostly amazing that this person feels okay and justified in doing this. I don’t know where their head is or where they learned their business, but it isn’t right.

    If you’re curious, email me privately and I’ll send you the info. (And I still owe you an email!)

    XX

  3. as we’ve discussed briefly, I was outed by a fellow escort to my ex husband as well as my family.

    I don’t understand it either, but it’s nice to be above all of that, isn’t it?

  4. Sarah,

    You didn’t tell me an escort outed you. My god. There is no reason to try and run (or ruin) someone else’s life.

    What’s so difficult about the Golden Rule, or even common sense and courtesy?

    XX

    PS: And thanks for letting me know you’re still around. I’ve wondered what happened to you. Your life has been hell for a while. I hope it’s getting better.

  5. Good god, who is this person? It makes me wary of giving my information for purchasing to anyone other than the big companies or trusted parties.

    I did recently buy an ebook related to marketing from a guy at copyblogger.com, which was a good read and all it cost was $27 and continuous spam to buy more.

    However, outing people that want her book? Insane.

  6. Vancouver Escort,

    I won’t put a link on this site, but if you really want to know, contact me and I’ll send you to the blog. She is insane. I don’t know what her thought process is.

    In my own defense though, don’t always discount the little guys! Most small business owners are interested in great customer service and actually want you to come back! But can’t blame you for getting wary from this.

    Yeah, the marketing people are all about “lists” and they consider you to be on their “list” if you buy something from them. It’s even worse if you sign up for a “free” something or other. But I am curious, what e-book did you buy? I subscribe to CopyBlogger.

    XX

  7. Was this person ever a provider?

    If so, it is more than a bit disappointing to see such agressive tactics to belittle those unsatisfied. A clear mark of this persons insecurity and fear of rejection, indeed.

    You would think anyone who has walked in the stilettos of this industry would know better.

    Ah, I guess some take much from the experience of being a provider, but in all that ‘taking’, never LEARN a thing..

    Lily of VA

  8. Lily,

    She has recently begun claiming to have been an escort, but for the past few years, the only claim on her site was that she ran an agency. So I don’t know. I feel the truth is probably a moving target, in her case.

    This is beautiful: “some take much from the experience of being a provider, but in all that ‘taking’, never LEARN a thing..” I would love to see you write on that. Very wise and so true. You expressed a complex idea in a few, well-chosen words. Every sex worker needs to hear this.

    XX

  9. From a published author and former provider, I can accept that as a wonderful compliment, so ‘Thank You’ I have yet to get a copy of your book, but it is on “the list”. You know the one…the one you are always writing and seldom getting to…lol

    If written anything you how you come across here, I am sure it is a worthwhile read.

    Seriously though, I would love to expound upon many thoughts, but am still obligated to that golden rule of discretion (since I am still active in the industry). I do some writing currently, but seldom dip into industry issues, though I do have a LOT to say about it…lol

    I am hoping, one day, to get those thoughts down as I am sure you know that when written, it lightens the mental crowding and makes so much more sense;) If for nothing else, than lessons on what NOT to do later in life. It is all relative, no?

    For now, I enjoy your blogs. I would love to link them to mine. Please let me know if that is ok;) My webgoddess will want to as well, so I will ask ‘for’ her in advance;)

    Lily of VA

  10. Lily,

    My book-writing is a bit more formal than here, though Book 2 is a little less formal. I think I’m still identifiable through my writing no matter what.

    Write down what you think about the industry anyway, it may be good for you to express your thoughts, even if you don’t share them with anyone. Or get an anonymous blog! (And let me know if you do.) I’m betting you have things to share that need to be said.

    XX

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