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An Unintentional Compliment

UPDATE: We named a company in the below blog post, but after clearing the air with those involved and also finding them to be a stand-up organization full of good people, we’ve decided to remove mention of their name. Even though this post now looks like a CIA document, its still an interesting story. – BC

We often hear basketball players talk trash on the court, we see politicians trade barbs on TV, but we don’t get much in the way of smack talk between companies. This is what makes the message we received last week so interesting.

Here’s the message we received via our contact form:

Name:      Company Name Removed Fan
E-Mail:    Company Name
Subject:   Copycat
Question:  Hey man,
I am an avid Company Name Removed user & fan and just came across your site. It’s embarassing to see how blatantly you copied Company Name Removed. Why on earth would you want to be a copy cat? In general copy cats fail miserably because they are always lagging behind the leaders. It would be surprising if you would be any different.

Good luck,

Dedicated Company Name Removed User & Fan

We respond to every piece of feedback on our site, so when the above email came back  as invalid, we did an IP address lookup and found that it originated at Company Name Removed, the same Company Location Removed social media marketing company mentioned by the “Fan.”

Even more interesting, we had a user register on Promoboxx just before the message was sent from the same IP address. So we Googled the email used and it returned the following name via Spokeo:

UPDATE: We removed the Spokeo image out of respect for personal privacy.

When we Googled the name we learned that he’s a founder of Company Name Removed Fan. One IP address lookup, and two Google searches later, we revealed one giant “ooops” for Company Name Removed.

So what can we learn from this? To start, one should never disparage a competitor. At best, it acknowledges that you have competition, at worse, its perceived as a childish act of a company insecure with the merits of it’s own product.

We’re proud of Promoboxx and how we help small businesses’ promote better on social media sites.  We’ll continue to innovate and improve our product, stay focused on our customers, and if we scare companies enough for them to send semi-humorous, but mostly-lame messages, then we’ll take ’em as compliments.

We love feedback so let us know what you think about the message. If you’re ok making your thoughts public, we promise not to track you down. That goes for you too, Dedicated Company Name Removed User and Fan.

Best Regards,

Ben Carcio
(ben @ promoboxx dot com)