- Nov 19, 2005 14:35 – The IP address was found in a comment posted to my blog from "Ted Williams ted…hotmail.com" The content of the posting was:
"I bought a battery pack from batterygeek just the other day and it’s giving my IBM ThinkPad 7+ hours of additional run time per charge. Not bad. Also, after I placed my order they shipped it out same day and I received it the next day with some free gifts. Not bad either. So far so good."
I attempted to contact him via email on Nov 25, 1:36am and Dec 9, 11:05am and as of this writing I have received no response.
- Nov 19, 2005 18:26 the IP address user submitted a request in my name for help with starting a home business.
- Nov 20, 2005 5:03:01 the IP address user submitted a request in my name to Service Magic for kitchen remodeling help.
At some point during the weekend of November 19th the user submitted my information to CoolSavings. This was likely one of the first submissions on Saturday afternoon as the first phone call came in about 5pm that day.
According to my web site logs, from September 12 through November 23 the user at the IP address accessed the two BatteryGeek articles on my blog on average once a day. Very few other articles are accessed by that user.
Filing complaints and getting help
On November 22nd I sent an email to the Comcast abuse department containing an overview of the harassment and my contact with the IP address responsible. I got an autoreply back saying my complaint had been received and not to expect any other response.
Based on everyday definitions this problem seemed to fall under the categories of interstate fraud and harassment so on November 23rd I filed complaints with the IFCC (which has apparently changed names since and is now called IC3) and with the Portland FBI. I sent them each essentially the same overview I had sent Comcast.
On November 23rd I contacted the owner of the blog JKOnTheRun, explained the situation and that I believed the person responsible had posted a comment on his blog containing:
"Dear jkOnTheRun Fans,
We really care about our customers. As a result, maintaining superior customer experience remains one of the most important issues for us. As part of our ongoing dedication to our customers satisfaction we have recently hired a great guy named Jimmie who is our new and highly valued client support specialist from Texas. I personally guarantee your complete satisfaction with any of our products and services or your money back period. If any of our customers are not happy with something then they can simply email us at sales[at]batterygeek[dot]net or as a last resort send an e-mail to me directly at sean[at]batterygeek[dot]net for the fastest possible resolution. Please note that Mr. Harrison was offered a full money back guarantee a long time ago even long after his 30 days return policy expired however he chose to keep his batterygeek battery pack. Regarding Mr. Harrison, Battery Geek is still happy to talk with him as a customer.
Happy Holidays to all with Best Regards,
Sean M. Murray
Founder & CEO
Battery Geek Inc.
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Posted by: Sean M. Murray | November 20, 2005 at 02:49 PM"
I asked if he would verify that the person did or did not post from the IP address. I received the following from James Kendrick:
"The comment you have referred to was made by the owner of Battery Geek who sponsors one of my podcasts and I seriously doubt that he was the cause of your problems. However, in that comment he mentioned that a disgruntled customer of his was pointing the finger at Battery Geek and posting disparaging remarks about something that was purchased from them. He went as far as naming the individual, so that is far more likely to be the cause of the spoofing that has slammed you."
Mr. Kendrick appears to be saying saying that I either signed myself up for all the calls and emails I was receiving or that I deserved the harassment based on my "pointing the finger and posting disparaging remarks." I replied with:
"Thank you for your reply. Had it been only spam I would have simply ignored it. Once it moved to an unstoppable flood of phone calls on all my phone lines, that brought it up to the level of harassment. Being a personal friend of Mr. Murray I hope you’ll see the value of verifying the IP address used in his comment. If it’s not the same address as the one used to impersonate me, then it can be shown that perhaps he was not the person responsible for the harassment.”
I never received a reply in return.