By Paul Pannone
PayPal is not being as friendly as the name suggests, especially to off-shore websites cited for piracy issues. eWedNewz has learned that over $60,000 dollars has been frozen in compliance with a recent court order that empowers the legal team representing the The American Bridal and Prom Industry Association (ABPIA) to do so.
PayPal recovers $60,000 dollars enforcing a court order won by the efforts of ABPIA.
The head of the organization, Steve Lang, shared the information and a response from one of the defendants caught in the sweep. The response, addressed to Craig Hilliard, a senior partner at Stark and Stark in Princeton, New Jersey, shows the result of the court order and how it affects the people on the other end of the world. The response appears exactly as written by the defendant, including all grammatical errors:
Dear Mr. Hilliard,
How are you? This is XXX who is a user from paypal, Sorry to interrupt. I just received an email from paypal regarding of lawsuit filed, may i ask what’s the exact lawsuit filed? Paypal never show to me and let me contact you.i bought the website from a designer, and selling dresses for more than 3 years, no one complaint about my products, and paypal never inform me that my products have a law issue. i had no idea about that.
By now i lost all the money, i have a house debt, 2 kids and a family to feed, so please help me, tell me how to do. i would close my website and swear never sell these products again. Waiting for your reply and sincerely regards. Thank you very much.
The plea is the first of what is expected to be many more to follow now that the organization obtained the court order to shut websites and seize funds from all sources, including PayPal.
“It’s a shame that it has to come down to this but given the choice between their families and ours here in the United States one has to lose. How long have our families suffered because of the actions?” asks Steve Lang, president of ABPIA.
In a recent statement Lang estimates the wedding dress business bled over $150 million dollars in lost sales and an undetermined amount in intellectual property theft and damages. In an attempt to silence some of his critics Lang moves forward with his plan to hunt down perpetrators and stop them in their tracks. But recent discoveries by this newZ source finds a reluctance to support the impassioned, sometimes fiery Lang.
According to Lang he’s become thick-skinned to some of the criticism and negativity thrown at him by detractors. Lang told eWedNewz he will not relent in his mission to protect the industry and create an organization that will enable small businesses to buy affordable life insurance for its employees.
“First thing’s first; the rampant abuses that were allowed to exist must be stopped. Once we hit these people in their wallet they’ll know we mean business. We will see what comes after that,” according to Lang.
In strong support of the movement Jim Duhe of Bridal Guide wrote a 12 paragraph statement for an eWedNewz story outlining how consumers must be protected from the piracy. According to Duhe brides are just average consumers in search of a bargain, calling for a united front of wedding industry professions to guide them.
“I’m with Jim Duhe on this one. In order to truly beat the online hacks, we need round table communication. When you can exclude the consumer from your communication, that’s the day your business is doomed. If you’re a manufacturer who thinks your retailers aren’t smart enough to do a good business or if you’re a retailer who thinks your brides aren’t smart enough to understand the problem, you have effectively begun strangling your business. If what you’re saying isn’t being heard, maybe you need to listen to what your customers are saying, and then come up with a new plan of action. It helps to try and “observe” as you watch and listen, which I will admit can be painful because many times you have to set
aside your belief systems on how your business works and start over. We’re living in a new world of bridal/wedding sales and changes have to made in how we all do business.
Per Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. This seems to be particularly true in the wedding industry, with its high school mentality of whose better than whom, which shop has the longest run, which manufacturer will let you carry their gowns,
retailers who treat their brides as “less than” to make a sale, our entire industry has a nasty propensity to look down on others. This propensity separates us from each other and is at the heart of why we have a hard time uniting. Until we all realize we’re on the same team and make a concerted effort to work together, the online counter fitters are going to be hard to beat.
There is hope in the form of the ABPIA. I applaud them and Steve Lang for taking the first giant step in saving our collective businesses. I will also pass the word along in every way I can to make sure more bridal businesses get involved, as well as related wedding businesses. What’s happened to us is only a little step away from what’s going to happen to the associated businesses from bridal shows to wedding favors. We’re all connected and it’s time we started acting accordingly.”
Other independent bridal store owners responding to the coverage support Lang’s efforts, denouncing other manufacturers who have not yet committed to the campaign. Many say they’re waiting for more information and how the $100 dollar price of membership could help them find a health care solution for their employees.
An ongoing eWedNewz Poll shows 18% of respondents saying they would support a wedding industry organization like ABPIA if it was properly run. 15% said they would support the organization if it offered good benefits. 10% said they would support the organization if it wasn’t too expensive. 49% said they would support the organization if it hit on all three points. Only 5% said they would not support a wedding industry organization.
What do you say?
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