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October 17, 2013 at 10:06 am #153314
A while back I created a profile at a website. It started as a free account and I later upgraded to the premium service at $49 a month. The premium service was later canceled.
The website owner has my profile indexed in Google, using my business name in the URL, along with my personal photo. It appears that my profile is being held hostage unless I pay for a premium membership.
I specifically asked if the website owner would please delete my profile. He stated that they do not delete profiles. However, I’m not even able to edit my profile settings under the free version, or remove my profile photo and company name.
I’d like to know where this stands legally. Is this website allowed to host my photo and business name on their website, with no way for me to edit or delete the information?October 17, 2013 at 10:10 am #153315chrisburtonParticipant
Hey, Dustin. This is probably the last place to ask. Check with a lawyer?October 17, 2013 at 11:11 am #153323__Participant
I’d like to know where this stands legally. Is this website allowed to host my photo and business name on their website, with no way for me to edit or delete the information?
Depends on what you agreed to when you signed up. Did you read the TOS? As @chrisburton says, at the end of the day, you’d need to ask a lawyer.October 17, 2013 at 11:35 am #153328
I can’t pinpoint anything which states they are allowed to keep a profile without permission:
COMPANY Terms of Service
Please read the following information carefully.
Your COMPANY billing profile is set to bill on “monthly” or “yearly” recurring intervals. At any time, you may cancel your recurring billing and retain access to COMPANY until the end of the current billing cycle. You are under no obligation or contract to continue your membership at COMPANY and you have full control over your billing and payments.
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the services of COMPANY, we will work with you to try and resolve the issue. You are under no obligation to continue with COMPANY, and can cancel your membership at any time. Membership Termination
It is your responsibility to cancel your recurring subscription if you wish to discontinue your service with COMPANY. Cancellation can be done at any time from your account settings page within your membership. You may also cancel your recurring billing at any time through your PayPal account.
COMPANY is provided as-is with no representations or warranties, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement. You assume complete responsibility and risk for use of this site and any and all site-related services.
COMPANY, its agents, representatives and employees are neither responsible nor liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, exemplary, punitive, or other damages arising out of or relating in any way to this site, site-related services and/or content or information contained within the site.
COMPANY at its sole discretion, may choose to change the terms, conditions and operation of this web site at anytime. By using this service, the user waives any rights or claims it may have against COMPANY.
The content available through the COMPANY is the sole property of COMPANY and is protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Except as otherwise explicitly agreed in writing, company-owned content delivered through the site may be downloaded, displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal, non-commercial use only. You agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, disseminate, sell, publish, broadcast or circulate the content received through the site to anyone, including but not limited to others in the same company or organization without company’s express prior written consent.
By joining COMPANY, you submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of Victoria, British Columbia Canada, and you waive any jurisdictional venue, or inconvenient forum objections to such courts.
Is that the whole thing?
The content available through the COMPANY is the sole property of COMPANY and is protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws.
combined with this part:
By joining COMPANY, …
seems suspicious. But, as said earlier, consult a lawyer (paralegal/etc.). You might even check around first on a legal advice forum. Sending a formal, well-drafted letter will be your first step. It’s usually “enough.”October 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm #153371AlenParticipant
You should contact a lawyer that specializes in this area.
Companies can put whatever they want in their TOS. However, if the TOS put consumer at severe disadvantage, like not being able to edit/delete your profile and bribing you to sign up… sure puts you in severe disadvantage. It’s extortion.October 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm #153372
Companies can put whatever they want in their TOS. However, if the TOS put consumer at severe disadvantage, like not being able to edit/delete your profile and bribing you to sign up… sure puts you in severe disadvantage. It’s extortion.
I agree and I’m thinking about taking this further since at this point I can’t even get a response out of them.October 18, 2013 at 11:13 am #153444
After getting advice from a lawyer that the information was indeed mine for the takedown, I sent one last email stating that I would start by filing a report with my state’s attorney general.
Shortly after that email I received a notice that my information was deleted, all except my URL at the website, which I guess isn’t really an issue since anyone can create a URL with someone’s name in it.
Anyhow, I’m happy with the results. Thanks again for the replies.October 18, 2013 at 11:43 am #153447chrisburtonParticipant
Lol.October 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm #153450AlenParticipant
Using scare tactics. Bunch of pu$$ies.
Glad it worked out for you. Now sit and wait for Google indexing to do it’s thing.October 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm #153459TheDocMember
I live in Victoria! Would love to know the service you signed up for.October 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm #153460
I live in Victoria! Would love to know the service you signed up for.
It was Kyle at Wealthy Affiliate. Back when I tried my hand at affiliate marketing, I decided to use a name I came up with for a creative agency to sign up at the website.
He was never actually rude; just stated that they do not delete profiles. Why that is? I’m not sure maybe for exposure, but that doesn’t really explain why he couldn’t answer my question as to why I couldn’t use the free account feature to edit my information, or possibly delete it.
In fact, the tactics that were being used to get me to pay more money, were almost in a sense like what Alen mentioned: extortion. Of course, he did not delete the URL with my company name idea, but Google has indexed it as one of the top results for the name, which was one of the main reasons I wanted it taken down.
I’m planning in the future once I’m well established as a freelancer, to possibly use that name to start the company. It’s a name that no one has really used for anything, so I’m hoping to keep it free and clear of online associations.
Anyhow, that’s my story and don’t really have anything negative to say about Kyle or his company, other than I’m not quite sure what he is doing with free accounts after they cancel their paid membership, or why they do not have the option to delete user data.
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