UPDATE May13, 2010: Things pertaining to LeapFish.com, their founders and management, along with related startups are no longer of interest to me, therefore no further comments are allowed on this post. There are also more reliable sources out there (such as Better Business Bureau) to help you make an informed decision about LeapFish.
***You may also want to know that the Law Firm of Daniel Bakondi, in San Francisco, CA, is investigating a possible Class Action Law Suit Against LeapFish.
About a year ago TechCrunch, world’s leading technology blog, wrote about threats of click fraud LeapFish employee used to intimidate potential clients into advertising on a newly launched meta search aggregator. The CEO of LeapFish, Ben Behrouzi, fired back with an emotional response, in which he seems to be “calling out” TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters for being “irresponsible and distasteful”. The original post appeared on February 4, 2009 at www.benbehrouzi.org – what seams to be personal blog of the CEO of LeapFish.
The rebuttal was taken down some time at the beginning of this year, 2010. The link http://www.benbehrouzi.org/2009/02/04/leapfish-gets-second-lashing-from-techcrunc/ seams to point to a page that no longer exists. The rebuttal was referenced by “online authorities” like Wikipedia.
It is possible that the post containing the rebuttal was taken by mistake. But in case it was taken on purpose, bellow is the copy of the original post minus the updates:
LeapFish Gets Second Lashing, Beginning to Think TechCrunch Just Doesn’t Like Us
Today TechCrunch covered LeapFish for the second time, but unfortunately they again did not focus on the engine itself or its future. Instead of discussing our new click free search technology or our recent increase in traffic, or the sheer number of advertisers/investors that have joined the program, Techcrunch made news out of an irresponsible act committed by 1 out of 80 sales representatives that we employ and set us up for ridcule instead. I was very disappointed at the way they handled this to say the least.
I’m beginning to think they just don’t like us. I hope I’m wrong. I did offer the following response, which I haven’t seen posted as of yet.
We have completed an investigation and have dealt with the matter appropriately. However frankly put, I am disappointed at this post by you and by TechCrunch. You never contacted us to verify the information you posted or even checked to see what our position was as a company around such behavior before you published. You apparently called in but didn’t make the effort of speaking with someone about this. Frankly put, I find your post’s title and content irresponsible and distasteful. Nevertheless, I apologize for the poor choice in judgment by one of our sales representatives and we want your readers to know that we took swift and immediate action to correct the matter.
Additionally, we have called, spoken to and offered a sincere apology to the prospect that was mistreated. We have expressed our regret and embarrassment over the situation. We have also offered to pay restitution for any fees the prospect incurred and will cover any damages. Additionally, we will be offering a gift of a keyword of the prospect’s choice as a further sign of our apologetic stance.
Let me clearly state, that LeapFish has a 0 tolerance policy for the behavior described and in no way, shape or form endorses the behavior whatsoever. Our sales staff is not coached nor encouraged to engage in such tactics and this is a regrettable act by a single individual who exercised poor judgment using personal email accounts. Our entire sales staff has been met with and spoken to and been firmly reminded that we do not engage in such tactics nor will we tolerate it whatsoever.
Robin, I find your post unfair and damaging, but I harbor no ill will towards you and I hope that one day one of your posts will actually give fair attention to our true offering and features, as provided by Silicon Valley’s MercuryNews and the thousands of visitors, supporters, investors and advertisers of LeapFish.
I would be more than happy to discuss with you why LeapFish has a bright future, the real business model, its time horizon for delivering ROI and the expectations communicated to our thousands of advertisers/investors.
I personally have no interest in Wikipedia, but if you are a fan, you should make an attempt to correct the reference #8 on the following page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LeapFish
If you are interested to find out more about LeapFish I highly recommend LeapFish Review by Better Business Bureau.