• Report: #119734

Complaint Review: Andrew Conru, Friend Finder Network, Alt.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, Passion.com, Xmatch.com

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  • Submitted: Wed, November 24, 2004
  • Updated: Wed, February 18, 2009

  • Reported By:Tinley Illinois
Andrew Conru, Friend Finder Network, Alt.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, Passion.com, Xmatch.com
445 Sherman Ave, Suite C Palo Alto, California U.S.A.

Andrew Conru - Adult Friend Finder Network - Alt.com - Passion.com - Xmatch.com - Conru - Dine.com Ripoff Criminal Palo Alto California

*Consumer Comment: Alt's Abuse department is abusive

*UPDATE Employee: This is such an untrue and bogus claim...

*Consumer Comment: Happy and Marriend

*Consumer Comment: I Found My Husband Here

*Consumer Comment: I am a customer and I like it

*Consumer Suggestion: These Issues Should Be Addressed Individually!

*UPDATE Employee: Response to Posting from Friendfinder, Inc.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: This is only the tip of the iceberg

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FACT Andrew Conru is the founder of the criminal network known as FriendFinder located in Palo Alto California

FACT Andrew Conru and his 200 employees successfully send millions of illegal pornographic spam emails soliciting innocent children to join his pornographic websites each and every day.

FACT These deceptive emails never show any evidence to the recipient that they are an advertisement, solicitation, or contain pornographic or sexually explicit materials.

FACT In 2003, George W. Busch signed the Controlling Assault of Non-Solicited Pornographic Marketing (CAN-SPAM) which expressly prohibits these activities. Since January 1, 2004; Andrew Conru and his Affiliates have been violating this law.

FACT It has been estimated that Andrew Conru and his illegal and deceptive Friend Finder criminal network is responsible for over 55% of all Spam send over the Internet today.

FACT Once a person attempts to opt-out of any of the FriendFinder Network emails, Andrew Conru is notified that the email address is indeed valid and continues to send more pornographic email. He also is known to sell these addresses to the highest bidder.

FACT Andrew Conru was one of the first people every charged with sending mass amounts of Spam and was tried in a California court (Ferguson v. Freindfinders, Inc., San Francisco County Superior Court No. 307309, 2000)

FACT Andrew Conru continues to operate above the law because his deceptive business practices allow him to rake in so much cash that he is able to (1) hide behind sophisticated technology (2) pay high taxes in California where he is well protected (3) move some of his operations offshore (St. Kitts)

FACT Andrew Conru has some 25 30 Customer Service Representatives that do nothing but act as Shills on his deceptive criminal websites to lure unsuspecting consumers into joining and paying his high membership rates.

FACT Once a consumers credit card is entered into one of Andrew Conru's criminal websites, he then uses that same credit card to bill for other websites in his criminal network, even if the person has never visited that website.

FACT Most of the women's photos on any of Andrew Conru's websites are porn stars and have never been to his websites. Andrew Conru is illegally using the photos without their consent to deceptive lure members of the public into his illegal credit card scam.

FACT Andrew Conru makes it almost impossible to cancel a subscription to any of his websites because once you cancel one, two or three charges for other ones will show up on your card the next month.

FACT Andrew Conru makes over $150,000,000 ($150 Million Dollars) a year off of his illegal and deceptive criminal network but only reports a small portion (less than half) of this to the Internal Revenue Service.

FACT Most of Andrew Conru's employees have very little idea of the kind of scam they are working for.

FACT Despite Andrew Conru making over $150 Million, he cuts his employees bonuses and has them work in sweat shop conditions.

FACT Andrew Conru believes that he operates above any laws and that none of this will even catch up with him.

I encourage anyone that has been ripped off by this scam artist to file a complaint with the following organizations:

Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov or https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

Internal Revenue Service: www.IRS.gov or 1-800-829-0433

Internet Fraud Complaint Center: http://www.ifccfbi.gov/cf1.asp

United States Secret Service Financial Crimes Division: http://www.secretservice.gov/contact_ecb.shtml

United Stated District Attorney: www.usdoj.gov

And please, please, please send any Spam you receive from any of the following sites to spam@uce.gov and please include the header information.

AdultFriendFinder.com
FriendFinder.com
Alt.com
OutPersonals.com
Passion.com
GradFinder.com
NiceCards.com
QuizHappy.com
BreakThru.com
Dine.com
BigChurch.com
ShareRent.com
FriendPages.com
FilipinoFriendFinder.com
AsiaFriendFinder.com
GUANXI.com
IndianFriendFinder.com
SeniorFriendFinder.com
JewishFriendFinder.com
Amigos.com
GermanFriendFinder.com
FrenchFriendFinder.com
KoreanFriendFinder.com

If just four or five of us file complaints with all of the above agencies and send all of their illegal spam to Spam@UCE.gov , this criminal will be closed down for good. Our children will receive much less pornographic emails and we will save millions of Americans from being ripped off in the future!

If you have any charges from any of these companies or websites on your credit card bill, simply call your credit card company and demand that the charges be reversed because they are fraudulent! Insist that they issue a charge back for any charges going at least 6 months back from these criminals!

Tony
Grand Prarie, Texas
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Adult Friendfinder

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/24/2004 05:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Andrew-Conru-Friend-Finder-Network-Altcom-AdultFriendFindercom-Passioncom-Xmatchcom/Palo-Alto-California-94306/Andrew-Conru-Adult-Friend-Finder-Network-Altcom-Passioncom-Xmatchcom-Conru--119734. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on Andrew Conru, Friend Finder Network, Alt.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, Passion.com, Xmatch.com

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 8Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Alt's Abuse department is abusive

AUTHOR: Tiredkitten - (U.S.A.)

I have not heard one honest word out of Alt/AFF's abuse department. They are implicit in the abuse that goes on their website and you can't trust anything they say.

Its basically he said/she said, who you gonna believe.

This many unsatisfied customers can't all be wrong.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

This is such an untrue and bogus claim...

AUTHOR: Nonsense - (U.S.A.)

some people are so bitter... Friendfinder is a great place to work and they take every precaution to not overbill people. If we employed such tactics we never would have stayed in the industry this long.

requests to be removed from mail are taken very seriously here.

FACT Once a consumers credit card is entered into one of Andrew Conru's criminal websites, he then uses that same credit card to bill for other websites in his criminal network, even if the person has never visited that website.

that's just plain untrue - again.... we would not be in business this long if we used such dishonest practices.

FACT Andrew Conru makes it almost impossible to cancel a subscription to any of his websites because once you cancel one, two or three charges for other ones will show up on your card the next month.
Totally untrue..

Andrew does not keep his employees in "sweatshop" conditions.. this whole report is biased and unwarranted. Andrew can be very sweet - at one time when it was extra cold on a winter day, he gave me his personal desk heater after noticing I was wearing a scarf in the office.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Happy and Marriend

AUTHOR: M - (U.S.A.)

I have never had adult friend finder charge me any time I have let me account laps. I have never had any problem with the service, and have always found the response time to any problems to be prompt. I had very good luck with the adult friend finder site, and met many friends there as well as had some great dtaes. I always met in public, and we felt like we had a good match exchanged further information. I also found my Husband on adult friend finder, and I was married in November of 2004. We married just 10 weeks after meeting. Why did we marry so fast? Because we exchanged E-Mails first, and we were a great match before we even met each other for the first time! It has been 1 1/2 years, and we are still together, and happy!!!

M
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#4 Consumer Comment

I Found My Husband Here

AUTHOR: Leeann - (U.S.A.)

While it may be true that they send lots of spam mail out, you also have to consider the nature of this site. It is a booty call site, and while the women don't pay anything for the basic service, one can opt for the premier services for a fee, which allow you to see full profiles, have access to email address, etc.

I knew going in to this that it was an ADULT site. I was looking for a specific kind of man there, and one that lived in my area code so I could meet them. I always went to meet them with a friend, or in a public place. I used common sense and stayed out of trouble. I even met undercover officers looking for hookers that were preying on innocent and lonely men.

Eventually, I found a man that I fell in love with. We got married in December 2004.

If you use common sense and take precautions to protect yourself, you will not get into trouble. If you use any sort of email service (yahoo, gmail, outlook) you can create filters and block out any kind of spam you so desire.

Idiots will always get ripped off, but those who use precaution and are aware of the potential dangers will NOT have a bad experience at adultfriendfinder.com.

A Happy User
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#5 Consumer Comment

I am a customer and I like it

AUTHOR: Buddy - (U.S.A.)

I have benn a customer of Adult Friend Finder for several years under the handle Borderwolf. I have cancelled and reupped my membership many times. I have never been overchanrged and billing has stopped immediatley. It is an easy to use process.

I have had great experiences on AFF. I have met several women and made very good friends.

There are fake profiles on AFF, but these are not caused by the company. When reported the fake profiles are removed, usually within hours.

The spam mentioned does not come from AFF, but from it's affiliates. Anyone can sign up to be an affiliate. I have reported spam and seen the person sending it lose there affiliate status.

This is a good company in the adult entertainment world. No matter what you think of the the adult nature of the service these guys are not ripping people off.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

These Issues Should Be Addressed Individually!

AUTHOR: Liz - (U.S.A.)

I have never posted on the RipOffReport before, but have been a long time user of this service. My wife has also made a small donation. But, other than that, I am in no way associated with RipOffReport or FriendFinder. I have been following the posts about FriendFinder and find it irritating that a person with the financial position, allegedly acquired as ill-gotten gains at the price of consumers, can hire an attorney that will make a post (all but threatening a defamation law suit) and expect anyone voicing concerns to simply go away. I am in no way saying that this is what is happening in this case. But, I have looked into some of the allegations made on this service and have found some of them to be true. In fact, aside from President Busch (should be Bush) signing the canspam act into law, I have not been able to prove any of the allegations to be false, but many are highly suspect.



With all do respect Mr. Bloom, and in the honest intent of getting to the truth, I think it may be in the best interest of your client as well as the consumers that look toward this forum for advice on a daily basis, to respond to the individual allegations made on this board rather than categorically denying some that may be true.



My analysis is included after the original allegations below.



FACT Andrew Conru is the founder of the criminal network known as FriendFinder located in Palo Alto California.

(I have found that Andrew Conru is the Founder of Friend Finder Network and it is indeed located in Palo Alto California as well as St. Kitts as reported on the company's website)



FACT Andrew Conru and his 200 employees successfully send millions of illegal pornographic spam emails soliciting innocent children to join his pornographic websites each and every day.

(I have found that there are about 120 employees working for FriendFinder as reported on the company's website. I have found hundreds of Spam complaints made daily by doing a search on FriendFinder's various sites on Google Groups. I am unsure if hundreds of actual complaints for a couple dozens sites translates into millions of emails but it does certainly seem possible. I find it unlikely that all of these emails target children, but I also find it unlikely that none of them reach children. It seems like many of these emails are related in some way to pornography, but not all of them)



FACT These deceptive emails never show any evidence to the recipient that they are an advertisement, solicitation, or contain pornographic or sexually explicit materials.

(In a relatively small sample of the email complaints I have looked at, this does indeed seem to be true for the majority. With the large volume of spam emails that seem to advertise the company's various sites, I doubt NONE of them show any such evidence)



FACT In 2003, George W. Busch signed the Controlling Assault of Non-Solicited Pornographic Marketing (CAN-SPAM) which expressly prohibits these activities. Since January 1, 2004; Andrew Conru and his Affiliates have been violating this law.

(There was indeed a law signed by President Bush (not Busch) on January 1. Based on the high volume of spam complaints that is publicly verifiable through Google Groups, their does definitely seem to be some law violations.)



FACT It has been estimated that Andrew Conru and his illegal and deceptive Friend Finder criminal network is responsible for over 55% of all Spam send over the Internet today.

(I have never seen such a statement made from a credible source and seems highly unlikely that this is the case)



FACT Once a person attempts to opt-out of any of the FriendFinder Network emails, Andrew Conru is notified that the email address is indeed valid and continues to send more pornographic email. He also is known to sell these addresses to the highest bidder.

(There are several people I know of that have been consistently unable to remove themselves from spam emails from this company. There is no public evidence that address lists has ever been sold. However, based on my purely amateur review of the company's privacy statement, they do reserve the right to use the email addresses to advertise on behalf of other companies.)



FACT Andrew Conru was one of the first people every charged with sending mass amounts of Spam and was tried in a California court (Ferguson v. Freindfinders, Inc., San Francisco County Superior Court No. 307309, 2000)

(not disputed)



FACT Andrew Conru continues to operate above the law because his deceptive business practices allow him to rake in so much cash that he is able to (1) hide behind sophisticated technology (2) pay high taxes in California where he is well protected (3) move some of his operations offshore (St. Kitts)

(While it does seem to have operations established in St. Kitts, there is an array of legitimate reasons why a business would want to do that. Other than that, this statement seems to be based on speculation and not fact.)



FACT Andrew Conru has some 25 30 Customer Service Representatives that do nothing but act as Shills on his deceptive criminal websites to lure unsuspecting consumers into joining and paying his high membership rates.

(Based on complaints made on this site and others, it seems like the company's website's user's experiences have led several of them to come to this same conclusion. Again, this seems to be based more on speculation than fact)



FACT Once a consumers credit card is entered into one of Andrew Conru's criminal websites, he then uses that same credit card to bill for other websites in his criminal network, even if the person has never visited that website.

(I have read complaints from others making the same allegation. There is no way to verify this except for testing it and I do not personally have the financial means to take that kind of a risk)



FACT Most of the women's photos on any of Andrew Conru's websites are porn stars and have never been to his websites. Andrew Conru is illegally using the photos without their consent to deceptive lure members of the public into his illegal credit card scam.

(A quick scan of women listed in the state of Texas and New York revealed two photos of celebrities and three photos of porn stars. However, when thought of logically, these photos could have been posted by subscribers to his site that did not want to post their own photos but wanted one posted.)



FACT Andrew Conru makes it almost impossible to cancel a subscription to any of his websites because once you cancel one, two or three charges for other ones will show up on your card the next month.

(I have read complaints from others making the same allegation. There is no way to verify this except for testing it and I do not personally have the financial means to take that kind of a risk)



FACT Andrew Conru makes over $150,000,000 ($150 Million Dollars) a year off of his illegal and deceptive criminal network but only reports a small portion (less than half) of this to the Internal Revenue Service.

(I find this statement to be highly suspect. I have more trust in the IRS than this.)



FACT Most of Andrew Conru's employees have very little idea of the kind of scam they are working for.

(If his operation is indeed a scam, it is unlikely all of his employees are aware of it. Unless it is some kind of bizarre cult of some kind)



FACT Despite Andrew Conru making over $150 Million, he cuts his employees bonuses and has them work in sweat shop conditions.

(Again, anyone running a successful business has typically already learned to treat his/her employees well. I find this statement to be highly suspect as well)



FACT Andrew Conru believes that he operates above any laws and that none of this will even catch up with him.

(One cannot know or verify how another person feels or what they believe)



It seems like the above post, while containing a mix of facts, truths, assertions, and speculations, was probably made by a disgruntled employee. While this company has every right to respond to these allegations and clear their name, I pray that they do it in a manner that will answer the consumer questions that the allegations have raised and not just insult them with a categorical denial that is clearly untrue.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Response to Posting from Friendfinder, Inc.

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

To ripoffreport.com readers:



During the latter half of November 2004, certain disgruntled individuals have repeatedly posted anti-Friendfinder reviews on ripoffreport.com. In this series of postings, these individuals have made a series of statements and listed a number of purported facts about Friendfinder and Andrew Conru alleging criminal behavior and unlawful business practices. With the exception of certain information that is publicly available, e.g. a civil lawsuit entitled Ferguson v. Friendfinder was filed (and ultimately dismissed without any finding of liability), these alleged facts are false and defamatory. These postings are beyond contempt and hurtful to Friendfinder, Andrew Conru and its employees. These comments also tend to marginalize valid reviews that other persons have posted on ripoffreport.com regarding our company.



To any open-minded person reading reviews posted on ripoffreport.com: Friendfinder, Inc. currently has millions of members enjoying our online personals services. We have over 150 dedicated employees who strive to create a rich online experience for our customers. Despite any efforts we make, we know we can do even better. As with any company with so many customers, we have complaints about our service. Normally, our customer service department resolves these complaints (and other issues) in a timely and satisfactory manner. If you are a customer who has a complaint or otherwise has an issue with your service, I invite you to call our customer service department at (650) 847-3100 or email them. (Contact information is posted on the individual websites.)



As for comments about spamming originating from Friendfinder, please understand that our affiliate agreement prohibits the sending of any unsolicited email on our behalf. Moreover, Friendfinder does not send unsolicited emails. If you feel that you are the recipient of an unsolicited email, please forward it to me at legal@friendfinderinc.com so I can investigate and take the appropriate action.



Lastly, if you feel that you were treated unfairly and want to express your concerns about Friendfinder, I invite you to call me directly at (650) 847-3120 or our Director of Human Resources, Natalie Cedeno, at (650) 847-3176.



Sincerely,



David Bloom

General Counsel
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

This is only the tip of the iceberg

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Andrew Conru and his entire criminal organization should all go to jail. I quite working for them last year because I was no longer able to tolerate their enethical and illegal business practices.



I am currently cooperating with a federal organization that is investigating his activities and it is only a matter of time before he has to pay for his deceptive and illegal actions. Justice will eventually prevail over this creap.
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