I signed an advertising agreement with IB Times in late 2010. The contract was for a revenue-sharing arrangement. They were to promote my company's services and we would pay them recurring revenue for clients directed to us by them.
They asked for a good faith deposit of $5,000, which would represent the first $5k in revenue-sharing as a safe-guard for them with a new advertiser paying no up front flat fee. They advertised our services briefly, but our content quickly began to disappear. I contacted my reps several times and got no response. I contacted anyone I could at the company, every few months, for the next 2 years, with no response.
I finally got a hold of the CEO, and a new rep said my account must have "fallen through the cracks" with turnover in representatives. He said he would put together a deal for me, for more than the $5k, in light of the situation. He did not come through on this at all, and instead said the company would "start paying me back" next month. This is a company with offices in several countries around the world. They admit to holding my $5,000 for 3 years, breaching our contract, and then expect me to be on an installment plan of $1,000/month for 5 months with no interest either.
I told them this offer was unacceptable and I wanted the full $5,000 back immediately. I did not even demand interest. I am now being ignored again so I have begun a PR campaign to let the world know what a shady, poorly-run company this is, and to never waste your money advertising with them. See email correspondence below backing up my entire claim here:
On March 04, 2013
Please allow me to introduce myself to you. I am the head of
sales at IBT Media which includes International Business Times. I was quickly
brought up to speed about your situation from my CEO and I wanted to let you
know that I am here to assist you.
I would like to deliver on what was guaranteed and hopefully
build on the relationship. It seems like this fell through the cracks during
transition of sales people.
Please let me know if you have time for a call with me this
afternoon so I can get more details and I look forward to hearing back from you
In the meantime, would you mind forwarding to me the
contract if you have it. Thanks.
Sr. Vice President of Global Sales
After corresponding on the phone and via email, he indicated the company could not make good on it's contract with a revenue-sharing agreement for content. Then he becomes short with me.
On March 19, 2013
Well pay you back starting next
Our finance department will
arrange payments for you.
On March 21, 2013 - from Finance Dept.
We can reimburse you
1k / month from April.
Please send us your bank details for ACH payments.
At this point I sent a scathing email on March 22 to the CEO, VP of advertising and finance demanding they return all my funds immediately and have yet to receive any reply.
Clearly you are involved in fixing this mess your company
has created, yet you have not once contacted me yourself. As a CEO, I
would be more proactive in resolving this. Is it accurate that IB Times,
with offices globally, does not have the means to refund $5,000 a client who
was lied to, ignored and should have had his money back 2 years ago?
At least if you had the courage to contact me yourself and
explain why you cant afford to wire my money immediately, I would be taking a
much softer tone. At this point, I will be submitting a complaint with
the NY AG by the end of the weekend and let the world know what doing business
with IB Times is like. I look forward to being a thorn in your side until
my money is returned.