• Report: #1014719

Complaint Review: Lakewood, Ohio Freecycle (A YAHOO! Group)

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  • Submitted: Fri, February 15, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, February 21, 2013

  • Reported By: Mikey — Lakewood Ohio USA
Lakewood, Ohio Freecycle (A YAHOO! Group)
Internet United States of America

Lakewood, Ohio Freecycle (A YAHOO! Group) Christine (Surname Unknown), Purported Group "Owner" and Moderator Christine, Lisa Arndt, Lakewood, Ohio, Freecycle, Yahoo, Groups, Rude, Spiteful, Poor Customer Service Internet

*Author of original report: Addendum to Update #2

*Author of original report: Amending Previous Update With Owner's Son's Name and Omitted Information

*Author of original report: Personal Attacks Against Me By The Moderators of Lakewood Freecycle

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Accusations and purported LIES

*Author of original report: Response to Moderator's rebuttal and Falsehoods

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Another disgruntled USER

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Disgruntled user

*Author of original report: Freecycle representatives have lied to the BBB

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I've been a member of Lakewood, Ohio Freecycle on and off since 2009 or so. During that time, purported group "owner" and moderator Christine (Surname unknown), and moderator Lisa have consistently demonstrated a pattern of  hostility, condescension and mean-spiritedness. They present their first-of-the month reminders of Freecycle's rules and posting tips with a tone of spiteful sarcasm. Likewise their responses to one-on-one inquiries about proper posting protocols and other issues regarding proper usage of the board.

In e'mails to me, both have repeatedly indicated that they're overwrought due to having full-time jobs, schooling and homework. They have represented that they struggle to keep up with the demands of Freecycle moderation. This is puzzling, considering that Freecycle moderation is a voluntary, not obligatory undertaking. Why would anyone launch or moderate a Freecycle group if it's so overwhelming that they are compelled to create an environment of intimidation that leaves them unapproachable and off-putting, and undermines the sense of community that drives Freecycle?

Further, Christine and Lisa have demonstrated an arbitrary approach to what they and won't post. My submissions follow the group's protocols to a T. On several occasions, thoughyesterday (14 February) being the most recentmy submissions have been conspicuously absent from blocks of posts that appear on the board just after I've sent my submission. I don't think it's any coincidence that his happens only when I submit a "Wanted" posting versus an "Offer". (My offerings on Freecycle have far exceeded my requests.)

Considering the bad will Christine and Lisa bring to the Lakewood, Ohio Freecycle group, I'm confident beyond reasonable doubt that their immediate removal or the immediate shutting down of the group would be in everyone's best interests.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/15/2013 08:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Lakewood-Ohio-Freecycle-A-YAHOO-Group/internet/Lakewood-Ohio-Freecycle-A-YAHOO-Group-Christine-Surname-Unknown-Purported-Group-Ow-1014719. 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.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
5Author 0Consumer 3Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Addendum to Update #2

AUTHOR: Mikey - ()

I verified that name of the son of Beverage Square's owner is also James "Jimmy" McKearney.

Further, I inadvertently omitted the following from the update I submitted just previous to this one. It's significant because it documents Jimmy's inexcusable conduct:

Jimmy's performance of his purp[orted impromptu speech crescendoed to what I imagine he saw as the dramatic Big Reveal. He handed me a printed copy of my original RipOff Report complaint and told meattempting to yell but sounding more like a petulant childto get the f' out of the store, called me some choice names, then dropped a couple of other F-bombs for my benefit. All this transpired in the presence of other customers.    

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#2 Author of original report

Amending Previous Update With Owner's Son's Name and Omitted Information

AUTHOR: Mikey - ()

The owner's son is named after his father, James McKearney.

At one point, his performance crescendoed to what I imagine he saw as the dramatic Big Reveal. He handed me a printed copy of my original RipOff Report complaint and told meattempting to yell but sounding more like a petulant little boyto get the f' out of the store, called me some choice names, then dropped a couple of other F-bombs for my benefit. All this transpired in the presence of other customers.    
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#3 Author of original report

Personal Attacks Against Me By The Moderators of Lakewood Freecycle

AUTHOR: Mikey - (USA)

Moderators state: "Perhaps we should post all of the complaints for no shows...more than 5 reports by the way

Ahh, but I shall take the high road and leave you to your self created misery. You are not now, or will you in the future become a member of our Freecycle site ever again. Besides me, who is listening to you anyway? and now that I am not, that would include NOBODY."

First, I don't understand why RipOff Report is allowing the Freecycle Moderators to attack me personally by addressing my unemployment circumstances they know nothing about and my perceived lack of respect for women. I respect anyone who earns my respect. Either way,  the moderators are raising issues that aren't germane to my complaint because they have no other defense. Further, they're demonstrating the viciousness, bad faith and poor approaches to customer service that motivated my complaint to begin with. the Moderators seem to be acting in their own best interests and not that of the Freecycle group they moderate.

If the moderators have evidence of my alleged No Shows, which would not only be a violation of Freecycle protocols, but disrespectful to other members, I would rather they post them. I would need to see evidence of offered items I claimed by e'mail, including evidence that the claim originated from my e'mail address and a time-stamp and date. I would also need to see the actual No Show complaint that other Freecycle users leveled against me, including the e'mail time stamp on the complaint.

As for nobody reading my complaint and rebuttals, that's okay by me. My complaint will be on the public record at the Better Business Bureau and, if I understand correctly, will be on RipOff Report as long as the site is in business. Someone will run across my complaint sooner or later.   


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#4 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Accusations and purported LIES

AUTHOR: lkwdlisa - (United States of America)

Perhaps we should post all of the complaints for no shows...more than 5 reports by the way

Ahh, but I shall take the high road and leave you to your self created misery. You are not now, or will you in the future become a member of our Freecycle site ever again. Besides me, who is listening to you anyway? and now that I am not, that would include NOBODY.
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#5 Author of original report

Response to Moderator's rebuttal and Falsehoods

AUTHOR: Mikey - (USA)

Moderators state: "Our site records also indicate that of the 61 posts he made of the site, only 11 of those were OFFERs for items. The other 50 were posts indicating a want or need. His limited mobility and limited access to transportation has been reported to the moderators on SEVERAL occasions."

Michael: I offered and gave away most of what I had to give away during a move in 2009, so I didn't have much left. The items that went unclaimed by Freecycle members went to the Salvation Army dropoff so I wouldn't have to keep schlepping these items around every time I moved. My possessions are reduced to the bare necessities, except for some things I'm keeping for sentiment's sake and posterity. So, I have nothing much to give away any more.

The items I offered on Freecyle in 2012 were from people who I helped to declutter and organize their homes. When they decided what they wanted to get rid of, I got permission to bring their castoffs home, lug them usptairs, make them suitable for re-use, lug them back downstairs, worked out pick-up times with Freecycle members who wanted the items I offered (often having to reschedule to their convenience), and helping them load heavy and cumbersome items into  their vehicles. I did this so goods that were discarded but still perfectly useful could be of use to someone, rather than being tossed into the trash.

The items I requested were items that broke or wore out that I didn't have money to replace.

The rules of posting to Freecycle are below. They address the matter of a member stating how far s/he is willing or able to go to pick up an item. I have complied with  this protocol in every case.  

I don't understand how my "limited mobiilty" could be a problem that the moderators have to address with other members, since I stated up front in every single one of my posts the area I live in (using a well-known landmark as a guide) and stating that I could pick up with walking distance (for me, 2-5 miles round trip), or a little farther out in Cleveland or nearby suburbs if I had busfare or a ride. If no Freecycle members within the boundaries I set forth had an item to offer, all they had to do was not respond to my request. There's absolutely no reason to report someone simply because he can't drive to the other side of town to pick up an item.


Here are the rules of posting. Note the sharp hostile undertone of the composition.

"Hello Freecyclers !

I have had SO many people asking me "Why Was My Post Rejected" ? It was suggested that I create a file to remind our members on how EASY it is to post. It's not rocket science. 

We use just FOUR simple words to start the subject:

OFFER
WANTED
TAKEN
RECEIVED

Then we write what we want or are offering next to the corresponding word.
IE: 

OFFER: Blankets
WANTED: Blankets
TAKEN: Blankets
RECEIVED: Blankets

Then YOUR Location. 
IE: 

OFFER: Blankets (Lakewood)
WANTED: Blankets (Lakewood)
TAKEN: Blankets (Lakewood)
RECEIVED: Blankets (Lakewood)

So In The End Your Subject Line Would Look Like This:

Wanted: Blankets (Lakewood) 
Now, that's simple enough, isn't it ? 

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION ! 

You need to post how far you're willing to drive to pick the items up you're requesting (IE: Will pick up 20 miles from Lakewood)

You need to post your location so people know how far they would have to drive to pick your items up IE: (Pick Up In Lakewood)

Just remember you can't post for the same item(s) more than once every week (7 Days). Also, please remember not to type in all CAPITAL LETTERS as that makes it difficult to read. One more item, CONSOLIDATE your offers and wants. DO NOT send separate emails for OFFER(s) and WANTED(s) if you are offering or wanting many items. Most members do not like to have a flood of emails. 

Thanks & Happy Freecycling,

Mindy & Christine
Group Owners"    

 ***

Moderators state: "Mr. Miller has the gall to accuse us of being unapproachable when in fact both of us have on more than one occasion have had to soothe other members when he did not show up for items that he claimed. ie: no shows. "

Michael: I have never been a no show. So, this statement by the moderators is an outright lie. I requested a laptop computer in October. I got no responses. A few weeks  later, a Freecycle member put a laptop up for grabs instead of seeing if anyone had requested one previously. I responded that I'd like to have her computer. She completely disregarded my request and gave it to another Freecycle member. The next offer was a blender.  The person offering the blender completely disregarded  my response requesting for her blender and gave it to someone else. Another Freecycler offered a coffeemaker on the Freecycle board after I requested one. I e'mailed her about it. She didn't respond and kept offering it in her Freecycle posts. She finally sent me a complicated e'mail rationalizing why it wasn't available, even though she offered it repeatedly. When I requested a certain software on Freecycle, someone responded with a offer of a scanner, which had nothing to do with my request. She said she was going to donate it to her church but I could have it if I wanted. I was going to take it, but changed my mind and e'mailed her within an hour of when we spoke. The only thing I've received lately from a Freecycle member was a coffeemaker last week. I asked the person who offered it to hold it for me and she volunteered, unsolicitedly, out of the goodness of her heart, to drop it off.

Moderators state: "Get a life and get a job in order to get some self respect."

Michael: I have a life and a surplus of self-respectenough so as to not bite off more than I can chew, then be a martyr about it. I'm applying for work. I can't force anyone to hire me. There are people more educated than I, who have better work records and look better on paper, who can't find work.  So, since both moderators have made a point on several occasions to remind us how overwrought hey are by holding down a full-time job and moderating the board, perhaps the moderators could act on their own recommendation. Or they could just continue to be 100% useless. I doubt, if Christine weren't hiding behind anonymity, she would address me as she has in writing, let alone to  my face.   

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#6 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Another disgruntled USER

AUTHOR: lkwdlisa - (United States of America)

Mr Miller has misrepresented himself. Our site records indicate that he has posted to our site a total of 61 times. Of those 61 posts, only 11 of them are actual offers. The statement he makes that "offers exceed his requests" is false.

The first of the month, each and every member (all 3665 of them) receive the same email, outlining and detailing the rules of membership, including rules for posting on our site. Mr. Miller has been reported on several occasions for replying to posts, and never showing up for the items he requested/claimed.

I have taken the liberty of including the string of email correspondence that ultimately led to his removal from our group. Finger pointing should be redirected at yourself, Mr. Miller. The language used is offensive and disrespectful.

From: Michael A. Miller <michael.act2@gmail.com>
To: Lisa Arndt <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: posting


Don't threaten me. I've had my fill of being bullied.

I know you have a full-time job. I've read about it in more than one e'mail,
and about your going to school and your homework as well. I don't know
if there's more than one moderator or just you using two different
e'mails. (Until today, I thought there were two and you were the
nice one.) However you choose to overextend yourself doesn't give you
the privilege of talking down to Freecycle members (or even just me),
and picking and choosing what you're going to post when i'm following
the rules of the Group, some of which you directed me to.


I'm guessing Freecycle is a voluntary undertaking for you. Why bother if
you're going to send e'mails with a spiteful, hateful, rude, sarcastic,
snotty tone, and broadcast how disgruntled you are? The people who offer
stuff want to do a good deed instead of trashing their castoffs, and
people who need stuff are probably in a bad place and can't afford to
buy stuff they need. (Some are probably just cheapskates, but the ones
I've given stuff to seem to not have an abundance of money). What makes
you think you can be so mean to people who are in need or trying to help
others?     



On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM, Lisa Arndt <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com> wrote:

One more smart comment, and you will find yourself banned. Enough, I am human and have a full time job.



From: Michael A. Miller <michael.act2@gmail.com>
To: Lisa Arndt <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com>

Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:54 PM
Subject: Re: posting

No, it was entirely necessary.


On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM, Lisa Arndt <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com> wrote:
Really not necessary.


From: Michael A. Miller <michael.act2@gmail.com>
To: Lisa Arndt <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com>

Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:36 PM
Subject: Re: posting
If it had posted with the four messages you posted after I sent mine, I wouldn't have.


On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM, Lisa Arndt <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com> wrote:
I got the first message about the phone. Please stop posting multiple requests for the same item.

Here is Mr. Millers response to the group owner Christine:


Go ahead and ban me. You and Lisa have been unfathomably monstrous and
disrespectful for people who are involved in a voluntary undertaking.
 Everything I wrote to Lisa applies to you 10 times over. It's not
surprising that you hide behind an anonymous e'mail identity. I'll be reporting your conduct to Yahoo Groups, writing you up on RipOffReport.com (not because of any ripoffs, but because of subdefective
customer service and a beastly attitude to go with it), and submitting
the same report to the Better Business Bureau if only to get it on the
record.


You're running a swap meet, not curing AIDS, cancer or even the common cold here. Get over yourself.   


It is blatantly obvious that Mr. Miller is a disgruntled man with too much time on his hands. The BBB has issued their final statement on this matter, and we concur with their findings. Our "swap meet" is a free site used by thousands of members each and every day across these United States. Funny how Mr. Miller is only one former member who thinks we have a "beastly" attitude.



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#7 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Disgruntled user

AUTHOR: lkwdlisa - (United States of America)

Please allow me to address the monthly reminders. Once every month all members receive the same email regarding use of the site and its simple rules. We have not "repeatedly" indicated the we are overwrought. We currently have more than 3660 members on this site. However many members there are, we are bound to have at least one who is disgruntled. Mr. Miller has the gall to accuse us of being unapproachable when in fact both of us have on more than one occasion have had to soothe other members when he did not show up for items that he claimed. ie: no shows.

Our site records also indicate that of the 61 posts he made of the site, only 11 of those were OFFERs for items. The other 50 were posts indicating a want or need. His limited mobility and limited access to transportation has been reported to the moderators on SEVERAL occasions. I have taken the liberty of including Mr. Millers last chain of correspondence with me, that ultimately led to his removal from our group. Please take note of the language he uses and how demeaning he has proven himself to be. Apparently, the FREE in freecycle has no connotation that he can connect.


From: Michael A. Miller <michael.act2@gmail.com>
To: Lisa  <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: posting


Don't threaten me. I've had my fill of being bullied.


I know
you have a full-time job. I've read about it in more than one e'mail,
and about your going to school and your homework as well. I don't know
if there's more than one moderator or just you using two different
e'mails. (Until today, I thought there were two and you were the
nice one.) However you choose to overextend yourself doesn't give you
the privilege of talking down to Freecycle members (or even just me),
and picking and choosing what you're going to post when i'm following
the rules of the Group, some of which you directed me to.


I'm
guessing Freecycle is a voluntary undertaking for you. Why bother if
you're going to send e'mails with a spiteful, hateful, rude, sarcastic,
snotty tone, and broadcast how disgruntled you are? The people who offer
stuff want to do a good deed instead of trashing their castoffs, and
people who need stuff are probably in a bad place and can't afford to
buy stuff they need. (Some are probably just cheapskates, but the ones
I've given stuff to seem to not have an abundance of money). What makes
you think you can be so mean to people who are in need or trying to help
others?     



On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM, Lisa  <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com> wrote:

One more smart comment, and you will find yourself banned. Enough, I am human and have a full time job.


From: Michael A. Miller <michael.act2@gmail.com>
To: Lisa  <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com>

Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:54 PM
Subject: Re: posting

No, it was entirely necessary.


On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM, Lisa  <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com> wrote:

Really not necessary.



From: Michael A. Miller <michael.act2@gmail.com>

To: Lisa  <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com>

Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:36 PM
Subject: Re: posting

If it had posted with the four messages you posted after I sent mine, I wouldn't have.


On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM, Lisa  <lkwd_lisa@yahoo.com> wrote:

I got the first message about the phone. Please stop posting multiple requests for the same item.

Additionally, here is the response Mr. Miller sent to the group owner:


Go
ahead and ban me. You and Lisa have been unfathomably monstrous and
disrespectful for people who are involved in a voluntary undertaking.
 Everything I wrote to Lisa applies to you 10 times over. It's not
surprising that you hide behind an anonymous e'mail identity. I'll be reporting your conduct to Yahoo Groups, writing you up on RipOffReport.com (not because of any ripoffs, but because of subdefective
customer service and a beastly attitude to go with it), and submitting
the same report to the Better Business Bureau if only to get it on the
record.


You're running a swap meet, not curing AIDS, cancer or even the common cold here. Get over yourself.   


All of this coming from a man with no job and no apparent respect for women. We will not be  bullied or have our reputation sullied by the likes of you, Mr. Miller. Get a life and get a job in order to get some self respect. You are the only one hurting you.


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#8 Author of original report

Freecycle representatives have lied to the BBB

AUTHOR: Mikey - (USA)

On top of the conduct that motivated my original complaint, someone from Freecycle.org has lied to the Better Business Bureau and had the unfathomable arrogance to demand an apology from me:

"Company states they have tried to explain the company's rules for posting on their website.  All offers and wanted items are posted once a week, Mr. Miller attempted to post for a coffee pot 3 times in one week.  The company states they monitor their site for these type of attempted activities.  When this was identified the consumer was contacted advising of this information he became rude.  The consumer has since sent emails with rude and vague language to their office and threats of going to other site because they will not allow him to post in the manner he wishes rather then following their rules.  Company states they seek no further business relationship with the consumer in the manner he has presented.  Consumer will need to apologize to their organization for the language he has used."
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