Nominee for PR Blunder of the Year - ePerks

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities

In what is amazingly the dumbest thing I've seen lately, ePerks has sued a blogger that they paid to write about their product. "Why have they sued?", you might ask. Well as the story goes around the Internet, ePerks didn't like the negative comments that were posted on the bloggers site and felt like they were bogus posts aimed at hurting what they felt was their fine reputation. Of course, to read most of the comments coming in on various sites, you'll realize that they were apparently walking around in rose-colored glasses.

Now the only thing that has resulted is a huge PR disaster for ePerks, in what can only be speculated as their last ditch effort to save the company or perhaps save the reputation of the CEO and founder so that he can at least move on and start another company without the negative press following him everywhere he goes.

If you make your way around the Internet at all, you've probably come across this on a myriad of blogs as this has been going on for quite some time now. Normally PR blunders that spiral out of control, result in millions of dollars in losses and a few people losing their jobs. In this case, you'll likely see both happen, but probably the whole company folding or attempting to reincarnate themselves (kind of like a WonderTwin) in the form of a new company with an amazingly similar product and business model.

Here are some great posts that provide some background into this debacle.

A Case Study in Greed from Broker Science

ePerks & iHype - Legal Knee Jerk - Sues Blogger

ePerks Sues Blogger to Silence Him?

Open Letter to ePerks

Support the Vlad Zablotskyy's Legal Defense Fund


I guess what is most amazing is that ePerks has not seemed to realize that this is the ultimate FUBAR. Their business model is reliant upon real estate agents who can't generate their own leads and are willing to pay them to do so. But by attacking the real estate bloggers, they are effectively attacking their prospective customers. I don't think they're going to forget about that, the Internet has a loooooooong memory. The only unfortunate thing in all of this is that Vlad has been sued so do what you can to support him.

In the meantime, hopefully ePerks will finally come to the resolution that it's time to close the door and sell off the assets!



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Greg Swann - Phoenix, AZ

Good on ya, Aaron. Thanks!

Jun 17, 2008 06:47 AM #1
Trace Richardson

Thanks for helping bring awareness to the issue that is ePerks!

Jun 17, 2008 08:08 AM #2
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Nice, thanks for spreading the word Aaron!

Jun 17, 2008 09:35 AM #3
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Aaron Hofmann

aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings
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