FPA Forums and Reviews Admin
Maxigrid LTD has threatened
to sue the FPA over a review
to sue the FPA over a review
Another broker has decided to try to take the legal road to remove a review they don't like.
My review moderation team and I work very hard to keep the Forex Peace Army's reviews as fair as possible. I lost count of the number of times that someone told me "the FPA should verify that the person is a client and verify every statement they make before allowing it to be posted in the reviews or the forums." Strangely, not once has any company suggested performing this level of checking for a positive review. Instead, the recommendation (or demand) is only mention when by company representatives when a negative review or forums post.
My team is good, but they aren't psychic. They also don't have unlimited access to the records of any company that has ever wanted the FPA to do this. It's a great idea. It's also impossible to implement for many reasons. I get this suggestion often enough that I prepared an FAQ item explaining why it's impractical...
Why doesn’t the Forex Peace Army check to make sure each reviewer or person posting in the forums is really is a client of the company reviewed?
Despite these limitations, I firmly believe the FPA's reviews are the best financial reviews on the web. I've seen obviously fake reviews and even pure spam which the FPA rejected end up on many other forex review sites.
I also get all the usual excuses for removal with zero evidence often enough that I wrote the answer to this question in the FAQ...
How do I deal with negative reviews or forums posts about my company?
This post has links to items about how to professionally deal with these situations. It also has links to a removal request, which requires evidence.
Some companies think that yelling "lawyer" and "lawsuit" will make all the bad things go away. That's why these two items were written...
The FPA WILL remove that bad information about me or my company or I WILL sue the FPA
How the FPA Handles Legal Threats
Despite this, some companies prefer to try to force actions by making legal threats instead of discussing things.
I was barely aware of this company. Then someone in the advertising department forwarded me a message from the Affiliate Director of Dualix Maxigrid...
Subject: Review Removal
1. It has come to our attention that on your website ‘forexpeacearmy.com’ there is a review that mentions our site ‘Dualix.maxigrid.com’
2. The comment described our company as a “Rip off” with false accusations in regards of our activities.
3. This comment was made in bad faith and is a bridge of our reputation
4. We are a regulated company and will not accept this type of false accusation on your website.
5. You are asked to remove these false accusations without further notice.
6. We will use our regulated position and seek legal relief from site owners, editors, and any publishers including, but not limited to, search engines will make sure this slander will come to a stop and the people behind allowing these posts will be held responsible.
7. Find the link to the post and quoted review below and contact us ASAP
Here is the main part of my reply...
Let me address these in order.
1. I am happy that you are aware of the review page.
2. I have no way to be certain if any client's review is 100% accurate. Maybe the reviewer misinterpreted something one of your coworkers said. Maybe the review is completely accurate. Maybe the 5 Star on the review below it contains errors.
3. I have no way to be sure if the review you claim was made in bad faith was really made in good faith or not. If I can only approve reviews where I have evidence proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the review was made in good faith, I would need a team of 100 investigators plus full access to the records of every forex company. Is Dualix.Maxigrid volunteering to grant the FPA unlimited access to all client records and communications with clients?
4. Many Cysec regulated companies are infamous for doing exactly what this reviewer accuses your company of doing. Some of those companies have gone out of business or had their licenses cancelled. Some of those companies have somehow managed to keep their Cysec registrations active. Being regulated by Cysec is not evidence of the review in question being fake.
5. No. The FPA has ways for company representatives to address negative reviews. How a company deals with negative reviews says a lot about the company.
6. You have just made a legal threat against the FPA over third party content. I need your CEO or the head of your legal department email me by the end of the business day on Monday, March 16th, 2020. The message I get from that person needs to explicitly state that MaxiGrid LTD permanently and irrevocably lifts all legal threats against the FPA over 3rd party content. Otherwise, I will follow FPA policy here...
and will also inform Cysec that your company is using legal threats to try to prevent reviewers from being able to complain about the company.
7. Thank you for including a link and image. Some company representatives want me to search the entire website and guess which item they are complaining about.
Following the entire protocol for legal threats is time consuming. I really hope that the head of your legal department or CEO permanently and irrevocably lifts the threat by the end of the business day on Monday.
There have been incidents of representatives who made legal threats failing to escalate those issues when requested. Because of this, a note has been added to the review about this incident. I am also CCing the main support address of your company and the email listed on your Cysec license.
Many times, just letting a company know that the FPA doesn't fall down grovelling at the mention of the word "lawyer" is enough to turn the "take it down or else" threat into a more polite form of discussion. Not this time.
She replied with...
Thank you for proving to us that you are using your power to blackmail our company.
FPA has full control over this “Third party content” and not only will our lawyers be continuing this further, we will ensure that Europol is included in this seeing as you are not a legitimate marketing website.
I have forwarded everything to the necessary people to be escalated and you should expect to be contacted shortly.
Let me think this through. An unhappy person leaves a review. The FPA gets a legal threat demanding removal of the review or else lawyers will do bad things to is. I personally view threatening to use a lawsuit to take down a review to be nothing but legal blackmail. The official term is a SLAPP Lawsuit.
So, from my point of view, I'm telling a blackmailer to stop the blackmail and discuss things like civilized people or be exposed. She then calls me a blackmailer and threatens to add Europol to the list of places she's going to use to go after the FPA.
I decided to be nice and give her enough info that she could see a lawsuit threat wouldn't work. I mentioned CDA 230 protections over 3rd party content that apply to US based websites and again said that I looked forward to hearing from the head of her legal department or CEO.
She wrote back, called me a hypocrite and said a number of other things that were less than complementary. She also included this.
You are also requesting access to our platform for accuracy.. Obviously, this will not happen. There are other ways we can resolve this. Now, I can still get our lawyer to contact you, OR you can fix our listing on your site, which I have requested months ago regarding the countries. How can we take you seriously when you have not taken our previous requests seriously.
Plus, give access for people to respond to the post so we can contact the client on your site, because there is no option to do so, only to share or react if it was “helpful”.
The bulk of my reply was...
I cannot find any emails from you regarding the countries. If you sent it to advertising, they should have told you to click the "Is this your company?" button on the review page to create an account using your dualix.maxigrid.com email address. Once created and confirmed, you will be able to submit edits to broker data as well as submit comments tied directly to recent existing reviews. At any time, you could have clicked "Contact Us" and selected Representative questions. That would have told you all you needed to know about making comments on reviews. As soon as you went to the review page with that ability, you would also have seen the link to submit the edits.
No matter who you sent your list of corrections to, why didn't you send a simple followup if you didn't hear back within a week or two? That would have been a much more professional approach than doing nothing for months and then accusing the FPA of negligence.
I want the list to be as up to date and accurate as possible, but doing this needs input from the brokers directly from their review pages. That's why it's been easy for brokers to submit updates since the day the broker data first rolled out.
This is a review site where people are allowed to express their opinions. Large amounts of time and effort are spent doing the best job possible filtering reviews I regularly see review pages on other review sites full of ads posing as reviews, recovery room scams posing as reviews, and even duplicates of reviews rejected as fakes here getting approved.
Again I said I was looking forward to hearing from her CEO or the head of her company's legal department.
Did she register at the FPA, submit an update to the excluded countries list, and add a comment to the review? No, she didn't.
Firstly, again, you post my website with wrong information, Cysec calls this misleading which is one of the biggest violations in the eyes of Cysec. Whatever assumptions you like, Cysec has given us the rules to follow and like it or not you are not the license owner.
Also, if we follow up with you or not, you should have done your research before listing on your site at all.
Secondly, you probably forgot that when you talk about our approach, you tried to blackmail the company that I am representing by demanding “email me by the end of the business day on Monday, March 16th, 2020. The message I get from that person needs to explicitly state that MaxiGrid LTD permanently and irrevocably lifts all legal threats against the FPA over 3rd party content. Otherwise, I will follow FPA policy here...” this policy outlines how you will blast the media with our information and dialogue, we will not accept these kinds of demands.
Now, regarding my CEO, she is not going to talk to you because she has bigger and better things to do/deal with at the moment.
With that being said, we have two options.
1. Fix our section on your website and when we update you about fake review you will remove it.
2. Let’s go to legal action route, something that I’m sure you don’t want, and we don’t want as well.
These are the two options and I will say it again we don’t wish to fight, and we don’t wish to block clients that put reviews on your site, good or bad, as long as they are real clients. One rule is that every review needs to come from a real client!
If we are clear, I am expecting to see you change the website and let’s finish these back and forth emails between us.
I still don't know what countries she wants to be excluded or included, since I never got the "months old" email she claims to have sent. She still hasn't bothered to follow the simple procedure to submit a correction or to even tell me what she wants changed.
Her CEO has bigger and better things to do. It seems strange to me that her CEO didn't tell her to submit a correction of the very important country flags in the exclusion list, especially after claiming that the FPA containing an error would somehow endanger Maxigrid LTD's Cysec license.
Best of all, at the beginning of the message, note that she claims the FPA should have done correct research before listing the site.
I went to Dualix.Maxigrid.com's website and looked for their list of excluded countries. Maybe it's there somewhere, but I couldn't find it. A lot of brokers put it in their footers, but it wasn't there. I asked the moderator who did carefully research the company where the information she posted came from, the website, live chat, or an email to Dualix support. She had to think about it a little, since the data was collected in December 2019. After a little more digging and we found something interesting.
I wrote back to Dualix.Maxigrid's Affilliate Director...
The information was gleaned off of your website. It might now be out of date, but those flags exactly match the excluded countries which were listed on your website at the time data was gathered. Read the first line in this image.
The data displayed was correct according to your website at the time it was entered, other than the fact that the FPA doesn't have a flag for "some other additional jurisdictions". If the list of excluded countries on your company's website was not correct, then your company is the source of the misleading information. If it has been updated since, I have already told you how to update it at the FPA.
Again, I told her how to submit corrections...
1. Go to the review page.
2. Click where it asks "Is this your company?"
3. Sign up using a valid dualix.maxigrid.com email address.
4. Once confirmed, return to the review page and submit the corrections. If you now exclude additional countries, you can add those flags. If you've begun offering services to North Korea or any of the others, your submission will result in those flags being removed. If you fail to do this, any inaccuracies remaining on display are your responsibility.
While there, you can submit a comment on the review.
and I finished with...
I suggest you actually read the FAQ where I clearly explain that since the FPA does not have full access to your company's records and those of every other reviewed company, it is impossible to be 100% sure that any one review isn't fake. I can tell you we filter out over 30% of reviews as fakes. Even though the reviewer who gave you 5 stars provided an account number, that is not proof that the review is true. Based on your standards, all reviewers should submit account statements and ID documents.
I should also point out that the FAQ does have a specific page where companies can submit evidence if they feel a review or forums post is fake.
You blasting the FPA with a lawsuit threat and your falsely insinuating that my staff posted inaccurate data is both unacceptable and offensive. I've been nice so far and have not taken the next steps in a threat over 3rd party material. If your CEO or the head of you legal department doesn't get in touch with me to lift the threat over the 3rd party posting by this time on Friday, I will begin taking appropriate defensive steps as outlined in our policy.
So, all I need is for you to submit corrections and a comment, plus for your CEO or head of your legal department to permanently and irrevocably lift the threat over 3rd party content. With that done, we won't have to spend any more time on emails unless a specific issue comes up.
I'm still mystified that an employee of Dualix Maxigrid thinks the FPA is responsible for each and every word a reviewer chooses to use. Will the FPA be held similarly liable if a positive reviewer calls her company "supremely great" and Cysec only considers her company to be "very great"?
I expected her or someone else to register an account and submit correction. That still hasn't happened. I expected to hear something from the CEO or legal department.
Instead, something else happened.
I got an email from someone else on March 19th...