Online Shoppers’ Nightmare Sent to PrisonAn online retailer engaged into dealing with customer complaints by threatening to hurt them has been sentenced to 4 years in prison. 35-year-old Vitaly Borker was selling specs on the Internet, but for some reason decided to push up his Google page ranking by receiving bad reviews.
The local media confirms that Vitaly did this by employing an interesting business model, which involved deliberately harassing and scaring the life out of the clients in a “terror campaign”, as the US District Judge Richard Sullivan called it.
Vitaly was operating DecorMyEyes.com and found out that negative reviews and comments on the Internet really pushed up the website’s page ranking on Google. Borker was so proud of his way of running the business that he bragged about it 2 years ago in an article by the New York Times.
The judge ruled that he was terrifying customers, putting them in fear of their lives. Vitaly pleaded guilty in 2011 to making threats and fraud charges and the prosecutors admitted that over 200 complaints against him had been filed with the Federal Trade Commission within 3 years he had been running a website.
The defendant said he was very sorry for the awful threats he had made and swore he had never intended on carrying out the threats. In fact, he just had a big mouth he failed to control, which finally ruined his life.
For instance, one customer from Chicago told the court that Vitaly harassed her for around 50 days after she tried to use the site’s money-back guarantee. She received a voicemail message from Borker, who said: “I hope you die. I want to slice your legs off”. Some Louisiana customer also told the court that the site admin threatened to kill all her family unless she stopped trying to use the site’s money-back guarantee.
In the meantime, the defendant’s lawyer, Dominic Amorosa, claimed that most of his customers were satisfied with his products, as there were $18 million in revenue received from the sales of 100,000 glasses over four year when the site was on and running. Only less than $3 million was refunded, which is still an impressive percentage.
According to US Attorney Preet Bharara, Vitaly Borker could only be referred to as "an online shopper's worst nightmare”. That would be right, because you most likely wouldn’t be able to sleep well too if someone was promising to kill you because of the glasses.