I love this story of cyber bullying between the owner of online retailer "DecorMyEyes" and his complaining customers. It reminds me of the stories empaths sometimes tell of trying to get even with their oppressors. It's a long article, worth reading, but here are the excerpts that lead me to think sociopath:
Dozens of people over the last three years, she found, had nearly identical tales about DecorMyEyes: a purchase gone wrong, followed by phone calls, e-mails and threats, sometimes lasting for months or years.And the victim's failed attempt of a comeuppance:
“Hello, My name is Stanley with DecorMyEyes.com,” the post began. “I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”
It’s all part of a sales strategy, he said. Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. He closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: “I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.”
“I’ve exploited this opportunity because it works. No matter where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment. So I decided, why not use that negativity to my advantage?”
“When I fly to Las Vegas I look down and see all these houses,” he starts. “If someone in one of those houses buys from DecorMyEyes and ends up hating the company, it doesn’t matter. All those other houses are filled with people, too, and they will come knocking.”
Selling on the Internet, Mr. Borker says, attracts a new horde of potential customers every day. For the most part, they don’t know anything about DecorMyEyes, and the ones who bother to research the company — well, he doesn’t want their money. If you’re the type of person who reads consumer reviews, Mr. Borker would rather you shop elsewhere.
It’s almost painful to say, but Mr. Borker is amusing company. He is sharp and entertaining, although much of the entertainment comes from the way he flouts the conventions of courtesy, which he does with such a perverse flair that it can seem like a kind of performance art.
Despite the fear he has inspired, Mr. Borker doesn’t regard himself as a terror. He prefers to think of himself as the Howard Stern of online commerce — an outsize character prone to shocking utterances.
Except that Howard Stern doesn’t issue threats, I say.
“People overreact,” he pshaws, often because they’re unaccustomed to plain speaking, New York-style. Anyway, he adds, if somebody messes with you, and you mess back, “how is that a threat?”
Ms. Rodriguez [a victim] has a meticulous record of all things Russo. Sitting at a table with a laptop, she reads some of his e-mails and plays several saved messages left by him on her phone. It is unmistakably Mr. Borker.Moral of the story is don't bother trying to get back at them. Even I don't mess with people like this if I can avoid it. If they get you, learn a lesson and be more careful next time. Trying to get even is like throwing good money after bad. But I understand that for some people it is difficult to make coldly rational decisions, even for what is essentially a business transaction.
“I’m stubborn,” she says when asked about her persistence in the last few months. “I wasn’t going to let this guy push me around.”
I contacted T-Mobile to let them know I was being harassed,” she says, “but they said there was nothing they could do because it was coming from a blocked number.”
FOR months, Mr. Borker and Ms. Rodriguez were essentially working opposite sides of the Internet. He operated in the seams and cracks of the Web’s underbelly, while she was pleading for help with what is supposed to be the Web’s protective layer: a variety of corporations and law enforcement entities that could have intervened.