Company Sues Former Employee for Taking Twitter Followers

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freggo

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Not acceptable of course but a common problem with employees who have substantial customer contact. Let's assume (yeah, I know...) for a moment the company tried to 'work this out' with the employee first before going the legal route one has to wonder what the guy was thinking.
 

NuclearShadow

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I have to side with him and not the company from the information given and here is why.

#1: They told him that he could have the account, they also likely never specified that he was not authorized to change the name on the account.

#2: From the article it seems that he did not try to gain personal profits from the list, or try to aid any rival company of theirs with the list. He also changed the name and did not pretend to be the company.

#3: It effects the customers none and they can always stop following him at anytime.

#4: If they were that willing to give the account away then it is obvious they never planned to use it beyond him leaving originally.

#5: If any wrong doing was done it was by the company by giving him permission to take the account which albeit minimal will contain customer information which may be against privacy laws. There is a chance that all 17,000 followers could sue PhoneDog for such, and rightfully so.

If PhoneDog was smart they would have never brought this into the light.
 

alidan

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[citation][nom]freggo[/nom]Not acceptable of course but a common problem with employees who have substantial customer contact. Let's assume (yeah, I know...) for a moment the company tried to 'work this out' with the employee first before going the legal route one has to wonder what the guy was thinking.[/citation]

they say that keep the account, so he made a personal account, if he still mentioned a company every now and then, I see no problem.

[citation][nom]NuclearShadow[/nom]I have to side with him and not the company from the information given and here is why.#1: They told him that he could have the account, they also likely never specified that he was not authorized to change the name on the account.#2: From the article it seems that he did not try to gain personal profits from the list, or try to aid any rival company of theirs with the list. He also changed the name and did not pretend to be the company.#3: It effects the customers none and they can always stop following him at anytime. #4: If they were that willing to give the account away then it is obvious they never planned to use it beyond him leaving originally.#5: If any wrong doing was done it was by the company by giving him permission to take the account which albeit minimal will contain customer information which may be against privacy laws. There is a chance that all 17,000 followers could sue PhoneDog for such, and rightfully so.If PhoneDog was smart they would have never brought this into the light.[/citation]

customer information? This isn't a receipt list, this isn't customer information, this is them willingly signed up for twitter. should I sue Tom's hardware because someone who works there could've seen my account name and left the site?
 

mugiebahar

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I would disagree with NuclearShadow.

1) He would have to get permission to change the name. They agreed for him to tweet on behalf of the company (account name included) Example Coke asks me to tweet (just go with this) I can say yes and change it to Mugiebahar and expect their is any relevance between my name and coke anymore.

2) it may or may not effect existing customers but new ones most definitely yes. example you read ads on your computer only when a word (or picture) catches your eye. If you throw out a word that that has nothing to do with the subject you lose your audience (marketing 101)

3) They did not give him the account just on a whim. They asked him to tweet he said yes thus he need access to the account. It was an "agreement" with obvious arrangements in place i.e. he needs to have full access to the account to tweet.

4) Company did no wrong doing, from what is written. He was a contract worker in regards. He needed access to the account to do the tweets. Along with the access gave hime access to customers, but thats part of the job specs.

5) Yes he did not give out any info from the article, but he changed the agreement that he agreed to. You cant just change a name and think it's OK. A company lives and dies by it's name so you have to respect that way of business. I know i would be pissed if my website Admin changed the name to his. Even more so if i found out that potencial customers were fooled by the renaming and either went elsewhere or couldn't find me cause of that.

He did a very stupid thing, and if (as mentioned above) they contacted him and try to settle it before he is even more stupid then i think right now.
 

cookoy

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a company account should not be tied to an individual account. if the individual leaves then someone should take over his role tweeting on behalf of the company using the company account. that's why we see a lot of emails with disclaimers that state an individual opinion does not necessarily reflect that of the company.
 

rasagul

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It's a free account on a public message base system. Phonedog gave him the account he no longer works for Phonedog, so why would he "not" change to let people know that this was no longer being run by a phonedog employee. Was there a contract drawn up on how he could use the account when they turned it over to him? and exactly how private is a client list that is on a public message system?
 

classzero

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[citation][nom]livebriand[/nom]It seems like every single day, I see a story about a lawsuit here.[/citation]

Agreed. Hey Tom, may we have TomsLaw.com and post these on that site?
 

LORD_ORION

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[citation][nom]mugiebahar[/nom]I would disagree with NuclearShadow.1) He would have to get permission to change the name. They agreed for him to tweet on behalf of the company (account name included) Example Coke asks me to tweet (just go with this) I can say yes and change it to Mugiebahar and expect their is any relevance between my name and coke anymore.2) it may or may not effect existing customers but new ones most definitely yes. example you read ads on your computer only when a word (or picture) catches your eye. If you throw out a word that that has nothing to do with the subject you lose your audience (marketing 101)3) They did not give him the account just on a whim. They asked him to tweet he said yes thus he need access to the account. It was an "agreement" with obvious arrangements in place i.e. he needs to have full access to the account to tweet.4) Company did no wrong doing, from what is written. He was a contract worker in regards. He needed access to the account to do the tweets. Along with the access gave hime access to customers, but thats part of the job specs.5) Yes he did not give out any info from the article, but he changed the agreement that he agreed to. You cant just change a name and think it's OK. A company lives and dies by it's name so you have to respect that way of business. I know i would be pissed if my website Admin changed the name to his. Even more so if i found out that potencial customers were fooled by the renaming and either went elsewhere or couldn't find me cause of that. He did a very stupid thing, and if (as mentioned above) they contacted him and try to settle it before he is even more stupid then i think right now.[/citation]

Logical arguments, but... who was granted possession of the account?
It is not more complicated then that. Even if they had a contract not to change the name, that is probably not valid in California. eg: Something stated in a contract cannot override the law and be enforceable.

He undoubtedly did his legal homework before he told them to F off...
 

ibboard

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Oh noes! He "stole" a customer list...

...which anyone who was logged in who looked at PhoneDog_Noah's Followers list can see...

Me thinks they misunderstand something.
 
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