From the perspective of a 40 year veteran of the aquarium industry
Reef Central is up to their usual bad behavior.
We have one of the usual suspects who back in Dec. 2014 made an apology, for which I later took down this blog post (but based on this recent attack, it is back up). Once again he falsely quoted copyright laws and ignored the fact every blog post by me has been made only to defend my name and life’s work.
Then a a new member who only joined on Aug 31 and who I suspect is a shill for a manufacturer made charges that are false about my blog authorship.
Worse though is Reef Central themselves who once again banned a staff member who only went in to politely ask that these false attacks be stopped.
This in itself speaks volumes about this once great forum where many persons I know used to rely on information and discussion from, but have since abandoned because of the liberal and hateful attitude that has gone forth here.
I have already dealt with Reef Central and a members personal attacks on me and a friend in this previous post:
Vile and Hateful Comments, Member of Reef Central; JPMagyar
I have also dealt with Reef Central and two members in particular in an article I wrote for Fish as Pets:
Reef Central; Aquarium UV Sterilizer Hall of Shame
In the above article, one of those attacking me with disrespectful ad hominem attacks is even a moderator.
This brings me to this thread from Reef Central:
Here we have an employee (Trigger) whose has a degree in human relations who works part time for me in dealing with social media, forums, out reaches etc.
He WAS a member of Reef Central and recently stumbled across this thread where there were out right lies about TMC AquaRays and their customer service as this same member has done in the past with TMC UV Sterilizers in both customer service and availability.
Trigger never pretended to be anyone and he never attempted to sell these LED lights, only defend miss-representation of this light and the companies selling these products.
Rather than debate the facts these members went into what are all to often typical Reef Central alleged un-moderated member personal attacks on Trigger and others who dared defend the facts (this despite Reef Central rules that prohibit defamatory remarks).
I am sorry but a forum should be about sharing of ideas, information, and known facts, NOT making up information and lies about my customer service as well as making personal attacks.
I personally find this vile and contemptible and as far as I am concerned the owners of Reef Central owe me an apology for allowing these slanderous personal and ad hominem attacks.
Here is a comment about my customer service:
“If I ran my business the way this company does, I’d be out of business.”
Ditto, I HAVE run the business how he thinks I should, this almost put us out of business due to the sheer volume of calls, not to mention persons not following advice when they did purchase and then file fraudulent charge backs (which email records protect us against).
He should have read our complete Mission Statement rather than quoting my Contact page, as it states that we get about 6000 hits per day to our articles and we need a way to screen the questions to those that are truly customer service related and then provide further reading information, pictures, and other tools since we are an online business, not a brick and mortar store!
I have built my businesses and experimented with different ways of delivering the best customer service possible to as wide an audience as possible, of which most of this audience are not even paying customers.
I should also note that I have been in management, including a stint as a production manager and commercial pilot training where by I have been applauded for my skills in efficiency, recognizing my own weaknesses, and most importantly; customer service and information.
So for these people to discredit my customer service without any knowledge of it is both repulsive and disgusting and the alleged lack of moderation by Reef Central puts on display their disgusting behavior for all to see.
As well, the comments made about my lack of credit in two Fish as Pets articles I co-wrote; one a comparison of the EcoTech and AquaRay where by I provide good science based information as well as solid reasons why I went with the AquaRay LEDs.
Reference: EcoTech Radion Versus TMC Aqua Ray HO LED Aquarium Lights
This contemptible member at Reef Central certainly has the right to say he thinks I made the wrong decision.
Instead he writes this:
“FWIW, that Fish-as-pets site link you posted happens to be owned by the distributor American Aquarium Products. That is marketing fluff being promoted by the distributor. Certainly not an objective comparison.”
Sorry pal, if I have done my homework as clearly explained in this article should I not sell what I think is the best? If I did otherwise, then he would have a point and as well I would be rather dishonest to research something and otherwise sell the opposite of what my research suggests.
In fact I have made a business over the last 35 years of promoting what I would use myself and often not selling all products from the same manufacturer based on some performing well and others not. It is noteworthy that I have been asked many times why I sell one product from a certain company and not another or even products from companies I do not care for as a general rule, but have some good products (example API & Weco).
This same member goes on to attribute some other persons blog to me, even though this blog clearly states who this author is and my articles all clearly identify me (no brilliant detective work needed by this self appointed sleuth); again talk about credibility!!!
What is also interesting is that my Stat Software shows 9 out of 10 hits to this Fish as Pets article comparing the EcoTech to the AquaRay that originate from this Reef Central thread show visits of less than 5 seconds; It is interesting how they make their judgments based on such a short visit!!
Since this guy seems to think little testing or hard core use has been done with the AquaRay, despite this product in its first viable phase has been around since 2008, here is a website documenting St Mary’s Marine Biology Departments use:
St Mary’s Marine Biology Experiments with LED Lighting
Maybe if he were to emerge from Reef Central he would know this??
In my Fish as Pets articles about Reef Central and UV Sterilizers I quote this comment by this same individual:
“This guy sure needs a lot of fluff to sell UV units. Unlike Tropical Marine Centre, AquaUV while more expensive has a great distribution network and a great reputation. You can get AquaUV parts from nearly every reputable on line retailer across the country.
If you need bulbs, seals or o-rings, companies like Marine Depot have them on hand. AquaUV backs their products with great direct support too unlike Tropical Marine Centre. While AquaUV is not the cheapest UV on the market, like the link you provided say, they are quality units with great dwell time. What they fail to mention is their great support. Same can be said about Emperor Aquatics. Something that is non existent with Tropical Marine Centre who is over seas and depends exclusively on retailers for support.”
Reference: Reef Central; Aquarium UV Sterilizer Hall of Shame
This is a total fabricated lie!!
Worse yet is his total disrespect for my years of work, research, hands on experience, and free advice and help I have provided to 1000s over the years.
Growing up, if I talked or referred to someone like this, I would have had my ears slapped back by my Dad or Grandfather, but this guy clearly is a disrespectful keyboard bully and narcissist. The fact the moderators give such a person a free reign on Reef Central shows a lot about the ethics and reliability of information presented on this forum.
As to the facts of my article, this article is about UV Sterilization and why my experience and research shows why it should be used; NOT ABOUT SELLING THE TMC UV STERILIZERS! It is noteworthy that I sell far more than just the TMC UV line of Sterilizers.
What is also noteworthy is when it comes to selling, most of my effort in emails often is to tell persons actually what they should purchase is NOTHING and how to use what they have correctly.
To imply I need fluff to sell when 90% of customer service is helping others, NOT SELLING is libelous. This person needs to do his homework such as reading my bios (which are easily found) where it is obvious I am not getting rich with snake oil and fluff sales. What is comes down to is this person is making libelous comments about another person (me) he knows nothing about and does not care to do even the remotest research about whom he is making these libelous statements.
Business Bio of Carl Strohmeyer from AAP
In the end, another member gets the last word calling out Trigger:
“Shilling is still shilling, no matter how you wish to spin it. Shilling gets you removed from this forum, and you brought that on yourself so when you continue to badmouth RC on your blogs, remember you are the one who chose to ignore the rules. It is as simple as that. You will not be missed and this thread will remain for all to see in perpetuity. You will be your own worse enemy.”
I personally do not think this guy even understands what a shill is, a quick internet search will prove this since his Profile was there for everyone to see and he was only to defend against lies put forth and frankly to defend my honor (for which I am grateful).
As well, Trigger has no other blogs that I know of attacking Reef Central, so I have no idea where this liar pulled this out his butt from.
Again even the most basic of “detective work” shows that he has helped on my AAP website, a guest authorship at Aquarium Article Digest, and his person blog; none of these have any badmouthing of RC!
Here are just two outside of his help with AAP:
In the end, it is the opposite that will happen, especially since I get emails and I am very active in the professional aquarium keeping community telling me of how little they respect Reef Central, and that is the moderators lack of keeping their members on a leash and contemptible talking down and disrespect further prove that Reef Central is NOT the place for good aquarium information in our opinion.
One such term I have heard floating around in these circles is the term “Reef Police” and ban hammer where by you WILL get attacked or banned by Reef Central if you dare venture outside their little circles of agreed upon facts.
Triggers experience and YES, ban as he told me is further proof of what an allegedly contemptible place Reef Central is for honest moral persons, at least when it comes to getting advice that is not colored in personal attacks that lack any real moderation!
This is why RC is also not a forum my company will consider sponsoring.
What is comes down to, is others certainly have the right to disagree with my conclusions, but they certainly do not have the right to make personal attacks nor the moral right to ban members who defend lies put forth about my content or customer service.
BTW, here is the User Agreement for Reef Central:
In this agreement you will read this:
“You agree not to post, transmit or link to any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable material of any kind, “
Apparently they selectively enforce these rules, as they clearly have made defamatory statements about me in many posts (and this is from a legal opinion too).
Here is another rule:
“Any member that has any commercial connection to a product or company, or a to a directly competing product or company, is requested to clearly divulge that relationship when posting a comment about that product or company.”
I would have to concede that my employee (Trigger), should have divulged that he was an employee rather than depending upon his profile to clarify who he was, but quite frankly this is nit picking when they aggressively enforce this rule while they ignore the constant flaming that goes on there.
An honest person has to look at his intentions which were clearly NOT to market this product, rather to defend against blatant lies and personal attacks against me and what I choose to sell.
Hopefully some professional acting persons will take control of Reef Central, as it certainly started out as a GREAT place in 1999 (if I am correct).
This should include a sincere apology for the libelous comments (not the respectful disagreements) that have been said about me on this forum, as it is one thing to respectfully disagree, but to spread lies and use of personal “ad hominem” attacks to disagree is simply a childish way to debate anything.
Reference: Logical Fallacies
This person who still likes to criticize me to this day for attempting to defend myself stated I am attempting to discredit Reef Central and I have no right to quote this forum.
Sorry once again sir, am I supposed to sit back while you publish lies about me, my motives, and why and what I sell? I am going to defend myself and my life’s work.
As well, your forum has banned my staff member who attempted to defend me in the forum, is this diplomatic as you would say?
He also does not even understand copyright laws.
From the website: Intellectual Property
“Short quotations will usually be fair use, not copyright infringement. The Copyright Act says that “fair use…for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” So if you are commenting on or criticizing an item someone else has posted, you have a fair use right to quote.”
Recent Thread from Reef Central (July of 2015):
Here are a few of his misguided and incorrect quotes:
“I will also note that myself as well as a couple other forum members have had run in with this individual on this very forum. The end result was him taking our words posted on Reef Central (word for word) and quoting us in his blogs in a manner that wasn’t very nice and trying his damndest to discredit us. To each his own I guess but I don’t consider that ethical not to mention that it was actually copyright infrindgment since RC is copyright protected. Neither myself or the others who were involved granted him permission to quote us let alone the owners of RC. Clearly not a diplomatic business owner IMO”
As noted, he does not seem to understand the laws and that I have a right to defend myself, especially when they kick of my trained staff member for attempting to defend me.
This guy has flipped ethics upside down, as he seems to think it is OK for them to talk personal smack about me and my work, but I have no right to defend myself? Liberal hypocrisy at its height!!!!
Here is another incorrect statement:
“What’s more interesting is that the site you found this on is the owner of the company that is the sole US distributor for TMC who makes the Aquaray lights”
Sorry, wrong again. We are not the only online and far from the only seller in the USA.
In fact we do not even come up number one in Google search among USA sellers.
Another fact he seams to not know is that Quality Marine is not even the sole USA distributor!!!.
“I will give credit to the US distributor as they seem to provide good service on warranty returns as long as it’s not a power supply failure which happens to be the biggest issue with these lights. The warranty in the US states 5 years however, power supplies don’t include a 5 year warranty and they don’t include that info on the packaging.”
Wrong once more, the power supply is warranted for 2 years, longer than many other entire fixtures, and while not on the outer packaging it is CLEARLY stated on our website and in the warranty information enclosed with each LED light.
I will admit is this latest thread, this Reef Central member actually gives me some positive shout-outs as well as clearly is watching his wording in how he speaks of me.
However, while I appreciate the kind & positive words, it still does not give him the right to continue to make up facts about me, the products I sell or even trademark laws.
As well, I do not ask to be agreed with, only to be treated with respect and not make up “logical fallacy” arguments in an attempt to discredit me (which is an attempt to turn the tables on me calling me the one attempting to discredit). I certainly do not think I am the God of aquarium lighting or UV Sterilization and others certainly have a right to disagree with my conclusions as long as they are factual and not personal.