Monday, October 14, 2013

Product Disparagement Update from Croc


Below is a response our M14 receiver dealer (Croc's Gun Shop) put out to one of its customers who canceled their M14 receiver order due to a recent lawsuit filed by SEI against a gentleman for product disparagement.  We think it is a pretty well-written letter worth sharing and reading.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for the honest reply.

It is unfortunate that you make this decision without having all of the facts/information on the matter. The story you get on the forums is biased, half the story at best and represents an emotional and less than factual view of what has and is really happening. Smith Enterprise Inc. has a right to protect their good name against product disparagement. This is an unfair business practice and can be detrimental to a small business. The heat treatment issue remarks at the center of this matter are false, misleading and damaging. Our business is being damaged incrementally by people such as yourself who believe without any consideration whatsoever that everything that they read on the forums is true and posted by sane people. Take for example your cancellation and your reasons for doing so. You have been unduly influenced by the emotionalism and the irrational comments that are being made on and around this matter.

The comments that are made online in most cases are not factual and are frivolous in nature. They range from absurd arguments about the freedom of speech to personal attacks on the character of Ron Smith and or his employees. What you must remember is that Smith Enterprise Inc. is a leader in product development, they make a fine line of exceptional, high quality products and that these facts have not changed. Their reputation for quality and their expertise is what you relied on when making your decision to purchase one of their receivers from our company.

Our Congress has seen fit to regulate product disparagement and to make the person(s) engaging in product disparagement responsible for their actions and the losses caused by their disparagement. This protection is based upon fairness, ethics and good legal principles, it is afforded to all citizens equally. You need to recognize that Smith Enterprise Inc. has a right to protect themselves from this form of unfair and reckless behavior as it is their reputation and livelihood that is being harmed. Our company is also suffering continued losses because of the comments that were made and your cancellation request is just another one of those losses. The person who made these disparaging statements online has been given every opportunity to retract their false statements to date, to admit that they were false or expose their source of false information. All without having to make good on any of the financial damages that they have caused so far. Smith Enterprise Inc. from the beginning of this matter has offered an easy and respectable way out of this situation that would have ended the matter promptly.

If you were or are a small businessman I believe you should be able to understand that damage to a reputation and financial losses are difficult if not impossible to absorb and that to tolerate this form of reckless indifference to our businesses and the families that we support is not something that should be taken lightly or left unattended.

You should stand with Smith Enterprise in this matter instead of supporting the irrational notions of a very small handful of people who it would seem believe mistakenly in some self concocted Right to cause damage to others without any responsibility taken. Please reconsider this matter.

Kind regards,
Crocs Gun Shop


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I read the comment thread that is referred to in this letter from Croc. The guy being sued actually repeated a rumor - that he had not started. Then the SEI person that has apparently been designated to respond at that forum basically told everyone (in a pretty rude fashion) that they were ignorant.

    I think Smith products are good products. They handled this issue extremely poorly.