Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Salesforce, a Pillow Maker and a $125k AmEx Bill

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the Carnac-the-Magnificent-punchline-needed dept.

Businesses 228

itwbennett writes "Salesforce.com, pillow manufacturer My Pillow, and an employee of My Pillow are caught up in a complex three-way legal battle. At issue is an allegedly failed software implementation and a $125,000 charge on a personal card. In short, there was an aggressive go-live date, a demand for immediate payment, and a system that was ultimately 'not functional'. Now, AmEx won't remove the charge, Salesforce.com is suing My Pillow for breach of contract and wants $550,000 in damages, My Pillow denies it owes anyone anything and is seeking unspecified damages from Salesforce.com, and the employee with the big bill wants his account credited. Still unclear is why My Pillow had no choice but to use the employee's personal credit card — and why the employee was naive enough to hand it over."

cancel ×

228 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What? (5, Funny)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#43561697)

Clearly news for nerds, a boring legal battle in a slightly incomprehensible summary.

Re:What? (5, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#43561713)

This story sponsored by: Dice.com

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561765)

Give this man two internets for figuring out what's really up.

Re:What? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43561753)

Summary says "complex 3-way legal battle" so expect the summary to gloss over the details.

Re:What? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43561843)

It wouldn't seem complex if someone had bothered to write a comprehensible summary, instead of chucking together a few sentence fragments with no attempt to link them into a cohesive description of the dispute.

Re:What? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43561967)

I think a car analogy is in order.

Re: What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562065)

There was a messy accident at a three-way intersection.

Re:What? (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year ago | (#43562473)

I read and reread the article then decided I'd read the replies to the summary to see what it was all about; Nerds have a way.

It wouldn't seem complex if someone had bothered to write a comprehensible summary, instead of chucking together a few sentence fragments with no attempt to link them into a cohesive description of the dispute.

This is the way I read as well; but it's not the posters fault, the article itself is confusing as hell;
It was the next to the last line that threw me: MyPillow made (apparently) ~$147 million off of the infomerical.

Re:What? (3, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43562093)

I'm hoping for hot 3-way legal action!

Re:What? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562279)

I'm hoping for hot 3-way BARELY-legal action!

FTFY

Re:What? (4, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#43562367)

We have a simple term to describe "barely legal":

Legal.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43561875)

it's a threeway bullshit throwing battle.

salesforce.com selling the work of some 3rd party consultant to the client for sum X and day Y, just shoveling bullshit for money. said consultant(or company or whatever, some entity) then delivered the thing late and held the project hostage until got payment roughly doubly the original estimate, said product wasn't "ready". the company buying the service actually paying that is the amazing part but not so amazing after you hear what the product was for: tracking effectiveness of every single 15-30sec tv advertisement, so their product request was bullshit as well.

but why would someone spot their company 125k of cash on a credit card? why is salesforce asking 550k for breach of contract when they didn't deliver? how come the pillow company is saying that their advertisement campaign failed because they lacked tracking? did their sales go up or not? how the fuck is salesforce getting away with saying to amex that a contract they have with my pillow allows them to charge a card they already refunded once and a card that's not my pillows card? why didn't he just cancel said card?

the only thing to take home from it is that you shouldn't do business with any of these companies. oh, and never ever loan your employer money.

Re:What? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561929)

"it's a threeway bullshit throwing battle."

Well, technically it's a pillow fight.

Re:What? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43561985)

you can loan your company money, just get the deal in writing with interest rates clearly stated.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562095)

If the company at which you work exists to sell pillows through 1/2 hour TV infomercials, I think lending money to them might be a bad idea.

Re:What? (2)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#43562069)

"tracking effectiveness of every single 15-30sec tv advertisement, so their product request was bullshit as well."

The request wasn't bullshit, but going to Salesforce for this is. There are media and marketing companies that can do this for you (Neilsen for one, but there are other, lower tier companies that can as well), and it doesn't require some custom solution to do it. It's like having a ceramics factory built because you need some new toilets.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562193)

Amex is a chargecard, not a credit card.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562305)

I don't know what the difference is.

Re:What? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year ago | (#43562445)

Charge cards insist that you pay off the entire balance on every bill (although they may bend in emergencies). Credit cards allow you to carry a balance.

Re: What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562531)

I have both a charge card and a credit card from AmEx.

Re:What? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43562197)

did their sales go up or not?

How the hell would they know? The thing they paid for to tell them didn't work!

Re:What? (0)

jest3r (458429) | about a year ago | (#43561897)

Ya who gives a shit ... wtf happened to this website ... I guess I'm trolling now ...

Re:What? (5, Informative)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#43562033)

The summary was beyond awful. I actually had to read the article to figure this out:

My Pillow - A company that makes pillows
Salesforce.com - A company that makes software
Personal Credit Card - A My Pillow employee's credit card

My Pillow spent $60k-70k to have software delivered by June 1. It didn't make the date and Salesforce.com said they would have it done by Aug 1 for $125k. Salesforce.com didn't take checks so apparently credit card was the only/best option at the time.

Salesforce.com delivered a product on Aug 1. My Pillow says it wasn't done. That's the dispute. Salesforce.com still charged $125k, but they want $550k more for some reason??? One of the many things not addressed in the article is the contract between Salesforce.com and My Pillow on what Salesforce.com has to deliver. Why did My Pillow think it wasn't complete? If those requirements were outlined in the contract, then Salesforce.com is at fault. Who cares what AMEX will or will not refund. Salesforce.com would be in breach of contract...and I think that is case here, unless My Pillow is stupid and didn't put specifics in the contract.

Re:What? (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#43562051)

I want to add that it isn't complex. It sounds like basic contract law. The AMEX part has nothing to do with the real issue. They would be in the same situation no matter how they paid.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562121)

Well it doesn't matter to the company. But to the employee who just had their credit rating smashed to hell it probably matters quite a bit.

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561703)

Dear Linux Advocate,

Money doesn't grow on trees. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

But, any amount you feel you are able to donate in support of our ongoing work will be most surely appreciated and put to very good use. Your contributions keep Linux Advocates growing.

Show your support by making a donation today.

Thank you.

Dieter T. Schmitz
Linux Advocates, Owner

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html [linuxadvocates.com]

Re:http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43562007)

I'd give you $125,000, but well ... RTFS.

Miles (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561737)

I'm sure the employee wanted the miles.

Cost of tuition can be a bitch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561741)

...in the school of *Real Life* for the employee who lent his Amex card.

The derp is strong with this one.

Re:Cost of tuition can be a bitch... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43561983)

*shrug* I wouldn't loan somebody my card to buy a coffee just because of the surrounding risks to its security, as well as the principle.

$125K 'personal' limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561747)

Who the hell has a $125K limit on their personal credit card?!?

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561825)

AmEx cards don't have a pre-set limit.

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#43561907)

AmEx cards don't have a pre-set limit.

My AmEx card begs to differ.

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#43561855)

that's not so big. add two zeros and call me.

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (5, Funny)

Bigby (659157) | about a year ago | (#43561887)

$125,000.00; What's your number?

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561959)

555-1212 - ask for "Dorris"

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (4, Informative)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#43561893)

People who aren't poor.

And old-school AmEx cards have no limit (in theory). And the balance on those old style accounts is due in full when the next statement is presented. Back in the day, it wasn't a credit card so much as a way for rich folks to pay for things while travelling without carrying a bunch of cash around or get businesses to accept personal checks. They'd pay the month's bill in full immediately, not carry a balance like poor people do with a regular credit card.

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43562003)

The old AmEx were great if you had to travel for your job.

Fly,
expense report,
get reimbursed,
pay Amex,
done

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562099)

That assumes your company reimburses you within the month. Doesn't always happen.

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43562301)

The old AmEx were great if you had to travel for your job.

Fly,
expense report,
get reimbursed,
pay Amex,
done

More like

fly

expense report

wait

wait

ping accounting, offshore data entry error, correcting

wait

wait

ping accounting again, find out it's been on boss's desk for last three days

ping boss for sig

Explain why roll of Rolaids on expense report (high stress meeting over unreasonably hot tandoori)

wait

wait

wait

get reimbursed

Forget what the check is for

Remember what check is for

pay Amex plus late fee

done

There's an alternate path that involves fighting with the hotel over a charge for six mini-bottles of Cuervo Gold, but it ends the same.

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562013)

Not strictly true. The term used was (is) 'no pre set spending limit'. What this means in practical terms is that every charge authorization request goes through a complex decision tree based on many pieces of financial and fraud data before approving or denying the request. If your financial assets do not support your ability to pay for a charge, it won't go through. These products are charge cards, not credit cards. The 'no limit' misconception is fairly common though, just ask any of their call center employees.

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43561971)

People who were consumers in the 90s?

Re: $125K 'personal' limit (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43562191)

People with a good credit history?

Re:$125K 'personal' limit (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43562449)

As a grad student I was pretty close. With grad student earnings, no less. First five years of this century were quite crazy, and if you played your cards right and had a bit of luck, you could in fact get that kind of a limit, even if it was many times your yearly gross salary. Many banks would let you consolidate the accounts into one, so that credit limits would simply add. Over time, those many banks were all acquired and joined the big bank. Ergo a humongous limit.

Advance fee fraud (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561785)

419'd by your own employer--ouch!

My prediction of who will win this (5, Funny)

Curate (783077) | about a year ago | (#43561809)

The lawyers.

Re:My prediction of who will win this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561859)

No, Dietrich T. Schmitz has already won.

The employee is a chump? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43561861)

What an executive of my pillow with a personal credit card with a credit limit higher than 125K paid it to some vendor of my pillow. Acting as the official of the company he offered to pay 125k in company check but the vendor refused to take a check. Even if he gave the vendor money from his creditcard, he should have issued that 125 k check from the company and deposited it into his account. But for some reason he did not. How did this chump get a card with higher than 125 k limit I cant understand. Fools and money are easily parted and fools and he should been taken to the cleaners much earlier.

Re:The employee is a chump? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43561911)

On Aug. 1, Salesforce.com "attempted to take its systems live for My Pillow" but more than 100 components "were not functional," his suit adds. Furlong subsequently disputed the $125,000 charge with American Express, and Salesforce.com credited back the amount, the filing states

I know, I know... Reading the actual story and all...

Re:The employee is a chump? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562081)

Reading the actual story again?
Didn't we tell you about doing respectable things like that; of the dire consequences?

You are banned, sir! You get nothing! Now, Good day to you sir!

Re:The employee is a chump? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562289)

No /. for you! One year!

Re:The employee is a chump? (2)

dbraden (214956) | about a year ago | (#43562173)

Also found in the story:

Furlong's card was subsequently re-charged for the $125,000 but this time American Express refused to credit his account, saying that Salesforce.com had provided "authorization for the charge and a signed contract and order form stating that no cancellations or refunds would be allowed," according to his suit.

Re:The employee is a chump? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43562177)

I know, I know... Reading the actual story and all...

Yea, you might try reading more than the first page:

Furlong's card was subsequently re-charged for the $125,000 but this time American Express refused to credit his account, saying that Salesforce.com had provided "authorization for the charge and a signed contract and order form stating that no cancellations or refunds would be allowed," according to his suit.

Re:The employee is a chump? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43561969)

Amex cards used to not have a limit when I had one. If you have good enough credit they just let you run up whatever bill you want. My father bought a house with one a long time ago due to some legal/work issues similar to this case. His employer was buying his previous house from him as part of an employee move, but the paperwork was taking too long and the new house had a 2nd offer. So he dropped it on his Amex and then paid off the bill a week later when the paperwork cleared. How he got money from the card to the sellers I do not know as I was a kid at the time and the story long ago turned into family legend. When I got older I got one and it didn't have a limit either, which I couldn't believe. I called them up and made them put a limit on it. Fast forward to last year my buddy got one and it had a limit just like a Visa. Go figure.

Re:The employee is a chump? (1)

aicrules (819392) | about a year ago | (#43562189)

I'm likely paid significantly lower than this executive, and definitely was paid WAY lower when I got a credit card from AmEx (Blue) and eventually granted a $25,000 limit. I could/can request higher. But I got it to buy a used car at a rate much lower (0.9%) than I could have gotten at a bank. So I would imagine someone who likely makes in mid-six figures or even low-mid could easily get up to that. I had/have awesome credit rating, so that helps too.

Re:The employee is a chump? (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43562501)

AmEx products vary. Blue is not the same as the classic card.

Re:The employee is a chump? (2)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43562475)

LOL about the vendor not taking a check. They lost a bunch of money on going through a credit card transaction.

How was it legal for MyPillow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561869)

to even use an employee's Amex to begin with?! Hey, IRS, are you watching this? Time for an audit :)

Re:How was it legal for MyPillow (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#43562535)

More likely the employee offered it up as a way to get the ball rolling, hoping to play hero and score some points with the company brass at the same time.

Unfortunately, the company decided to screw him, since it gets them out of a bad deal (what's personal bankruptcy?), and the courts get another headache to sort out.

I used to wonder why humanity needed the courts...now I wonder how a judge can walk around without facepalming all day.

typical AmEx corporate card, it sounds like (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561877)

if you read the credit card contract for AmEx 'corporate' cards, you will notice that YOU are actually liable for anything purchased with it if the company decides to not pay it [or can't pay, if it goes out of business]. nice for the company and for AmEx, not so nice for the employee.

Re:typical AmEx corporate card, it sounds like (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#43561939)

This is entirely correct. I have a corporate Amex. The card is mine. My debt, my responsibility.

All that is different is that it is conveniently integrated into the company's expense reporting system, so rather than fiddling with receipts, I can just click on the charges and they get dropped into my expense claim with all the necessary details transferred.

Re:typical AmEx corporate card, it sounds like (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43562329)

True. And when the company doesn't reimburse you within the set limits, you are also responsible for the late fee.

Why? Easy! (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#43561895)

and why the employee was naive enough to hand it over.

For the same reason I'd do the same, in a frickin' heartbeat - $2500 in rewards dollars (and AmEx gives "real" dollars creditable to your account; not "miles", not "bux", not "flooz"). And in general, legit companies not on the brink of bankruptcy don't usually flake on their bills. Though sometimes... They do.

It does surprise me that AmEx wouldn't reverse the charge, though - They have one of the most consumer-friendly (and practically merchant-hostile) dispute policies out there. You ask, they reverse it and ask questions later, with the burden of proof on the merchant.

Re:Why? Easy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562011)

It also depends on what other roles the employee had wrt the company, such as being a major investor or getting some sort of remuneration for the ads.

Re:Why? Easy! (4, Informative)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#43562025)

It does surprise me that AmEx wouldn't reverse the charge, though - They have one of the most consumer-friendly (and practically merchant-hostile) dispute policies out there. You ask, they reverse it and ask questions later, with the burden of proof on the merchant.

An article I once read about this case stated that that was exactly what happened:

Furlong subsequently disputed the $125,000 charge with American Express, and Salesforce.com credited back the amount

It wasn't until later that the questions were asked and proof provided by the merchant:

Furlong's card was subsequently re-charged for the $125,000 but this time American Express refused to credit his account, saying that Salesforce.com had provided "authorization for the charge and a signed contract and order form stating that no cancellations or refunds would be allowed,"

Re:Why? Easy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562521)

Considering that they may well not have receieved services rendered, AmEx is playing a dangerous game there- they're not supposed to DO what's being described.

If I claim that I didn't get what I paid for, have proof thereof, it doesn't matter what the business claims to have (or non-refundability thereof)- allowing that claim is an act of FRAUD.

Re:Why? Easy! (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#43562067)

AmEx did reverse the charge after it was initially disputed. It wasn't until Salesforce went back to them with the contract that stipulated no refunds under any circumstances that AmEx reinstated the charge.

Re:Why? Easy! (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43562347)

That seems hinky as amex does not allow merchants to stipulate that for amex transactions. Now salesforce may be big enough to have a one off agreement with amex.

Re:Why? Easy! (1)

Kal Zekdor (826142) | about a year ago | (#43562137)

It does surprise me that AmEx wouldn't reverse the charge, though - They have one of the most consumer-friendly (and practically merchant-hostile) dispute policies out there. You ask, they reverse it and ask questions later, with the burden of proof on the merchant.

According to TFA, AmEx did originally credit back the $125k to the guy. Afterwards, though, Salesforce approached AmEx with "authorization for the charge and a signed contract and order form stating that no cancellations or refunds would be allowed", and had the amount charged again. AmEx then refused any subsequent requests to reverse the charge.

Re:Why? Easy! (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43562235)

and why the employee was naive enough to hand it over.

  For the same reason I'd do the same, in a frickin' heartbeat - $2500 in rewards dollars (and AmEx gives "real" dollars creditable to your account; not "miles", not "bux", not "flooz"). And in general, legit companies not on the brink of bankruptcy don't usually flake on their bills. Though sometimes... They do.

  It does surprise me that AmEx wouldn't reverse the charge, though - They have one of the most consumer-friendly (and practically merchant-hostile) dispute policies out there. You ask, they reverse it and ask questions later, with the burden of proof on the merchant.

I'm surprised AmEx didn't want immediate payment.

Last time I had AmEx, I bought a house air conditioner at Costco - about $5000 or so. AmEx called up a few days later and asked us when the bill will be paid. I said on the day it's due. They immediately asked if they could be paid within the next couple of days. This went on a few times and a few phone calls - AmEx wanting payment immediately (despite being a cardholder for 20+ years). Then they demanded immediate payment to which I refused since the bill has not come yet.

In the end, the air conditioner was refunded because it was misadvertised as having a rebate that didn't apply to that model. The amount outstanding was paid minus the refund of the annual fees paid, and the account closed.

For a customer that has never paid a bill late for decades, they were surprisingly hostile especially since larger amounts were paid just fine. And of course, AmEx keeps soliciting for a card.

murky fandango mired in presumption (1)

epine (68316) | about a year ago | (#43562251)

and why the slashdot faithful are naive enough to jump all over a hot button word that willfully slants a murky fandango

Every time this kind of slashdot story passes editorial standards, somewhere a cluestick dies.

Salesforce is stealing SAP's business plan? (4, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#43561917)

>> there was an aggressive go-live date, a demand for immediate payment, and a (Salesforce.com) system that was ultimately 'not functional'.

Wait, is Salesforce is stealing SAP's business plan?

I'm impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561931)

the employee could have $125,000 charged against their card. What kind of credit rating or card do they have? My best card is supposedly unlimited, but it's really capped at $32k.

What limits do other /.ers have on theirs?

Re:I'm impressed (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#43562059)

$20K. My choice. Large enough to get back from wherever in the world I am that has gone to hell and small enough to manage if it goes bad in some other way (like in TFA).

Re:I'm impressed (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | about a year ago | (#43562341)

My total credit card limit (across multiple cards) is somewhere in excess of $100K.

That's a couple in the mid 30's then a few more in the 10 - 15 range.

The cards actually in my wallet total maybe $30K, not counting the company "green AmEx". I have no idea what limit might be on that. It hasn't been used in years.

He got his 125,000 credited back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43561935)

And then they did a transaction against his card that was not approved.
IANAL but that sounds like credit card fraud to me.
Send them to prison.

Re:He got his 125,000 credited back. (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43562109)

...you don't really understand how credit cards work, do you?

What AmEx did was exactly what happens when people dispute a charge and the CC company sides with the merchant. The charge is dropped during the investigation, and if the investigation convinces the company that the charge was legit then it is reinstated.

Summary (4, Informative)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43561957)

1. My pillow contracts sales force to give them a custom solution
2. Salesforce agrees & begins work that was due by June 1st
3. Work isn't done by June 1st and SF rep asks for 125k to do it by Aug. 1st that gets paid by employee card cause check "wouldn't work"
4. Aug 1st. SF does not deliver
5. My pillow refuses to pay SF, SF re-instates credit card charges to employee's card
6. SF sues My pillow for 550k stating substantial advertising efforts, employee disputes charge in court.

So this isn't a 3 way law-suit...

Before you go denouncing SF as being the anti-christ remember, we don't know what the requirements were, or how they were manipulated by either party. The employee's card being charged doesn't make my pillow look good either.

Personally, if I was that employee I'd maybe try to sue the sales rep for misrepresentation in the overall grey light of this case.

Re:Summary (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about a year ago | (#43562187)

The employee's card being charged doesn't make my pillow look good either.

It says that SF held the project hostage, they demanded that payment right then and there and My Pillow tried to cut them a check but they refused. Apparently their corporate card had less than $125k limit and the employee was happy to make a couple thousand dollars or so in rewards.

If it is true that SF missed the deadlines twice and yet charged also twice the original estimate, I can't see how they could be suing for "damages"...

Re:Summary (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43562547)

my main point there is that My Pillow could've changed up the requirements several times, or scope creeped significant new features in. We just don't know. SalesForce is a big company that I haven't heard a whole lot of negative about, while My Pillow used an employee's credit card.

As far as credibility goes, I am very inclined to lean towards SF, though the article makes it sound like My Pillow is completely getting f'ed.

And as far as the amount of 550k goes, it does seem excessive, but I think it may be a legal tactic to try to extract a partial settlement.

I feel bad for the employee, but at what point does oneself have to assume responsibility for their actions?

Re:Summary (1)

ygtai (1330807) | about a year ago | (#43562257)

What's wrong with an anti-christ?

Re:Summary (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#43562437)

"My pillow contracts sales force" is a set of words that don't make for particularly good reading.

The vague nouns and verbs and homonyms make my head hurt...

Contracts 101 (2)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43561997)

Be sure to specify exactly what happens if either party fails to fulfill their obligations under the contract. JEDEC failed to do so, and had no recourse when Rambus broke one of their rules and secretly patented stuff they heard being talked about at JEDEC for inclusion in an upcoming standard. The most they could do was kick Rambus out of JEDEC.

Same goes for self-employed independent contractors. If your contract just says you'll be paid $x upon completing the specific work, you are screwed. They can delay paying you for months without consequence. At the very least you need to put accruing penalties for late payment in the contract. Ideally you'll also have dates after which you can take the contract to a court and immediately get a summary judgment instead of having to go through a trial. Without a solid contract, once you hand over the money (for prepaid work) or the work (for post-paid work), all your leverage is gone. You are completely at the mercy of the other party.

Sounds like a poor contract is what happened here. Salesforce.com promised a lot and didn't deliver. My Pillow's contract didn't specify penalties or discounts/refunds for non-completion of work. Consequently all they could do was offer Salesforce.com more money to finish what they were supposed to have finished under the original contract. The opposite is possible too - that Salesforce.com did its beset to fulfill the contract, but My Pillow kept changing the requirements. In that case, the contract should've specified how many revisions to the requirements could be made, limits on how much they could change, and by what date they'd be finalized. Either way, it was a poor contract.

Whenever a startups tries to abuse your credit (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#43562057)

You just need to claim that you are a Mennonite, and for religious reasons you do not own a credit card. Generally employers know so little as to be unable to verify the check, and are usually too scare of state and federal laws around religious discrimination to mess with someone who has an education and a moderate level of affluence. (sorry to get all political, but people still take advantage of the poor on the assumption that they won't do anything about it)

IF you..... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43562071)

Use your personal credit card for your company's expenses, you are a complete and utter moron.

If your boss ever says, "So can I use your credit card to buy this expensive product for the company?" you say.... "Here is my resignation, good luck."

Re:IF you..... (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#43562221)

Depends.
It would give you a good case to claim partial ownership.

Re:IF you..... (1)

uncqual (836337) | about a year ago | (#43562355)

I'd probably just say "No" or "Why don't you use your card?" -- how the employer responds would inform my decision on what to do next.

Re:IF you..... (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | about a year ago | (#43562363)

For expenses of this sort, absolutely.

Minor use of the "Hey, can you pick this up at Staples?" sort isn't unreasonable.

Come On Man (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43562073)

On Aug. 1, Salesforce.com "attempted to take its systems live for My Pillow" but more than 100 components "were not functional," his suit adds. Furlong subsequently disputed the $125,000 charge with American Express, and Salesforce.com credited back the amount, the filing states.

So what is the big problem?

Re:Come On Man (4, Informative)

dbraden (214956) | about a year ago | (#43562175)

Because, "Furlong's card was subsequently re-charged for the $125,000 but this time American Express refused to credit his account, saying that Salesforce.com had provided "authorization for the charge and a signed contract and order form stating that no cancellations or refunds would be allowed," according to his suit."

Re:Come On Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562391)

And then AmEx put the charge back on after salesforce.com provided paperwork showing the charge was valid. You forgot to put tl;dr on your post.

Sigh (2)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#43562077)

This directly goes back to why you don't let anyone but the developers set the completion date for software. When ever your handed a deadline, the first thing you do is schedule a meeting right away and then throw the deadline out. If as a developer you can't set the deadline then walk away from the table, the reason a lot of software projects fail is because feature lack, bugs and crappy code. Most of those can be fixed by having the time you need to actually work on set code. As an embedded developer I would never allow anyone to set my deadlines, I put pride into my work and I'm not going to have it rushed by some marketing team or a project manager who knows nothing about programming embedded systems.

Re:Sigh (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#43562209)

"..anyone but the developers set the completion date for software. "
no, that doesn't work either. Unless you have a highly motivated staff working on something they love, you need to set some milestone and delivery dates. Naturally you listen to the developer and use it as a guide line.

For example see: why this very case where the developer said he could get it done by Aug 1st.

Sometimes the market or market windows determines finish by date, becasue is usually about money, not about solid code.

Sadly.

Summary incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562125)

TFA clearly states that the charge was reversed on the personal card.

Poster incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562233)

TFA clearly states that salesforce appealed and had the charge put back on the card.

Why'd he hand over his Amex? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562141)

Two words.

Black.
Amex.

Which needs about $200,000 charged in a year to achieve.
(And the ton of Membership Rewards points as another poster pointed out.)

Summary Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562325)

Besides not being news to anyone (let alone nerds) TFS is wrong. The employee was not stuck with the bill. From TFA " Furlong subsequently disputed the $125,000 charge with American Express, and Salesforce.com credited back the amount, the filing states."

Re:Summary Wrong (2)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#43562493)

You fail at reading.

Because, "Furlong's card was subsequently re-charged for the $125,000 but this time American Express refused to credit his account, saying that Salesforce.com had provided "authorization for the charge and a signed contract and order form stating that no cancellations or refunds would be allowed," according to his suit."

Failed software implementation is the buffalo ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562399)

A short anecdote:

A fifth grader was asked to write an essay on the virtues of a buffalo on a test. Alas he had only prepared to write an essay on a coconut tree. He thought about the requirements for a few minutes and started writing about the coconut tree and how useful it is. The last sentence read, "A coconut tree can also be used to tie a buffalo to the tree."

The only thing geeky about the article is that salesforce.com promised to deliver a software for tracking short form adverts by June 2012 and failed to do so. There is nothing else geeky about this article and has nothing to do with geeks.

Now, having disclaimed the same and notwithstanding the slashdot editors, who are similar to the fifth grade school boys in their understanding of what should and should not make the first page, I will give a run down on what is at stake legally.

Corporation X, corporation Y where corporation Y is a software developer entered into a contract for sale of a advert-response tracking solution. A salesperson of corporation Y promised final delivery of the tracking solution on or before June 1, 2012. Corporation Y did not make an explicit promise in their contract on delivery dates nor make that contract or payment towards the contract conditional on delivery of the advert-response tracking solution. Around July 2012, a salesperson of
corporation Y promised that the advert-response tracking solution will be made available on or before August 1, 2012 provided Corporation X paid Corporation Y $125,000. Apparently this subsequent promise was an oral contract. The salesperson of corporation Y refused to accept a check for $125,000 and instead asked the payment be made by creditcard as both Corporation X and the salesperson were too dumb to know what a crossed check or a/c payee check is.

Now based on this promise of Corporation Y through its sales person Corporation X used the Amex Credit card of it's corporation president to pay Corporation Y a sum of $125,000. Therefore, there was a promise with consideration. The consideration flowed from a third party, in this case a president of Corporation Y. The software was made available on August 1, 2012 by Corporation Y. However, according to Corporation X 100 modules were allegedly "missing or not operational". Corporation Y decided it did not like the implementation and asked the amex card owner and president to charge back the sum paid to Corporation Y. Corporation Y then sent an invoice for $125,000 to Corporation X. Corporation X alleged that the contract was obtained through fraudulent misrepresentation by the salesperson of corporation Y and therefore they were not going to pay Corporation Y. Corporation Y also alleges that they did indeed buy a low of short-form advertising("euphemism" for online adverts or 30 second adverts on tv with coupon or other tracking mechanism?). However, they were not successful.

Now, Corporation Y recharges the Amex Card using the previous authorization and previous contract and a pre-printed provision in the order form which makes all sales final. This is form contract with standard template. Now, this time Amex refuses to refund the $125,000 to a president of Corporation X. Therefore, the legal dispute.

Now the legal issues.

Firstly, corporation X was dumb enough not to have either the first or the second contract vetted by a good lawyer or they had a horrible in-house lawyer or ineffective legal counsel who should be fired forthwith. There is also a possibility of professional negligence, if indeed Corporation X used a lawyer or a law-firm to wet the contract.

Secondly, Corporation X alleged that the software was not operational as of September 17th 2012 and therefore not delivered or substantially delivered. Therefore it is a breach of the oral promise made by the salesperson in July 2012 and corporation X relied on this promise and paid Corporation Y a sum of $125,000 to finish the product and make it available to Corporation X. ( I don't see this being discussed in the original article.)

Thirdly, Amex allowed a merchant to recharge a sum of $125,000 based on delivery or partial delivery of software and boiler-plate form language in an invoice or order form. Here the parties are corporations, and therefore the boilerplate form language is important. Even though the card in question is not a corporate card ( not made clear by the article but it's implied) the president in this case was a third party supplying just the consideration for the second promise and not a party to the dispute. Therefore he has no privity in the dispute between Corporation X and Corporation Y. Therefore Amex, is not obliged to interpret the contract and the terms of the bill and protect the president of corporation Y. Therefore, Amex took the easy way out and refused to refund the president. Amex expects to be sued and will present this argument to the court that the consideration on this contract was flowing from a third party the president of Corporation Y and he has no privity in the contract and merely supplied the consideration. Therefore, he cannot chargeback having paid the consideration as a third party. It is for the court to decide whether the oral contract and the first contact was substantially delivered or was based on misrepresentation. (I am not familiar with the Minnesota law but it looks like Corporation Y is actually calling this the voluntary payment doctrine.)

Fourthly, Corporation Y is seeking additional damages of $550,000. Corporation X in counter-claiming an undisclosed damage figure. The second contract and the terms therefore will have to be pieced together from summary of notes exchanged, meeting notes and subsequent emails. There is a second contract, maybe an oral or a written contract. The question is how strong is it and what are the terms. Did it require substantial delivery of the 100, components missing? Did the missing components makes the delivery just slightly hobbled delivery or substantially non-operational. To make it simpler, consider the apology of a contract to build a house.If the house is perfect except for that wiggly little bit about using pvc pipes instead of GI pipes, then Corporation Y delivered substantially and Corporation X has to pony up the payment. If delivery was just a few brick walls with no roof on top, they might be liable for a lot more including damages for payments made to other individuals, employees and corporations to finish the house or buy a new house as is the case here. This is direct damage which Y is claiming.

Fifthly, Corporation X claims they laid off people and were their short-form advertising was unsuccessful because of the failure to deliver of Corporation X. Well these are consequential damage claims. Did Corporation Y agree to take on this contract in return for $125,000 knowing that their failure to deliver completely will lead to these people being laid off and the campaign being unsuccessful? This also depends on the contract. Usually, software contracts disclaim consequential damage. If the contract for Corporation X does not contain this clause Corporation X has a horrible lawyer as well.

Now that's contract law. Now, I just wonder if there is anything even remotely technical or geeky about this dispute. The only thing geeky is its a contract for delivery of software or delivery of an advert tracking solution.

This is not legal advice, if it was you should have gotten an invoice before this mail.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>