To retract or not to retract a post…

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I’ve gotten several apologies and promises to “make this right” after I email saying that these guys screwed me while in Seoul, South Korea this past week & the post that I spent hours looking through and adding up the communication over the months to see if I really was justified in getting angry.  I don’t like hurting anyone, but when I’m taken advantage of or when I see others getting abused for no reason except being helpful and innocently trying to do something positive, I will unleash whatever powers may be to make sure the perpetrators of such behavior hear about it.  I did when I wrote that two sales guys from the Northeast are literally “tools on Facebook you don’t want to use.”

However, should I forgive these guys?  The claim now is that I’m exposing their “business progress” and that it’s vital information to their expansion or introduction into Korea.  Well, I don’t see any way around the post except to literally deactivate it because the emails are used to explain why I was fuming after getting no sleep in a hot & humid snoring & farting filled room this past week.  I recall countless emails, two voicemails on one of the guys who could of helped me room’s phone, a personal message at the front desk, another live phone call where he confirmed it and a text message reminding him — 8 different forms of communication & not a single call into the hotel or visit (only 200 meters from their hotel) to book my room after promising I had one before coming up to Seoul.

What’s fair?  The cost of my travel?  The day’s worth of work & potentially detriment to the others I couldn’t help because of my trip up to Seoul?  The potential social equity I basically burnt and threw away due to their requests in getting business drawn up for them?  The risk I was taking to my job by taking time off to “talk about their business” with them?  How about the wasted time waiting for them to take care of my room or the exhaustion the next couple of days due to a horrible night’s sleep?  Will money just wipe this out?  How much is this worth?

Well, I doubt they’ll even call, nor pay anything for my troubles.  Come on…they’re now frustrated that I’ve “flogged them online” and that I’ve exposed them in other ways.  Any takers on this bet?


Filed under Business, Business practices, Communications, Entrepreneurial life, Facebook, Interesting..., Korea life, Opinions, Random thoughts, Sneaky, Unfortunate, Work

25 responses to “To retract or not to retract a post…

  1. Pingback: I’ve decided to retract for now… « Living & Working in Korea Guide in English | The Real “South” Korea

  2. You should have left the original post up, whereas you had my sympathy now I don’t know what to think as it looks like you have just been “paid off”. If you don’t have the balls to stand up for what you write, don’t write it in the first place.

    Alexander Hanff

  3. GeordieF

    Should have left the original post so that this retraction makes some sense. It now reads, to me at least, as if Phorm Inc. have sweetened the pot. It`s good to see that “they” apologised for their disgraceful behaviour, and also have made “promises”! We, in the UK are Webwise to their antics. Just remember they can easily break any promise as they did to you before. I`d trust them as far as I trusted 121Media.

  4. Florence

    You should have left it up they are not going to do anything and an apology said but not meant means nothing. They are in a mess losing money fast your thread would be enough to stop many companies signing up with them. hame you didn’t stand by your convictions they used you once and will use you again.. They are a company of users ISP customers will have no privacy the companies word is worthless and what they did to you proved this. That is why they paniced and started to contact you.

    How can you trust the word from a company like that?

  5. It was interesting to hear you whine on about being shafted by Phorm now you know how we feel over in the UK about Phorm and their secret BT trials. You appear to have taken your original posts offline because either you have been threatened or you have been paid off and it stinks (like your farting filled room).

    At first the casual reader may feel some sympathy towards your situation after reading how Phorm shafted you, but if the reader thinks on about what could have happened then they could draw the conclusion that you might have become another Phormscum operator in the background screwing innocent victims in Asia over with that abhorent ISP spying filth ‘Webwise’.

    Don’t worry matey ‘we’ have the evidence already (google cache) and it will never go away. Deleting it off your website just makes you look like a wannabe Phormscum stooge. Welcome to the double edge sword of technology.

  6. Thanks for the comments. I’ve decided to pull it down because after the dozen or more times to reach me, he finally did — to my surprise. Nevertheless, I’m not vindictive as I told him.

    You guys have other issues. My major concern was honestly being treated 100% fairly as I do with anyone. I’m not on one side or the other in terms of the technology — I don’t know it well enough to support your cause or criticize theirs.

    I know the man I received the apology for has a family & like I told him, I care more about people and I kept on thinking about his daughter like I think about my sons & didn’t want his father losing his job over a post. AT THE SAME TIME, if I find anything that’s said inconsistent with what was told to me, I have ZERO problems throwing the posts back up. As you can see, I didn’t delete it…I just temporarily deactivated it until I am able to think about this more & see what was said & done.

    And by the way, you guys are acting worse than them. Calling me a “wannabe Phormscum stooge” without knowing why I deactivated it is VERY UNCALLED FOR. I haven’t received a penny from them & the only reason why I pulled it down temporarily or NOW I’M CONSIDERING PERMANENTLY BECAUSE OF YOUR ANTICS is because I felt sorry for one of the two after he called me. To be frank, your comments and behavior is starting to look worse than theirs. You have ZERO clue of what happened, but already have the right to call me names? Very, very poor behavior…

  7. By the way, I love it when people take shots at others via comments & then post themselves as anonymous. Real courage you had “Mr./Mrs./Ms. anonymous”

  8. ” I felt sorry for one of the two after he called me. To be frank, your comments and behavior is starting to look worse than theirs. You have ZERO clue of what happened, but already have the right to call me names? Very, very poor behavior…

    Aw c’mon fell for the sob story did you, no one was going to loose their job over this at all. I’m suprised you got sucked into it all, all that work you did in goodfaith then getting shafted for nothing.

    Dont believe the hype.

    Be warned these guys are not in the honesty game they are in marketing and money.

  9. Florence

    I never understand why people take resort to name calling as that never solved anything, I did post on cable forum welcoming you and will copy over the more relevent information incase youi do not go back.

    [quote] from cableforum.

    What you put up would have caused more companies to be scepticle of them he wasn’t pleeding for himself it was more for the company as your daming evidance that the use people for their own gain.

    Something we have said all along there isnt that much difference look at it this way the patent on this can go so far that nothing on your PC is safe if and I say if the programmer decides to change the get commands.

    Now look at what thye did to you think about it can you trust them to be on the ISP network and keep thier word they will not dig deaper into your system to gather personal data?
    Could you trust them to pay you your commission earned pimping your customers?

    Many businessses are run on trust if you cannot trust them how can you work with them, allow them access to your customers?

    See your events showed they promise but do not deliver that is the only reason for the begging you had shown them for what they are users.. plain and simple.

    I shouldn’t hold my breath for anything from them they are takers and users about to change the way the WWW works and dont get it wrong if they get into the networks world wide they can hold every country to ransome, they can change content we see on the screen from the page we requested..

    Would you trust your life to them if you were hanging off a ledge hundreds of feet up and only them to keep you alive?

    I will leave you to ponder on that one have fun.
    [end quote]

    Notice how the two seem to fit together they needed more leads to continue they are on the brink of death they manipulated, used then dumped you.

    Once they get into the networks they will manipulate use and forget to pay the ISPs since their accounts seem to be in some sort of a mess. They spend more than they earn well they earn nothing it is all raised funds on promises the laugh is they promised you but failed to deliver.

    The isues might seem different but they all stem from

    Can you trust them?
    to be honest?
    To keep their promises?
    Then deliver only what was said and ot a load of junk?

    If you answer no to more than 2 then the battle is the same..

    Ponder on who you would trust you life to if it hung in the balance Phorm or us?

  10. Current User

    To be honest the Character(s) posting as anonymous would have had the posts removed by the moderators, for personal attacks on Cableforum. (& probably deko)

    Thanks for your honesty as I no idea about your situation or agenda I will leave it at that.

  11. Florence

    @ anonymous

    Brandon cannot be blamed for what Phorm do, why start on him perhaps he never really looked at what the product can do.

    He sounds like a geniune person please no trying to put all of phorms fault sonto him. We all know Phorm only give out what information they want they are economical with the truth so not Brando’s fault after all look at who signed the contract BT would have thought they had more sense…

  12. phormwatch


    No one can fault you for wanting to be treated fairly, nor for treating other people fairly. It is admirable that you thought of one of Phorm employee’s daughter when considering whether to take the post down. However, with much respect, I do think you’re being a little bit naive on this issue.

    Firstly, I seriously doubt that anybody’s job would be on the line because of what happened. Secondly, it’s great that you received an apology from Phorm, but I ask you to seriously consider their motive for apologising. Can you honestly say it is because they were concerned about the way they treated you, or do you think, perhaps, it had a lot to do with preserving their business reputation?

    If you don’t know much about Phorm, or its history, then that may not be an easy question to answer. Many of us in the on-line community have had extensive dealings with Phorm and its army of PR henchmen. For most of us, we would definitely say it is the latter rather than the former.

    Remember, this is the same company which, along with BT, carried out covert trials of its spyware technology on hundreds of thousands of broadband users without their consent. It is the same company which has repeatedly tried to obfuscated the issues and ‘manage’ the backlash from the on-line community by hiring no less than five PR firms.

    I’m sorry that you have been offended by some of the posts on your blog. Many of us feel very passionate about this issue. Please consider that while you were concerned about the welfare of the daughter of an employee of Phorm, many of us are equally concerned about the damage that this company is doing to people’s confidence in their on-line privacy and security.

    If you would like to understand more about why so many people are upset about this company and their spyware technology, you could do worse than start with the Wikipedia entry on Phorm:

    I would then suggest you have a look at this:

    ‘Webwise’ is the named brand of the Phorm spyware technology which BT hope to implement.

    Again, I am sorry if anyone has offended you. I hope that you will investigate Phorm in more depth and come to your own conclusions. We think the facts speak for themselves.
    In my opinion, this is not a company to be trusted by any means.

  13. FlyTrap

    @ anonymous

    There has been another poster with a remarkably similar style to yours, by the name of Badphormula.

    He too brought discredit to the campaign with just about every post he made. I do hope you are one and the same, and that there are not two of you.

  14. Florence

    I mwonder who from Phorm is trying to bring bad publicity to the campaign.. The only people to benefit if the campaign is discredited is Phorm…

    I dearly love them to post on the forums I moderate then I can dig deeper to find them from IP numbers and email address..

    The campaign is trying to stop phorm from being implemented on the ISP networks, we are working on this by legal methods showing where phorm is illegal and hopefully show the Government we do not wish to be phormed in any way or shape.

    Sorry Brandon you seem to have tried for justice which you are entitled to and some idiot has stepped over the line…

    To the Phorm employees who did this to Brandon you are typical of what phrom is all about using, abusing and manipulating the customers of the ISP, all treated like sum and a meal ticket..

  15. Sorry mate but you should have left the other post up. Retraction should only happen if there was a legal issue (and actually, even then I think I would leave the original post up and just add a correction where needed – very clearly highlighting it so you have recognised the mistakes made)

    I think you are right to address the issues that followed once your post became so “popular” and frankly it is wrong for people to become offensive about it.

    Everyone in the UK who knows anything about computers (and the technology that Phorm Webwise and the ISPs want to implement) is against allowing it.

    I’m sorry that you pulled the post, I can still see it on Google of course (…ient=firefox-a) but it’s a shame that the coments people took the time to add have been lost for good (I assume?)

    Anyway, all the best for the future, I’m sure you’re not a bad fellow. Mistaken in removing that post but not a bad fellow really.


  16. I appreciate the comments Paul. My intention wasn’t to walk into a battle that started before my time.

    I’m sorry that the comments on the other post are not public now, but they may go back up — please note that I haven’t guaranteed that I will keep the post down. I just want to think about it more & I don’t want to jeopardize anyone’s “lives” if that’s what’s happening. I think you would have had to hear the apology. He called at least 15X’s before that and emailed as well. I have a feeling he is really sorry EVEN THOUGH the incident still doesn’t warrant forgiveness.

    If I had the time to correct, I would & then put up a more proper retraction. This has already wasted much more of my time that I don’t have right now. I manage 90+ people lives, I’m trying to work on 2 books right now & even starting some projects that may be quite strong for eventual businesses (and no, these don’t violate privacy at all — one thing I learned here or confirmed is that privacy is something you do NOT mess with on the Internet). So, I don’t really have the time to change the post. I have to decide to either keep it down or put it back up. You and Florence and a “few” others are more reasonable and honestly are more persuasive in getting it back up. However, the others who are continuing to lambast me constantly for unjustified reasons will help the cause on the other end.

  17. There has been a battle waging across various forums in the UK between the people who are against PHORM and a number of PR companies. These PR companies post offensive untruths as antiPHORM in an attempt to discredit and annoy both the general community and the forum moderators. A prime example would be where BT ( lead offending ISP) closed many threads after a similar posting by one of these 5th columnists. Please take the assurance of the AntiPHORM community that the offensive behaviour shown here is not representive of our ideals nor practices. We follow the forum rules and present logical and reasonable posts, and hence from yor own expience you can now to spot whom you are speaking to.

  18. Pingback: Eclipsing the previous visitors and visits record « Living & Working in Korea Guide in English | The Real “South” Korea

  19. The people need warning to research this company, many website owners are getting ready to take action on copyright infringement caused by people accepting this system then visiting a website. All websites have a T&C visitors agree to majority also say not to be copied, or any part sotred for commercial gain which is what phorm do.

    This company will prestend to be the site you wish forge cookies then serve the website to your browser once they have cached it all to then give you targetd adverts. The patent for webwise can do so much more and function creep once in place is planned.

  20. Jik T. Chu(주동직)


    Let me introduce myself. I have been Phorm’s consultant in Korea for past 2 years. I worked hard to make a large Korean ISP to test Phorm’s system beating their arch rival from the US, Nebuad.

    Kent Ertugrul, CEO and Founder of Phorm, established Phorm Korea office, hired a local manager, introduced by me, and promptly fired me. I think Phorm is about to run out of cash, and Kent is trying to save as much cash as possible.

    However, I think it is unethical to cut me off as soon as they have their foot in the door of a Korean ISP. However, I think it is up to them and they can do whatever they see fit with their fund. What really made me angry was what happened after Kent called me in Jan. and told me that he is going to fire me.

    I am attaching a couple of email he and I exchanged since that time:


    —- Original Message —–
    From: 주동직
    To: Kent Ertugrul

    Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 8:13 AM
    Subject: Re: Jik Chu Termination
    Second Request

    Please send your courier service receipt of the Termination Notice to

    Jik Chu
    8F, Kric B/d,
    #80 Susong-dong,Jongro-ku,


    forward (not copied or attached) your Jan., 22nd. 2009 email to me.

    If I receive either of above items, I will consider the matter closed.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: 주동직
    To: Kent Ertugrul

    Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 8:59 AM
    Subject: Re: Jik Chu Termination


    I have shown email exchanges below to my lawyer.

    He said in your email:

    From: Kent Ertugrul
    Sent: 22 January 2009 15:32
    To: Jik T. Chu (

    does not show date of the week (Thursday) on the
    Sent: 22 January 2009 15:32– line, as most of forwarded email show,
    and it does not look like the original message was forwarded but rather copied and attached.

    The lawyer asked me to ask you that you forward original copy of above email, and send to us either receipt, or undelivered receipt of the hardcopy of the Termination Notice, to the wrong address.


    —– Original Message —–
    From: 주동직
    To: Kent Ertugrul

    Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 6:33 AM
    Subject: Re: Jik Chu Termination


    Jik Chu
    8F, Kric B/d,
    #80 Susong-dong,Jongro-ku,

    I have moved from above address, 2 years ago, to which you said you sent hard copy of the Termination Notice.

    My current address, as appearing in the Consulting Agreement signed by me on May 1st, 2008, and counter signed by Mr. Vahidi on May 27th., 2008, is:

    Hyosung 12-102
    Banpo 591-1
    Seoul, Korea 137-040

    Please resend the Termination Notice and any future agreements to above address.

    My email inbox has no record of receiving your Jan. 22nd., 2009 email attached to your March 4th.,2009 email below.

    If your proposed, new “disparagement” agreement is offering shares in the Phorm, Inc., I decline, as I have no interest in receiving those shares.

    I will give you my last “advice”:

    To a Korean businessman, straight talk and building trust are most important.

    I wish you good luck in your future endeavor.

    all the best,
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Kent Ertugrul
    Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 12:08 AM
    Subject: Jik Chu Termination

    Dear Jik,

    In accordance with the Termination Clause in the Consulting Agreement, we terminated your employment and consulting arrangement with us via written notice on 22nd January, 2009 per the email below. The same notice was sent to you via hard copy to:

    Jik Chu
    8F, Kric B/d,
    #80 Susong-dong,Jongro-ku,

    Pursuant to this note, your arrangement with the Company was terminated as of that date and, consequently, we do not owe you for any services or expenses incurred subsequent to 22 January 2009. I have been informed that your November-December 2008 expenses have been paid.

    I am very sorry that I was unable to meet with you on my last trip but since I hadn’t heard from you following our official notice of your cancelled contract, I incorrectly assumed that you did not wish to remain in contact. I would however, like to reiterate that I have the highest regard for you and would very much be interested in keeping in touch, including a drink the next time I am in Seoul.

    Best regards,

    From: Kent Ertugrul
    Sent: 22 January 2009 15:32
    To: Jik T. Chu (

    Hi Jik,

    I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I wanted to let you know that after further deliberation we have come to the conclusion that we will need to terminate our advisor relationship with you per our earlier conversation. While we’re not in a position keep you on as an advisor, we are willing to provide you with the following equity opportunities that I outlined on the phone.

    The agreement setting forth the above described terms will also include a release and mutual non-disparagement clause. The non-disparagement clause will provide for the termination of our agreement to provide you with any shares in the event you speak negatively about Phorm. We will send you a draft of the agreement shortly.

    While we’re not obligated to offer you these benefits, we are doing so in recognition of your efforts to-date. We greatly appreciate your commitment to Phorm and look forward to jointly reaping the benefits of our future success.

    Thank you again and I look forward to meeting up in person on my next visit to Seoul.


    Kent Ertugrul
    Founder & CEO
    Phorm, Inc.
    London M: +44 (0)7788 718 770
    New York M: +1 646-709-4800

    —– Original Message —–

    From: 주동직

    Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 6:44 PM
    Subject: Termination — Jik T. Chu

    Hi Kent,

    Since you called me earlier in Jan., and informed me your wish to terminate my service, after some discussion, you asked me to write you an email, which I did. I have not received any reply to date.

    I wrote, if you recall, that I have a special event in Phorm’s behave for the ISP scheduled in March; and if no positive outcome results from such effort I would leave Phorm on my own cognizance.

    I learnt from Dr. Choi, Dong Hoon that you visited Seoul earlier this week, but missed seeing me due to your busy schedule. It was especially disappointing since it should have given both of chance to sit down, even for a moment, and discuss termination of my service. To me, it is a simple business courtesy.

    I don’t want to be left feeling like leaving wash-room without washing hand. I rather make a clean break if we must, like good businessmen.

    I have looked into the Termination clause in the Consulting Agreement:

    — Quote —

    5. Term. This Agreement shall commence on the Effective Date and continue until terminated in accordance with this Section (the “Term”). The parties agree that either the Company or Consultant through written notice may terminate Consultant’s engagement under this Agreement at any time for any reason or for no reason. The Company and Consultant agree that Consultant is an “at will” consultant and upon termination of this Agreement, the Company shall have no further obligation to Consultant, other than to pay Consultant for all accrued and unpaid compensation and expenses.

    — end of Quote —

    Please consider this email as the written notice by me to terminate the Consulting Agreement as of Feb. 28th., 2009.

    I’d expect my pending invoices for the service provided for Feb. 2009 and expenses occurred in Nov. – Dec., 2008 to be paid immediately according to the Clause, in red above in “Terms”.

    I forego all of my vested equity position in Phorm, Inc.

    I will immediately start informing my contacts in the ISPs, and the party who is organizing the special even with the ISP that I have terminated my service with Phorm, so there shall be no confusion.

    all the best,


    –end of quote–

    It is obvious that Kent is trying to avoid paying the consulting fee for Feb., which is due if the Consulting Agreement is terminated on Feb. 28th., as I wrote on Feb. 27th. Kent wrote to me in March saying that he wrote to me on termination in Jan., and a hard copy was sent. I have received none. Therefore, asked Kent to send either courier receipt of the hard copy of the Termination notice, or forward the email he said he sent in Jan. To date, I have not heard from him. How long does it take to forward an email you have previously sent?

    It seems that he created the email termination notice he said he sent to me in Jan. and attached it to his email to me in March. The Sent: line does not show the date of the week which always appear on forwarded messages. It is shocking if Kent, CEO of Phorm, stooped that low to forge an email to save a small amount of cash. He recently fired most this board members and CEO of the Phorm, US, along with 90+ of his staff in the US. He also fired his COO in UK and CFO in UK. I think he is really desperate, and only thing he could think of now is his own survival.

    But I really think that in business, straight talk and mutual trust are more important than simple business success and failure, especially in Korea.

    Well, I think I rambled too long. But I spent the time to write this piece to alert people who are working for Kent in UK and US to be aware of this man’s true nature, and also alert those Korean who will come in contact with him that he is not to be trusted.

    I will appreciate if you find time to post it.

    all the best,

  21. HamsterWheel

    I see the tinfoilhat wearers have turned up here to have a pop at Phorm and anyone dealing with them.
    Ignore them, there’s only half a dozen of them, and they’re all getting very grumpy at phorm’s continued advance to world domination.
    They’re a nasty bunch of saddos – next they’ll resort to physical threats (“thump you”) but don’t worry – all bark and no bite.

  22. Jhorb

    A bit behind the times, Hammy. The ‘tin-foil hat wearers’ posts seem to be dated July 2008.

  23. Phormaverse

    Hello Hammy. Fancy seeing you here? Welcome – always nice to see a familiar face, and read the same old familiar posts. Keeping an eye on things for Schillings? The half dozen tin foil hat wearers just hit the headlines again today.
    Wonder if Phorm will try and get the BBC site taken down?
    Things seem to be getting quite out of hand for a tiny bunch of nerd misfits don’t they? Maybe there are more of us than you thought. And we don’t need to spend money on libel take-down lawyers either. Schillings don’t seem to have got this site taken down yet or the other Far Eastern one with this story on it. Wonder why? Or maybe the lawyer is already on the plane out to the Far East as we write?

  24. Jhorb

    I see it has become apparent, via Phorm’s own Technical Director, that it is Korean Telecom who are ‘in bed’ with Phorm.,1049.0.html

  25. Hi all,

    I’m from the UK; we are having quite a battle on our hands in this country trying to destroy Phorm/Webwise. It’s illegal under British law and immoral under any law!

    Please do everything you can to stop Phorm/Webwise before it is established. Once one major ISP in any country adopts this system it could be result in it being populated across the entire internet. This is OUR network; we cannot allow systems like Phorm/Webwise to undermine the basic principles under which it is meant to operate!

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