Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lightning Source/Ingrim Wants to go to Court

If you have been following my little drama over Lightning Source/Ingrim and how they damaged my company so bad that I had to shut it down, here is LSI's latest offer:

I may be able to get approval for the following if you agree.
LSI will waive any remaining debt you owe LSI, after the offsets which is approximately $800.00.
LSI will cease any collection methods and will not show your company in default.
We both sign a mutual release.
Thank you for your time,
Josh Dailey
Corporate Counsel
Ingram Content Group Inc.
Here is my response to them:
Dear Mr. Dailey;
I get you don’t want to address the failure of the staff at LSI and how it will impact the case when it goes to trial, after all to even address it in some form, is a sign of admitting something happened.
Your offer is still unacceptable. Let’s begin with the fact that you keep referring to a balance owed of $800, to be accurate it’s only $328 plus change. Your company has not removed an invoice that became invalid when you cancelled the contract, nor does it include the payments that were made. Continuing the show that people in your company are not being forth right with you, nor honest about the situation.
Bottom line for me is this, LSI damaged my company beyond repair and it WILL pay for the damages. The remaining question is how much LSI is going to pay. While my last offer had a typo of a 5 and not of a 4 as it should have been in the figure, because of your email, I am leaving that amount where it stands, thus, my offer remains as is, including the deadline.
With Respect,
The time line I had established has passed and they did not pay, nor come back with a reasonable offer, thus they are daring me to go to court.  Sadly, as of this posting, they win.  I just don't have the money to sue them.  It doesn't mater that what they did was wrong and that they should have taken care of it like any good moral company would do.  No, they took the Bully line of thought and continue to treat their customers rudely and with disrespect, and Americans will continue to allow it.
This is what is so unfair, there are so many attorney's out there that can't get a job as an attorney, but they refuse to lower their rates because of their oath.  People who are in my shame loose out to Bully's because the law industry is acting like a us what we demand, even if we starve or go away.  I mean really....
Life goes on...I go on

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lightning Source/Ingrim...are they serious about setteling this?


Well I decided to push the issue about Lightning Source/Ingrim paying me what they owe me per the contract that we have signed.  As of November 1, 2012 the first amount due to me is $674.52.  December 1, 2012 the amount due is $853.30, and as of January 1, 2012, the current amount is about $137.38; for a total owed to me of $1,665.20.

Lightning Source/Ingrim claims that I owe them $2,466.14.  This does not include $160 in payments, nor the removal of a $312.00 invoice for services not received.  Apply these items, and I owe them by their records $1,994.14. 

That means, if you apply what is owed to me and what they claim I owe them, I would be left owing them $328.94.  That's it.  They shut down my business over a sum of $328. 

This is what I don't get.  Up to the time they closed out my account, I was averaging $750 a month in income from book sales directly through their site. That means if they had not closed my account, they would have received all the money they claimed I owe, plus made money on top of that, and would continue to be bringing in more money.  Am I the only one to see the stupidity in that?

Which brings me back to the real issue.  LSI got caught doing something wrong and they choose to try and blame me for owing them money as to the reason they closed out my account.  Now mind you, I was only two months behind in money owed, and based on our payment agreement, I was only 1 payment behind.  Not six months, not a year, only two months!  Is any of this making sense?

None the less, I sent out emails to three people at LSI this morning asking where my money was since they had hired an outside attorney to demand payment in full for $2,466.14.  Legally you can not demand payment in full for an amount owed, and hold funds that are owed to the person, after they had already agreed to have those funds applied to the so called debit.  By doing so, they are double dipping: they are getting payed twice for the same debit.  That is illegal! 

Here is the response I got from one of their VP's:

The Pub Comp was factored into the original payment plan as a partial offset to what is owed to Lightning Source. The July pub comp balance, (paid in Oct) was $22.26.


Debbie Jackson, CCE
Assistant Vice-President, Credit Services
Ingram Content Group

Here is my response:

Yes it was.  However, since you cancelled the agreement and have since hired local attorneys to represent your company for the full amount owed in the original agreement, plus an additional unknown sum, I am entitled to all funds owed to my company.

Therefore, failure to pay the funds in a timely manor as outlined in the contract that existed at time of said earnings, your company is not only in full violation of the contract, failure to pay is now considered thrift of service and is punishable by law.

Thus, you and your company have until 5 PM central time on Tuesday, November 27th 2012 to have the current amount owed to my company in my hands.

I suspect you will find every excuse possible to not pay it, which will add to my law suit against your company.

Their Attorney's Response:

Will you provide me with the name of your attorney to discuss this matter? 

Pursuant to Section I(C) of the Lightning Source POD Agreement, signed by you, "LSI reserves the right to offset any Client past due balances for services performed under this Agreement against any amounts LSI may owe Client."  You currently owe approximately $2500.00, of which $1600.00 in Publisher Compensation will be applied to the past due balance, leaving approximately $800.00 still owed to LSI and are past due.  These amounts may change if books are returned within 180 days of termination. 

As stated previously, I would like to resolve this issue as efficiently as possible and am interested in discussing with your attorney, or you if not represented.

Thank you,

Josh Dailey
Corporate Counsel
Ingram Content Group Inc.

My Response:

Dear Mr. Dailey,

I had sent you three emails to resolve this issue fairly, but you ignored my last two emails prior to today outlining a resolve.  Thus, I don't believe you are serious in your statements.

In addition, you can not hold my money or apply them to a balance owed when your company has hired outside legal representation to collect on the full balance, ($2,400) and an additional unknown amount.  Since the Austin law firm has been directed to collect on all funds, and since the agreement that I entered into willingly with your companies staff was cancelled by your staff, your company gave up all rights to any funds owed to me.

Therefore, I once again remind you that you have until 5 PM central time Tuesday, tomorrow to have the funds of $1,600 plus change in my hands before I file theft of service charges.  Granted it won't result on any one in your company being arrested, it will assist my case in federal court and most importantly the court of public opinion.

The fact that your company is trying to collect on an invoice that was issued after the repayment agreement was made, and which does not apply once the contract was cancelled is not acceptable.

Your companies continued support of the damage that Mr. Killebrew did to my company, and the resulting irrevocable damage done to my company because of his actions and lies is un-acceptable.

I continue to leave the door open to a fair and reasonable resolve of this situation up to the day that we file suit for damages.  However, it is clear that you can not stop your staff from continuing to add insult to injury to my company.

If you are sincere about resolving this issue, I strongly recommend that you create a reasonable and fair offer real soon.  Damages keep piling up against your company.

With Respect,
His Response:
I did not respond as reopening your account is not an available option, however I am serious about resolving your concerns.  LSI does not owe you any money, but you do owe approximately $800.00 after offset is taken in account to LSI.  Contracts do not dissolve simply because they are terminated.  Would you like a copy of the Agreement?  The Agreement between Food For Thought and LSI was to either, print the titles you had the rights to as you directed or to offer the titles available to retail channels.  Do you believe LSI did not honor one of these services pursuant to the Agreement?  I ask this question to ensure we both understand our side to this discussion.  You also mentioned the availability status of your titles changed, which I could not find any record of LSI making changes.  Availability may be changed by individual retailers we do not control and does not affect the availability LSI shows for your titles.

I do want to resolve this and hope you reconsider my previous offer as I believe it was fair and reasonable to both.  Is there another offer you propose? 

Thank you for your time,
My Response:
Dear Mr. Dailey;
I get that you want to keep referring back to the contract that was signed between myself and Lightning Source, you are betting that I am dumb enough to think it’s the holy grail as far as you are concerned.  Sorry, but you and I both know that when representatives of your company agree to do something in an email that act can alter the contract, and it becomes part of the contract.  In addition, when your financial team wrote out an agreement, and then altered it right after signing it, and then not notifying me at any time, that is a major legal issue.
I have a witness willing to testify that Lightning Source deliberately changed the status of my books that were listed for publication with your company.  That action caused harm to my company, plain and simple.  The damage done by Mr. Kilebrew along with other damages has forced us to close down our company.  This is all due to your company’s actions. 
In addition, the fact that your company closed out contracts with other companies that may or may not be related to this business, also indicates the intent to harm my business both directly and indirectly.
You can quote the contract all you want, but you and I both know those emails by every staff member of your company will be added to the contract and I will receive a very sweet judgment from your company.  So show me some respect and stop jerking me around.
I had offered you a settlement nearly a month ago that you should have taken then before your staff members continued to harm my company, but you choose not to.
It should also be noted the contradictions between you claiming I owe LSI $800, which is not correct due to the cancellation of the contract, and the fact you hired out side legal assistance and they demanded payment in full for an amount that is not accurate will not look well in the courts or juries mind set. 
LSI has screwed up big time.  Therefore, here is a finale offer to you:
LSI will wipe out all claims of money owed by Food for Thought Books, Inc.
LSI will pay out in a cashiers check made payable to a person of my choice for $5,800.  That’s double what your company is claiming I owe it and an extremely small settlement compared to what could be in the millions I will otherwise get.
You will cancel any and all agreements without side legal assistance and or bill collectors immediately. 
LSI will NOT show me or my company in default for any claims by LSI.
In exchange, I will sign an agreement that states that neither party knowingly did anything wrong, or how you had worded it last month.
I suspect you will laugh at the offer and that’s fine.  But, let me be very clear with you.  I have not discussed one critical item with you during these emails that guarantees a win for me.  If you are willing to spend thousands of dollars to defend your company and take a chance on winning your case, then go for it.  You will have to ask yourself, and discuss with your company officials, is it worth it?  Can this one unknown item cause so much public outcry that it could damage the reputation of LSI to a point that they will loose more money then what the payout will be?
The choice is yours.  You have until 5 PM CDT, Tuesday, November 27, 2012
With Respect,

Ok, I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to really win the case in a court of law.  The reality for me, and this is MY reality, is that they are not serious about resolving the issue.  They screwed up several times, and they think they can Bully me into submission.  Sorry, I'm tired of that BS!  Their actions caused harm to my business and to my Authors. 

But, sadly, at this moment I don't have the money to sue them, so they win.  The only thing I can do is to post on here and hope people get the idea that you have to stand up for your rights.  We are the consumers, and we have the ability to demand respect, fair prices and quality products.  LSI and others jerk us around because they have the mindset that they can Bully us into submission by use of Attorney's and their legal wording.  They screwed up, and just like when I screw up as an individual or as a small business, I have to fix it and make it right.  They should too!

Life goes on...I go on

Friday, November 16, 2012

Insult to Injury

On Thursday, November 1, 2012 I posted on Americans for Common Ground.'s blog how Lightning Source/Ingrim, the largest POD publishing and distribution house closed my business down.  I outlined what had happened and I had thought by late that day that the attorney for LSI was trying to find a solution to the issue.  I was so wrong.

Of course, he now refuses to answer my emails, which clearly shows that he is no longer in charge of the situation, if he ever was.  The fact that they tried to make an offer to resolve the situation clearly showed me that they realized that something had gone wrong on their part.  Why else would you agree to settle something, and ask that the agreement would contain "We acknowledge no wrong doing in this matter."?  Give me a break. 

LSI did the next best thing when trying to avoid a law suite.  Make it look like it's the other persons fault, close out their account and let them vent.  Chances are pretty high that the person who was wronged will not file a law suite, thus they save themselves money and bad press.  Well guess what, it's the 21 st century and there is a thing called the Internet.

Now, I am going to be very clear here, I am no saint.  I have a temper and yes, when you mess with my company, my income and the income of those who I work with, I am going to bitch about it.  Now if only enough people would read the blog to make help fix the problem.

I did some research in the days following and found that there where over 100 people who had suffered poor customer service at the hands of LSI and were not compensated for the damages LSI caused.  More proof that LSI continues the Big Biz Bully practices.  What are we going to do, we need them more then they need us, is how they are looking at it.  In many respects, they are right.  But that too, is a fleeting moment with technology changing in the Book Publishing industry as quickly as it is.

I had received a letter from a Mr. Sean Morris, VP Business Development of AGA/LSI demanding full payment of what they claim I owe.  Needless to say, I called him a liar since he didn't have his figures correct and thanked him for his threat.

On November 16, 2012, I rreceived a letter from a local attorney who has been hired to represent LSI demanding yet another sum of money.  I love how LSI can not even keep their financial records straight when demanding money.

Below is my response.  And yes, I realize that I am opening a can of worms, but you know what.  Someone has to yell and scream if not for themselves, then for others.  Big Business Bullying is rampant as shown in the Financial & Home crises.  They continue to think they can do as they please because we (the average person) can not afford to hire an attorney to sue them.  They win by default, not because they were right.  Here is the full letter I sent off as my response.

November 16, 2012

Barnett & Garcia
Attn: Matias Eduardo Garcia
3821 Juniper Trace, Ste. 108
Austin TX  78738

          RE: Lighting Source 20197.001    Amount $2,466.14

Dear Mr. Garcia;

I am in receipt of your letter dated November 14, 2012.  Thank you for sending it and for once again showing how corrupt the legal system is, and how greedy attorneys can be.

According to your letter, I owe Lighting Source/Ingrim $2,466.14 which is a flat out lie.  Clearly, you or the attorney’s in your office did not fully get briefed on the issue between LSI and my company.  That to me supports the fact of greed by you and your company.  Take a case for the money without checking the facts.

Furthermore, if that were the case, then where is the over $2,000 that LSI owes me?  Clearly, they didn’t tell you that part.  I guess they wanted to keep my money for themselves thinking that I would not contest it, while at the same time have you file court documents trying to retrieve what they claim are owed to them.  I do believe that falls under the actions of Fraud.

Therefore, since you and your company have chosen to not get the full details, I have sent a letter to the State Bar of Texas asking to investigate how you and your firm does business.  I have also posted a copy of this letter on the Internet, along with my comments on how LSI immorally did things that caused harm to my company.

With respect,
B. Alan Bourgeois

This is the first time in my posting that I have actually shown my name and my sex.  I had avoided that, as I wanted people who actually read this blog to feel that it could be any person, male-female; white-black-hispanic-pink or purple.  But the truth is, I have to stand up for what is right and do my yelling and screaming to point out the flaws in our system with big business.  They DO become to big to fail, but at a huge cost to us, the people who paid for their services and expect what is rightfully due to us...proper customer service!

If you made it this far on this posting, please leave a comment here.  Challenge me on my thoughts.  It would be good to get a fresh view point on this.

Life goes on...I go on