Letters From the Issue of Thursday, March 8, 2007

Paying Fair

Oh, that’s different: After reviewing your article ("The Real Rip-off Report," Sarah Fenske, February 1), I feel that it is important to point out two important aspects of the story that you failed to address. We fully understand that your job includes making difficult decisions regarding what to include and what to not include in the space that you have. However, as to these two aspects that I address below, we feel strongly that their absence in the story affects the integrity of the story.

The first and most important missing aspect is a description of how the Corporate Advocacy Program works. This failure to describe the program was particularly disconcerting in light of the accusations that the program constitutes extortion. A description of the program can be found at The core of the program is that the business must commit to complete customer satisfaction, including providing refunds. The program is a win-win-win. The consumer benefits because the company commits to address the past and future complaints to the satisfaction of its customers. The company benefits because the complaints posted about the company are investigated and updated to reflect the company's commitment to resolve it or to expose the falsity of the report when applicable. Rip-Off Report is compensated for the time and effort spent on investigating the company, contacting the authors of the reports and updating the reports.

The second important oversight was not disclosing the names of the companies who falsely accuse [ creator] Ed Magedson of extortion. Readers who are evaluating these allegations might want to investigate the companies represented by those making the allegations. Steve Miller [one of Magedson's most outspoken critics] is the principal of Federated Financial Services Credit Counseling Corporation, a non-profit whose address is in the same building as a for-profit called Federated Financial Services, Inc., which is in the same building as a non-profit called Federated Financial Debt Management Group, Inc., which is in the same building as a for-profit called Federated Consumer Counseling Institute, Inc., which is in the same building as a non-profit corporation known as Federated Financial Counseling Services, Inc. Christopher Sharp [who criticizes Magedson in Fenske's story] is the attorney for Whitney Information Network — run by Russ Whitney. Whitney Information Network is the subject of a securities law class action and an SEC investigation.

Also, Ed Magedson does not understand why you never mentioned the thousands of thank-you e-mails he receives and his work with the FBI, FTC, Homeland Security, U.S. Postal inspectors, attorneys general from more than 20 states, the IRS, the Justice Department, and local authorities all over the U.S.
Maria Crimi Speth, Ed Magedson´s attorney, Phoenix

Old Boy Network

Conspiracy eerie: Thanks to Robert Nelson for putting the story of the 29-year-old seventh-grader/pedophile into context ("Arrested Development," February 22). Without New Times, I would have never understood exactly what was going on in this bizarre case.

Clearly, personnel at the schools involved lacked savvy, because how could they have been fooled by a man wearing makeup with stubble poking through? Didn't they take a hard look at, um, Casey Price, who turned out to be Neil Rodreick?

Well, I guess the official at the last school did finally get it, after perusing birth and other records. Maybe the fact that charter schools were involved had something to do with how easy it was for Lonnie Stiffler, et al., to pull all this off. We all know that charter schools, for the most part, are an educational sham in this state.

I know the story hints that Stiffler and one of the others involved [Robert Snow] also thought "Casey" was a boy, but I find that hard to believe. Despite the way Stiffler looks in the picture you published, nobody's that stupid. Are they?!
Betty Powell, Phoenix

Lies beneath: I would like to thank the author of "Arrested Development" for pointing out that the Mingus Springs Charter School was the first of four schools that actually took the time to look at this "kid" and his enrollment documents. It gives me chills to think of the number of children desecrated by these convicted sex offenders before they were caught.

It is our responsibility, as adults, to protect and care for all children in our community. Unfortunately, most Americans are too busy focusing on themselves to realize, or care about, the horrible things happening around them every day.
Emma White, Glendale

29 going on 12: I am proud that the Mingus Springs school took a closer look at this alleged boy named Casey Price. I'm terrified that this could happen in any school in the world. But if a child does not look his age, someone should always look into it.
Mary Roberts, Phoenix

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