Facebook Faceoff

NYC-Based Startup Limited Run Calls Facebook ‘Scumbags,’ Accuses Them of Holding Page Name Hostage

"They're scumbags and we just don't have the patience for scumbags."
 NYC Based Startup Limited Run Calls Facebook Scumbags, Accuses Them of Holding Page Name Hostage

Mr. Mango (Photo: Practical eCommerce)

A Long Island-based startup called Limited Run (formerly Limited Pressing) has raised concerns about Facebook ad rates and accused the company of asking for ad revenue in exchange for a page name swap. Juicy!

On its Facebook page today, Limited Run published an extensive status update explaining why it will be deleting its Facebook account. The company claims that it was charged for ad rate clicks, but that it could only verify where 20 percent of those clicks were coming from. 80 percent of clicks were from users with Javascript disabled–a rare setting for a typical user.

After setting up a page logger, the Limited Run team says they discovered the real source of the clicks they were paying for:

The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots. That’s correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t reply. Do we know who the bots belong too? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes.

We asked Limited Run’s cofounder Nick Mango if he could provide us with a screenshot of the advertising dashboard to confirm the accusations. “We don’t want to expose our budget to our competitors,” he said. “I can’t give you a screenshot. I can tell you that we spent a month researching and we don’t have time to research for nothing.”

That’s not the worst of Limited Run’s claims, though. Limited Run also alleges that when it approached Facebook to switch its page name from Limited Pressing to Limited Run following a rebrand attempt, Facebook agreed to do so only if Limited Run made a promise of its own:

They said they would allow us to change our name. NICE! But only if we agreed to spend $2000 or more in advertising a month. That’s correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage….This is why we need to delete this page and move away from Facebook. They’re scumbags and we just don’t have the patience for scumbags.

Yikes.

“That I believe is the most egregious thing,” Mr. Mango told Betabeat by phone. “They wouldn’t let us change our name without agreeing to $2,000 at least in advertising a month. We couldn’t believe it. We contacted them a few times about changing the name and they were like, ‘Oh well maybe. We’ll contact you.’ Then we got a phone call from someone there and that’s when they proposed [the advertising deal].”

Mr. Mango said he couldn’t provide the name of the Facebook rep who suggested the deal. “I think we need to talk to someone in legal first,” he added.

As for when they’ll delete the page? “Probably in the next two weeks,” said Mr. Mango. “Obviously everybody is linking to it now so we’re a little worried about deleting it.”

UPDATE:

Facebook has provided Betabeat with the following statement:

We’re currently investigating their claims. For their issue with the Page name change, there seems to be some sort of miscommunication. We do not charge Pages to have their names changed. Our team is reaching out about this now.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com