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We are an online marketplace based in California. Our

Hello,We are an online marketplace...
Hello,We are an online marketplace based in California. Our competitor, which is also a marketplace, is reaching out to the freelancer on our platform and claims to be working with our brand. They write the email below. Assume the competitor's name is ***** ***** our name is Company1.Hello [freelancer name],We at Company2 partner with Company1 freelancers to offer them a free booking calendar for their website.In fact, Company1's top-rated freelancer uses our booking software on his website in order to attract organic and repeat business. He pays us no commissions and no monthly fees.Are you free for a 15-minute demonstration tomorrow or Thursday?Thank you,
LuisMY QUESTION IS: I think he is creating in my opinion the wrong impression as if we are partnering with them which we are NOT. Am I right with my assessment? Can we do something about this?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/16/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,349
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. This seems like an issue of unfair business practices which could give you some compensation if you were to bring a lawsuit against Company 2 for engaging in actions that are a misrepresentation.

1.To establish that there was an unfair practice, there must be a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer;

2. The representation is examined from the perspective of a consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances; and

3. The representation, omission or practice must be material enough to affect the consumer’s conduct or decision, even though no actual reliance is required.

In this case, if they are saying they partner with you and they don't, and the purpose is to compete with you by going through one of your freelancers, then that may be actionable.

You may not want to consider a lawsuit at this stage as there are often government and non-profit resources that may help. You may want to consider your state’s BBB chapter or the state Attorney General’s office. Both of those organizations are dedicated to fighting fraud by businesses and if you run through the analysis above, then they can probably provide more help. Plus, the industry that you are thinking of challenging here may be governed by specific rules in your state and it could trigger a broader investigation by the government as well.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for the quick response. Do you think the email text I shared with you provides a basis for this?

Yes. It looks like they're intentionally misleading someone (the freelancer) to engage into business with them.

You may want to consider just writing a cease and desist letter advising them to stop immediately There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template cease and desist letter (click here). Lawyers use letters like these often to enforce their client’s rights. It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation. How else can I help you today?

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
What next step do you recommend?

Send the cease and desist letter. You don't need a lawyer to do it; however, if you do it on your own you can save some money. Explain that they're engaging in deceptive practices and there could be issues from the CA attorney general if they continue.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I just sent him an email with this. However, the email didn't say "Cease and Desist", but the following. Is this sufficient:Mr. [name]It has come to our attention that you are intentionally misleading our freelancers in your emails (see below). You are creating the impression as if you partner with Company1 which is not the case.We ask you to immediately stop this practice. Also, we reserve the right to bring this to the attention of the local BBB chapter and the state Attorney General’s office. Furthermore, we reserve the right to ask for compensation for your actions so far. I'm sure you know what the consequences of this will be.Best,
[my name]

I think that is a very good start. Even if it doesn't say cease an desist, it's what you're asking them to do. Good work!

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,349
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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