A graphic showing a one out of five star review

Scott Castanon the owner and CEO of Symbient Product Development
Scott Castanon, owner of Symbient Product Development and author of the emails quoted on this page

 

 

Here are some emails from the owner of Symbient Product Development, Scott Castanon.  He threatens both Ryan OConnor and Tony Pereira with financial ruin. All text in quotes are exact quotes from Castanon's emails.

"I’m confident that we will win the small claims case and then we will also pursue the libel case.  Libel is less straightforward, you attorney is right about that but I will do everything possible to try to clear my reputation.  It’s going to cost us both a lot but it’s unavoidable for me.  I have to at least try to sue you to remove the inaccurate posting and then to seek damages.  If you lose then it will ruin your life financially.  Not only will you have to pay the same $200K that I will but if you lose you’ll be on the hook for several hundred thousand to millions more in damages.  Our gross income is over $8 million per year.  Just a 10% award for one year is $800K and this case is likely to take 2 years.  All that time you’ll be liable for damages.  I don’t know why you would risk that just to try to unnecessarily flame us on social media when it was your failure to deliver that made it so you weren’t paid.  It’s better to just pursue the small claims case and let the court decide.  Getting social media into this will hurt both of us unnecessarily but ultimately it could hurt yourself even more.  You should stop a minute and consider your financial future.  Eventually you will ask for mercy and I won’t give it if you make me pursue a libel case.  It will be your choice to destroy yourself".

And then: "Pretty much what I expected.  A hothead who didn't even think for 5 minutes.  Remember this moment later when it causes you financial ruin".

And then: "You have until Monday to remove any social media posts attacking us, otherwise you are going to be sued as well.  I think you’re going to find that a jury is going to agree with us that you had no reason to attack us, especially since we have taken the moral high ground and haven’t posted anything derogatory against your company.  I’ll do whatever is necessary to defend our reputation that I’ve spent so many years building.  On Monday if your post is still there it will start to get expensive for both of us.  You’ll need to hire an attorney and we’ll have a jury decide whether you were justified in attacking us about two years from now.  Besides your attorney fees I think you’ll find that you’ll also be responsible for our attorney fees plus damages.  It’s not what I want to do but you and Ryan have given me no choice but to fight back against the unwarranted attacks against me.  If you lose it will cost you several hundred thousand dollars. It’s the kind of debt that would take the rest of your life to pay off."

So Castanon threatens financial ruin 3 TIMES if we do not remove our negative review of Symbient Product Development. This is called extortion.  After responding that we don't appreciate the threat of financial ruin, Castanon wrote the following (note the statement in bold where he clearly tries to take back his threat, which he made twice):  

"Unfortunately I can't pay you when the customer refuses to pay us and has good cause for doing so. I haven't brought it up but we have losses of our own that we've had to write off because of your failure to deliver.  I can't take on my losses and yours too when this was all your fault. If anything you owe me.  Our part was ready but if we didn't have your part we didn't have a fully functional prototype. If you still chose to attack us in social media then I'll have no choice but to defend myself.  I'm not threatening you with financial ruin.  It's you that attacked me with the purpose of financial ruin.  That's exactly what you were looking to accomplish by posting a poor review of us.  You are specifically telling potential customers to avoid us with the hope of sending us into bankruptcy.  I'm just making you aware of what happens when disputes like this go to court.  No one wins but the attorneys.  I have no choice but to seek removal of the postings and compensation for the damage created.  It's me that's in a defensive position since you're choosing to attack me unless I pay for your losses on top of my own.  I'm actually trying to encourage you to make the wise decision to remove the postings since it's likely to end badly for you.  I'd much prefer not to have the distraction of a court case for the next two years but have no choice but to defend myself".

Do you want to work with a company with an owner who acts like this?