For what they’re worth:
I make no claims whatsoever about the veracity of these clauses, which were sent to me as part of documentation supposedly prepared to settle the ‘refund movement‘ affecting Shaun Stenning‘s Twalk get-rich-quick-through-the-internet scheme in Indonesia. (Malaysia and Singapore are still in flux, I’ve been told.)
The documents, while extraordinary as you’ll see when you read them, certainly seem plausible to me (or I wouldn’t publish these extracts). I feel I recognise the wording and sentiments from other documents I have perused.
See what you make of them yourself … and ask yourself:
Does this rigamarole seem like ‘normal business practice’ when refunding a dissatisfied customer?
Or does it seem to go quite a bit further?
(I know what I think.)
6 Confidentiality and disparagement
The contents of this Deed or the Agreement are confidential and each party must not disclose them to any person or corporation except:
(a) to another party to this Deed or the party’s legal adviser;
(b) if required by law, a regulator, the requirements of any stock exchange or a self regulating organisation which has jurisdiction over a party; or
(c) with the prior written consent of each other party.
6.2 No disparagement
Each party agrees not to make any comments to any third party on any medium, including but not limited to internet blogs, which denigrate or disparage the other or otherwise make any statement, or permit or authorise any statement to be made, which is calculated or reasonably likely to damage the reputation or cause other damage: (i) the other party and their Related Bodies Corporate and each of their, directors, officers, employees and agents, past and present; and (ii) Twalk, the Program or any other product or service provided by Armidale.
6.4 Removal Of Comments Undertakings
(a) On and from the date of this Deed, Client and TDW must immediately remove:
(i) All public comment made about the program, Armidale or its related entities, employees, contractors, directors or sub-contractors from any internet site including but not limited to facebook, blogs or forums. For avoidance of doubt, removal of the commenter’s name does not meet the terms of this clause 6.4(a) the full comment must be removed.
(ii) All public photos, images or logos of the program, Armidale or it’s [sic] related entities, employees, contractors, directors or sub-contractors from any internet site including but not limited to facebook, blogs or forums.
(iii) All public videos of the program, Armidale or it’s [sic] related entities, employees, contractors, directors or sub-contractors from any internet site including but not limited to facebook blogs or forums.
(iv) All email communications from their email program, which make comment about the program, Armidale or its related entities, employees, contractors, directors or sub-contractors.
Extract from required Statutory Declaration (Comment: !?!!):
1) I have removed all defamatory, derogatory and disparaging comments made towards Twalk, Armidale Operations, Shaun Stenning, it’s [sic] related entities, Directors, Employees, Agents, Contractor and Sub-Contractors.
Is that retrospective secrecy and ‘Removal Of Comments Undertakings’ stuff normal in these circumstances? I mean, I’ve heard of confidential settlement agreements but jeez, all this ‘remove comments, images, videos, logos … ‘… well, it makes me wonder.
What could possibly be the real aims of such complex clauses? To set an impossible hurdle, perhaps? To neutralise any whistle-blowing?
What do you think? Let me know. – P
PS If anyone wants a copy of the full documents I have, drop me a line with your reasons and I’ll email you a set.