Lake Tahoe Coal
We have all entered into business relationships lined with good
intentions that soured over time. This page is dedicated to to
those companies that I have fielded the greatest number of
But first, a message from Tahoe folklore, Sally Smith.
Sally Smith says: "Wake up all you low life locals."
I guess some folks believe that their wealth is a substitute for
intelligence. Today's "Tahoe World" ran a biting
editorial from a self-proclaimed wealthy residence of Palo Alto,
CA. Apparently she is bewildered why all the locals don't lay
roses at her feet whenever she graces our mountain paradise.
Sally proudly proclaims, "Locals need to appreciate us. It is
obvious that we create your economy...". Unfortunately, Sally
did not think to research the Tahoe economy prior to issuing her
diatribe. She makes a number of statements that simply do not
ring true. What is more amazing, is her apparent lack of
understanding of business in general.
While there are some pockets of business that cater to pampering
the rich, it is highly unlikely that anyone could earn a living
dedicated to pampering Sally. And while Sally is clearly unhappy
with her lot in life as a second homeowner in Tahoe, she seems
to forget that the appreciation of real estate in Tahoe far
outstrips the gains she can find in her home town of Palo Alto.
These gains more than offset, by a substantial margin, the small
sums of money Sally distributes to the "poor church mice" of
I am sorry Sally, you won't find much of the class found in "The
City" in Tahoe. I sometimes miss the amenities I grew accustom
to, living in the neighboring town of Los Gatos. Many Tahoe
second homeowners don't realize just how different mountain life
is and tend to complicate their homeownerships in Tahoe, by
insisting that their Bay area homes serve as some sort of
standard for homeownership in Tahoe.
Although I can only claim ten years in the Bay area and ten
years in Tahoe, I can proclaim that the mutual respect
epitomized in Rome, "When in Rome..." certainly may serve as a
welcome basis for resolving our differences.
I used Connie as a subcontractor for several years during the
late 90s. During that
time she was extremely argumentative and she always held a view
of her skills much higher than demonstrated. At the time, I
thought I could help her leave her $8/hr sales clerk job for the
greener pastures of helping me maintain my customer's websites
while I pursued the more lucrative software programming
I terminated the relationship after the dot com bust and it
became clear that the software contract market had completely
collapsed. At an obvious point of reflection for my business, I
began to review some disturbing points of our business
ComServ4You Irregular Billing - a review of her invoices uncovered a
number of undocumented activities. In particular, I was being
billed for sales calls in which Connie refused to discuss who
she talked to and what the conversations were about. It became
clear (customer feedback) that Connie was using the sales time
to promote herself and her services, rather than those of my
ComServ4You Conflict of Interest - while Connie was tasked with
adding directory listings to my website, her constant requests
for more hours led to an agreement whereby she would contact the
various businesses I listed to drum up more work. She completely
failed this task. I was to learn later that while she was charging me for adding
enhanced directory listings, she was engaging in trade outs from
the customer. This became painfully clear after I ran into her
in town and she told me that she had just gone on a fishing
charter, free of charge, from one of my fishing charter
ComServ4You Unfair Business Practices - I soon realized that my
attempt to let her go gently was doomed to failure. I received
constant calls from Connie in which she repeatedly claimed that
I was obligated to use her for the website maintenance work. She
refused to destroy my customer contact and billing information
and actually had the audacity to republish my website under a
new domain name that differed by one character. tahoesbest.com
-> tahoebest.com. In addition, she began using my customer lists
to call my customers up to try to persuade them to jump ship. I
received numerous complaints from my customer base, mainly due
to the derogatory nature in her depiction of me.
ComServ4You Misleading Advertising - Perhaps the best testament to
her inflated view of her talents, lies in advertising copy for
her company. She has repeatedly staked claim to "designing"
several of my customers websites, mind you, these sites were
created by me prior to having met Connie. In addition, she
boasts of designing company logos, where in fact, all she really
did was resize previously existing company logos to fit on a web
page. Perhaps the biggest misleading statement in her ad copy is
her recent claim to being a "web optimization expert', stating
that she can get top web search engine placements. All anyone
has to do to see that this claim is bunk, is to review the
search results for any of the competitive keyword phrases.
Better yet, if you have knowledge of website optimization
techniques, review her websites. You will find numerous
Encore Please - The latest complaint (2005) I fielded came from
a customer highly disturbed with Connie's work. Apparently she
put together a website to advertise two vacation homes, one in
Lake Tahoe, the other in Palm Springs. Not only was the customer
highly displeased with the quality of the website, it turns out
that Connie slipped a clause into the contract that stated that
Connie owned the website's content.
Furthermore, the customer could buy the rights back for a sum
equal to the outrageous price she charged for designing the
website! Repeat business? Seems unlikely.
Legal Actions - Of course, I explored my legal options
with my legal advisor who sent Connie several letters explaining
her illegal business practices and requesting that she destroy
any and all company information, including copies of my website.
It is clear, that she refused all requests. She even fired back
having her lawyer claim that my billing records and website were
a matter of public domain!
Of course, the bottom line was simple. Connie has ZERO assets,
so spending thousands of dollars in the legal arena would
certainly net ZERO dollars in damages.
BlueSky Communications, LLC
Serving the Lake Tahoe lodging and general business community
since 1996 ...
...your local connection to the Lake Tahoe vacation and tourism
community since 1996
Breach of Contract - need I say more?
Unfair Business Practices
Although the terms of my non-compete agreement with BlueSky has
expired, I feel that others contemplating the sale of their Lake
Tahoe website to BlueSky, or any one of the many LLCs Roger sets
up, should take note.
Gossamer has been forced to discontinue or change the development of this web
site under threat of litigation from Blue Sky Communications. While we believe
our rights to promote our customer's websites are not governed by the purchase
agreement for Tahoe's Best, proving this under a legal system which has yet to
comprehend the Internet world is a costly and risky investment.
This website does not sell advertising and the only businesses featured in
this guide have relied on Gossamer to design and promote their Lake Tahoe
websites. Blue Sky Communications has made it clear that they consider my
efforts to promote my customer's websites through this website a threat to their
advertising business, if my efforts result in top rankings for various popular
search terms for the Lake Tahoe area. Gossamer considers Blue Sky
Communication's position unwarranted and views this position as an attempt to
control Gossamer's web design business which was not sold to Blue Sky
Please bear with us while we attempt to redesign this site in a less
threatening manner. Meanwhile, please visit our customer's websites, we have all
worked hard to provide you with the information you need to enjoy your stay and
activities in beautiful Lake Tahoe.