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Mediate.com

Beware of Mediation.com and Arbitration.com

by Jim Melamed
September 2012

Also see: "BBB Complaints Against Mediation.com"

Jim Melamed
See July 2014 Update: Reported Complaints About Mediation.com

See September 2012 Update

The following email message and attached PDF were received by me very recently from a long-time mediator and leader in the mediation field. This complaint about Mediation.com follows a number of other complaints that Mediate.com has received about the practices of Mediation.com, a Florida based company with which we have no affiliation.

As the mediator who shared this information with me has now been threatened with litigation by Mediation.com, I am taking it upon myself to further share this information. I think it important to do the right thing here and to disclose these fraudulent practices. May the chips fall where they will.

Here is the email message that I received from a long-time colleague. This same email was sent to a number of other leaders in the field of mediation as well.

I took a call from what I though was Mediate.com (Jim Melamed’s group) today only to find out that it was a cold call for a new mediation “directory”.

What I learned disturbed me a bit. So I’m letting you know what I found on you while trying out this “directory” fairly randomly in various parts of the country. I am also copying leaders of reputable mediation groups in case this affects their members or panelists.

Mediation.com has apparently populated a database with over 300,000 “profiles”. Yours and mine were among them. So Google searches would presumably pick up these “listings”. But the interesting part is that users are then given the illusion that they are contacting us (or other “listed” mediators) and those messages are apparently being redirected to people who have paid to be listed on Mediation.com.

I have asked that my “listing” be removed so messages intended for me are not redirected to others who pay to receive them. The email exchange with Mediation.com is listed below. I have also attached screenshots of the sequence I went through for each of you too.

I would want to know if this happened to me, so I’m passing along this unfortunate news.

These same people run Arbitration.com. A quick review of that site also reveals the same practices.

I encourage everyone to review the attached PDF document as it traces exactly what Mediation.com and Arbitration.com are doing.

Here is the best response that Mediation.com could offer:

When someone writes in for help, especially to several mediators or attorneys as you did, we pass it on to other listings in the area to try and get them answers to their problem. You wrote to people who are not active in our base, so we forwarded it on to people who were so we could help the client.

Tom Pronesti
Operations Manager

As a final note, if you search Google for "Tom Pronesti," it is perhaps not surprising that you will find allegations of fraud in other business transactions (see attachment below).

In sum: Beware of Mediation.com and Arbitration.com!


Attachments



Mediation.com Fraud Exposed.pdf Mediation.com & Arbitration.com Fraud Exposed  (Mediation.com Fraud Exposed.pdf)
mediationsalesads.jpg Mediation.com Sales Approach  (mediationsalesads.jpg)
tp.jpg Google Search on Tom Pronesti  (tp.jpg)

Biography


Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 and has served as CEO of Mediate.com ever since.  Mediate.com received the American Bar Association's 2010 Institutional Problem Solver Award.

Before Mediate.com, Jim founded The Mediation Center in Eugene, Oregon in 1983 and served as Executive Director of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) from 1987 to 1993. Jim was also the first President and Executive Director of the Oregon Mediation Association (1985-86). Jim's undergraduate degree is in in psychology from Stanford University and his law degree is from the University of Oregon.Jim has received the following awards: The Oregon Mediation Association's 2003 Award for Excellence; The Oregon State Bar's 2006 Sidney Lezak Award of Excellence; The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) 2007 John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award; and The 2012 Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) "Getting To Yes" Award.



Additional articles by Jim Melamed