startup | Edoceo's Blog

Stripe Rubbing Salt in the Wound

Many moons ago we had our account with Stripe abruptly closed because one of the services we offered was related to the marijuana business. While we thought of ourselves as a regulatory compliance inventory control solution, they did not. It’s a violation of their TOS.

This came at a pretty critical time of growth for our up-start company. It took us a few weeks to find another vendor who was happy to receive thousands of dollars from us in processing fees.

Since then other businesses have come on-line to compete with our offering, great for the consumer and great for the industry. It’s growing rapidly and many of the projections show this kind of growth for at least the next three years. We are one of the more mature offerings in this young space and have built collaborative relationships with some of these businesses.

Imagine our surprise to find out that some of them are using Stripe! And Stripe knows that these businesses are engaged in the marijuana trade! It’s in our names, it’s advertised loudly on our respective home-pages, Stripe claims they review businesses using their platforms for compliance.

Our last posting on the Stripe incident attracted a response from Patrick, we emailed him for clarity on the subject. We only received a response from their generic Support account where they stated they couldn’t comment about other accounts. Fair enough.

What’s really aggravating however is that, while we were booted at least two of these other businesses are allowed to continue to operate using Stripe.

It’s a suspect situation when a company with the wide reach of Stripe chooses selective enforcement of the rules they claim to operate by. Maybe they could “re-accommodate” our marijuana business. (we asked, they declined).

CyberCoders Shameful Recruit Solicitation

I’ve got a role as a CTO (among other things). In this role one of my duties is finding and acquiring talent for our engineering team. Functionally this duty involves posting job applications, reviewing resumes and candidates. Additionally it involves fielding emails from recruiters from companies such as CyberCoders, TopTal, various boot-camps and others.

Finding talent is hard, there is a good book about the problem: Smart & Gets Things Done I find myself agreeing with Joel more often than not. These “flashy” recruiting firms don’t make it any easier – quite the opposite in fact.

I don’t respect the work of CyberCoders. It’s not recruiters that bother me. In reality, good recruiters are totally worth the money they earn – which is true of anything: Quality has Value. Durrrr. The problem with CyberCoders specifically is this email footer.

The candidate identified in this email is a recruited candidate of CyberCoders, Inc. If the candidate is hired for any position whether part time or full time, as “Contract”, “Direct Hire”, or in any other capacity by your organization or any affiliate within 12 months from the date of this submission, your organization will owe a fee in accordance with CyberCoders’ standard Fee Agreement. If you have any questions about our standard Fee Agreement, please check our web site www.cybercoders.com or contact 949-885-5151.

Look at that. Read it again. CyberCoders has now injected themselves into any financial transactions I may have with this candidate for the next 12 months. “Oh, but they need to get paid for their services” I hear you saying. People should be paid for services rendered. However, we’ve never engaged CyberCoders. We’ve requested many times for them to stop sending us this spam. We have rejected their solicitations multiple times.

Shit got real today. Yet another spam from CyberCoders identified a candidate for us. This candidate is a person I’ve known since 2012! We are directly connected on LinkedIn. Now they are blocked. It was embarrassing to tell them that I couldn’t consider them for any position for at least the next 12 months. At this point any candidate who arrives via CyberCoders has to be immediately rejected – and blocked for the next 12 months. We’ve had to start keeping a spreadsheet.

It also makes me wonder if CyberCoders is just surfing my LinkedIn and sending me links to folks I already know, maybe with some algo to identify specific connections. I mean, I could write this code, so I’m sure they could too.

for C in djb.connections:
    if is_viable_candiate(C):