In an odd turn of events, JG Tax Group has left an alleged client, who Jeffrey Galante of JG Tax Group labels as “a woman who is bipolar” facing a lawsuit over her comments posted on this site.
About a month ago Qtmermaid143 submitted a comment on this post in response to a Jeff Galante that had said:
JG Tax Group is made up of a number of ex-irs agents, Tax Attorneys and CPAs with the highest ethical background. For somebody to say that JG Tax Group told them to lie to the IRS is absurd. So obviously this “William” is simply a competitor who probably has an F rating with the BBB that is on JG Tax Group’s website displaying their F rating.
Qtmermaid143 said in response:
“YAH RIGHT MR. JEFF GALANTE I GOT YOUR COMPANY ALL FIGURED OUT NOW you should be ASHAMED of yourself PREYING upon people that are in VUNARABLE situations with the IRS and SUCKING the lives out of their BANK ACCOUNTS. i am in NO way a “COMPETITOR” that you seem to always claim, I am a “CURRENT CUSTOMER” NOT FOR LONG CAUSE YOU ARE NOT GETTIING ANOTHER PENNY FROM ME, YOUR COMPANY TACTICS HAVE SICKENED ME, WATCH THE VIDEO OF TAXMASTERS ON ABC JG TAX GROUP WEBSITE, THE LADY THAT IS ON THE INTERVIEW IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM EXPERIENCING HERE… and when I asked to speak to YOU, THE OWNER of course you are invisible, left me no other recourse but to post on line what terrible LOURING LIES I have been SUCKED into. HERE IS THE WAY J.G. LURES PEOPLE IN, A VERY NICE SWEET SALES PERSON TELLS YOU for the 4,900 $$$ 30 HOURS then do nothing for weeks, CREATEVELY SAYING YOU HAVE PASSED YOUR 30 HOURS SAY THEY WILL ALWAYS RESPOND TO YOU NEVER GET ANY RESPONSE FOR DAYS AT A TIME, NO RESPONSE BY EMAIL, I HAD TO CALL THEM EVERY SINGLE TIME TO FIND OUT WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY CASE, AND just when its time for the INTERVIEW with the IRS agent you have your SALES agent call and say we have exceeded 30 hours on your case and you owe us 2,000 $$$$ more or else you deal with the IRS on your OWN? HOW DARE you advertise 95% of your cases are settled with the 30 hrs for 4,900 VERY MISLEADING I would like the many other CUSTOMERS who have been SWINDLED/MISLEAD by this company to come forward, I was SCEPTICAL TO BEGIN WITH, LISTEN TO YOUR INNER WARNING, this company uses the CROOKS “TAXMASTERS” to warn us about BAD business practices, THIS is a “SMOKING GUN” people, they are no different then the TAXMASTERS BUSINESS That ABC news did a report on, I will do everything in my POWER to make sure not another INNOCENT, TRUSTWORTHY, person will be RIPPED OFF by THIS company again. SAVE YOURSELF MORE GRIEF & ANXIETY, IF YOU ARE IN AN IRS AUDIT SITUATION STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS GROUP. WHERE are you licensed MR. GALANTE as a cpa/tax firm? because it IS NOT in FLORIDA where you should be licensed? TOO BAD i checked this out after the fact.”
About five days ago the same apparent commenter came back and posted an update to their original comment with good news they worked out a solution with JG Tax Group and praised Jeff Galante for taking care of whatever their issue was. Admirable of Galante to take ownership and responsibility for fixing the problem.
The commenter said:
“THE OWNER MR. JEFF GALANTE FROM J. G. TAX GROUP CALLED ME THE DAY AFTER THIS WAS POSTED 9-12-12 AND FULLY RECTIFIED THE PROBLEM AND ASSURED ME THAT HIS COMPANY IS NOT A SCAM, AND THAT THEY ARE WORKING ON MY CASE VERY DILIGENTLY, HE DID A VERY HONORABLE THING AND HONORED WHAT I WAS TOLD BY ONE OF HIS AGENTS, AND IS STILL REPRESENTING US IN OUR IRS AUDIT, SO FOR THE RECORD, I WANT TO CHANGE MY STATEMENTS, THEY ARE NOT A SCAM AND I JUMMPED THE GUN AND PANICKED DUE TO WHAT I READ, AND WAS TOLD BY CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS. SO PLEASE REMOVE MY COMMENTS ABOVE AND BELOW GETOUTOFDEBTGUY.COM ASAP!!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!”
The site does not traditionally remove comments submitted and does not act as a mediator between parties. However, all parties are free to post their side of an issue and let their voice and opinion be heard. People are also free to post updates as well.
As an example of this, yesterday we received an error report allegedly from Jeff Galante of JG Tax Group who provided feedback on the post in question. The error report, submitted for publication and subsequently published on the site, said:
There is an article that appears on your website located here http://getoutofdebt.org/22149/jg-tax-group-scam-complaint-review-or-praise by QTMERMAID143 . The problem with this article is that this was written by a woman who is bipolar who we are working with.
As you can see in this article http://getoutofdebt.org/46424/j-g-tax-group-consumer-review-10-5-2012, she tried to rectify the problem and have you remove it.
The concern that I have is that her factual statements are outright lies. She stated that she called the Attorney General’s Office of Florida and that they told her we had multiple complaints. This is 100% incorrect and here is the phone number for the Attorney General’s Office if you would like to verify that 1-866-966-7226. She also stated we are not licensed which is also incorrect.
In regards to our dealing with this woman, and the way we handled her case, that was totally incorrect, however, that would be a difference of opinion. But we would ask if you could remove the article, based on the fact of the outright lies about the Attorney General’s Office, which does hurt our company and it is a libelous action against us.
I would like to also draw your attention to an article that you posted (http://getoutofdebt.org/44377/tax-defense-network-consumertaxreports-org-warning). As you can see with our website and the article we forwarded to you, I have done everything in my power when I was with the IRS for 32 years to go after these illegitimate companies. And now being an owner of a Tax Resolution company, I have successfully gone after numerous companies, and I was instrumental in bringing down TaxMasters, and now heading toward Tax Defense Network for basically being a deceptive company just like TaxMasters.
I also helped startup an association called National Association of Tax Resolution Companies, which I am a chairman of and liaison to the IRS. I only point this out to you so that you can understand my background and that this malicious article does not deserve to be on your site because of its inaccuracy.
I would appreciate a response on what your position is on this.
The outright lies part of the statement above seems to be in relation to another comment left by the same original commenter in which they said:
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU, I HAVE JUST BEEN SCAMMED BY THESE PEOPLE J.G. TAX GROUP WHO CLAIMED IT WAS ONLY 4900 TO DO THE INTERVIEW PROCESS WITH THE IRS, THEY DID NOT DO ANYTHING BUT TALK TO ME A TOTAL OF 3 HOURS OVER A 3 WEEK PERIOD AND THEY ARE TELLING ME THEY WANT 2000 $$$$ MORE OR THEY WILL SEND MY PAPERWORK BACK TO ME, AND I WILL HAVE TO HANDLE THE IRS MYSELF? BLOOD SUCKERS, THEY PREY ON PEOPLE WHO ARE IN DISTRESS WITH THE IRS,THEY USE THE INTERVIEW AS RANSOM FOR MORE MONEY THEY KEEP EXTENDING THE AUDIT INTERVIEW DATE? AND THE ICEING ON THE CAKE IS THEY ARE EXACTLY LIKE TAXMASTERS LOOK IT UP “CROOKS” I DONT KNOW HOW YOU PEOPLE SLEEP AT NIGHT…MR. GALANTE THE MR. INVISIBLE WHO YOU NEVER TALK TO AND IS SUPPOSED TO SPEAK PERSONALLY TO THE IRS AGENT WHAT A SCAM AND WILLIAM IS RIGHT, TRY TO FIND ANYTHING ON LINE (COMPLAINTS) THEY PAY PEOPLE TO GET THE COMPLAINTS TO GO AWAY THE BBB IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE CALL THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL JUST FOUND OUT THEY HAVE NUMOROUS COMPLAINTS EVIL
As requested by JG Tax Group I did call the Florida Attorney General office. I called the Citizens Service line at 850-414-3990 and spoke with a representative who did say in the past couple of months they have had “a lot of calls” about the company. After pressing her, she did say it was about ten.
The AG representative also advised me that the company is unregulated, as are other such service providers in Florida, and advised me there might be a better way to deal with the issue, such as contact the tax authority directly to work out a resolution.
It’s quite possible that the commenter, who JG Tax Group identifies as a “woman who is bipolar”, innocently mistook the words of the Florida AG office to mean complaints when she heard there were a lot of calls about the company.
It’s not an unreasonable leap and it certainly does not appear to be any reason for JG Tax Group to sue a mentally ill woman.
Yesterday we received a message through our attorney from the commenter that JG Tax Group had threatened to sue the commenter if the comments were not taken down.
We then sent both parties the following email in an effort to help remedy the situation.
We have received multiple emails regarding postings made on the site by a consumer and we have published an error report submitted by Jeff Galante of JG Tax Group giving their side of the story and calling the consumer a bipolar woman.
All parties have been given a chance to voice complaints, voice their position, and voice their opinions. If anyone wants to post an update or provide an additional statement we will be happy to post any update you want to make on the following posts below.
The consumer has posted a retraction and updated their comments online. The consumer also submitted a company review praising the company for their responsiveness. See http://getoutofdebt.org/46424/j-g-tax-group-consumer-review-10-5-2012
But we have heard a disturbing allegation that JG Tax Group has or is threatening to sue the consumer for statements they have made and then updated with positive information. If that’s the case we are considering writing about this matter and we are asking for parties to send a response to this email with any public comment you have regarding these allegations and the situation.
It appears that this situation, whatever it is, is turing into a classic example of how not to handle a consumer complaint. If it would be helpful, we do publish a guide on how to handle such matters. See http://getoutofdebt.org/32199/how-to-handle-a-consumer-complaint-like-a-pro-and-come-out-smelling-like-a-rose
Jeff Galante of JG Tax Group has responded with the following public statement.
In response to your email [above], I take your comments, “is turning into a classic example of how not to handle a consumer complaint”, as an insult. With over 15,000 clients, in a very tough industry, we have virtually zero complaints because we address our consumers in a very prompt and professional way.
In regards to your statement that we threatened to file a lawsuit, that is incorrect. It wasn’t a threat but a promise. The reason for this is that her whole post is libelous, but the most concerning part of her statement is that she stated that she called the Attorney General of Florida and was told that there were numerous complaints. This is an outright lie. There are zero complaints. We have asked you previously to please call the Attorney General yourself to independently verify that we have zero complaints. And Steve, you would have to admit that based on these facts, her statements are libelous.
We will not allow anybody to libel our company. We have sued companies and individuals who have made false, libelous claims about our company. For example, we have successfully sued TaxMasters, ConsumerTaxReports.org, Tax Defense Network, Techmedianetwork, Inc., and Taxcritics.com just to name a few. We will continue to sue anybody who libels our company in any manner whatsoever.
Our intention is not to infringe on free speech or somebody’s opinion, but libel is not acceptable because it is a lie.
In closing, you have a consumer that stated “I JUMMPED THE GUN AND PANICKED”. Because of this, she made a mistake by lying about our company. She has asked you to remove this information from your blog. If you do not do what she and we both believe to be the right thing, you have left us no choice but to sue her to protect our rights and our reputation.
JG Tax Group
According to the BBB, JG Tax Group Company is located at 1430 South Federal Hwy, Ste 301, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. – Source
In the commenters original comment they said “WHERE are you licensed MR. GALANTE as a cpa/tax firm? because it IS NOT in FLORIDA where you should be licensed?”
Apparently there is not a company registered in Florida under the name JG Tax Group.
But Florida has an odd system of searching for companies. Most people would not know there is a second place to look if the company is operating under a fictitious name. The consumer might also not have known you can also search by registered officer. State records show Jeffrey Galante listed with Galante Group Corp and Galante Tax Group, which is now defunct. – Source
According to Florida records, JG Tax Group Company is a registered fictitious name for Galante Group Corp. at 4699 N. Federal Highway, Suite 112, Pompano Beach, FL 33064. – Source
Galante Group Corp is an active corporation and registered to do business in Florida. – Source
A search of the Division of Consumer Services website to see if the company had any complaints found that not only do they not, but they also do not appear to hold a Florida telemarketing license as well.
According to the State of Florida:
The Florida Telemarketing Act requires non-exempt businesses that engage in the sale of consumer goods or services by telephone to be licensed and post security (surety bond, certificate of deposit, or letter of credit) of no less than $50,000, prior to soliciting in Florida. The law also requires the salespersons for these businesses to be licensed. Doing business in this State includes both telephone solicitation from a location in Florida and solicitation from other states or nations of purchasers located in Florida. – Source
It does appear JG Tax Group does not hold a telemarketing license and maybe this is the type of licensing the commenter was referring to. Who knows.
What does appear to have happened here is that for whatever reason the commenter was not getting the communications they believed they should get from JG Tax Group, a comment was posted online and the company jumped right on it to resolve the problem. After that, what could have ended on a good news story quickly slid downhill to the point where JG Tax Group disclosed the persons confidential mental status, and even knowing that she might have some mental issues they subsequently threatened or promised to sue her over what could have been an innocent misunderstanding.
If we receive any more emails from either party we will be sure to update this post.
While not an email, we did receive the following testimonial from the commenter in question.
Title: love this site
This site is a wealth of information n thank u Steve for helping people! People helping people its very rare to find these days especially for free you are awesome steve! There is so many different subjects we can read, n up to the minute complaints, comments, and information! Also I just wanted to say that I wanted u to remove my comments because u will actually be helping the company I posted about, instead of helping me! Just wanted to leave u some food for thought! I know u want to help me :) thanks again for all you do for all of us who are struggling Out there!
As a result of this entire event we have updated the sites terms of service to include examples of other sites that have similar no comment removal policies.
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Please note that once you post a comment to the, it becomes part of the public conversation. Our policy is that we will not remove a user’s comments unless they are in violation of our Terms of Service, and we won’t remove them otherwise except in very extreme circumstances. So if you want to say something that you will later regret personally, it is advisable that you use a username and IP address that does not identify you. We cannot simply remove your comments because you have a change of heart about making them.
Our comment policy mirrors that of other sites like The Daily Beast. Commenters are able to edit their comments for a few minutes after submission. They do have a second chance to change or alter their comment. – Source. Slate has a similar policy and they say, “We don’t allow people to delete or edit their comments, because we don’t want to allow people to disrupt discussions in the middle of a thread.” – Source. Even Gawker and the Washington Post have similar no comment deletion policies. – Source, Source