Active.com False Claims Part 2

Yesterday several customers let us know they were getting emails from Active saying (inaccurately) that the RunSignUp site was down. Last night we did additional research and there is a need to amend our diagnosis of the situation. Here is what we learned from log files and tracking of transactions.

  • Someone at Active was running a “scraper” program called import.io. Scraper programs allow someone to go thru a bunch of pages and scrape off the data, like race names and locations. The command they were running was http://lightning.import.io/results?url=https%3A%2F%2Frunsignup.com%2FRaces%3Fs%3D%26name%3D%26num%3D250%26page%3D1
  • Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 9.58.35 PMRunSignUp has a number of tools we use to try to detect Denial of Service attacks and fraudulent behavior. This scraping activity triggered that, and caused us to shut down that IP address, 72.5.253.11, around 4:30PM Eastern. This is what they were seeing after that on the right.
  • We noticed an increase of activity from 4:30PM Eastern thru 6PM after we cut off the IP address.  A number of browsers were attempting to go to race websites, indicating multiple people at Active were trying to test races.
  • We were able to confirm this IP address by looking at a number of transactions over the past half year where Active employees signed up for various races that were hosted on RunSignUp and they used their @activenetworks.com email addresses.
  • The IP address also correlated with the WhoIs IP address lookup.

To explain this stuff in English – someone at Active was trying to copy races from the RunSignUp website and we caught them and turned off our website access from the Active location in Dallas. They noticed this and told others at Active, and there was a small flurry of testing and everyone was probably excited “RunSignUp is down! Let’s tell some prospects how much RunSignUp sucks!”

Let me (Bob) make this very clear. We do NOT blame the individual reps who did this. We do NOT blame a first level inside sales manager or whatever immediate level of management may have been involved. We DO BLAME a culture that is promoted by senior management of the company.

We hope this causes a bit of reflection by the senior management of Active about the long term harm they are causing their own company (and not RunSignUp) with their aggressive actions from a sales and customer engagement perspective.  Spending a bit more time and money on the PRODUCT and SERVICE and less on sales and legal attacks would make more sense and help their customers far more.

Author: RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, RunSignUp Go for Race Day, RunSignUp RD Go for Timers, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for mobile experiences. More than 10,000 race directors, timers, running club officers and running stores use these services today, including leading organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., Fifth Third River Bank Run, Blacklight Run, Bubble Run, Night Nation, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more. In 2015, over 10,000 races used the system to register more than 2.7 million participants. In 2016 over 14,000 races will use the system to process over 4.3 million paid registrations. Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions such as race registration or club membership renewal. RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community. For more information, visit www.RunSignUp.com.

4 thoughts on “Active.com False Claims Part 2”

  1. Former Active employee here. Your last two paragraphs are spot on. I’m sorry you had to put up with such a headache from such a questionable organization. It appears you were able to remedy the situation on your own and take care of your customers accordingly. I would not hold your breath for an apology as senior management has zero accountability. However, it’s best to take the high road and keep relationships with your customers strong and positive. Thank you for your transparency and bringing the case to light and best wishes going forward.

  2. Split the difference the next time you catch them. Re-route them to your test/qa database with bogus race data (have fun with it – can easily make them look like fools) while not appearing to be down.

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