Yan Margolin - Review & testimonial
Thank you very much for joining us today and for a short recap of the story. You present a company that got a demand letter and a lawsuit, and the sum was relatively high, although you found a solution for the company, which is accessiBe.
Technically we don't know what the sum is because they never… so just let me give you a little background about what I do. I have a strategy with ADA cases because I don’t know how much you know about the actual law, but you cannot get damages. So, what they make you do is they hope you’re stupid enough to litigate the merits, and they can get legal fees.
What you do is weigh down and say, I am not funding liability; tell me what you want me to fix. They don't care if you fix it up; they don't care about the blind people, the sick people, they want money, and never want to tell you what the dollar amount is. And you say, I won't talk money, they want you to talk money, and you say, I won't talk money until you tell me what to fix. And if they don't do it, then you go to the court and say, “your honor, they don't want to help; they just want money.” And it always works.
You never faced them. You never left them litigate anything; you just say, “tell me what you want to fix. I agree, helping the disabled is the most important thing. Tell me what you want to fix.” They don't care. They want the money. So that's what we did in this case too.
And accessiBe helped because of the differences, in physical cases like entranceways or the store size, I can approximately know what needs to be changed. But here, they come up with technical mumbo jumbo. Well, Shir [accessiBe CEO] was better at the tech than their guy was. And they sounded stupid in front of the judge. The guy brought up three examples in Moody's report, he’s experts report, and Shir brought up three things that said, “no, no, no.” and the judge was like, “well, it sounds like you know what your case is.” And they ended up settling for much less than what they wanted.
And I think it's also kind of amazing the fact that they kept on going, although you had the solution already. And in a sense, the solution did what they claimed that the site doesn't provide, like accessibility, and you had a solution, and they see this, and they persist. Like they still insist.
The big point and this is pretty good for you; I’ll tell you what it is; the reason they kept going is we only hired accessiBe after they sued. So, they can legally say, “our lawsuit made you comply, so we're right; we get legal fees.” But if your clients are smart, if they hire accessiBe before they get sued, then they may not have to do that.
Yeah, we hear a lot of these cases. We heard already about lawyers recommending their clients to put accessiBe on the site to ensure that no one will sue them. And even if there will be a demand letter, you just show, “look, we have accessiBe on the site, here what it does.”
Yeah, and they can't say that their letter is why you got accessiBe.
Yeah, that's crazy.
They don't want to litigate. The way they get money, I realized that they make you pay for their expertise, but they don't want to pay their expert out of pocket. So what you say is, “I'm not paying for your experts; I think accessiBe is good enough.” And that's it. In this case, they said to us, one of our demands is you hire one of our engineers.” I said, “no, I'm not switching from accessiBe. I will sue as far as I have to, I'm not dumping accessiBe, I'm only using them,” and they gave up. It's like, “okay, then forget about it.”
So, they also have their engineers.
The way they make money on these blind person cases, if they get you to pay their engineers would kick money on the table, back to them. You never do it. So if you have accepted that, you say I'm sticking with the necessity. I think accessiBe knows best, and I'm not making any adjustments.
We hear a lot of cases like that. A lot of clients come to us and say, “look, we got a demand letter; we have no idea what to do.” And then they hear the price; they hear that the solution is so effortless. Just the other night, we had a call from a guy that said, “I would gladly pay you this amount than paying to some lawyer that’s just trying to get the money from me.” It's worth it. And of course, you're also doing something very good and important, which is making a website accessible.
The way that they lie that the widget is not good enough. I don't think there's any law saying that your widget is not good enough and that you have to rebuild from scratch. It Isn't; it’s not true. So that's the game.
It's not only that, by the way, we have a lot of people with disabilities say that our solution, that accessiBe as a solution, finally provides them the ability to use websites unlike any other solution out there. So it's not just if it applies to the law; it’s genuinely working. We now have a new Chief of Vision, who is a blind person, his name is Michael Hingson, a famous author in the United States. And he joined us because he used the solution, and he was amazed by how it makes the website operate for him and his screen reader. And he said, “I must take part in your vision of making the world accessible.” So, it's not just the legal part; it’s also, of course, making the websites or the online world accessible to people with disabilities.
So as a lawyer, the most important thing to think of is two things. One, you need someone like accessiBe who is willing to provide customer service and willingness to be available on the call with the court. Because these people come with a little bit of what sounds factual, and if you have someone on your team who knows what they're talking about, you will quickly make it obvious that their case is no good.
Second, you need someone you can trust because they will try to make you hire their engineers at a steep price. You need someone who will provide you with the service and then follow up with it. That's what I'm very impressed by with accessiBe; with Shir, he didn't just give the service and then send me to customer service support somewhere; he follows it up and kept fighting for us. And that's a huge thing. It's not a fly-by-night operation. That's a big deal to me as a lawyer. As a lawyer in this area, I don't know anything technical. So, I need someone to do that for me. And Shir did a 10 out of 10 jobs.
And by the way, Shir is also the CEO, and the fact that he gave his time, cared so much to join you and made sure that you have the right answers, which just proves how important it’s for him. Because, as you say, in a lot of companies, he would just move you to some customer support and that's it, he will forget about it. And it's very important for him personally, because he knows how hard this thing is when people don't understand accessibility, and he has the knowledge, and for him, that's the most important thing to make sure, that, first of all, websites are accessible and second that businesses are not getting sued by, or even if they do get sued that no one lies to them and that they have this layer of information protecting them. And in this case, this layer is called Shir.
Exactly. So it went very well, people like that are very helpful. That's a huge thing that the company, that accessiBe will leave its customers to fend for themselves after they're done.
You covered everything that we were hoping for. And as I said, it was important for us to hear it from a lawyer because we usually hear it from clients, and we usually hear it from people with disabilities. Still, we never had the chance to make a testimonial with a lawyer that explains how it’s from his side.