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Facebook page mercilessly held hostage in payment dispute

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Image: haleeb foods/facebook

A disgruntled Pakistani marketing agency has seized control of its client’s Facebook page in order to demand payment supposedly owed by the brand.

Yet the brand itself claims to have cleared all of its debts and is seeking help from law enforcement to wrest back its page.

In a Facebook post that appeared on the page of Pakistani dairy brand Haleeb Foods earlier this week, social media firm Viral Edge wrote that the account was “suspended due to non payment” alongside an image of a padlock and chain superimposed on one of the company’s products.

The agency also called on “fans” to help recover the more than seven months of payments it claims Haleeb owes and included contact information for Haleeb’s marketing director, Mansoor Nawaz.

Yet when reached for comment, Nawaz offered a completely different characterization of the dispute. He claimed that Haleeb had paid all of its dues and ended all contracts with the agency in May.

“We reject the assertions made by this digital agency of non-payment and have filed a criminal complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency, Cyber Crime Division,” Nawaz said in an email.”We condemn the hacking of our Facebook page and we now seek to initiate all appropriate legal actions/remedies available to Haleeb Foods Limited against Viral Edge.”

The Facebook post was made on Tuesday and remained intact as of Thursday night. The same image is also set as the cover photo of the brand’s account.

A spokesperson for Viral Edge told Mashable in a private Facebook message that while Haleeb has already enlisted a new agency to run the page, Viral Edge set the privileges for page administrators in a such a way that neither the brand nor the replacement agency has complete access.

Viral Edge claims it was contracted by Haleeb months ago to create two websites one for Haleeb and another for a sister brand. The agency says it delivered on both of those tasks and received partial payment from Haleeb.

But after that, the spokesperson alleges, Haleeb cut off all communication, despite repeated contact attempts from the agency’s side.

“Eventually, it went to a dilemma where we didn’t really wanted [sic] to do this but then how do you let anyone just get away with refusing to pay your hard-earned money,” the spokesperson said.

Originally found athttp://mashable.com/

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