AURORA, Colo.—The name is old, but the owner is new and says it has nothing to do with a company accused of bilking adult webmasters for millions. Yes, iBill has returned.
The new Colorado-based third-party processor is well aware of the stigma that goes with that name for many in the adult industry, as the original iBill in Deerfield, Fla., went belly up three years ago, leaving many clients unpaid and various legal claims also hanging.
There were also claims that two lists containing personal information from more than 18 million former iBill clients had disappeared, but at the time both the company and the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered assurance there were no problems.
The new iBill has little to do with its prior incarnation, according to Jonas C. Brown, executive vice president of security. Brown worked for iBill in the early part of this decade, as did a few others now with the new company. He left the processing operation in 2002.
"This was before it was sold, and by the time I had left I wasn't too pleased with how the new owners wanted to go with it," he told AVN.com. "We had worked so hard to build up the company only see it torn down."
So why go with a name loathed by many in the adult industry?
"Somebody asked, 'Why not start a company with a new name?' I think there so much value still in that name," Brown said. "Yes, iBill screwed over some people, but that was the people who ran the company then, not the company itself. I know there are still issues out there."
Brown is adamant that they are totally different companies.
"You can check the ownerships and see exactly where the trail ended with the old iBill," he said.
iBill relaunched late last year for mainstream website third-party payment processing and re-entered adult several months ago. The news has been met with much bashing on message boards as well as plenty of angry emails. Brown told AVN.com that was expected.
"When people first found out, we got a lot of hate mail and that's died down," he said. "Now we're getting more emails asking, 'Is this deal you're offering true?' and 'What's the turnaround time for this?' Lots of questions, lots of inquiries."
One of the things the new iBill has maintained are the previous company's extensive back links.
"That's something a brand-new company can't get and it's done wonders to help us, especially for non-adult processing," Brown said. "I, personally, never had to answer questions from non-adult companies about the old iBill. They've never seen that. They're looking for third-party processing, and that's helped us get going.
Since venturing back into adult, the company has made some new signings with clients that don't have a tainted history with the old iBill.
"Those commenting on the message boards, the people that've been burned, we don't plan on getting them back," Brown said. "There's no signing them up like we did back in early 2000s; people already have sites, already are processing with somebody. But the people just getting sites started, those are the people we're signing up."
Meanwhile, Brown knows some of the hate salvos will keep coming and the new iBill will just press on.
"We'll take the good with the bad," he told AVN.com. "Even though we explain it's a case of different owners, some still have their issues, which is completely understandable. But we're getting over that."
"We're not going to get old, seasoned porn people, but there are always new, up-and-coming people," Brown said. "And that's who we're signing up."
For more about the checkered past of the former iBill, please see the AVN.com news archives.