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#1 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hired someone to add a cart to my website, and they never finished it (the cart never showed up on the site for unknown reasons), and stopped answering my emails. Is there no recourse? I can't believe it since they are someone who apparently has a good rep here, but when the job turned out to be larger than either of us expected, they totally abandoned the job and didn't bother to refund my $150 or even write me with a decent explanation.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Better Business Bureau?

I can't think of anything else, since they only stopped communicating with me exactly 45 days after my Paypal payment was made, so I can't dispute the payment...

I am so angry, though, since I don't have $150 to throw away, not to mention that it just seems morally wrong.

I need suggestions.
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#2 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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Oh, how frustrating!!: Is this person local to you so that you could sue in Small Claims court? Do they have a place to leave feedback? I'm so sorry this happened, but take heart-eventually what goes around comes around and if you are patient, you will get your chance to let people know your experience with this ripoff. The WAHM world is a small one.
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#3 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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Are they a member here, could you PM them? Or do they have a number you can call?

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#4 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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That doesn't sound good. I've got a client right now (who is super nice and being so patient with me who I discovered I couldn't do her store for after all, but still can do her site design, but that is taking forever...but I'm keeping in contact with her, so she knows I'm still "here" and still working for her. Can you ask paypal if there is anything you can do?

Oh, and definitely PM the person here...has the person recently posted? I have no idea if the mods/admins can do anything, but you might ask.

Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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#5 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 02:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried writing her -the same email we communicated with before, but I am wondering if I should even PM her here. I mean, she *knows* she didn't finish the job, KWIM? Besides, there was the two of them working on it (the person I paid, and the person she hired to do the "design work.") and either of them should have followed up - or you think at least one of them *could* have.

Someone else came to my aid (for free! - she is a total angel) and said that the person who was trying to do the site was doing it totally the hard way, which is why it was taking so long. (And the woman who helped me for free isn't even a designer..... go figure.)

I don't think small claims is possible with this sort of thing. We are in different states and all - it doesn't seem practical.

I am just sick to my stomach when I think of the money I paid for nothing.
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#6 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 07:27 AM
 
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Yes, I would use any communication avenue possible. She has made a business agreement with you and is responsible to follow through on that agreement.

I would first contact her via PM and again via email to let her know that you want the job completed, or a refund.

I would then decide how you will follow up if she does not complete it - obviously not saying anything you do not mean.

If you WOULD contact a lawyer, then you may certainly say that.
I would certainly contact the BBB and BBB Online if she doesn't follow up.
I would also review her company wherever she has listed in a directory for reviews.
And, you can ask your lawyer about this, but if you are in email lists and or trade groups, you should alert them as well.

Perhaps if this person has the knowledge that they are about to have legal and word-of-mouth repercussions, she may rethink her unfinished work.
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#7 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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was it a credit card payment through paypal, because if so you can dispute it with the card company.

Berkeley mom of 3 and President of Tender Cargo Baby Gear
and The Nurture Center Store and Resource Center 3399 Mt Diablo Bl Lafayette CA 888-998-BABY
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#8 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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was it a credit card payment through paypal, because if so you can dispute it with the card company.
Good point, but I thought you had only 45 days - ? I looked into this and stopped because of that, but I think I will try to pursue it with my actual credit card company.
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#9 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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pp is 45 days, but you can still file a chargeback with your cc company.

Also, I've been told that even though pp is 45 days you CAN file after that. You won't get anything back but it will still show as filed on their pp account. IF they have future(or past) disputes/claims this one would be taken into account and pp can close their account.
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#10 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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"Good point, but I thought you had only 45 days - ? I looked into this and stopped because of that, but I think I will try to pursue it with my actual credit card company."

whew! you can still do this!

paypal limits you to 45 days, through them. they have no authority over you and the credit card though.

your credit card company expects that you just recently got the statement. Call them and tell them the charge was authorized but services were never delviered. you'll have your money back before you know it!

Berkeley mom of 3 and President of Tender Cargo Baby Gear
and The Nurture Center Store and Resource Center 3399 Mt Diablo Bl Lafayette CA 888-998-BABY
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#11 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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This is not to excuse anybody, but just a story for perspective.

We had a guy who delivered firewood to us and was paid by the cord and also to stack it. About two winters ago, we ordered an extra three cords and said we needed them to be a shorter length. He said he had the wood and would bring it in a few days.

The day he brought the wood, my mom was the only one home and unsure of the details of the order. But she paid him and reported that he and his friend were in and out in about a half hour. Not only was the wood not stacked, a lot of it was very long and would not fit in all of our stoves.

I sorted and stacked the wood myself. I'm sure I benefited from the exercise. But we scratched our heads on that one and wondered what happened. We ordered 12 cords of wood that winter for four woodstoves. : We were a very good customer.

Our first response was "well, we won't call him again." Then I said "that's not normal behavior. He needed the order and needed the money. I think he was in a desperate situation." We called him again and we've used him since to deliver our wood. He really is a good guy and I think I was right-on with my analysis. It doesn't make it right, but it put his behavior in perspective.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#12 of 65 Old 03-30-2007, 09:30 PM
 
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I know that didn't answer your question : but since she's an MDC mama, I thought I'd throw that story out there

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#13 of 65 Old 03-31-2007, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our first response was "well, we won't call him again." Then I said "that's not normal behavior. He needed the order and needed the money. I think he was in a desperate situation." We called him again and we've used him since to deliver our wood. He really is a good guy and I think I was right-on with my analysis. It doesn't make it right, but it put his behavior in perspective.
I think I am missing the point - Did you let him know that the wood should have been stacked as promised, and did he stack it from there on out?
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#14 of 65 Old 04-01-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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that stinks, i'm sorry to hear mama! I'd too file a dispute w/pp...hope it gets solved and she makes good on her part or you get your $ back!

ps` maybe leave feedback to so others don't get ripped off too??

blessings!
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#15 of 65 Old 04-01-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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I think I am missing the point - Did you let him know that the wood should have been stacked as promised, and did he stack it from there on out?
The point was that he didn't stack it as he always had before and he brought the wrong size. The stacking isn't such a big deal but if you've ever had wood heat, you'd know the size is a big deal. When my mom realized a lot of the wood was the wrong size, she assumed they left so quickly so that we wouldn't call them on it. I expect he couldn't meet the order as we had placed it but needed the work anyway and so brought the wood he did have.

But the general point is sometimes people's behavior comes from a place that has nothing to do with stealing from someone. It doesn't make it right as I mentioned before.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#16 of 65 Old 04-01-2007, 02:20 PM
 
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The point was that he didn't stack it as he always had before and he brought the wrong size. The stacking isn't such a big deal but if you've ever had wood heat, you'd know the size is a big deal. When my mom realized a lot of the wood was the wrong size, she assumed they left so quickly so that we wouldn't call them on it. I expect he couldn't meet the order as we had placed it but needed the work anyway and so brought the wood he did have.

But the general point is sometimes people's behavior comes from a place that has nothing to do with stealing from someone. It doesn't make it right as I mentioned before.
Thanks for making this clear. Were you compensated in some way with your wood orders that came after that?
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#17 of 65 Old 04-01-2007, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The point was that he didn't stack it as he always had before and he brought the wrong size. The stacking isn't such a big deal but if you've ever had wood heat, you'd know the size is a big deal. When my mom realized a lot of the wood was the wrong size, she assumed they left so quickly so that we wouldn't call them on it. I expect he couldn't meet the order as we had placed it but needed the work anyway and so brought the wood he did have.

But the general point is sometimes people's behavior comes from a place that has nothing to do with stealing from someone. It doesn't make it right as I mentioned before.
Ah, this clarifies your point a bit, yet. I can definitely understand your point of view, and such a point of view does help resolve things emotionally, However, I would assume that if you hired him again, that he would have compensated you for what you thought you were paying for? Or did you feel that you would hire him again just becuase you felt he really needed it?
I think my view would be to hire someone who would want to do what I needed, even if it cost a bit more. If the wood was too large to fit in my fireplace I would have to call him back - I simply couldn't afford to "eat it," just like I can't afford to hire two people to do my website. The thing is, if my website is all over the place (overlapping text and missing links) it directly affect my business, which in affect affects my welfare and family life. I hadn't let it bother me too much, knowing that they didn't do it to spite me, but rather probably left just out of sheer frustration with the process. But, it just didn't seem right that I should have to hire someone else to finish the job - or rather, start it all over again.
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#18 of 65 Old 04-01-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Business is just that- not personal, so in the case of the wood, the pp considered the wood seller as a friend and didn't mind making up the difference. In the case of the unfinished Web site, it think it is completely understandable that this would hurt your business and you couldn't fix or compensate for the incomplete project and the web designer at fault has just cut off communication. I think the OP has the right to pursue satisfaction in this case without being demonized for being heartless or uncaring of another mama. JMHO.
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#19 of 65 Old 04-01-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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I'm definitely not saying not to pursue getting the $$ back on the website, just that since this is an MDC mom, I thought I'd throw in another perspective.

We were able to burn the wood because we had one month before the stoves were changed to smaller sizes, so we had to sort and use quickly the bigger wood. The pieces we missed we just cut.

I didn't ask for compensation in this case and it hasn't been a problem since. I do think he has sort of tried to make up for it without us talking about it.

(And actually my husband did call someone else for wood at one point and when the guy asked for cash so that he wouldn't have to pay child support on it, we were glad not to have cut off the relationship with this guy)

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#20 of 65 Old 04-02-2007, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I do understand what you are saying - and appreciate it.

I think I got most frustrated when I hadn't heard back and felt my emails were being ignored - I think it was that which really made me feel stiffed. I am a strong believer that things always tend to come out in the wash, but sometimes I get side-tracked and frustrated, and loose my focus.
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#21 of 65 Old 04-02-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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And it is so hard and stressful to find help. When I was putting up my blog I had someone who could do it in two days. Two weeks later I hadn't heard from him. I didn't pay up front, but I ended up finding someone else. If anyone is interested, Mihai at Pro IT finally did the work. He seems very nice and is reliable. He is in Romania, so it didn't fit my ideal of hiring someone more local, but I was relieved to find him.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#22 of 65 Old 04-02-2007, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I finally heard back from her - because of this thread - and she has no
intention of refunding my money. Her reason: because they "did the work"
and I hired someone else to do the job without telling them. I got help
(didn't "hire anyone"), because the job wasn't done? The site is
nothing more now that what I asked them to do, and it was done in a
couple hours by someone else.

Update: I asked her why she thought, if she completed the work as
promised, I had to hire someone else? Her response.... "Talk to
my attorney." What am I supposed to do now? I mean, of course it is
only $150 and it would cost more than that to recoup the money.
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#23 of 65 Old 04-02-2007, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know how to file with the BBB for an Internet company? It looks like you have to have a physical address, but I will look into it further. I am also contacting Paypal and my CC co., just to cover all bases.

I hate to sound like I am just using this as a forum for complaints, but I really think this is a good topic. If we are scammed by an service provider, who is Internet based, do we *have* any recourse?
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#24 of 65 Old 04-02-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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Does anyone know how to file with the BBB for an Internet company? It looks like you have to have a physical address, but I will look into it further. I am also contacting Paypal and my CC co., just to cover all bases.

I hate to sound like I am just using this as a forum for complaints, but I really think this is a good topic. If we are scammed by an service provider, who is Internet based, do we *have* any recourse?
art4babies- you are such a regular poster to the forum, no one is going to think you are just a whiner so no worries about that. It's very unfortunate that you can't get at least some satisfaction from her such as a partial refund say 1/2- split the amount. Sorry, I can't help you about the BBB. I have heard about WAHMs who have called the local police for internet fraud and got some results that way, from a WAHM that was taking money on a coop and not delivering the goods. Is there any place that you can post feed back on this person? Other WAHMs who might be considering using her services would be grateful to know that she is a "service provider" to avoid. When you are treated unfairly and have no other recourse, it can be somewhat satisfying to leave bad feedback. Sorry this happened.
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#25 of 65 Old 04-03-2007, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree - I am glad there is a feedback forum here.
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#26 of 65 Old 04-03-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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I've had nothing but wonderful experiences with that designer and will continue to recommend her, as I do with several WAHM designers. I'm inclined to think this was a fluke misunderstanding after hearing both sides of the story...

This leads to a reminder to all clients and web designers on both sides to make sure you understand what you are purchasing and if in doubt ask, and to designers to make sure you have a well outlined contract and terms of service so situations like this don't arise. Clear communication can usually clear up most issues. Never assume, always confirm.

I sincerely hope it works out for all parties involved because there is not just one WAHM's livelihood at stake here, there are indeed 2. I'd hate for an issue like this to split everyone here and force them to take sides.

ETA: I hope this doesn't bite me in the butt, lol.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#27 of 65 Old 04-03-2007, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Exactly - why I had no intention of mentioning the person in question.
In fact, I am not referring to a designer at all... so I think we are talking about different people - one reason it is always good to keep names out of it.
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#28 of 65 Old 04-03-2007, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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make sure you have a well outlined contract and terms of service so situations like this don't arise.
I agree - I should have never let her call me on the phone to discuss details - *always get it in writing!*
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#29 of 65 Old 04-03-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Well I guess I will have to wait until someone posts the other side of the story, then and of course there are always at least three sides to any story. But I don't see how someone can spend $150.00 and not make any progress at all on the project. Not getting any response to e-mail would be a big problem for me if I was doing business wth someone and being told to "speak with my attorney" are fighting words in my book. :
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#30 of 65 Old 04-03-2007, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had nothing but wonderful experiences with that designer and will continue to recommend her, as I do with several WAHM designers. I'm inclined to think this was a fluke misunderstanding after hearing both sides of the story...
Like I said prior, it is not my intention to use this as a forum for bashing. If you have some suggestions as to what someone should do in this sort of a situation, that would be great. I have been deliberate in not revealing too much information so I might remind you that I have not shared my entire side of the story with you or anyone for that matter - ??? - so pardon me for saying so, but it sounds like you really may only have one side if you have made contact with someone to confer - ?
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