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- - - - - Complaint - - - - -
from Lisa Miller

 
On July 18, 2006 I received an email through a Yahoo group in regards to a request I had sent through looking for a new web host that offered a digital shopping cart for my website. The response email was from Julie Maher of www.wdco.ca and she assured that she could offer me a digital shopping cart that allowed customers to receive a download link when they purchased one of my items if I purchased her shopping cart script and also inexpensive hosting for one year. I emailed her back and forth with what I was looking for and told her I would make all of the graphics. She said that would be no problem and I sent her payment a few weeks later. I sent her a picture of exactly how I wanted the front page to be laid out and all of the graphics needed for my site. She plugged all of those graphics onto a site, sent me some instructions with how to log into the gallery and link exchange program that she had set up for me for "free" in her own words. I asked how her to use the C-panel for the site and she said I didn't need to go into those areas and just email her if I needed help. I then emailed her 3 times with requests for help and assistance with this site she set up and heard nothing back from her. I got worried and started to realize that I would never be able to get help if I was in an emergency situation and started to dig around on her site.
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What I found was an online help section that was never available (although it claims to have live help Monday through Friday during normal 9-5 business hours), a policy about customers coming first and their utmost satisfaction being number one priority and I couldn't even get an email response back to simple questions like "how do I use my link exchange program". So I started to investigate her portfolio more in-depth and found that a number of her projects listed were not even done by her company. Something I should have done prior to choosing her services but after numerous emails and getting to know her, she had assured me that she was "easy to work with" and would love to do my project and would offer stellar service.
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I then found out that the shopping cart script she placed on my site was a free shopping cart and not one that was made by her at all. She cannot even claim to have customized it because there was nothing in the cart except for the logo I made and sent to her. She had removed the copyright which was infringement and something I did not want to be liable for. So I removed my items from the cart, gallery and link exchange and changed my hosting back to my previous host which was still in effect, thank goodness. I used her hosting for approximately 10 days while I unsuccessfully tried to contact her numerous times.
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I promptly asked her for a refund for the hosting since I was not using it and stating that I felt her service was inadequate and that she didn't provide what I had asked for. The shopping cart was not digital, and neither was her original script - as she claimed. She stated that she went on vacation over one of the weekends in question (although I emailed her over a 2 week period) and that she had responded to all of my emails but the emails must have been going into my spam folder. I said that could not be the case as she is in my address book and also I religiously check my emails in my junk folder in case something does happen to show up there. I also found it interesting that all of the emails stating I had reported her to different agencies and found out she was a scam artist got through to her just fine without them "maybe going into a spam folder". She had quick responses to all of my requests for refunds stating her site says on the policy page that they do not refund any money to anyone under any circumstances. This policy was added to her site after I asked for a refund as I had two other people search her policies for anything pertaining to refunds during this time.
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She then told me that I was looking to take advantage of her and that she put her heart into my project and did everything she said and stuff for free such as a corporate ID. Well the corporate ID was the logo I made myself and placed onto business card templates and letterhead templates by her and banners which looked to be made by a five year old, at best. The original complaint was that her service was unavailable, she had just left me there to hang with no help and that the shopping cart was #1 not digital as she had promised and #2 illegal with no copyright. She just went on to say that this is why she is so contested because she does things with such concern for her clients. This sent up a huge red flag. She refused to refund my hosting money and kept the money for a service she is not providing me.
I tried to recoup my money through Pay Pal but they said that due to the nature of the goods they were not able to help me and closed the case. I then refused to pay for a quarter of the charge that was paid through my credit card and they refunded me and sent Julie Maher a chargeback. She is now contesting the chargeback claiming that she designed a site for me and I stole her designs and placed them on my own site. A claim that I feel is ridiculous and untrue. She never designed anything for me. She placed items on a website template and I used her hosting service for less than 2 weeks.
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I am concerned that others will be taken by this woman claiming to be a website designer and web host. I have since found out that others have complained as well and have had run-ins with her.  I feel that her website makes fraudulent claims. I have also reported her to Consumer Protection, the Canadian Better Business Bureau and PhoneBusters.
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Lisa Miller

 

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