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Monday, October 29, 2012

Have you ever hired a web designer and felt CHEATED?


I can relate. On the first week of September (this year), I reached to Blogovation Design to have my blog revamped. This is NOT the first blog for which I hire a web designer; however, this is the first time that the designer cheated on me.

I paid $120 to have the layout of two blogs, Lectus and another one, changed. I don’t really want a change in colors, fonts, header or graphics but a change in the layout. I want the blogs to look more like a magazine, with a layout like this or this .

The first thing that should have given me an idea that this designer is not professional was that when I sent an email asking about her availability she didn't reply but sent me a PayPal invoice. Before sending her any payment, I emailed back with a list of specifications about what I was looking for the blogs. “No problem” is all she said. No further communication was initiated on her part.

Next, I asked her about her waiting list and she says “I’ll start working on it right away.” Well, well, of course I sent her the payment.

That “right away” has stretched into two months and counting. After three weeks of waiting I emailed her again and she says “I’m working on it, you’ll have it this weekend.” That weekend became two!

Finally, she delivered a lovely designed soooo much NOT what I asked for. The design is beautiful but not at all what I had asked her! I understand that a designer should email you a preview of what she is working on for you to approve it. Did she do that? No sir, she just made a design she liked without consulting my opinion.

She refuses to issue a refund and claims that she wants to make all her clients happy so she tries to fix the design and admits that she cannot do the layout I asked her for. Obviously, she never read my first email and my specifications. She just saw an email in her inbox inquiring about her services and she rushed to PayPal to send an invoice and get paid for something she wasn't going to be able to deliver.

She came up with another design more similar to what I wanted but she couldn't fix the header. That is, she took a free template and changed the background color but doesn't know how to customize the header. Well, I can do that too!

Whatever, I gave up on my new design for Lectus. BUT she is still supposed to be working on the second blog. Last I heard from her was last Friday saying “you are getting your design today.” It is now Monday 9:00 p.m. and I’m still waiting.

Is this a professional and ethical way of doing business? If she was honest, she would refund me my money and admit she can’t do the layouts I asked for. But no! All she sticks to is “I don’t do refunds. It’s stated in my blog.”

Should I take her to Judge Judy over $160 dollars? Lol!


I just want you guys to be aware of dubious designers out there. Before you commit to one, make sure to inquire and:

- Contact other bloggers who have used the services and ask how it went
- Make sure the designer READS your emails
- Note how promptly you get a reply
- Note the content of the email (i.e., does the designer actually communicate with you or simple answers in monosyllables?)

P.S.: I didn't hire the designer I used to work with because she got a full time job and wasn't doing web designs anymore :-(

23 comments:

  1. That is just awful. She really should just fess it up and issue a refund. It's one thing to not issue refunds because someone doesn't like the blog design, but when you don't even bother listening to what the design is supposed to be, then clearly they need to just issue a refund. Doing otherwise is just going to give them bad publicity, which they shouldn't want. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of publicity there is, and at least 288 people just heard from you that they aren't worth buying from.

    Personally, I am cheap I guess. I can't justify spending that kind of money on something that I could learn to do myself with a little work. I already know html and css, so tweaking the rest can't be that hard. I need to finish my layout for my blog. I'm just lazy. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lectus12:10 PM

      I know some html too but not css. I'm just swamped of school work and regular work and don't have time to do it myself. I'm waiting for Christmas break to do it :-)

      Delete
  2. That sounds awful, personally I wouldn't hire who wants money up front. Have you tried reporting issue through PayPal, they might action it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lectus12:12 PM

      Oh! I didn't think of that but I just did. It's not really about the money but that I'm pissed!

      Delete
  3. Wow, that's horrible. That is very unfortunate that you came in contact with such an unorganized and cheating designer. I do hope your future experiences with your blog designs will be more successful and less stressful :)

    -Grace :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. My gosh!! What a *name calling*...yeah she needs a time out with Judge judy for sure. that's scary to find tht there are people who do such things and imagine how many people can be cheated too! Well i usually try to go the free route. hihi i'm cheap too...i would look & look til i get somthing close to nothing or better..free! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's terrible! Is it possible for you to complain to your local consumer association?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lectus12:12 PM

      Ah! I didn't think of it but... nah! I'll let it go. Sometimes I believe in karma :-)

      Delete
  6. With so many options out there, if you're not getting the response you want, why would you pay upfront? You should've kept looking and waited for that designer to contact you for a change.

    Well, lesson learned.

    I know $160 is not a lot, but for a hobby it is, specially when you're not working full time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey! I got your comment on my blog. First, I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience but here's a little bit about my experience with Blogovation Design.

    I hired Blogovation Design to do a custom blog design back in the summer. She was doing a summer sale and I think the sale was $45 plus $20 for the istockphoto or something like that. I'm not sure on the exact details. I know the price was lower then. She did send the paypal request quickly and gave short responses. She did ask me what kind of design I was looking for and I told her exactly what I wanted. She sent me a proof, I made a couple of changes and then she sent another proof. I was really pleased with the design.

    Since she uploaded the design I have had some issues with the blog design disappearing and being replaced with black triangles. This happened I think 3 times. I don't think she new what was wrong but she did reupload it for me every time. However, the last time it did take her a couple of days to get it fixed. I think I figured out that the problem was that the design wasn't being saved in my picasa account so last time I got her to login in with my username and so far it hasn't happened again. (fingers crossed it doesn't). If it does I'll probably look into getting a new design.

    Also, about a month ago I requested a custom button for a new feature I was starting. I asked Blogovation Design to do it. This time it did take her quite a while to respond. I didn't hear anything for a week or two and then it took another couple of weeks after I sent payment. Once I got the button though i was pleased with it.

    The only thing I can figure is maybe she's a student and took on more than she could handle. It's still not right that she did you that way but that's the only thing I can come up with as to why she took so long.

    Sorry for the long comment but just wanted to share since you asked about it on my blog! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing!
      I had the same issue with her first design: I tried to change the layout and once I hit 'save' it would all go back to the way it was. I also had some things popping in and out. I think this is because she uses a free template (which is fine) but won't customize and just add the things for your blog.

      She does beautiful designs though, the thing that pissed me off is that she won't reply to emails and say "it's done. you'll get it today" and then three weeks pass without hearing from her!

      Delete
    2. I know absolutely nothing about blog design and how to do it so I can't say how she does it.

      Overall, I was pleased with the design. I absolutely love it and will continue to use her for buttons and things because I like the designs and I think her prices are reasonable. While it did take a while to get the button it didn't bother me because I wasn't in a big hurry for it.

      I definitely understand why you were frustrated. I hate that you had a bad experience but I am glad that things were resolved. Thanks so much for following my blog and I hope you will continue to do so!

      Delete
  8. Yes, i am a student and I was very busy. It did take me a while to finish the first design because of my schedule but I finished it none the less. She didnt pay $160 she paid $120 also. I designed a design for this blog and at first she didnt like it so i found something that i could make fit her needs and i designed it the way she wanted and changed the color scheme and such. The second design yes it is taking me a while to do but i never planned on not doing it, i am not a stealer. But i did pay back the full $120 that she paid me as she requested. So, please dont spread rumors to people not knowing the whole situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My bad! You are totally right, will fix the post to reflect $120.

      If you are studying and are very busy you should't say that I'm getting the design today and then disappear for weeks. Communication is the key of every business and you don't use it.

      Also, as I said, I did like your design but it WAS NOT what I asked for. You did come up with another one more similar to what I wanted but still couldn't fix the header so I said I'd do it myself. On top of that, the design has the same problems that Ashley's blog has: things popping in and out. No, I can't use it.

      Before contacting you, I had contacted another designer who said she would be able to start working on my blog on December 4th. I didn't want to wait that long and that is why I reached to you. Eight weeks has passed since you said "I'm working on it right now."

      I did ask you for a refund from the very beginning and you refused to issue it.

      Since you are busy, would I have to wait for a year for you to finish the design? That would've been fine if you had said so from the beginning.

      Thank you very much for the $120 refund and I'm sorry it had to be this way but for the future, if you are busy, don't take new design that you can't deliver in a reasonable time. Also, try a little communication, it doesn't really hurt! And don't agree to the specifics of a design without first reading the email with the details!

      Delete
  9. That's just AWFUL. You should definitely fight for a refund, and then go to someone else. I know that Giselle from Xpresso reads is FANTASTIC at blog designing. as well as Rachel from Parajunkee. Their services are around the same price and you get SO much more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't do business with unprofessional people. Look at that comment, It screams immaturity! Yikes. Plus for a designer, her blog isn't pretty at all, which speaks volumes. Trust me on going with Xpresso Design. Giselle is Fantastic!

      Delete
    2. Wow, Giselle does everything! I'll keep her on mind if I ever decide to hire a designer again.

      Delete
  10. Well, I guess the best thing you can do is learn from your mistake and move on. And, that goes for all those who read this. It’s important to keep the communication lines between your designer and you open. Make sure that he can truly deliver the layout that meets your standards. The best approach is to look for as many designers as you can, and interview them one by one. Better yet, you can learn a bit of web design so you can make your ideas much more concrete and clear to the designer.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All the time I prefer to hire web designer from reputed company and I always check their portfolio and previous client's review, so I always got best services.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That sounds awful. She is not being professional because she did not follow your specifications. Isn’t that supposed to be the first thing she did? That way you would both know if she is capable of following your preferred design. She is creating a bad image of her service because she doesn’t satisfy her customers. I think next time you should research and read reviews on your prospect web designer before hiring them.

    Lesli Dyson

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That sounds horrible. She should have just given your money back even if she has a “No refund policy” because it was her fault in the first place. I recommend that you hire a web designer who is referred by your close friends and family to avoid being scammed.

    Bryan Douglas

    ReplyDelete
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