[Resolved] Direct Web Designwebsite & email hosting & set up

Review updated:

On Tuesday 6 June 2017, I, Lauren Smart, employee of Stacks Family Law, received a quote from Direct Web Design in response to my request regarding website design for our family law practice. Part of the package as advertised included setting up email accounts.

Our practice uses the Microsoft Outlook program for managing email correspondence. As such, engaging a web-designer whom had the capacity to use the necessary Microsoft Exchange hosting service was a condition precedent to any agreement.

On Wednesday 7 June 2017, I received a link to an online deposit invoice totaling $300.00 including GST, representing a 50% deposit on the website design.

Attached is a copy of Direct Web Design's Terms and Conditions.

On Thursday 8 June 2017, prior to making any deposit, I inquired with Mr Roman Shashkov of Direct Web Design whether the email hosting was through Microsoft Exchange. Mr Shashkov responded via email, stating "You can set the email up in any email program you like, such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office…".

Attached is a copy of the email correspondence chain between myself and Mr Shashkov dated 8 June 2017.

On 22 June 2017 our office made payment of the $300.00 deposit via cheque.

On 29 June 2017, our office made payment of $70.00 including GST for the 2-year registration of a domain name.

On 30 June 2017, Mr Shashkov confirmed with myself that the domain name and web hosting had been set up, and that I could log in to create email addresses. I responded, and once again requested confirmation that these email accounts would work with Microsoft Outlook. Mr Shashkov responded "Yes thy (sic) will work Microsoft Outlook".

Attached is a copy of the email correspondence chain between Ms Smart and Mr Shashkov dated 30 June 2017.

On 4 July 2017, I became aware that a number of emails were remaining in my outbox and not being delivered to the intended recipients. I contacted Silicon Beach, our IT support, to assist. Silicon Beach advised via telephone that the email accounts provided by Direct Web Design were not Microsoft Exchange accounts and thus were not compatible with our existing office structures. Our office subsequently engaged Silicon Beach to organise email hosting services.

On 19 September 2017, Lesley Young of our office sent a letter via email to Mr Shashkov, explaining that we had been misled as to the capacity of Direct Web Design to support Microsoft Exchange, being essential to our agreement. Ms Young requested that our agreement be immediately cancelled on this basis, and that the deposit and domain hosting payments already made to the sum of $370.00 be refunded. Ms Young provided her bank account details for this purpose.

Attached is a copy of Ms Young's letter to Mr Shashkov dated 19 September 2017.

Our office received no response from Mr Shashkov.

On 20 October 2017, Ms Young again sent a letter via email to Mr Shashkov, attaching our letter of 19 September and advising payment of the sum of $370.00 had not been received, and that should reimbursement not be received by Monday 23 October 2017, this matter would be taken up with the Department of Fair Trading without further notice.

Attached is a copy of Ms Young's letter to Ms Shashkov dated 20 October 2017.

To date our office has received no response from Mr Shashkov and no reimbursement of the funds.

My request for clarification as to Direct Web Design's ability to provide the Microsoft exchange service on 7 June, prior to payment, and 30 June, when the hosting service was first activated, indicates the essential nature of this aspect of the service to our firm. As evidenced, Mr Shashkov on both occasions made misleading statements as to Direct Web Design's capabilities, and accordingly induced payment of the deposit and hosting sums.

Moreover, the firm had a four-day period in which emails were, until my discovery, not being delivered, thereby compromising our relationship with and obligations towards our clients.

To this date, we have never received any response or reimbursement of our funds.

This complaint is to warn other consumers not to proceed with Direct Web Design for creating websites or using them for email hosting.

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  • Resolution statement

    Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.

  • Direct Web Design Customer Care's Response, Jul 08, 2018

    Hi Lauren,

    All of the websites we build come with cPanel hosting in which you can log in and easily create unlimited email accounts, once you create an email account it shows the settings for that email so you can link it up with your email program.

    Setting up emails is very quick and easy and all our emails work with every email program out there including Microsoft Exchange which is a very common email program that many of our clients use including our own emails are using.

    We had sent back multiple emails mentioning that you would of not placed in the correct incoming or outgoing mail server settings as mentioned in the cPanel hosting in order for your Microsoft Exchange to link to the email account.

    We currently have over 4, 500+ clients who use our web hosting and email service with no issues, so it appears that you did not enter the email server settings into your Microsoft Exchange properly when setting it up.

    Customer Service

Jul 08, 2018
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  •   Jul 08, 2018

    "On 29 June 2017, our office made payment of $70.00 including GST for the 2-year registration of a domain name."

    Domain registration is about $9.95 with most registrars. Many offer $1 for the first year and $14.95 for each succeeding year.

    Hosting a small site runs around $25-$50 per month. Hopefully you didn't sign up for a higher cost.

    Your email can be configured in cPanel. Software to receive and send is in cPanel or you can use your own choice. Processing of email is done through your account but you can use any program you wish on your computers. Just input the info in cPanel and your own computer software. It must match, i.e. mailserver.doman.tld must be identical.

    I can recommend a solid host with cPanel and scheduled backups, fast support and help moving your site. They did mine in January and I've had no downtime. Just message me so I don't spam.

    My host would have set up your mail server, not told you what needed to be done. With no knowledge of this type of technology, help is a must. You'll learn but your host needs to teach you. I'd like to see the site if possible. I can view the code to check for vulnerabilities, backdoors, bad code and look for open door for hackers.

    0 Votes
  • Gi
      Jul 18, 2018

    Indeed, the implementation of registering and sending mail can be done through your database and cPanel . Alternatively, there are other management systems. Each will have their own preferences. How will you implement the system for sending such emails - this is the moment that you should implement in your website. Customize it according to design, features and visual parts. it is better to attract any company or studio webdesign. I would advise you to apply to NIKLEX - . There is a good experience of cooperation in them. And as soon as all these moments will be realized your mail will be sent there, where it is necessary and in the volumes that you need for sales.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
      Apr 29, 2019

    Finally a Lawyer who has been scammed along with the rest of us. How about some legal action Lauren? Im happy to contribute to the cost. If I wasn't in Perth and the money I lost not worth chasing, I'd do it myself but as a group this would be ideal. I believe that he has had complaints lodged in Victoria, but clearly the authorities there as as useless as they are in WA.


    Shane Hogan

    0 Votes

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