Rick and Gina Alford / Fraud/Misrepresentation
I am writing this report about Gina Alford in the hopes that I can help someone avoid being scammed in the way Gina Alford scammed me.
Like many other people who have posted reports on Complaints Board about Gina Alford, we learned the hard way that she is a disreputable, dishonest and untrustworthy person who, like most scam artists, is a smooth talker and a convincing liar. She gains your trust and friendship and then steals your money. Like many of the people who have posted about her on this site, Gina Alford has threatened to sue us, post negative information about us on the Internet and ruin our reputation. Desite these threats, we are determined to seek justice and will take every step available to us to recover our money and bring Gina Alford to justice. I deeply regret not finding the information on this site about her BEFORE I dealt with her, but I'm hoping that my experience will help someone else avoid getting scammed by her. I also hope that I can be a part of bringing this woman to justice. If you've been defrauded and/or scammed by Gina and Rick Alford, please e-mail me at [protected]@yahoo.com. I would be happy to share evidence and information with anyone seeking to stop this disreputable dog breeder. Here's my story:
About a year ago (on or about March 2011) I was looking for a show quality male cream sable Pomeranian and while searching I saw Gina Alford's Website on the Internet. From the looks of her Website you would think that she was a reputable show breeder that breeds beautiful poms. However, PLEASE, don't be fooled by her Website.
I initially e-mailed her, and after some time she called me and told me that she had a litter of puppies due soon. In the next couple of days she called and told me they were born and there was a beautiful male puppy in the litter. I discussed this puppy with her and after a couple of weeks she called and told me he was a show quality cream sable with AKC registration etc., so I decided to buy this puppy for $2, 500 and sent her a deposit of $800.
After sending the deposit I asked for pictures of the puppy, but she always had some excuse why she couldn't send them to me. Finally, when the puppy was 8 weeks old, we demanded pictures of him. She sent me a few pictures of a puppy taken with her cell phone. Because of the poor quality you couldn't even see what he looked like, but I trusted her representations that this was a show quality cream sable puppy. She then asked for more money and, stupidly, I sent her another $1, 000. (Please everyone do NOT do this when buying any puppy. Reputable breeders won't ask for this. She needed the money so I even paid $20.00 to mail the check next day.
After sending Gina Alford the second payment I asked for more pictures, but Gina told me she worked by contract (not yet sent to me) and in her contract it states that she would not send out pictures until the puppy is 10 weeks old. She also told me her contract stated that he was guaranteed to be show quality at 1 year of age. She said the contract stated that if the dog was not show quality it would be replaced by a dog that was show quality.
So I waited until he was 10 weeks old and asked for pictures. Again she refused. We finally demanded pictures, and she then sent us a couple of pictures of a Pomeranian puppy. We looked at the photos and the puppy looked nice but the color seemed orange, not cream. By then we were getting suspicious, so we consulted with friends who are experts in show poms, and their opinion was that based on the photos Gina sent to us this puppy was definitely orange, not cream sable. But again, the photos were not the best quality, so we called Gina, told her our concerns and asked for more pictures that would clearly establish the puppy's color.
Gina was angry about our request for more pictures, but after stalling for a couple of weeks she finally sent us another picture. This puppy was definitely cream sable, but to us it looked much younger and different than the puppy in the initial pictures. Bottom line: We didn't think it was the same puppy as the one shown in the first photos. We again consulted with people who were experienced experts in Pom show dogs, and their opinion also was that the puppy in the second photo wasn't the same puppy as the one shown in the first photos. He didn't have the same face, ear set, tail set, etc.
At this time we also learned that this puppy had not yet been registered with AKC. In fact, we learned that not only was the puppy not registered with AKC, but we also learned that the puppy's MOTHER had not yet been registered with AKC. We were shocked by this fact, since Gina Alford had represented this puppy as AKC registered since the beginning of our discussions. So Gina was going to ship us a "show puppy" that wasn't AKC registered.
My husband and I discussed the situation and decided that since we had already paid $1, 800 on the dog our best option was to NOT let her ship the dog to us. Instead, we would pick up the dog ourselves. That way, if in fact it wasn't a show quality cream sable we could at least refuse final payment on the balance due and avoid shipping costs. We called Gina Alford, told her we were going to New Orleans on vacation and that we wanted to pick up the puppy in person instead of her shipping him to us. She immediately got very ANGRY and told us that NOBODY ever came to her home to pick up puppies. She didn't allow that. Then, she agreed to let us meet her somewhere to get the puppy, but she wanted us to send her the final payment before we picked up the puppy. Despite her protestations, we insisted that we would NOT agree to have her ship the puppy, insisted that we pick up the puppy in person and we told her we would not make the final payment until we saw the puppy.
She yelled at my husband and me for 10 minutes and then offered to refund our money. We immediately accepted that offer. She told us that before she would refund our money we MUST sign her contract, which we had yet to receive and had never seen. When we got the contract we discovered there was no show guarantee in it, as Gina had previously claimed in her e-mail to me. There was also no clause in the contract regarding photos, as she had previously claimed. After reviewing the sales contract, we refused to sign that document since it did not clearly establish our right to a refund. Gina and Rick Alford then sent to us a revised contract that established that they would refund our $1, 800 in monthly payments of not less than $200 a month. Under this contract, if payment was made we agreed not to take any legal or social actions against them.
After executing this repayment contract, Rick and Gina Alford sent us three payments totaling $600 over five months and then defaulted on the contract. During those five months, we sent numerous e-mails to them advising them of our willingness to resolve this matter in a friendly and amicable manner and telling them we did not want to harm them legally, socially or financially. We told them we would work with them to resolve this matter. During this time we learned by e-mail from Gina herself that she sold a puppy, but they clearly did not apply the proceeds of that sale toward their financial obligation to us. Now, they have defaulted on the repayment contract that they themselves drafted, and we can't get any response from them. They still owe us $1, 200 that they received for a puppy they did not provide. This is criminal fraud and we intend to file criminal complaints against them with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office, the FBI Internet Crime Unit and the Winston County (Mississippi) Sheriff's Office. We have documentation to support everything in this report and will gladly provide it to anyone who is interested in this case.
For anyone reading this report: PLEASE do NOT allow someone to use "friendship" and smooth talk to convince you to forget about smart business practices. If you're planning to do business with someone via the Internet, do your research BEFORE you send anyone money, no matter how "nice" or "friendly" they seem and no matter how professional the appearance of their Website. If you're planning on buying an AKC puppy, buy only from reputable breeders. Ask for and check references, do a Google search on their name and kennel and sign up for a breed forum and ask for people's opinions on the breeder. We wish we would have.