Website Design Institute / Terrible company!
Just a beginning of the report as I will give more details later. In early to mid 2004, after talking to a secretary at 'WDI' I signed up for 5 years hosting with a special hosting company, for $25 a month prepaid (Miracle hosting aka Angel hosting) they implied it was a legitimate company they worked with but curiously after I paid, I found the owner of it was the same owner of WDI. They also charged me $600 for the benefit of giving my URL to different search engines. I sent a money order for the requested money and thought I was on my way.
After I paid, it all started with someone who I was told would call me exactly a certain day and time and that if I wasn't there it would stall the production (all while my $25/month is being deducted without any site on the web). I waited there for the morning call but got no call all day.
I called next day and was told the one who was supposed to call me just quit. Another day was scheduled. Finally Kathleen Correll called and I explained my idea. By August I had heard nothing and was told after a few months of no contact (voice or phone) from them that Kathleen was out on emergency surgery so, I was given a sheet with increased charges because I wanted some fields for input of information (at $8 each or an additional $864), now I'm being told that I need to supply all my own artwork and that it needs to be approved by their art department for an additional $600 per piece.
Second week of September, since still nothing from either Kathleen (back August 23) or from my 'new' Juan Arriaga, I'm given back to Armando Garcia since Juan was no longer there. All of a sudden, the phone number doesn't work anymore and I'm left holding the bag.
The website only shows the old phone number so it would be a while before I would find the new number by stumbling onto their new name Custom Pro Design. We reconnected and I was told that since they had not completed the site within the promised 4 week period, they would put my site on priority status.
Hurricane Ivan would come in late September and I am willing to give them that they may not have been able to work on the project at that time. Hurricane Jeanne followed Ivan and so still nothing was begun on the project. Mid October I was told that within the week I would have something.
Almost a week later the most creepy page for use as my home page appeared before my eyes. It had nothing to do with what I was offering even when I asked the designer what I was offering for a service and what service he would think I was offering if he saw the design before him admitted that they would be two different (opposite) impressions.
Armando talks to the design leader (John G ?) and explains my concerns to him. I sent them copies of pictures that might be appropriate and they then sent me another price list to include the pictures. This same day, I receive an email from John G and he wants me to send more pictures and none of them are to his satisfaction.
I sent him to several websites and told him that it would be what I wanted ie: a 5 pointed star with a colored circle at the points tip. A week later, John G doesn't understand my description of this star with circles on the tips. By the way, meanwhile, all my postcards have been printed to announce my site and the team is ready to mail them out but I have to keep stalling. The addresses have been purchased and are subject to changing if you wait too long. The 8000 postage stamps have been purchased and the rates are due to go up at some point here.
I'm really feeling like they are stupid at this point. I ask if this is a scam to let me know so I can move on to someone who can take care of this site. This scam is No Free Website.
My next email from John G explains that there will be an extra $75 charge for some photos. And he also still doesn't understand how to do the star with the circles on the points, if I could draw it again. I finally can't deal with John G any more and tell him that I found a hosting company that will host and register my sites domain name for $7/month which was a lot cheaper than they charged me and that I had a neighbor who for $900 and two weeks would give me a website. I wanted a refund. He told me he would put me in touch with someone who could help me, but he could not. At this point I'm finally given back to Kathleen. But am still receiving emails from John G. He is still responding to previous emails and now asking if my new designer will be creating the images for CPD's use on my website, or he can sell me their images for my new designer to use. He now states to me that we are no further down the road than we were 6 months ago and it's all my fault since I can't be understood. John said that since I had 5 years hosting and 5 years domain registration with them, I could have my new designer host on THEIR server only. During the 2nd week of November, I'm given back to Kathleen again. She misses the conference call because her other calls run over.
Two days later I was told this by Armando and he advises that she is his superior (different from previous information as I was originally told that Armando was supervisor over Kathleen; when I could not be understood, someone told me that Kathleen was the owner; then I looked up the owner and viewed that records showed that Juliette Lopez was the owner and she had several of these 'schools' in the area and some other businesses which contained the name Juliette Lopez also contained the name Kathleen Correll too). Anyway, Armando asks when I will be available, a few days later and a week from the first missed conference call. Kathleen doesn't get my message so will contact me after the holidays.
The second week of December I'm asked what day is good for me. Next day I'm informed Kathleen is still on medical leave and wants to know what time for the call is good for me. Telling me the website can still be done, she faxes me the new prices for what I want done and asks me to send the design information to her. Her fax isn't working so she asks me to call her cell phone.
Emailing me she asks for 5 things she needs to complete the site. We now find out that because I have a Macintosh computer, there is no way they could read my drawings and that is why we may not be able to work on the project via email, only CD's with each drawing needed. I searched for sites with similar photos that I had in mind and sent 4 dozen of them and asked what they had to use that was similar to what I sent. Now, I'm basically told that I need to get a PC if I want to use the font that is associated with my business. The next day, I'm told to fax everything I have for the site to Juliette Lopez. Kathleen emails me and says we have 5 minutes to discuss it. I'm to call her cell while she ices down her ankle after her PT. She says she called, in her email but also says she went to the store and needs to know when I'm available. Next day she apologizes for sleeping through my call as she had taken a pain killer for her ankle. She reminds me that there will be extra charges for the fields and asks if I can lessen their amount and the font needs to be changed or I can use the person I want to hire to get this job done outside of CPD. She sends me a new quote, but by this time I really don't want to send any more money. She asks if my new designer is going to create the graphics. I told her that my new designer needs the FTP access, and am told that CPD must be finished with the site to give out that information. I am also reminded that my domain expires [protected] years) and the hosting expires 4-29-07 (even though paid for 5 years they are 'giving' me 3 years).
My new designer tried to access the site and it wouldn't come up. Just before Christmas, Kathleen agrees to give the user name and password to be able to work on the site after I sign and return a release form. I am told that Trish would contact me about the point the names to the same site domain information. She never calls and the cheating of the years and the 10, 000 search engine information problems. She asks if I still want photos. Kathleen asks if my new designer is designing or just putting everything together for the interns to design. She said that once a new designer takes over they won't be responsible for 'whatever happens to the site'. I ask in return if since they never hosted the site if I can have a refund of the hosting money (really made me mad when I found the owner is Juliette Lopez).
My having a Macintosh was no problem for the new designer. I ask for my hosting to begin and the complete FTP access or an immediate refund, their choice. They never do the hosting, so I still want a refund and I won't charge them for the price I had to pay for the designer.
My designer finds that I'm not even the registered owner of my site, rather Website Design Institute is. January 3 2005 Bernadette sends me the release form to give the FTP to my designer. Eventually after much confusion on the part of CPD, Juliette, Burnadette and Armando each get a copy of the form they sent to me (but not knowing that each has their own copy for some time).
January 20th I'm still sending this form by fax and email. I'm told that Juliette is handling everything now. Melissa Manos contacts me and wants me to contact her with any questions about the problems that are happening. Today they finally send the FTP. I scan the font to my new designer and it is fine.
6 days from FTP we have the beginnings of a website. February 14th we realize that CPD didn't give us the CGI-BIN and we need it.
2 days later Juliette Lopez sends and email that will give the access the designer needs.
2 days later we are having trouble, as Custom Pro Design is actually adding coding to every one of my pages and so that they are showing they are the creators of the site and are switching and scrambling the information from the fields to go into different places than what we are putting them and after 5 submissions the designer is denied access for 24 hours via some sort of blocker. My designer has to quit until this gets corrected. It really is the last straw as far as I'm concerned.
2 days later Juliette Lopez emails me and says that was put there so I could be submitted to the search engines. I don't think so. This Website Design Institute, Custom Pro Design or Innovative Global Enterprises LLC, or the women Juliette Lopez and Kathleen Correll has been nothing but trouble for almost a year here.
I choose to purchase both hosting and domain name registration from someone reputable and re-ask for a refund of monies paid for breach of contract. In response they remove 4 years of the time paid for on my domain name with them and send me a notice telling me that in 5 days I owe them more money. I must pay $35 for my free program services and I may be put on auto renewal if I don't send them the money. What a scam. Paid for 5 years and get one all with no domain name for them to 'use'.
This company not only ripped me off but tried to steal my information from my designers work while she was working on it. They apparently pretend to be incompetent and really are sinisterly working behind the scenes by stealing copyrighted work and claiming it for their students. Then to name the hosting company they own Miracle or Angel or other 'holy' sounding names is just the insult above all insults. Do Not Deal With This Company Under Any Circumstances.
They cost me thousands above what it would have cost to just hire the professional in the beginning. Thank you for your time.