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William Edward Summers / DesignEnvelope.com / Takes payment for work and then doesn't do it

Box 44, Cobble Hill BC, Victoria BC, British Columbia, Canada Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 250-213-8368

We contracted with William Summers November 2009 to help us design and provide plans for the addition of an apartment we are building for our disabled son. This was after paying him $150 for a consultation and an initial concept which we were quite pleased with.

When my husband signed the contract Mr. Summers received $650 as a retainer, and was to make some changes we requested to our concept and complete the draft stages of the work. When he returned to move on to the next stage in January, instead of bringing any work to show his progress he brought two new concepts. This should have alerted us to the problem, however he was very convincing and we liked one of the other concepts even better. He assured us the work was already entered into Auto Cad and with a few quick changes he would be ready to provide us our working drawings. We paid him the 2nd $650 called for under the contract, prematurely, but trusting this was fair.

He asked us to email him pictures of the exterior of our home, which we did January 4th, at which time he stated he would have the completed work for our approval within a week and make some free suggestions for the exterior of the home as well.

In February we contacted him for a status update, no reply. Then we followed up and we were told another short time. He claimed he was delayed by computer problems and would get to us within a week, he then made further excuses. By mid-March we began advising him we needed his work quickly or we stood to lose $80, 000 worth of grants we were applying for because without the drawings we hired him to provide, we would not be able to get the quotes on time. Finally we told him if we did not have an appointment by the end of the day, we would hire someone else.

He finally called us saying the work was complete and he was ready to meet with us. Then he wouldn't agree to a time to meet, then he would cancel our appointments at the last 2nd, then he sent us an email of some draft work to show he was acting in good faith, when we stated there were many inaccuracies but we would still like the drafts to apply for grants, he refused to meet for several more days until he could "correct" them. Then he made more appointments and canceled with various excuses like "my power is out" and "I need a power cord for my laptop" then finally he just emailed us :40 min after the time of our appointment to indicate he wasn't coming until the following day. We phoned him many times, but he would only email as a reply and would ignore all of the points that we would raise.

We were frustrated and appalled but still thought he was just a terrible businessman, until he came for the appointment...

Then he demanded his FINAL payment April 7, 2010 of $700.00 which he wasn't entitled to receive until the scope of the work was complete, however his work was completely inaccurate, was missing major parts of what was to be included, and was completely unusable. We know of others he has done the same to.

We tried to find a resolution, asking him to leave the work so we could still apply for our grants as this was only 3 weeks until the grant deadlines and we were still unable to get quotes to complete our applications. He was very hostile, intimidating and blackmailing my husband with the draft drawings in order to receive the final payment without completing the work at all. He has made threats and tried to extort that money as well.

We were horrified, and not realizing just HOW terrible the work was at first glance because he barely allowed my husband to look at it first before snatching it up and demanding his money, he was given a cheque for the $700.

After thorough review however my husband tried to phone him and advise we were canceling the cheque due to the circumstances and the fact that the work was not even substantially completed. We had no reason to believe he would cooperate in correcting the work after cashing our cheque under the circumstances. He did not answer his call to discuss it, so we proceeded.

Shortly afterward we received an irate call screaming at us about lying and providing a phony cheque. He proceeded to threaten us and email copies of our cheque everywhere claiming we had defrauded him out of payment for goods and services we had received.

We asked him multiple times to complete the work in exchange for payment, he refused. He also ignored requests to refund us for the services he did NOT provide, as the drafts we provided us were useless and did not contain the things we hired him to complete.

After a week of this type of thing, he then "offered" to let us pay him $800 to not "escalate" things and ruin both of our good names by continuing to claim we gave him a fraudulent cheque and stole from him.

We have since discovered that he has apparently ripped off dozens of other people through the attached blog:

http://designenvelop.blogspot.com/2007/06/william-edward-summers.html?showComment=1271788895480#c368408372524359126

Unfortunately, though we did search for his company prior to hiring him we didn't find this, we had only found good things that seemed promising. We hope to change that for future people who consider hiring him.

We have also now done searches of the Corporate Registries in California and all of Canada, and though he claims to be operating as William Edward Summers, Inc. there is no such company currently in existence. Also through court searches I can see he has been taken to small claims court on a multitude of occasions in both countries.

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Comments

  • An
      Jun 14, 2010

    I feel so sad for you and your situation. He has also ripped me off and is holding the construction of our house hostage as we had the hairs stand on the back of our neck at our 2nd meeting when he started demanding money...we walked and got a legitimate designer to assist us ...our legal troubles aren't over yet because he has liened our house even though he didn't do his job or full fill his contract. I'm from Victoria and would love to chat and figure out how to deal with someone of such pour nature

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      Jul 11, 2010

    Wow, you are a piece of work William. Everyone is out to get you?

    We have names of about 50 people you have stolen from and conned people out of their money, and court records to prove it. We welcome facing you in court, but you hide from process servers and police investigators.

    People can see the truth from following the links of all the Better Business Bureau and Court Records.

    -1 Votes
  • Ti
      Jul 11, 2010

    By the way, your comments about us are false and libelous. We did not STEAL anything, we did not COPY or ALTER anything, you do not own the COPYRIGHT to our ideas or our drawings we had to do when what you provided to us was USELESS and we wrote you a VALID cheque which we cancelled when we saw your DECEPTION. We also haven't GLOATED about anything at all after losing $1300 to you and your scam. But we hope to see you get what you deserve, that is for sure.

    0 Votes
  • An
      Sep 20, 2010

    I was one of a number of building designers on Vancouver Island who were caught in his scams.

    It worked this way. In my case Summers contacted me to do some drafting work for him because he was overloaded with work. He provided me with a disk of a partly completed residence in California and I was to complete the working drawing, and then email them to him. He would collect from the client and then pay me. This was not too bad, but the house didn't make a lot of sense. He paid me a little, not what he should have for this. The next disk was bits and pieces of different houses and he gave no guidance. The house was structurally impossible to build so I did nothing on it. He kept after me to provide drawings for him, so I finally called the Architectural firm in California that had it's logo on the drawings. They were glad to hear from me because they had advanced Summers a large amount of money to do the drawings and had received nothing and he was impossibel to contact. It seems that he would get Architects and clients to pay him and he would get other draftsmen to do the drawings or partial drawings. He would collect monies in advance pay a little to the draftsman so he could forward little bits of drawings to collect more advances, and then disappear.

    I know of at least 5 building designers who were scammed by him or were approached by him. I also had a client that built an upscale subdivision in Vancouver that Summers claimed to have designed. He said Summers was in no way involved. Look at his website. A lot of fluff, but no substance. He has lots of references to newspaper and magazine articles, but no actual quotes. His portfolio could be any house on any street. I don't believe one word of it.

    Today I found out that he is living In Duncan, B.C., Canada, and is still up to his old tricks.

    -1 Votes
  • Fu
      Jun 16, 2011

    he is currently advertising on craigslist again ! new innocent people will be scammed again.
    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/sks/2442938442.html

    Please file a police report, This scammer must be stopped.

    -1 Votes
  • Fe
      Mar 11, 2015

    Just so you know... William E. Summers is working as an architectural instructor in Victoria BC. He still resides in Duncan BC.
    I hope this is helpful.

    -1 Votes
  • Pe
      Apr 29, 2015

    I too was scammed by Mr. Summers. I paid him three payments and he didn't give me anything I could use. I took him to court in Duncan, BC and he didn't appear. I have a judgement against him but he refuses to pay. He lives at 3859 Garland Street, Cobble Hill, BC. Since I have been reporting the "truth" about him, he is posting malicious things about me and saying that I am prejudice. There has to be a way to stop this man.

    -1 Votes
  • Pe
      Dec 29, 2015

    There are always people who are never satisfied and will lie to harass. The low life here, thanks to the internet are able to remain anonymous when they lie. hjiip://www.17ebook.co
    * aladel.net
    * bpwhamburgorchardpark.org
    * clicnews.com
    * dfwdiesel.net
    * divineenterprises.net
    * fantasticfilms.ru

    -1 Votes
  • Pe
      Dec 29, 2015

    Peggy Zock had her pathetic lawsuit cancelled by a judge, Tiffanie who is the first poster and ringleader of this lynch mod did this same type of character assignation to a lawyer in Ontario and a hot tub company in Victoria. The others are anonymous cowards

    +1 Votes
  • Te
      Feb 23, 2016

    Just found this thread today. Contacted Billy the thief in July of 09 to provide drawings for a project in West Seattle. Paid by check up front for drawings suitable for local permit. Check cashed. After two months and many phone calls...you get the idea. $750 usd gone. Yes I do hold a grudge. Don't let me catch up to you in the USA.

    +1 Votes
  • Pe
      Feb 23, 2016

    Anonymous slanderer.

    -1 Votes
  • Th
      Apr 06, 2016

    Hi, scammed by this guy too. I had almost forgot about William Edward Summers, but coincidentally he turned up in an Internet search. He promised to draft house plans suitable for filing for a permit, but he never really finished anything. Cashed plenty of my checks and gave me nothing. We finally found a real architect and moved on, lessons learned. Felt really bad about the way he used us up and spit us out.

    0 Votes
  • Pe
      Apr 06, 2016

    This is another anonymous hater. Notice that he gives no specificsuch, just a slanderous liar. The party accused hasn't even been doing new residential for some time. Ignore this fool and just move on.

    0 Votes
  • Wh
      Feb 17, 2017

    Little Billy the scam artist.
    Still in the process of chasing this little thief. The latest is that he and the engineer he found for my project could not get along... the engineer found out little Billy isn't as bright as he might seem. Asked a few questions and he couldn't answer the basics. typical outsourced designer who goes from student to student to offer a first hand experience for low or no pay and never pays them I assume.
    I am going to get in touch with all of you and launch a legal assault even if it costs me something to get done.
    Little #### is keeping the drawings, asked for money to "expedite" the job and I lost the window my contractor had to get started and won't have the place done before my family visits with no other place to stay.
    Don't ever use him for any project and spread the word.

    0 Votes
  • Wh
      Feb 17, 2017

    @whatcomesaround Laughingly also goes by ArchitectureWhisperer and easybuildingplans.com. Wonder why someone needs so many aliases... hmmmmmm
    Burned too many bridges I suppose.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      Jul 07, 2019

    I have provided a short term loan to William Summers in Duncan, BC for $13, 000 when he claimed that he needed the money to pay his bills and eat. This is under a fully notarized Promissory Note. He has avoided me since 2009, and keeps claiming he is under health issues, then walking bankrupt, then promising to pay his debt, BLAH BLAH BLAH. he is refusing to provide me with his coordinates as I wish to file a police report and sue him properly in court for stealing my hard earned money. This is what you get for assisting someone in need.

    0 Votes

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