On January 8th, 2008, after doing research on a web design company, we made the decision to allow Imaginations to build our web site. One of the packages they had advertised was up to 200 custom pages for $2, 545.00 plus $95.00 monthly maintenance. The assured us they could complete the project in 30 – 60 days. Our website is an association member’s only website that would require some databases. At this point in time we were speaking specifically with an English speaking person named Jack Stanford who indicated that he was from California.
Within a few days we received a call from a person who spoke broken English and took all our information about the website. They assigned us a username and password and a control panel to start setting up messages back and forth with the programmers and designers.
We had already designed our own logo and knew what we wanted in terms of color and font for the site, as well as what we wanted the buttons to look like, the navigation bars and we were going to provide the content for the pages. We also provided them with detailed drawings of what each of the pages was to look like.
It seemed to be extremely difficult to explain to the designer we were now speaking with over the phone what the website was and how we wanted it to work because the people only spoke broken English and we thought we were now dealing with a company that was based in India. We know now this is not true – they are in the Philippines.
By January 24, 2008 we were on to our 2nd programmer (Monica) and we had to repeatedly explain to her what the website was supposed to be. Around February 28th we were assigned another programmer (Jacob)and we again had to explain the website. They “completed” the first page and we slowly began to design the rest of the pages. Part of the messages we received from the programmer was the he had finished the programming for the database and was just waiting for the rest of the design to be completed.
On Monday, April 14th, 2008 we received an email from our programmer (Jacob) telling us that he was no longer with Imaginations, but, he would still like to finish our website. Yes, we were now on our 4th programmer with Imaginations and we had to try to explain to this new person exactly what we were doing with the website. And our 3rd programmer (Jacob) apparently trying to contact us outside of Imaginations through email, telling us that Imaginations never planned to finish the site and that they would not come after us for the remainder of the money, they would be glad we were gone.
Each one of the 4 programmers and designers we’ve had all had Americanized names like Monica, Alvin, Jacob, Jonathan, Julia, and Judy Winters. These names are all aliases and we believe that all these people are from the Philippines. We didn’t really care where they were from, as long as they did the job. That’s what mattered to us.
We are patient people and we know that a website like the one we were designing couldn’t be made overnight; however, our patience ran out at this point. We had been promised a completed website of up to 200 pages in 30 to 60 days. It had now been over 4 months and we were a long way from being completed.
We made the decision to stop working with Imaginations and took the opportunity to print out all the correspondences we had with them. Speaking with the 3rd programmer, Jacob, through Yahoo Instant Messenger, we decided to let him and his buddy, who we knew as Alvin who was the designer on the job with Imaginations, continue with the site since Jacob understood what we were looking for. Alvin was still a designer with Imaginations and much of the time he was working on our site, he was IM’ing us was while he was supposedly working at Imaginations.
Jacob promised us thru the emails that he would have the site completed in 2 – 3 weeks. That was about the last we heard from him. Alvin then continued to “work” on the site telling us that Jacob was working on the database and was very busy, that’s why we hadn’t heard from him. Previously Jacob told us, while he was still at Imaginations, that the database stuff was done! It still continued to go very slowly and we would go days without hearing from Alvin and without seeing any changes on the site.
Approximately the end of May we started talking to a friend of ours that is a programmer and he said he would look at the site to see what was going on. Our first indication of a problem came when we tried to look at the site on Internet Explorer (we use the Firefox browser on a normal basis). The site would not come up in Internet Explorer. When I brought this point up through email to the guys in the Philippines, their only response was, “What version of Internet Explorer are you using?” We know that the site should be able to work on many different versions of most web browsers.
We then found out that all of the pages were programmed with .html, which our friend indicated would be a major problem. If there were going to be any databases, the site would need to be programmed with a .php extension. In addition, the navigation buttons weren’t programmed correctly and they used different font in different places and different colors, it was all a mess and maintenance would be horrible because they didn’t use any global css.
At this point we stopped all communication with the people in the Philippines because we began to understand that they would have never completed the web site. Luckily, we didn’t send them any money. We have to revamp the whole web site with our friend who is actually accomplishing something after cleaning up most of what the people at Imaginations have done. We should be up and running in about 3 weeks
We did a lot of checking online before hiring Imaginations to do the web site and found nothing to indicate that the whole thing was a scam. On June 11th we did more checking on Imaginations and have discovered that many people now have lots of complaints about Imaginations. We now know that they change their name when people start posting complaints online. And, added to that, the Imaginations web site now says that they were finishing up their old projects and you could still check your control panel, but they were no longer doing sales. They’re no longer making any new sales with Imaginations, their latest venture is www.imagination3dartwork.net.
Someone with the company posts a rebuttal with each complaint listed on the Rip-off site and the Complaint Boards site purporting to be the Vice President of the company. The latest tactic seems to be that they’re blaming all the bad posts on their competition. We are not the competition, we were customers. His name is supposed to be Ted Roberts and he lists his email address as firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have compiled a list of web site companies that all are run by these same people because they all have the same names we’ve run into and phone numbers. We got all these websites off Rip-off (/link removed/ and Complaints Boards (https://www.complaintsboard.com)
which are internet reporting sites. Many of these sites have been closed down.
imagination.ms (This is the one we got ripped off with.)(No longer working)
imagination.vg/contacts.htm (You can see the site we saw here without the home page.)
global payment center (This is their where payments go to in Ca.)
thetop10webdesigners.netwebdesign.htm (This is their latest site.)
imagination3dartwork.net/ (This is their latest site.)
We’ve also got a list of the different phone numbers we’ve found for the same company. They are:
866-568-9784 (this is the latest number on their newest website)
213-785-2339 – Julia Palmer
Since we stopped working with them they have since changed names again. Their new company is www.thetop10webdesigners.net/webdesign.htm and this leads you to their number 1 listing which is also theirs named www.imagination3dartwork.net.
We’ve filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (800-382-4357) and our complaint number is 19282718 if anyone wants to add to that. The Attorney General of the State of California allows you to make a complaint at www.ag.ca.gov/contact/. We have filed a complaint with the FBI since this crosses state lines and international lines. Their website is www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/cyberhome.htm or at www.ic3.gov/ (this is the actually complaint form). We have also filed a complaint with the Attorney General of the State of Florida (since this is where we reside), and with the Department of Justice: Republic of the Philippines. Their website is www.doj.gov.ph/. Hopefully, we can stop them from scamming other people.