Today’s post is going to be a little different. I’ve debated about making this blog post for months now… I wasn’t ready to really go over the facts and just let it be. I finally feel like I’m ready to let all of my frustration out now… and I hope that something like this never happens to anyone else again. Read on…
I like to think that I usually put a lot of thought and consideration into things that I purchase. This time, I was wrong. Dead wrong. I threw caution to the wind and I definitely got a big lesson out of it. I would like to share a little story with you today about how my money was stolen by Niki Lamie, the owner of Nicole Lamie Photography (formerly Maddox Photography).
My blog is small and humble, and I’ve only been actively blogging for a little under a year now. Last year really got me started on regularly blogging and I started to gain more confidence in the direction I was heading.
After I had set out a vision for my blog, I decided that I would need a blog theme designed for me. I wanted this site to be functional and appealing, and I was willing to invest a little bit of money to get my plan started! I headed on over to Etsy and browsed for graphic designers around my price point and stumbled upon some beautiful examples done by ThePikiNikiDesigns (this was later changed to The Posh Perspective). The owner, Niki Lamie, has her own blog called I’m Fun Size where she blogs about her life. Since I had a tight budget, I was happy to see that she had sale pricing for one of her custom designs. I was so excited that I had found something that looked like such a perfect match that I went ahead and made my purchase.
Worst decision ever. And that’s when my nightmare started. To give you a bit of a time frame, this all started in October 2012.
I felt that something wasn’t right almost immediately. The seller never contacted me to thank me for placing an order and update me on my status. On her website, she had a wait list for her projects and my name wasn’t there. I tried to think the best and sent off an email asking if everything had went through on her side. Niki was actually very accommodating at this point and told me that my order had gotten lost and that she would start working with me in the next few days. She even sent me a link to fill out in regards to my vision for my website. I was relieved and excitedly filled out the form. By this point two months had passed and it was December!
Boy, was I wrong. Once again, I didn’t hear from Niki for months. I tried to contact her through various ways, like her twitter and facebook page. Finally, she responded back to my post on her facebook page and said that they had refunded all of their orders months ago and I must have gotten lost somehow since I hadn’t received one. That was news to me! I was never notified that she was refunding orders. She offered to still design my website for me because she was free or she could give me a refund. I don’t know what crackpot land I was living in, but I decided to trust her (again) and messaged her that yes, I would still like her to design my website.
My stupidity was monumental here. I should have gotten a refund (would she have given it to me though?) and ran away. I was still trying to think the best though and I really loved the websites that she had designed.
So it was February at this point and I started the process again. Niki told me that my previous form had gotten lost when their site crashed while moving domains so I had to redo it. She was emailing me during that week and even texted me a few times to tell me that she was starting to work on my website and gave me a time frame for completion. It all seemed to be working out…
Nope. No happy ending here. Once again, she disappeared. Actually, I wouldn’t say she disappeared because she was still very active on her Facebook, Twitter and blog. Every email, tweet and facebook message was ignored. She definitely saw my facebook post on her page because she promptly deleted it. At this point, I was just royally pissed that I trusted her and had essentially had my money hijacked for months while she played around. It was also pretty clear that I wasn’t about to get my money back. I did some investigating and found out that a lot of people on her Etsy (which has since been deleted, along with her company websites and social media) were complaining about the same situation… paying and getting nothing.
Soon, the website for The Posh Perspective was shut down with a static image stating that refunds would be rolling out as soon as possible. Yeah right. One year later, all messages ignored. I think it’s safe to say I won’t ever be seeing a refund from Niki.
Unfortunately, purchasing a website design through Etsy is very risky and there is little that they can do to help you. Even Paypal was unable to help me since this was a virtual purchase, I had waited so long to report it because I was on a “waiting list” and the seller could not be reached (no surprise there). I would really caution you to research sellers before purchasing custom made products because there is little recourse should something go wrong. And boy, it can go very wrong!
In the end, I lost out on $125 while Niki is still living it up. She has since abandoned her graphic design business and runs a photography studio called Nicole Lamie Photography (formerly Maddox Photography). Just a reminder that greedy, corrupt people out there do exist.
Moral of the story: You have to be extra careful on the internet, appearances can be deceiving! I still can’t comprehend how she was able to so easily steal my money, but it turns out that it is easier than you think.
In my opinion, you should avoid Niki Lamie (she also goes by Nicole Lamie) at all costs. Spend your money on a trustworthy seller for your blog design or even photography needs! I would recommend Bumble and Buzz Design if you are looking for a new design for your blog. 🙂
Just in case, here is a round up of things related to her that I would avoid at all costs:
Maddox Photography: http://maddoxphotography.co/
Nicole Lamie Photography: http://www.nicolelamie.com
I’m Fun Size Blog: http://imfunsize.co/
It’s been more than a year now and it is just so disappointing. More-so that there is a person out there who did this and still may do this to another person. Stealing someone’s hard earned money is just so low.
I can’t say this enough…