Have you ever been involved in an Internet scam? If you have then you know just how frustrating it is. I’ve used the Internet for many years and fortunately for me I’ve never been involved in an Internet scam……..until now.
I know this has nothing to do with culinary and because I don’t need bad karma I will not mention the name of the person, their company name or their website. Well, not today I won’t!! Besides, I’d hate to give them any exposure whatsoever. But I do feel that I owe it to my followers to be aware of the immoral people out there and that you have to be very careful if you have ever given people access to important data, such as your FTP details.
As you may or may not know I took on the daunting task of creating a new culinary blog. The theme I had wasn’t very interactive so I chose to recreate a new blog with new features that will also benefit my subscribers and food friends. I found a theme I really liked with a beautiful way to share recipes, a new incredible feature that allowed my fellow bloggers as well as food friends the ability to post your recipes on my blog and share it with others. You can even add links back to your blog and Facebook pages, which I really love and I know you will love sharing your fantastic recipes on my blog. I then reached out to someone who could assist me in setting it all up and get it running. I was so excited to get it live so I could share with you all.
The developer was so excited and so enthusiastic he almost was more motivated than me to get it done. The first week and a half were great, I could see immediate results from the development site he created. But soon the communication lacked. Emails were not being replied to, text messages that were once replied to within a few hours were now being replied to in a day or longer. I felt a very bad energy happening. Then while working on the site at his home we encountered time out issues with my server. Ironically he nonchalantly mentioned he sells servers as a little side gig. I wasn’t being sold and I had used this server company for years with never any issues. Well, we were unable to work on the site because it kept timing out. So he suggested we just test it by moving it to his server to see if it would work. This occurred after hours and days trying to have my server company resolve the issue but they could not duplicate the problem. If you cannot duplicate it you cannot fix it. Still the developer convinced me the issue was my server. And why not, when moved to his server it worked like a gem. Had to be my server, right?
Grab an enchilada, this will take a while. So we worked ever so slowly as I could see he really had little work ethic as he once had when he originally started or should I say, how he sold me his services with enthusiasm. There is a favorite saying of mine from the late great speaker, Zig Ziglar. “Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good.” Anyway, as he continued to sell me on the fact I needed another server that actually worked I smelled a rat. Were my time out issues something he coded to malfunction? We will get to that, hold on to your sombrero!
It was left on his server as we worked and I was no where near done and he simply wasn’t doing what he had promised and I felt I was held hostage. I knew I needed to get out, but how? it was on his server. So I contacted a few people and a personal friend of mine who is a code writer offered to take a look to actually see if he could figure out my time out issues. He had all my FTP details and while searching for the problem discovered something very unusual. Some links that were going back to another server. He sent me a text and asked if he could call my hosting server company. He did and while on there the company was more than cooperative. Then I got a text saying that I needed to get on the call. We immediately changed FTP details and any and all usernames and passwords that the developer had access too. Within a few hours I was receiving emails and text messages from the developer he needed to be paid. He felt as though his job was done. I did pay him, only because I just wanted him gone.
I then did some research on servers because my server just wasn’t working. I assumed it was my server being they could not find the issue and the time-outs were so frequent I could not work. What should have taken a few weeks to complete I now had a month plus of time invested and very frustrated.
I then was in search of help…someone who could help me do what I wanted and what I originally hired the first developer to do. I reached out across the pond all the way to Greece because they came as a high reference from someone I really trusted. We exchanged emails and within 24-hours I received a quote. I felt the price was fair and so I hired them to complete the task.
I did explain before we started my bad experience and they too experienced time out issues with my server when they began. Being I had already purchased another server, they said they had to transfer it over in order to work on it. They also asked if it were okay to put it on their server first to test. They did and no issues. So again it had to be my server, right? Hopefully you have half your enchilada left!!
They transferred it over to my new server and all was working just fine. And then her husband (husband wife team working hard) had found some unusual coding linking back to another domain. He being a crackerjack with coding had not been told from his wife about my previous experience with the developer as of yet, but he noticed something very unusual. They said they wanted to finish one task at a time and then would do some digging to see what they could find. And finally last night about 6pm I received a message. Michael, we need to talk as soon as possible. That conversation lasted about an hour explaining all the files that were found with links going back to the original developers domain. The result being it had to pass through a 3rd party server which was taking a longer than usual load time and apparently assisting this developer to get some traffic and or assisting in Google rankings. In other words to my understanding, benefiting from my hard work.
Now this is where it gets good, grab a cocktail! A good friend of mine is an attorney and he had hired this kid, yes 21-year old punk, as an employee years ago. The developer left there for what he told me was not enough money. That I found out was not the case at all.
So being the attorney is my very good friend and this kid was his employee building his websites in the past, I thought I should contact him just to make him aware that he may have done the same to him. He replied via text within minutes, “our firm no longer has any affiliation with him”. I said okay but here is what happened to me, and he might have done the same to you. He replied, “We hired a firm to come in and build my entire site from scratch and don’t get me started.” I then was puzzled to that reply. I responded with, might I ask what issues you had with him? Michael, he had me at the point where I was going to go to the DA if he did not give me back access to all of my IP. I must have put 10 hours into getting all my stuff and having all passwords changed. He even had Google mad at me and they shut down my Facebook etc. I had a few top professionals on this. I even had a guy fly up from NC, don’t get me started I said. We exchanged a few more text messages in which I replied, He TOTALLY screwed me! He replied, me, Steve (another friend of mine) and now you. I called Steve who told be he had thousands invested and the list of dirty, unethical behavior is another novel. A rat is a rat is a rat! But we all agreed to join forces…that’s a good thing.
As you can imagine my blood pressure was beyond boiling. I made a call to another friend and I then was informed that what he did might be a federal crime, theft my deception and I am not alone in the pursuit to justice. Your opinion is welcomed!
So here I am. My site is operating great thanks to http://NinjaWeb.gr. They discovered the issue(s) and resolved them. They went above and beyond to make my site function to my liking. NinjaWeb assisted me in a way that makes me want to post to the world on how a good web developer should be. They offered suggestions and assistance on things that I never even hired them to do because they are simply proud of what they do and it shows in their work. To me that is what I call going the extra mile. Because of that I would recommend them to anyone looking for effective and efficient web developers and designers. Whether you want a new site, revamp a current site, or need a little tweaking, I would suggest them to anyone. And because they have two kids, times are hard all over, especially in Greece, I felt I would do everything I can to give them a well deserved, kudos to you. I also did it to prove to the first developer, if you work hard and go the extra mile you will have people banging down your door for your services. I ask a favor, you never have to share this blog, but if you would somehow, somewhere, tell people about Ninja Web, I would be forever grateful. Good hard working people deserve some good PR. And for the record they speak perfect English in case you were not up to speaking Greek.
Where am I with the first bad apple? I am in contact with an attorney. I have it being researched if this is a federal crime. I am going to request my money back plus the money I had to pay to another developer to do what I was promised and for the new server I had to purchase as well. If not, then I will pursue this with the help of others who have been scammed and I WILL go to the DA as well and take it as far as I have to for justice. If he did it to them and he did it to me, he probably has done it to others and is well on his way to do to someone else. It’s really sad to think that I put so much faith in someone that sold me a lobster dinner and all I got was a can of spam. The hardest part is keeping my anger in check, I hate anyone being scammed and I hate to be involved in an Internet scam.
Thank you Ninja Web, a job well done! You can all have another enchilada now.
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