Today I would like to tell you a story about a fraud. Yes, a fraud, affaire, hustle, crook business or whatever you call it: a situation when you pay for something but get nothing but headache in return. I’ve been working on Mac OS market for years and so far I don’t remember any serious issues with any services or partners I had, even if there were any issues, I was always able to solve them via negotiations in a gentle manner, like normal people usually do, but approximately 6 month ago I was “caught” buy a roque with XXI century-style.
How did it happen?
As any other software developer, I’m always looking for a way to promote my application over the web, focusing on the OSX community websites. Nowadays, with the MAS raise, it quite important to have some reviews there (not just 5*, anything from 3 and higher, I would say, while even some bad, but nicely written review might be helpful) plus some media coverage in form of reviews and maybe video reviews on popular streams, some social networks spread is always welcomed as well. So, there are various companies focusing on promotions for the developers, from well-known old warhorses to the new indies, making new niches. In the March 2013 I was contacted by Derrick Edwards from iGiveaway.us, they offered some nice looking packages including all kind of reviews I dreamed about. Since I was already looking for a kind of platform for promoting my various apps over the web, I was pretty happy to see someone focusing on this tasks and ready to take my money for suck kind of work. We agreed a deal of $750 value for our PhotoStyler application.
What actually happened?
Well, after the agreed the deal terms, I payed the money and started waiting for my video and regular reviews to appear. I was promised to get reasonable number of articles, videos and MAS review which were especially interesting for me since it was pretty hard to get any responses on the MAS page of the app. A week passed, but nothing happened, I contacted “the honourable” Derrick Edwards again, asking about the situation. He explained, that there is a “small delay” and we’ll see his work shortly.
Unfortunately, nothing changed in a week, and in another one. I was pretty busy at work and had a lot of personal business at home, but I kept pinging this tricky fraudster again and again. At last, we changed the idea of the order: the web reviews, articles and everything else was canceled. “Let it be just MAS reviews”, I said, thinking this one can be closed pretty fast, to be honest, I was already mostly thinking about closing the deal and didn’t intend to continue co-operation with that kind of “service”, yet I thought they are just un-professional, not tricksters.
Time passed, I have sent and received another 20 e-mails, but still got nothing. My bad, but I even missed the deadline for PayPal dispute in few days and there was no way to claim the money. I kept wasting my time while “enterprising” Derrick from igiveaway.us kept explaining me the delays. Finally, my patience ended up and I requested a refund (being sure I will get one, imagine).
So, what was wrong with the refund?
Well, nothing was wrong since there was no refund. Mr. Derrick Edwards from igiveaway.us wasted another 2 month of my time explaining the delays with the refund. There were some “problems with the bank”, he had to “talk to the partner” and there were some “delays with money trasfer”, but the issue itself was always in, you know, “almost solved” state. Just wait a little bit and you’ll get your video review. Oh, just wait another week and you’ll get the reviews on MAS! Just some patience and you’ll see your money back.
Where are we now? Nowhere. Derrick doesn’t answer for my emails anymore, I have contacted my bank in order to revert the payment made via PayPal, but with the company’s credit card, however, I’m not sure we’ll see the money again. Dispute on PayPal has been closed without solution, but at least there was a claim and, probably, PayPal might be willing to watch for Derrick’s account.
However, whole this post wasn’t about poor me, I will not die due to those lost $750. However, the Mac developers society should know, that iGiveaway.us is a website of fraud and imposture. You will simply waste your money and time, getting absolutely nothing it return.
What about evidences?
I do have 60+ emails from Derrick to me and vice versa, confirming the deal itself, discussions of the “delays” and negotiations regarding the refund. I have PayPal invoice, unsuccessful dispute and my bank’s correspondence about all this. The last mails from iGiveaway.us are dated as beginning of the October 2013, where Derrick yet again said that he “should talk with his partner”. Whatever, you know.
Actually, it’s the first time during the years of my work when I see such situation. I’ve spent sums like $50.000/year on development and advertising, freelance developers got access to my source code, various companies got my keygens in order to make a promo or got thousands dollars with the promotion deals or advertising – and I haven’t ever met a fraud. Really. Maybe, it was just my luck, but I always saw professional people on the other side, who were ready to give me a hand with any issue and who were responsible and communicable.
However, iGiveaway.us is an ugly exception. When someone takes your money for a “service” and gives you nothing back, it’s called a fraud and that’s precisely what happened to me. I realize, that I’m an idiot to be caught in such a situation, but at least I hope this article will help other developers to avoid having “deals” with this website and it’s “CEO”. Stay away from this people and, if you know any Mac or iOS developers – let them know.