Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
LALA Web Designer
LALA Web Designer LA LA, Ryan Johnson Web Design SCAM uses cheap templates but charges for custom work Marina del Rey, California
15th of Jun, 2011 by User343280
Please consumers be warned- I have now learned through a trusted friend and genius computer programmer that what happened to me is happening to many many others. Scammers like Ryan Johnson (if thats his real name) are taking advantage of the massive trend towards small businesses developing a web presence via a website. And we are especially at risk given the current economic crisis as businesses look to save money like never before, yet still realize the need for a good marketing presence. An inexpensive website fulfills this need perfectly- or so we hope. If you call around to established graphic and web design firms, many are shocked like I was at the cost of creating a savvy, web-current site. Most quotes came in around $3000- and that was without e-commerce! Then I found good 'ol Ryan via a Craigslist search (the land of freelancers- a curse and blessing.) I was impressed by his splashy ad that ran over and over, and an advertised price that used to start at $295 (no longer- his greed is growing and his website now says $1000 min.) So I thought- perfect- he knows his design, knows how to market/SEO effectively, has an impressive portfolio, and has extremely reasonable pricing. SO I called him, found him pleasant, and arranged a meeting at my dance studio. How nice I thought, he'll even drive to meet me at my place, which I deemed important to get a good visceral feel of the studio's branding and overall goals as he considered his design elements for the new website. Turns out the drive was just so he could capture a check from me quickly. His website claims "3 mocks ups and no down payment until sample page approved" yet he told me I would have to pay at least 1/2 up front since I needed the new website somewhat quickly. Quoted price was between $1800- $2400 max- still significantly below other quotes we found- so he asked for $1200. Now I must admit fault- I went ahead and gave it to him without argument despite his clearly posted "satisfaction guarantees" that stipulate the 3 mockups and no $ until happy with sample, no templates, etc. So off he went. 3 days later our first sample arrived. I was floored- it clearly looked like a template and was very ameturish. In fact, he still has it live, captive at his website (maybe to help him in a lawsuit)- here it is, see for yourselves: http://danceforeverstudio.com/lalawebdesign/ I told him I was clearly not happy with it, and asked for a redesign. He came back with something even more amateurish, which I have a screenshot of for anyone who would like to see just how bad it is. Now I'm mad. I start to question his abilities. After all, he helped design pages for Intel's own website right? WRONG. All of his great looking portfolio examples ARE NOT HIS. Most are overseas (knowing people won't call them) and the few that were US based said "nope- never heard of the guy he didn't do my website." Now the picture is becoming clear- I'm dealing with a fraudster. So I plan to ask for my money back, and he says sorry- I have 35 hrs. of work into your website, you need to pay me more than $1200. WHAT? I start to call him on his bluff, and instead of being a legitimate businessperson he simply goes ghost, never to answer my calls again. I then find out his listed address on Washington blvd. is only a PO Box yet it says its a "Suite" on his website. Great, no physical address, and a guy who wont take a call to resolve the matter. This is when I have my computer programmer friend check him out. He finds that his phone is just a trac phone pay-as-you-go with no registered name, the LALA website is registered skillfully in a way that you can't get the owner's info, so he sadly inform's me sorry- you've been had. My own research found that the clever multiple listing he does on Craigslist is actually a violation of CL rules called top-posting. For starters, consider that- he won't even follow Craigslist rules that all
agree to when posting, undercutting all the hard-working legitimate law abiding website graphic design firms and individuals using that wonderful free website to advertise during these difficult times. Now granted, as you can see by the link above, he did do some work (my programmer friend estimated it at about three hours- not 35!!) But consider- we asked for a fully customized site, rich with graphics and flashy buttons etc, and he delivered this canned template site (a template that anyone can buy for $45) And apparently he did some Wordpress work behind it (WP is free open source software BTW) but then he refused to provide a detailed invoice describing the extent of that work, nor would he give us the WP password so we could review it ourselves. I definitely call BS on that. So here I am- with this sub-par hack beginner of a website, still hosted by Ryan Johnson's LALA domain. So much for a well-spent $1200. The site is incomplete and unusable, and even if we wanted to work with it we cant since he apparently holds it hostage on his server. The cell phone #ers he uses are often disconnected and changing and are all pay-as-you-go phones. In fact, if you try to search for his multiple ads on Craigslist it's kinda difficult since he uses mutltiple phone #ers, many of which are non-working #ers, in an apparent attempt to fool the CL policing used to flag over-postings like his. Here's one to try, the only one that seems to continue to work: 310-266-6091 (must be the number his mother has?) This is a bad guy. HAS ANYONE ELSE BEEN SCAMMED BY HIM? I now have his real address and other information for those that want to serve him. I know I'm not the only one.
Comments
3046 days ago by Jtzar
Could you post his address? he ripped me off as well. Thanks.
3002 days ago by Bobsyouruncle
I would suggest you take this to the Los Angeles District Attorney. Get a copy of your returned check to access his identity.
2994 days ago by Verticraze
I too have been scammed and I have a wells fargo bank account # that he used..If we can all get together, we can file a class action lawsuit and have whomever had that account subpoena.
Please contact me at candycashbiz at gmail
Thanks

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