Hits Web design of Provo Utah, formerly Heritage Web design, Seized the Website I Paid Them to Design for My Fashion Brand, Causing My Business to Fail, While They Extorted Me of $2,000 For the Design and Hosting That They Still Have Not provided…
Please help me. I got your name from Rocket-Lawyers - they said that communicating with you might help me resolve this very painful business experience with a Provo web design company – Heritage web..
You see, I live in Los Angeles, California and had contracted with Heritage web design-company in Provo Utah to design a website for a casual wear fashion I started. Our initial contact was in late 2005. By 2006, I had paid them about $750.00 being the full upfront fee for the design of an e-commerce website so customers from around the world could buy directly from my company.
After my final payments, they did begin work and did show me the progress they were making - most of which I liked and encouraged the designer assigned to my project to continue and get the site. The problem started when they would not complete the site, nor update the fashion pictures they requested from me - especially since the e-commerce/shopping cart portions of the site needed the materials
They changed the original designer I had worked well with and assigned other designers to the job; the reason being that my designer was promoted to supervisory position and that the job will be completed by a junior e-commerce specialist, who nonetheless was adept at building ecommerce. However, each time I called in to preview the progress being made, I would be asked to hold for someone new as they have changed the designer.
Soon after everything became a standstill as every other moment there was some other designer assigned to the project, who in turn was waiting for yet another totally new project manager assigned to my project, who would tell them what to do...
As a result of this constantly changing condition, the job was never done - each time I checked in, there was an excuse by one of the newest of the new assignee to the project. They would say something like, "We are waiting for a new and improved proprietary shopping cart system…" and as soon as that was ready my site would be migrated to that new shopping cart. And so that went on and on.
I was not able to reach and interact with the original designer I started the site with. Emails I sent to her would be forwarded to someone else who would contact me to assert that they were the new authority on the project. And they would tell me to wait; and I would wait. I have been waiting for what now seems like eternity; and still I have not been able to do business as planned.
The disastrous part of this was that the essential part of my marketing plan for the company was to produce, market and sell from our website.
The site was not done and remains incomplete to this day - the last time I asked to see it was sometime in 2009; they sent me a link to the web space where they had the site in development; but a part of the shopping cart was stuck and the remaining wiped out… when I asked why, they told me that a new software was being beta tested and that I shouldn't worry as it will be okay.
The CONDITIONS WE AGREED UPON FOR THE SITE TO BE DEEMED DONE AND READY was that the functioned efficiently and is technically, and aesthetically, ready for customers to make purchases from. With that done, the designers would then hand it over by training me or an associate to operate the site... and most importantly that the site be transferred and be hosted using our domain name(the site was being built on the platform they provided because they wanted total control of the site until transferred over to us officially)
Hosting fees (about $40 per month) was supposed to kick in when the site was completed and transferred to us and hosted... They also told us that when the site was completed and ready we had the option of taking the finished site to host wherever we pleased as long as we paid them for a one year hosting fees with them.
To date, we never got to that point where the site is transferred to us, because the website was never ever completed.
By the fall of 2008 I believe, they changed their name to Hits Web Design and a host of new parties must have taken over because they begun to extort me – they informed me by email that I had to pay them $350, if I wanted them to complete my website. What for? Why? Remember that I paid in full for the design and up until this point I still have not gotten anything from them.
When I called them to find out why, we got into all kinds of arguments as they tried to justify why I should pay for services they never in any way rendered... they told me to call back and speak with a manager who was to take over the project for the purpose of completing it with a new shopping cart. Each time I called, someone would take down my phone number but no one would return my call.
By 2009 the project was handed over to another new project manager - an "Iron-Lady" of sorts who would not hear anything at all about whether the site was completed or not. She insisted that the condition for talking with me would be, "You pay the $2000.00 hosting fee you owe to us; because we hosted your site for two years now and you have not paid anything…" Hosted my site, how could that be possible? How could you host a site that was not completed and handed over to the client; that the owner knew nothing about; a site that has to be hosted on a domain that I own and still have parked elsewhere?
I tried everything to make her realize that the site was never competed; but she said that she would research it and get back to me... she never did. After numerous attempts, I finally got her on the phone, but she insisted that they hosted the site for two years and that I owe Hits Web design $2000 and that that was the end of conversation until I sent in a check or paid by credit card…
I am totally frustrated because I had no money to hire an attorney, and moreover I live out of state and they had written into the original contract that Utah was the state with legal jurisdiction for the project... I waited for months hoping that she would see reason; I contact the company again and asked to speak with someone else - a senior manager instead of the iron-lady... But the senior manager told me that what the iron-lady said was the gospel-truth... "You have to pay in order to get a copy of the project; and once you have done that and have your copy, we will look into ways to complete the site your way…"
They also refused to return material that I gave them. When we started the project, I sent them about a hundred trademarked and copyrighted graphics and over 800 model pictures from a modeling photo session I had shot especially for the brand... That alone cost me over $2000... The original designer had told me that I shouldn't worry about getting back the material in their possession because after the project was done and I transferred and the site has gone live; they would return all graphics and models' pictures to me...
Contrary to that, the new senior manager that was introduced to me over the phone, emailed to tell me that Hits Web design nor its employees were not responsible - in essence they do not know how or where the material is and that all was lost and they cannot be held accountable because it has been so long and they have had numerous ex-employees go through the project...
Main while, the economic downturn affected me as my bank was one of the banks that went bankrupt; And so lost the credit line.
Right now, I have no business because our operation shut down because I had no site to sell from. – I spent my life savings to register international intellectual property and to set the web up –and yet that website is not even on the web. nor do I have a copy of what I paid for.
I checked online to see what is been written about Hits Web Design and there has been a running storyline with numerous clients who are angry at them for not completing jobs, for changing the terms of contract midway and for unduly extorting people for additional fees... I did not know of the fraudulent nature of their operation and I was astounded...
I spoke with various sources familiar with this kind of cyber fraud and they said to find a lawyer based in Utah who could help with suing Hits Web design… But the issue I have with that has to do with money the fact that Hits was instrumental to ruining my business is not lost on me - I am still trying to get my business moving again. As such, I do not have the finances to pay an attorney to get justice for me. But how then do I get my money refunded and materials returned back to me. And how about punitive damages – for in essence, Hits Web took part in destroying my business
I really truly, need help from anyone who reads this and knows of a conduit for getting this frustrating impasse resolved Please find a way to help... Or do you know of an attorney who could help? Please forward this to them.
You may reach me by email at, email@example.com. Please help.
Review about: Fashion Website.