We used Guru.com to find a company to bulid a new web page. Guru.com connected us with Larissa Church of Idea Catchers group, LLC in Texas. Larissa bid on the work and we decided to use her. The project had a 30 day turn around time.
Larissa billed us for $1350 before starting work and we paid it through Guru.com's "Safe Pay" service. About three weeks later we received another invoice from Larissa for an additional $1350 and decided to pay $625, half what she was asking because we had not seen anything yet. Again, we used Guru.com's "Safe Pay" service.
It became apparent that Larissa either could not do the work, or would not do the work. Every time we contacted her she claimed to be with a relative in the hospital. After six weeks of waiting we gave her a choice to deliver the page or refund the money. Larissa said she didn't have the project anywhere near complete. She could not even give us a prototype, but she did not have any money and could not refund us. In effect we were told, "to bad, I spent the money." "Now wait".
We contacted Guru.com only to learn that their "Safe Pay" service offers no protection whatsoever. You must use their Escrow Service to be somewhat protected. They don't make it real clear that you're on your own with safe pay and they alo try to hide the fact that they are the ones running your credit card.
At this point in the process we learned that Guru.com was the company that actually charged our credit card so we asked them to refund the money. Joe from Guru.com was nice but started freaking out when I said we would just do a chargeback. He said Guru.com would cut off our account and we would be blocked from using their service if we did a chargeback. Acording to Joe, it's a violation of their user agreement to do a charge back. I guess it's o.k. to be ripped off, but don't protect yourself our your in violation of their terms.
Guru.com claimed that while they ran the charge through their account, we did not have a right to charge it back bacause they paid Larissa. Larisaa claimed that she never ran our card so she wasn't under any obligation to pay us back, but in any event, she had spent the money and didn't have it.
In late June Joe from Guru.com contacted us and said Larissa had agreed to refund our money on July 6, 2007. Guess what, on July 6, 2007 we had to track Guru.com down to find out where our refund was. Joe said Larisaa still didn't have the money and we should wait. They would credit us with $200 within a week or so and then pay us whenever she paid them. Not wanting to wait any longer, we filed an appeal with our credit card company only to learn that Paypal will only let you appeal a charge for 45 days. The $625 could be charged back but we were out the $1350. We're still working with Paypal on that but you should be aware of that if you pay with Paypal.
We continued to contact Guru.com and Larissa until on 7/11/2007 Stacy from Guru.com sent us an email that said it wasn't their problem and they wouldn't do anything unless we dropped the chargeback on the $625. She said they would not take anymore emails or telephone calls and everything should be sen to their attorney.
Larissa sent an email saying to leave her alone because she had given 100% of the money back to Guru.com and they were now responsible.
We're not dropping the $625 chargeback and we're filing police reports for the $1350 theft as well as contacting the Attorney General in Texas and PA. In our opinion this is internet fraud.
The interesting thing about this is that once Guru.com and Larissa had our money, neither of them seemed to care that we were being shafted. The only thing the repeated over and over was that it wasn't their problem. Larissa received most the money and Guru.com received a percentage. We are the only participants in this transaction who are left with no money and no product. Remember this when you deal with Guru.com or Larissa Church of Idea Catchers, LLC>