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  • Report: #864946

Complaint Review: Lava Design and Jim Easley

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  • Submitted: Fri, April 06, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, February 16, 2013

  • Reported By: LavaVictim — Miami Bach Florida United States of America
Lava Design and Jim Easley
4100 Spring Street Suite 206 Internet United States of America

Lava Design and Jim Easley Melissa Easley Check Fraud, Extortion and Poor Service Internet, Internet

*Consumer Comment: Kudos to Lava Design!!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Response to fraud accusation

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We hired Lava Design to produce a couple of products for retail sales.  Lava design is an industrial design firm run by Jim Easley out of Spring Park, MN. 

Jim quoted us $3,500.00 for a design and engineering.  3/4 way through the project, he told us it will take another $4,500.00 and that he mis quoted us from the beginning.  Rather than ask for a refund or argue, we agreed as long as he agreed to 3 monthly installments of $1,500.00.   Then $8,000.00 later, the product delivered was not engineered friendly for injection molding or CNC machining, so it was a complete disaster. He then told us it would take another $3,000.00 to solve some issues. We did not agree.  

Simultaneously, we had another project we were initiating. In fact we already sent him a check that day for $4,200.00.  We immediately called Jim and told him to return the check or rip it up as we are not using his service or Lava Design moving forward.  We called up our bank to stop payment on the check. Jim stated he would rip the check up.  

Its now 6.2 months later.. His wife Melissa Easley decided to commit check fraud and deposited the retainer check anyway, though no services were done.  We called our bank, and they stated stop payment checks have a life span of 6 months. In fact a banker told us as long as you have this same business account, for the rest of your life every 6 months we will have to renew stop payments.  Never heard of such a policy.  

Our bank is now trying to help us, and they stated we needed to file a police report, which we just did.  We called Lava Design and spoke to both Melissa and Jim Easley.  They tell us we owe them $2,100.00 in phone fees (every time we spoke to them on the phone (like an attorney) they were charging us.) They then stated we will put back only $2,000.00 in your account take it or leave it.   We decided not to negotiate with blackmailers and told them to face the consequences.  We will pursue it legally.

 All those considering any engineering or industrial design, we warn you seek somewhere else.  As Melissa's words were "Jim and I are struggling financially" and we need this money.  They are desperate and now will pull a bait and switch on quotation to overcharging.  Stay away from this Bonnie and Clyde mom and pop operation.  

It may cost us $4,200.00 but hopefully it will cost them much more.    They are unreasonable and desperate and will do anything to defraud you and make a quick buck.

I will post this in every complaints bureau and I am sure more victims will surface.  We are going to sue them for this as well as legal expenses.




This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/06/2012 03:02 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Lava-Design-and-Jim-Easley/internet/Lava-Design-and-Jim-Easley-Melissa-Easley-Check-Fraud-Extortion-and-Poor-Service-Intern-864946. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Kudos to Lava Design!!

AUTHOR: HighField - (United States of America)

I hired Jim Easley of Lava Design as a consultant well over a year ago to help design products for my start-up medical device company and have never witnessed the above accussations to be true on my part. I have worked with many mechanical and industrial engineers in the past and consider Jim to be one of the top!

When it comes to hiring, I am very particular about who I hire to represent my company and I do my research. The Better Business Bureau has a top notch rating for Lava Design and Jim not only represents his company with class, his skills are highly praised. I have worked with Jim side-by-side and have never been displeased by his work. He has stepped into the medical device industry with very little experience in the field and with his help we have developed numerous high tech products to meet the demand of the fast growing industry that have been praised not only by performance but functionality too. My products are in use at major research institutions and representing large OEMs to help study, diagnose, and treat patients with dibilitating diseases and Jim has had a solid hand in the devolopment of such products.

I have worked as an Electrical/ RF Engineer for many years now, which includes working with "all walks of life." Some understand the development side of products and others don't. I have found in the past that my products success is characterized by how well I have outlined the details for my engineers and although ideas are great for an invention, it doesn't cut it for the development of the product.

All I have to say is Kudos to Lava Design. Keep up the good work.

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Response to fraud accusation

AUTHOR: expert witness - (United States of America)

I am a former employee of Jim and Melissa Easley of Lava Design in Spring Park.  I have also worked under Jim Easley at another Minnesota-based design firm for several years.  I currently work at a competitive firm and was not asked to write this rebuttal, doing it on my own free will because I think that the accusations against Jim and Melissa are unfair and probably unjustified.

I do not question that there was probably a miscommunication between the two parties, which can happen in consulting, especially with clients who may not have experience developing a product. I was not personally involved and cannot directly comment about this but I am suspicious about these accusations based on my 20-year history of working with, specifically Jim Easley, and having a personal relationship outside of work with the Easley family. 

In the 20 or so years of either working with or interacting with the Easley's, never once did I witness an act of selfishness, malice, dishonest conduct or unprofessional business practices. They are outstanding citizens of the Spring Park community, heavily immersed in the local church and involved in many volunteer events.  Probably the most generous couple I have ever met. Jim and Melissa are role models not only in the local business community but the Minneapolis/St Paul design community. In addition, Jim Easley has been honored with mutiple awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America. 

Again, I have no reason to write this.  I will not benefit from writing this and considering I work for a competitve firm, probably should not be but I feel very strongly that the charge of fraud against Lava Design is not accurate and totally out of character for these business owners.  Take it for what its worth; there are always two sides to each story.  It is unfortunate that the client did not have positive outcomes working with Lava but I know hundreds of others, from personal experience, that have had a great experience. Thank you for reading this; I hope this was helpful.
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