Report: #792642

Complaint Review: Houston Media Lab

  • Submitted: Thu, October 27, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, November 12, 2011
  • Reported By: Dan — Houston Texas United States of America
  • Houston Media Lab
    5090 Richmond Ave.
    United States of America

Houston Media Lab Brian Spencer Houston Media Lab will take your money and run! Houston, Internet

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Run with your money? Who's running?

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

In May 2011, we spoke with Houston Media Lab Brian Spencer
about customizing a Word Press site with the alternate option of building a
site from scratch. We decided Word Press would be our best option, as we wanted
a content management system.

 We simply wanted all items from our old website to be moved
over, then we would maintain it on our own via WordPress. Instead, Houston
Media Lab aka Brian Spencer, lost our entire secondary website used to directly
communicate with our clients (this website did not need to be altered in the
first place, simply backed up and moved over). Brian Spencer did not back up
our MySQL database and then attempted to blame our previous web developer 3
months after we moved on from them and hired him (Brian Spencer) as our new developer.
We spent hundreds of hours on putting content into our secondary site over the
2-3 year period, and now, because of Brian Spencer, we lost everything. [continued below]....
.....  After the site went down, Brian Spencer then led us on for 45 days saying he and his team were working on getting
everything moved over, only to later show us a virtually empty page that could
have been put together in less than 30 minutes. Furthermore, Brian Spencer was
more interested in financial gain rather than doing all that as promised to
us.  He hounded us and whined requesting we submit payment, when all we wanted to see was complete and professional work. Once payment was received, he rarely responded to our
emails. In conclusion, Houston Media Lab has cost us thousands of dollars and we
still don't have a website. 

We strongly advise refraining from doing business with this
one-man band company. In the end, we were left with a $35 template purchased by
Houston Media Lab (aka Brian Spencer) with absolutely no customizations. We did
research and found our template here <>. Brian Spencer
didnt even bother changing the images when he presented the WordPress site to
us. This amateur, incompetent company is VERY bad news.


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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Run with your money? Who's running?

AUTHOR: Brian - (United States of America)

The title of this complaint constitutes that our company has taken money from this consumer and "ran off" with it. This is an absolutely FALSE statement. We are a BBB-accredited company and have been established and doing business in Houston since 2008. We have had many, many happy clients over the last few years and to receive this sort of a report is extremely out of the ordinary.

First, this client (Lord & Hogan) complains of us having lost his files during a website transfer move from their old server to ours. In our Terms & Conditions (specifically listed on our website), it states that we are NOT responsible for any back-ups on servers not in our direct control. Why do we not have a right to ask their previous web developer for a back-up of the clients files? Was it not them who implemented their previous website, created it, uploaded it, etc.? Should they have not backed up the files and kept them in a repository for safekeeping like most web developers should do? Our Terms & Conditions specifically state that we offer a transfer of a clients website files from their old server to ours but that we assume no risk and no guarantees and is only offered as a courtesy service.

This client then proceeds to mention that we used a template to develop their website. On our website, it specifically states on our "About Us" page that we specialize in offering custom web design and pre-made web design templates. The client's assistant was made aware via phone that we would be using a template to help minimize the time needed to complete the project since the client did not like our first custom design. When we implement pre-made templates, we do our best to edit the site whole so that it does not look anything like the original template. It's like tearing down the walls of a house but using its frame as the foundation to put up our own walls. When the client "fired" us, the template wasn't even done.

The mistake we made was not implementing a specs document outlining exactly what we'd do for the client. The client attempted to scope creep around details and often request a little more than originally discussed. For example, we promised one e-mail newsletter design. Upon delivery, the client's assistant asked for us to design a 2nd one (that wasn't discussed).

In addition to the usage of a template for their website, this client obviously doesn't mind using pre-made templates since their previous web developer did the same for them. Their website can be located at and the template their previous web developer used can be found here at

This complaint is downright ludicrous. The client's assistant was overly demanding and to top it all off, we spoke with the actual client (not his assistant) about 2 times over the 4 months period. We prefer to work directly with the client, one-on-one. We did not get this from Lord & Hogan. Funny, unless this client creates fake accounts (which can be verified via IP addy), this will be the only complaint any of our current and future clients will ever see.

Our 'A' rating on the BBB speaks for itself.
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