• Report: #621391
Complaint Review:

Socialite Studios by Joelle Susan

  • Submitted: Thu, July 08, 2010
  • Updated: Sat, September 04, 2010

  • Reported By: outofluckcharleston — United States of America
Socialite Studios by Joelle Susan
Internet United States of America

Socialite Studios by Joelle Susan Joelle Susan Poor communication and terrible business practices Internet


*Author of original report: Joelle Susan is a con artist

*Author of original report: No issue

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Elliot Volksman and Claire Gallam Emotionally Abusive and Threatening Clients

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Joelle Susan appeared to be a great photographer; however, any time we had planned to meet with her after paying a deposit, she always happened to be ill.

We drove over 500 miles to meet with her over a long weekend, taking time off work. Shortly before we were supposed to meet, she cancelled with us due to being on medical leave even though we had planned to meet with her two months in advance.

At this point we have already paid our first deposit and were trying to push past the situation, but we noticed the same day she was ill and on medical leave that she posted she was out drinking with friends that evening. This is clearly a red flag, but my fiance wanted to continue anyways. Shortly after this point she deleted her business page on Facebook, removed my fianc off of her Facebook friend profile and moved from Charleston to Florida.

There was a large gap of no communication at this point and Joelle tried to resolve the issue by suggesting engagement photos where we live (quite a distance from Florida, but she would be in town for another wedding and would work with us to take our photos personally).

When the day of the engagement photos came, she had once again cancelled with less than 24 hours notice and suggested her second shooter would take our photos. We did not hire him, but in her contract it protects her from this situation. Even though I did not sign any contract with her, my fianc did (I was the individual who paid the deposit, yet not signed on the contract). The morning before we were supposed to meet she asked where and when. When we mentioned it would rain in the afternoon she then decided she would have her second photographer shoot us, and his work was less than favorable.

She refused to give us any sort of discount and we had made plans two months in advance to ensure we would have these engagement photos for our save the date cards. We were being forced into a position of either taking images from a photographer that we did not hire or postpone it and not have engagement pictures in a timely manner.

At this point we decided there were far to many red flags and dissolved our contract. I had explained in an e-mail to her that these business practices were unacceptable and that we would be forced to dispute the deposit as we have not gained any service and there was no possibility of rectifying this issue.

She then began to threaten us with legal ramification if we disputed the charge, suggested that I was harassing her because we explained why we were unhappy with her service and wanted to cancel and stated if we said anything online about her that it would some how be slanderous (even though libel is published online, meh). This situation is absolutely unacceptable and her business practices are beyond unconventional. I will leave you with the last thing in quotes, from what she said to me in an e-mail.

"Perhaps sometime in life you will unfortunately be struck by a life threatening illness or devastating issue and no one will be there for you and you will try to the best you can, which will make most people happy.." Not especially sure what this means, but it seems quite unpleasant.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/08/2010 06:36 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/socialite-studios-by-joelle-susan/internet/socialite-studios-by-joelle-susan-joelle-susan-poor-communication-and-terrible-business-pr-621391. 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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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Socialite Studios - (United States of America)

All this over what was supposed to be a simple reschedule of an event with a changed plane ticket.  Unfortunate! I would have gladly removed any statements regarding Elliot and his company and he emailed me a proposal that HE WOULD DO THE SAME.  The original threat from him was that he wanted his money back after signing a non-refund contract.  Too bad Mr. Volkman chose a company (rip off report) that is a total social media scam and will NOT EVEN allow you to remove comments or titles.  Therefore I was unable to do so.  SO I HAVE TO CONTINUE WITH HIS ACCUSATIONS OF BEING A "CON ARTIST" WHEN HE WON'T EVEN ANSWER HIS PHONE.  TO THIS DAY HE HAS NEVER EVEN DISCUSSED THE SITUATION AT HAND.  I WILL BE SUING ELLIOT VOLKMAN AND CLAIRE GALLAM ON MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS OF:

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#2 Author of original report

Joelle Susan is a con artist

AUTHOR: outofluckcharleston - (United States of America)

Joelle has libeled my business name as a result of complaining about her unprofessional stature. I would highly recommend doing any business with her, but if you do, ensure the contract is fair to you. She conned my fianc out of a lot of money because of this. We agreed to remove the dispute on our transactions if she would remove the libelous statement but has not done so. She is a con artist.
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#3 Author of original report

No issue

AUTHOR: outofluckcharleston - (United States of America)

No Issue.
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Elliot Volksman and Claire Gallam Emotionally Abusive and Threatening Clients

AUTHOR: Socialite Studios - (United States of America)

Let me start with this statement from the bride:
"I signed it, I authorized it, it's legally yours. I'm so sorry about your surgery and the pain you have felt in the industry. I pray that what has happened with us did not convince you to leave the industry. You are a great photographer. I know how easy it is to have someone slander you, I'm not in the business and it's happened to me. It's devastating and hurtful."

Elliot and Claire were traveling to Charleston to meet with multiple individuals for their wedding and I was unable to, do to surgery, meet with them.  It was supposed to be a quick recovery, but I unfortunately had side effects out of my control.  While I did make it through some days better then others and had to cut back my work load it was a constant effort to take the time to heal appropriately because of demand.

Fast forward, I have over 50 emails from Elliot.  Claire is clearly the voice "of reason"

"I have no intention on spreading any slander or liable on the web. I have no interest in taking this further. "

 as she states and I feel sorry for this client.  I was verbally attacked by Elliot through multiple and mass email communication, with the bride agreeing to speak via phone and NEVER slander me via the web, the groom clearly has a temper issue that is disheartening and frightening.  Elliot's statements threatening me to choose between giving them a NON REFUNDABLE deposit because they couldn't have their way were scary and crude.

". If you feel having negative marks attached to your business is worth this trade off, we would be more than happy to assist with that."

This is all because of a fluke.  I as any HUMAN BEING had the stomach flu.  Their wedding was almost a year away so I offered to either shoot the photos with in the coming months, or they could take my second shooter and I would still do the editing for them.  The bride accepted this offer and scheduled with my second shooter only to apparently be taken over by the groom and ignore all contact with my second shooter who was waiting for confirmation after receiving a time and place they WANTED to meet. 

This is sad, all over the  save the date cards.  I never meet most of my clients until I see them at their destination weddings or shoots and am constantly flying around the country, but my life has been my job because I love what I do and usually love the people I work for. 

These people are out to destroy me straight up because they could not comprehend that if I pushed myself physically to do this, I may have to compromise for that weekends actual wedding.

I held up my end completely offering a new date, 24 hours notice (which isn't required in emergency situations for me OR them, AND offered a replacement that they chose to take and then ignored.  They have invaded my privacy at this point and I have no choice but to legally attempt to stop the harassment.  I was given an ultimatum and threat by a client and they are clearly fulfilling it.  I would not refund them because of THIS exact reason.  Not only were they selfish and not understanding, but have zero empathy or compassion as a human being.  Still... I feel sorry for them.

From a contract stand point my blog is filled with thank yous, stories and love.  This is a very unfortunate and illegal attack by a clearly unstable individual.
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