I have recently written about a scammer called Stuart Paskin, he runs a number of businesses and websites including The White Tent, and has built his entire “empire” up by moving from Digital Agency to Digital Agency scamming them to do work, then announcing the work wasnt up to scratch and moving onto another company.
The White Tent is their current, main website that we worked on in 2016 and the start of 2017 – and from the second we spoke to Stuart at The White Tent we knew he was going to be trouble.
The White Tent had been made in Opencart which is our eCommerce platform of choice – the tasks he asked us to do were all within our capabilities and we were able to complete them as and when we were asked to complete them, apart from on a couple of occasions where things were delayed due to requests from customers who pay us a monthly retainer and get higher priority support. As we started working on things we noticed more and more things that just didnt seem to sit well with us, he had admin accounts set up for 3 or 4 different companies who all seemed to specialise in Opencart development and was always talking crap about the people who had worked on it in the past.
We sent Stuart Paskin our first invoice and heard nothing apart from more demands of work he wanted doing, and we actually got passed over to one of his little henchmen Stewart Stalker – Stewart made excuses for Stuart as to why invoices were not being paid (not in the office, also used a family member’s illness as an excuse) and we were reassured time and time again that they would be sorted.
Halfway through our “Business relationship” Stuart drafted in a lovely lady to do PPC and Social Media marketing, and then started to get her to chase us for updates on tasks he had asked me to do – I later found out she was also not paid a penny for any of the work she did and found it extremely upsetting and demoralising to have to call people like myself and chase us for updates – knowing full well we weren’t being paid on time for our work either.
Anyway – time went on and we did bit and bobs on The White Tent as Stuart and Stewart continued to dangle a carrot, promising we would be paid “if we just…” – but we were growing increasingly frustrated about the whole situation so we started doing some digging.
We found a forum post by someone called Paul over on the Opencart forums, and our bad feeling suddenly turned into a sickening feeling as we realised we were the victim of a serial scammer. I reached out to Paul and his experience was pretty much the same as ours – he also told me of about 9 other people he had spoken to who were in exactly the same boat. Horrifying!
We managed to get 80% of our invoices paid and cut ties with The White Tent, but there are some of the people before and after us that are still struggling to get paid for the brilliant work they did.
A word of warning to anyone doing due diligence on this company or these scammers – STAY AWAY FROM THEM!
If you’ve been screwed over by these conmen then I would love to hear your story. COmment below or fill out my contact form.
Stay Scam Wise, people.