View Full Version : Fraud Vendors

Dr. Haunt Chamber of Fear
06-25-2007, 11:13 AM
Is there somewhere in the Haunt industry to report vendors that take your money and never deliver the goods?

We paid for services in the amount of $1,354.85 on June 11, 2006 and the check was cashed but are products were never received. Three different people with our organziation has contacted the company and the only time we have a person return our call is when we call to speak with sales. Well after we tell them whats going on we never hear back from them. We had to paid someone else for the stuff we needed and now we are trying to get our money back from the comapny but of course they have not called us back yet. I think if they are stiffing us that they might also be stiffing others in the industry and therefore it would not be in the Haunt Industries best interest to allow this company to showcase at their conventions until they start acting like a repitable business.

Let me know what everyone thinks we should do.

Kim Brown
Dr. Haunt's Chamber of Fear
Gainesville, Texas

06-25-2007, 03:29 PM

Sorry for all the trouble you've been through... I don't know of any place besides these online forums and/or the IAHA that you could make a complaint. Several people this season has had problems with companies and have stated them on these forums.

I do think the IAHA needs to set-up a program were these companies can be denied/revoked IAHA membership and banned from industry conventions! It's the only way to STOP these people from robbing customers like us!

I hope everything works on for you. -Tyler

Mr. Haunt
06-25-2007, 03:39 PM
I would aggree with what Tyler has said, I am not a member yet, but I aggree 100%. It's a shame that you are going through this. They must not have good custmer service.


Jim Warfield
06-25-2007, 04:59 PM
Keeping a vender from a convention ?
I wonder what percentage of a vender's business actually comes from being at the show?
I think an internet "Store" might be the actual , most important way customers are found.
We all know an online store is mucho cheaper than booth fees, motel rooms and traveling half-way across the country.......

06-25-2007, 05:56 PM
Well, I went to the Putnam County Sheriff and swore out a complaint and then called the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and swore out a complaint and then went to the F.B.I.s site for internet crime and filled out a complaint. The Sherffs office called today but I was out and FDAC has sent a letter out asking them to respond. Lastly a lawyer is drawing some papers. I'm told by the vendor that I should act in a sensible and professional manner. Easy for them to say, they have my money. I'm told that I will have it by months end, this will be about the 6th or 7th self appionted dead line. Well see and if not well the wheels are already turning.

06-25-2007, 06:33 PM
As a vendor myself - I HATE to see this happen - it really kills the trust that's critical in this business. Unfortunately I see some small claims litigation in your future to deal with this loser company.

I know this doesn't help you Kim, but for others, check with your peers in the industry to get a reference before ever buying from a questionable vendor. If you are working with a new vendor, pay with a credit card and let AMEX fight the battle for you if you run into problems.

Sorry for your situation Kim - Best of luck.

Steve Delk
Grave Robber Studios

06-25-2007, 07:05 PM
Complex topic...

Many Haunt vendors are working out of the garage. They go to Transworld and sell nothing sometimes and get destroyed. OR they go to Transworld and sell tons and cannot meet the orders.

Our they find out they screwed up on the price and every thing they sell costs them money.

OR the product is easy to make and haunters just make it for themselves, after the vendor has done all the prototyping.

OR other vendors knock it off and undercut the creator.

It might actually EVEN be a harder business than running a haunted house!

In the 11 years of our event I have seen some crazy stuff with vendors, but 95% of the time when it comes to the guys who are actually making the prop (not these resale internet type things...) they really want to make it for you, they want you to get it, and they want you to enjoy it!

I would have to say that MANY vendors have been critically late with product and it would have to say that product has broken on occasion, that is true.

It really hurts a haunter when you first start making those big purchases, and September is approaching and you have a huge hole in your show.

I don't know your exact situation but I can say this...you catch more flies with honey. Be a pest, bug them all the time, but be as nice as you can be.

If they start getting nasty or they stop taking your calls then it is game on. But it has been my experience that original creators really want to get you the product, and working with them even though it can occasionally be maddening, is usually the best way to go.

The best vendors are often those you build long relationships with, and the ones you worked with when they had dark days.

Just my 2 cents.



Jim Warfield
06-26-2007, 09:07 PM
Over these last 20 years I have had some very popular "Holes" in my show!
Holes can be very scary and seemingly without a bottom!
We are doing "Holy" work, scaring people!

Dr. Haunt Chamber of Fear
06-27-2007, 10:50 AM
Thanks for the advice on this topic. I have created a journal of the times we have tried to contact this company and yet to no success. I have given them until June 30, 2007 to send us our payment but if we do not get it then I will follow through with the police report; notifying the haunted house conferences/tradeshows; as well as let everyone on these forums know which company has taken our money and never delivered the goods or returned our calls.

Unfortunately from attending Transworld this year I know this company had a very big exhibit area and I am afraid that other haunters will be working with them and already paid for services that they might not receive.

I'll keep you posted on what happens!


Dr. Haunt Chamber of Fear
06-28-2007, 10:29 AM
This is to let you know that we did get our money back via an overnight check that arrived today. The owner called and spoke with me yesterday afternoon and stated that he had referred it to another employee and that they had original tried to shipped it but that it was shipped to a bad address and then sat on their shelf for a year in their warehouse.

I had agreed in my letter to the company that if they sent us our money by June 30th that I would not tell others which company we had had grief with so I am going to stick by my word and not bad mouth this vendor.

If anyone else finds themselves in this situation I advise: constantly calling the company leaving voice messages and emails. Be sure to document every time you have tried to communicate and let them know that you will precede the matter if necessary. I also think the power of this forum helps as it would be detrimental to any business if they stick customers and then the customer tells other people in the haunt industry using this forum.


06-28-2007, 11:15 AM
We should really know who this vendor is.....this is to protect us in the industry...I don't want to do business with someone who has my product on their shelf for a year because someone didn't follow up on a return-to-sender problem...if you do not want to make this public on this forum, I understand. Please e-mail me at craig@craigsrobotics.com...I really need to know, but I will keep it private also. We deal with several industry vendors on supplies and parts for major haunted attractions, and I don't want to be "left holding the bag" if this is a vendor I may happen to use in the future...unfortunately, it wasn't until you started "threatening" them that they eventually settled the dispute....sure, they deserve a second chance, but I'd rather know up front that there may be some issue with a vendor I may deal with in the future...Thanks in advance...

Jim Warfield
07-01-2007, 08:49 PM
Craig, Will you promise not to send a robot over to beat them up if you are told who it was?

"iamheretokillyou, iamheretokillyou,iamheretokillyou!"
"iamheretokillyouTHENtakebackmoneyfromyourunconscio uspocket."

07-02-2007, 08:22 PM
Hey Jim, I'll hold the robos back....I'll just decrease the air pressure...although I probably will never find out who that vendor was.....

07-03-2007, 04:29 PM
Once again a dead line come and gone , I did get a e-mail telling me once again that it is on the way.......Ya Right, when I see it in my driveway then I'll call of the dogs. If he does not make good soon, am going to slam him on every board on the net.

Frighteners Entertainment
07-03-2007, 06:05 PM
As should be.

07-03-2007, 10:34 PM
Contact the Attorney General's Office where the vendor is registered as a business AND inform the vendor / manufacturer that you are doing this! You should also very publically mention the name of the company AND the name of the person you are dealing with. A few years ago, someone posted the problems they were having with a vendor and named the vendor. The vendor / manufacturer was "lurking" on the board (instead of actually getting the merchandise out the door) and that got them to act QUICK!