Dear reader, we're writing this brief to tell you about a conman that we recently experience. Our intention is so that no one ever gets conned by this person or company ever again.
Here is the story. We wanted to crowdfund a medical reminder product end 2016 (https://igg.me/at/luupa~see about and you can see SCF is a team member) and was looking for a consultant to guide us in the process. We finally engaged SmartCrowdfunding LLC (SCF) owned by Shane Liddell. We were confident that SCF was legit as it was an Indiegogo partner (then not now~keep on reading) found here- https://www.indiegogo.com/partners.
Looked professional and all added up We engaged SCF for USD2,000 for their consultation and the campaign ended in disaster. At the end of the campaign, we learnt from Shane that if one does not have ready budget for digital ads, not enough traffic will come to the site to make the campaign successful. This conman could have told us way much earlier saving us all the troubles to launch it in the first place and taking our $2,000 and giving us a joy ride. He convinced us over and over again that organic promotions could also get backers but any monkey can tell that organic promotions is far far less effective (in terms of conversion) as compared to paid digital marketing.
So lesson learnt from this and giving him the benefit of the doubt to Shane, for any future campaign anybody wants to do, they must have sufficient budget for digital ads. A hard lesson learnt for us, $2,000 for Shane Part 2 - Campaign Flipmate. We realized the loss of the first campaign and put it behind us. This time, we rallied all our friends and their friends to vouch to fund us the digital marketing for FlipMate (https://igg.me/at/flipmate~see about and you can see SCF is a team member) on success basis.
As an example, for every $1,000 raised in the campaign, we will ask our private funders to inject capital of 12% which ios $120 for more digital ads and given them total $170 at the end of the campaign (capital + profits). This cycle goes so on and so forth until the campaign ends doing digital ads to raise as much contribution $150k advertising budget can get. Including this advertising budget and Indiegogo's 5% platform fees and payment gateway fees and SCF 8% of total campaign contributions, it will still make the campaign a success With this exercise, we managed to get our friends aka private investors in total of $150,000 within 24 of them in total. Dennis Zen being the most at $50k The deal We proposed to Shane and told him for this new campaign, that we will work on a pure success basis of 8%-no more $2,000 as per our earlier deal AND HE AGREED with a contract to prove it.
As a value add of SCF to the campaign, he voluntarily added into his scope of work to consult us on this campaign - again, this was all part of the 8% success basis arrangement. Why Shane again though we don't like him personally? Easy. Better to deal with the devil you know than the devil your don't AND, we want him to put his money where his mouth is Now, even a monkey will tell anyone that doing work on pure success basis has it's risk and rewards.
Shane took this risk. He could see the 8% will come at no cost to him because we are funding the ads. Our arrangement with SCF - we fund all the digital ads by giving SCF the money and SCF just creates and manages the ads. This means, if the campaign raises $100k, Shane aka SmartCroudFunding will get $8k ath the end of the campaign.
We also told Shane that we have immediate digital ads budget of $15K immediately and more to come BUT we did not say how much So we entered into an agreement and engaged SCF to manage the digital ads giving them the benefit of the doubt (Wish we hadn't ) that they are experts in this fields optimizing and maximizing chances of conversion rates BUT WE WERE CLEARLY WRONG ABOUT HIS CAPABILITIES ON THIS The *** We paid him $2,200 and $2,000 pre launch and launch date respectively. SCF ran the ads. The ads were not converting-only getting less than $5000 from backers from 35,000 visits. Of course Shane waited until 35k visits to tell us something is wrong.
He ended blamed us for it like the perks prices were too high, the campaign page was not attractive, the arrangement of the campaign page is not up to standard bla bla bla. (and none of these was his fault of course wink wink). Any born *** will tell you that we would not sabotage our own campaign especially having such a good number of private funders behind us, a great product and after spending countless hours and spending money preparing for it and funding the digital ads as above. Up until today, they have spent $2.716.05 (see shared folder Flipmate Adspend.pdf) out of $4200 (the total above) making a balance of $1,483.95 where there are only $4,252 contributed by backers.
There is a "+$500 (Ad management fee)" by their contractor (Shane claims this contractor Melissa Styles is his staff by the way) to them and we don't believe we should bear this cost because first, this cost was never mentioned to us and secondly we only fund the ads and not other costs like resources, sub contractors, etc etc. As anyone can tell, the campaign is not doing too well. It's had more than 35,000 visits but conversions are just ridiculous. So, we requested him to return the balance of 1,483.95 cos we have our own plans what do to with it.
He (Shane) told us to *** off and he wants out of the campaign (on 17th February 2017) and immediately deleting us in Skype. We sent him 4 emails requesting for payment, he only replied one and did not reply the rest. This clearly implies he is not interested to negotiate a refund/transfer let alone give us back the money. Why the sudden change of face from 'friend' to 'foe' the immediate moment we asked back the funds?
It's clearly not SCF's money. It's ours. We ask for it back, it's not like it'c coming from out of SCF pocket. Withholding someone's money without permission is called STEALING.
What we do with it, is actually none of anyone's business. We don't have to justify to anyone our plans. This is my personal and the teams impression of Shane Liddell Shane's consultation His consultation is very basic and does no real added value to the campaign. He treats all campaigns the same-immaterial of what is being crowdfunded.
SCF is not worthy of engaging or hiring. Of course he claims he has gotten some campaign to reach hundreds of thousand or millions but statistically speaking when one have been engaged with many-many campaigns, one or two campaign is bound to exceed the funding goal. It's most likely from the motivation and efforts of the campaigner themselves. Once the money has been transferred into his pocket, you too will be in his pocket.
He will boss and bully you around telling you to do this and that which is actually his scope of work He always twist and turn his story making himself always right when he clearly is wrong. He refuses to listen and constantly interrupts you when you are talking to make himself right. He LOVES to pick fights and argue's with you. He does not do research about the product that is being crowdfunded.
He doesn't bother to understand the product, feature, or function. We designed it, we researched it. We know. We know what are the selling point of the product and other strength.
He never took a second look at it to ask us the major strong point of the product. This behavior is the exact same as the first campaign. If he doesn't know and too proud to ask, how the heck can he sell it? No wonder his advise/consultation is of low value.
His story keep on changing. Direction is blur, milestone are never mentioned, no structure-in simple terms, the plan is never revealed to us. He just wants to steer this how and as he wishes. This way, people can't pin him on anything because he has not told them the expectation.
We suspect he does this with all his clients He is fault finding-all the time! A simple mistake like a typo in the campaign page is a great big deal for him and he will raise his voice at you for this. SCF's *** ads creation team made a huge spelling mistake on a paid ad (paid by us) and he said it's no big deal. This is just one example.
We have countless more. Skype consultation calls are not structured His skype call with us is totally unstructured. No previous arising matters are discusses, no points or notes are taken by him, no recap, no action item is stated. He starts the call by "So tell me what have you been doing for the past week".
Wow. Looks like he engaged us to be his consultant. Then a casual chit chat to finish his time in 30mins or 45 minutes as per his scope of work. He just talks and talks and will lastly say "oops, my time is up with you-I've got a very important call on my next client-puihhhh" Contradicts himself most if not all of the time.
As a figure of speech, he will say something today, say the same thing differently tomorrow and differently again the next day and it's our fault because we didn't understand him the first time he said it. Talks but never listens Talks like his God-who doesn't make a mistake. When we highlight to him that he's wrong, he'll raise his voice commanding us to believe that he's right. Who is hiring who here?
We're paying for his food on the table right? So no harm having manners to listen a bit and have a decent, structured, productive two way conversation SCF is no more Indiegogo's partner During our first campaign, SCF was Indiegogo's partner found here - https://www.indiegogo.com/partners. But at the time of writing this, SCF is no where in that page. I wonder why!
This is what we found - https://www.indiegogo.com/partners/smartcrowdfunding According to Shane, "We even removed our partner page from IGG as I have no reason to be partners with such a platform that cares so little for the backers or the industry." I have this in writing. Strange, it says different here http://www.smartcrowdfunding.us/indiegogo-crowdfunding His team Shane runs a very small team of 3 people. Himself, Pamela and Michelle, He also claims that Melissa Styles is his staff but Melissa Styles told me that she is just an SCF's ads agent-which is which now, clearly someone here is lying. We have a feeling that they work from Shane's small home office.
You can hear his dog barking and home sounds in the background when you skype call him. Summary After going through two campaigns with Shane, we learnt: 1) not to argue with him-He's always right, always have, always will be. If you dare tell/prove that he's wrong, he'll raise his voice and interrupts before you can finish. How wonderful.
He can read you mind what you are going to say before you finish it. So don't waste your breath. 2) Ignore and accept him screaming and yelling and just try to catch the point that could contribute to the campaign - which is basic and not very useful little information OR information that confirms you own research 3) Be very careful not to offend or corner him- cos if we do, he'll hang up the call and will text and text via skype like a little playing with a mobile phone trying to communicate on an issue rather than a short call to solve it. Conclusion For every one reason he gives you that he can contribute to the success of a campaign, we can give you three reason he can't He acts like a child trying to pick arguments with you all the time while also complaining to you about his other clients!
From our two campaign experience we had with this company/person, I would not recommended anyone to patronize their service Public reviews Here are some public review that we found. We've seen them before we engaged Shane and we didn't believe. Now we understood the complainer Our favorite and very true - https://www.pissedconsumer.com/company/smart-crowdfunding/shane-liddell-smart-crowdfunding-scammer-20160707878562.html http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/smart-crowdfunding/internet/smart-crowdfunding-this-company-did-not-make-any-difference-in-the-crowdfunding-campaign-1149071 http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/smart-crowd-funding-crowdfundersus-shane-liddell/sarasota-florida/smart-crowd-funding-crowdfundersus-shane-liddell-aka-spectikon-corporation-smart-cr-1062519 There is much much more reviews that we have found. I also contacted other campaigners that has engaged Shane and many campaigners have negative reviews about this man Shane Liddell is a liar SCF is an Indiegogo partner since 2013 but $0 in the Indiegogo page?
This means there were kicked out of the partner program. Look at other partners and see their contributions raised According to Shane, Indiegogo is the '***' of the industry. But why I wonder he so proudly writes in his website "As arguably the best known crowdfunding site, Indiegogo showcases hundreds of different (more)". What is he actually trying to do?
Why we write this We are not pleased with the level of service and Shane's sincerity about this whole exercise. We paid him. We do not appreciate SCF service thinking it's great especially when Shane doesn't try to make things better. Attacking us when we ask for information, not being transparent, not being professional Consumers like us does not like to be short changed as what My Shane did to us.
We have the right to voice our opinion to the public about the level of service received or not received. We want our surplus ads money back and Shane gives excuses upon excuses upon excuses Closing There are many other details I have not mention in the story above as this would make the story too long winded. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or skype/email me for a call for better understanding of the situation at firstname.lastname@example.org To Mr. Shane - the CEO & Self Proclaim Chief Crowdfundologist Our personal message to you Mr Shane Liddell.
Our energy would be better spent elsewhere rather than arguing back and forth with you trying to get a reversal for payment aka refund. You have losses, so do we. Much much more than you have lost. This lost came with risk you took so accept the loss and be done with it.
Losing $1,483.95 to you will not make us poor, neither will it make you rich. Just return to us the money because it's the right thing to do. Shane is being double standard and changing the deal in the middle of the game When we requested Shane to return the balance of $1,483.95 to our paypal, HE TOTALLY REFUSES and SCF wants to back out of this campaign immediately and Shane notified us that the campaign will never be a success. It's clear to see that SCF want to still get some money out of this no matter what and therefor take our ads balance money of 1,483.95 and pocket it.
Though they have spent time and effort to promote a campaign they seem to convenient forget it's on a success basis deal and the risk they took and still want to be paid just as if this is their conventional services-but it's not. On our part, though we are asking back the balance, we will still honor the agreement of 8% to SCF when the campaign ends for all contributions up until today ONLY IF THE CAMPAIGN IS SUCCESSFUL (this is the deal remember) Now, EVEN IF, we pay him the 8%, it is only $340.16 BUT do remember, it will be at the end of the campaign-not at anytime Shane's whims and fancy If on the other hand we stop all paid or organic marketing and the campaign ends with less than $5k in contribution, no campaigner in the right mind will take this money and deliver the perks - it makes no economic sense. We'd rather refund all the contributors and be realize the losses. This includes Shane realizing the losses and will not be paid his 8% But all must remember, with the damage done (very limited time left) to the campaign, it may never even be successful even if we tried, yes we can accept this loss for our mistake for getting such a lousy digital marketeer *** self proclaim "CEO & Chief Crowdfundologist".
This will force us to refund all backers and SCF will get $0 and this is the the risk they must face and but it's clear and obvious they want to pin this back to us. Our inspiration We were inspired by Luuup's (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/luuup-litter-box-the-best-cat-litter-box-ever) campaign thus we came out with our own version of cat litter box to crowdfund on Indiegogo. Entering into a working agreement with SCF has clearly diminish our chances of success and worse, the campaign - which is consulted, promoted and digital ads done by SCF can't even get 1% of what Luuup achieved. Is this a good consultant or is this a ***-sultant?
You be the judge Ok guys, here is another thing that happened today. Shane forwarded me an attachment that his lawyer sent to him for me. The letter reads "You are hereby directed to CEASE AND DESIST ALL DEFAMATION OF SHANE LIDDELL’s and SMART CROWDFUNDING LLC’s CHARACTER AND REPUTATION." At the end of the letter, there is a section for me to sign and Shane will releasing any and all claims against me for defamation. I later contacted the lawyer in this letter and HOLY CRAPP...
Oh my God! This is NOT written by the lawyer. Shame shame Mr. Shane.
I caught your bluff yet again and again.
I wonder how silly you feel now! Please view all related documents in the story above in the shared folder here - [REDACTED]
Product or Service Mentioned: Smart Crowdfunding Crowdfunding Service.
Reason of review: refused refund.
Monetary Loss: $1483.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Bad quality press release, Bad quality, Refused refund.