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Couture Zen

United States, California, Los Angeles

Consumer reviews about Couture Zen

Mar 24, 2020

Stylist Melynda Choothesa online service scam on Furkat Kasimov

This complaint is because I, Furkat Kasimov, was scammed by Melynda Choothesa, a stylist whom I met online for a project with my company. I found Melynda when I was looking online for a designer or stylist to help create outfits for my company (2 outfits for each of the four seasons.) I looked for her online, and her company Couture Zen. Both had very good Yelp reviews and a good reputation online. However, do not believe these reviews, because Melynda turned out to be a complete scammer.

At first, Melynda was very responsive as I was explaining the project and setting up the terms with her. She seemed very interested in doing the work, and I was excited to bring her on board because of her good reputation and her apparent enthusiasm. She even asked questions about the project and made suggestions via email and by phone. Everything seemed to be going great with her, until I sent her the first deposit.

The deposit was supposed to be for her to start the project. I was going to pay her the rest once the project was finished, which was supposed to be within a week. But she did not complete the project in time, and then after that, she completely disappeared.

The project was intended to start on March 20th, 2019, which is when I paid Melynda the deposit. I was expecting for her to get back to me with the completed project by the end of the week, as we both agreed to. However, I got nothing from her. Now, I gave her the benefit of the doubt at first. I understand things like emergencies can happen, so I thought maybe she had gotten ill or had a family issue she needed to deal with. I was patient, but I had a feeling that she was trying to scam me. My biggest red flag was the fact that she had been so responsive at first, but now she was silent.

I reached out by email and phone after waiting for several days, but I never heard a single word back from her. Finally, one day she told me that she had been taking care of her sick grandmother in San Diego. I understand these things happen, so I gave her some more time to complete the project, but after multiple weeks she went silent again. I tried again to reach out over phone and email several times, but I did not hear anything.

As a test, I had a coworker reach out to her pretending to be a new client and asking if she could work on a project. Of course, Melynda responded right away, saying she was in LA (not San Diego with her sick grandmother like she told me.) Melynda was quick to reply, asking for details about when this new project could start. At the same time, I emailed her at the same email address she was using to communicate with my coworker, and I got no reply.

I couldn’t think of any other options besides requesting a refund with PayPal. I think Melynda must have seen this refund request, because after that she immediately emailed an excuse, saying she was sorry for the delay and she would issue a refund for the deposit. I still have not received that refund, so I wanted to write this complaint to warn anyone who might consider hiring this person. Scams are all too common online these days, so watch out for her!

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