UPDATE 6/11/18 - Small business owners in at least 20 states are alleging they were sold bogus advertising.
Remember, Oklahoman, Darah Fowler, was launching a brand new business that caters to couples.
“The sales girl was like, ‘I think it'd be an excellent advertisement on these wedding folders,’” she said.
Her complaint leading a team from our sister station KGW to an unmarked storefront in Portland, home base for Oregon-based marketing company, Planning Folders, the brain child of Daniel Huerta.
After catching wind of a string of complaints and seeing our story, KGW launched their own investigation into Huerta and his company.
The man behind the operation didn't want to have anything to do with the camera, demanding the news crew turn it off.
The reporter from KGW pressed the owner of Planning Folders on the number of consumers who say they paid for advertising, but never received the services.
Huerta said, “I'll show you advertising."
Later on, he produced examples of wedding folders, he claims, were created for satisfied customers, but admitted his company is way behind on over 70 projects.
Huerta told KGW the delayed orders were due to a change in processing fees tied to credit card companies.
He claims he can't afford refunds, but is committed to making customers whole.
Darah was able to dispute her $750 charge with her credit card company.
She said, “If this company calls, they're just going to take your money, make it sound like a really good deal though.”
- The Planning Folders website is now defunct.
- It appears the company is using a new site, WeddingFolders.com, which looks an awful lot like the old one.
- Stay alert and avoid doing business with this company.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Darah Fowler has that sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
She said, “I think they just took my money and ran.”
That cash was supposed to help market her new business.
Last year, Darah launched a career as a self-employed consultant selling intimate products for couples.
She wanted to get her name out there, so Darah signed up for a marketing package with a company called Planning Folders.
Planning Folders is based in Portland and they promised to get the ball rolling on sales.
“The sales girl was like, ‘I think it'd be an excellent advertisement on these wedding folders because it's a big market for bachelorette parties,’” she said.
Darah checked a reference or two and pulled the trigger.
She paid $750 for the marketing package.
8 months later and there is still no proof or folders and no word from owner, Daniel Huerta.
Darah keeps demanding a refund of her $750.
A company rep keeps telling her she can upgrade her ad or extend her contract, but isn’t authorized to give her money back.
She said, “The only person who can do that is Daniel.”
Except, he's never in the office and won't call anyone back.
We know the Better Business Bureau gives Planning Folders its worst rating and put out a warning about the company's pattern of complaints from small business owners across the nation.
Every time we call the company, we either get a recording or someone who's not in charge and then they want to pass us around from department to department.,
We'll keep trying, but based on online complaints and the company's unwillingness to respond to the BBB, Darah is probably not getting her money back.
- She was smart to make the purchase with her credit card
- Now she's in the process of disputing the charge
- Even though Darah checked a reference, she admits she failed to do a quick search online using the company's name, which would have revealed all of those customer complaints