Disclaimer: If you are interested, do your own research about the case I make below. It is only my opinion of how things happened. I could be completely wrong. Read the documents below and draw your own conclusion. Do not take anything I say as fact without verifying it. I'm a moron and I seek safe harbor.
Garry Conn runs an internet marketing blog at GarryConn.com. Garry offers some good content there and I consider him to be a talented WordPress Theme designer. Garry creates some great themes that have a unique look and can easily be recognized as his design.
Garry spends his time writing and sharing his wealth of internet marketing information with others at his blog. He spends time answering readers questions and Garry seems to have it going on! Soon I would learn the wisdom imparted to me by my grandmother, "you can't judge a book by it's cover" certainly rang true with my dealings with Garry Conn.
On July 27th 2009, I wrote Garry an email and asked him to give me a quote for a WordPress theme for a project site I was working on. Within a few hours I had a response from Garry asking me to give him a call to discuss what I was looking for. We talked later that night and Garry agreed to do the theme for a cost of $400. Garry also requested that I send him an email detailing everything I wanted and asked me to go ahead and mail him a check. Garry estimated he would be done with the theme within two weeks.
I sent Garry an email that same night with all the details he needed to complete the project. I also mailed Garry a check the following day. I wasn't gun shy about sending Garry payment in advance. Why should I? Outside looking in, Garry has a huge online presence, I know he is capable of doing the work, and with the thousands he pulls from Adsense every month, why would he need my crappy $400? I couldn't have been more wrong in my analysis.
I didn't contact Garry for the first two weeks. I had already given him all the information he needed, so I didn't suspect anything when I didn't hear from him. But when three weeks passed and I hadn't heard from Garry, I started sending emails and leaving messages on his phone. At this point, I still didn't suspect anything. He's Garry Conn right?
After a week of no response from Garry, On August 29th I wrote a comment on his Facebook page asking him where the design was? He immediately erased it and replied telling me how his life had took a turn for the worse and how bad things were going for him. He told me not to worry that he would have the design completed the same day or tomorrow at the latest. I replied with a simple thanks and asked him if he wanted me to resend the details of what I was looking for.
2 days later on August 31st, Garry replied and said he needed me to resend the details of the project. Huh? He was supposed to be finished already! I simply resent the specs and when I seen Garry on Facebook, I tried to IM him but he wouldn't respond. Garry gave me a url so I could watch his progress as he designed the theme. When I looked at the url on September 1st and realized he hadn't done anything, I wrote Garry through Facebook and told him to forget about the project and just refund my money. Why shouldn't he? He had done zero work at this point.
Garry wrote back and was apologetic, but he didn't seem to realize for the second time he had not met the deadline HE set and that was an issue. I never responded. Garry wrote to me on September 10th asking for my address so he could send me a check. I responded the same day and was happy that this drama would soon be over. Not hardly!
After two weeks and the payment wasn't received, I attempted to contact Garry by email, phone, and IM. I never got a response. On September 17th, I posted another comment on his Facebook wall and in Garry Conn fashion, he immediately deleted it and wrote me using Facebook. Garry sent a series of messages explaining how he had got divorced, his sites had lost their ranking, and his Google Adsense earnings had fallen "Big Time" in his words. (This explained why Garry had posted pictures on Facebook of him pawning his car title. I thought it was a joke. I guess not.) Garry asked me if he could just complete the design. At this point, I declined. I had already been down that road with him two times before and I had already hired Sean Lowery to do the work.
Garry apologized to me that day and I accepted. I was ready to write it off as a bad experience with a good guy that was just down on his luck. Garry promised he would have me repaid by the next Friday. That was on September 17th. I guess the Friday Garry was speaking of has never come. To date, I have more unanswered emails, IMs, and phone calls.
The only way to get Garry to respond is to leave a message somewhere his readers can see it. In usual Garry Conn fashion, the message is deleted and he responds by email or IM immediately. The first week in November, my wife left him a message on his Youtube account telling him we were going to get a criminal warrant if he didn't return the money. He immediately deleted it and asked her if he could just complete the work? When she explained to him that we weren't interested in him completing the design anymore, he sent $100 by Paypal, and emailed her to say he would have the balance paid within two weeks. It was no surprise to anyone that we never got the remaining payment or any communication from Garry stating he couldn't pay on time.
It would have been easy and less stressful to write that remaining $300 off as a lesson learned, but now it comes down to the principle of the thing. Garry's Adsense income has dropped "big time" in his words. He can't afford to pay me the $300 he owes me, yet he is still running a blog teaching people how to make money on the internet and writing for SEOHosting.com ? Huh?
If I would have loaned Garry $400 and he hit hard times and couldn't repay me, I could understand that. But that wasn't the case. Garry took $400 of my money to perform a job within the deadline that he set and never even got started on the work other than setting up a url where the work was to be completed. If Garry's world had fallen apart and he needed money, then why the heck didn't he complete the project I gave him $400 to complete. There were no out of pocket costs for Garry. It just doesn't make sense!
If Garry were communicating with me and working to repay as best as he could, I'd be happy to work with him. I wouldn't care if all he could give me were $10 a week as long as he was consistent and communicated.
After nearly 6 months, it has become very obvious this clown has no intention of ever paying me. In my opinion, he's going to keep running his "pretend to make money blog" and selling his designs to unsuspecting victims. So today, I went to the Robertson County Court House and sued Garry for the amount I spent to have the work completed, plus court costs, and minus the $100 he paid me. That total is $666.50. Bad number, I know!
When I was filing the lawsuit, the clerk mentioned that she couldn't give legal advice, but suggested that I talk to the criminal court clerk about filing a criminal warrant and having Garry arrested. You see this gets really interesting if you think about it. If Garry would have sent some work back that I wasn't satisfied with that would clearly be civil. But the fact that Garry never sent anything and used the postal service to collect payment COULD make this not only criminal but also a felony.
I talked to the criminal court clerk and she agreed I should file a criminal warrant and let the judge decide if this should be considered a criminal matter. The only problem was for a criminal warrant, you are required to have another piece of identifying information other than a name. You can use a SS#, drivers license #, or a birthday. Thanks to Facebook, I easily obtained Garry's birthday this afternoon. January 19, 1977 Thanks Facebook!
Currently, I have filed the civil suit and now I have the identifier I need to request this case be turned into a criminal matter. If I decide to move forward with criminal prosecution, it will be up to the judge to decide if Garry should be arrested and the case tried in criminal court. There is no guarantee that the judge will agree to prosecute him criminally and I'm not really sure I want to request that anyway. Who wants to see a guy lose his right to vote, right to own a firearm, and possibly serve jail time over $400. I'm not sure I do. I'll spend some time thinking about it over the weekend and decide next week.
For now, I felt like it was my obligation to get the message out on Garry Conn. From a distance, he seems like a good guy, but when you send him a check....not so much.
My New Goal In Life
My new goal in life is to have this page rank for Garry Conn. Anyone interested in sharing this page, please use the anchor text Garry Conn. I think that will be fun!
I've also considered sending a copy of this page to SEOHosting.com. That'll be something else I have to think about over the weekend. We'll see how things go.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!