First the good stuff!
AMY H is this week's free beads winner! YOO HOO! Congrats AMY! I even have new free beads posted! Aren't you happy, no waiting a week to see what they will be, lol. The new ones are actually some I made last night from a whole bunch that will be in new necklace design.
Here is an "In Progress" photo for you all. If I am adding right, I think there are going to be around a 100 of these discs in one necklace. And this is just the start of the colors you'll see in it. I am using all transparents in our favorite blues and greens. Gotta love blue & green! And keeping in the blues and greens theme is another new necklace to show you... "Caught In Waves". I don't know if you all realize this or not, but I am just as addicted to beads as you are! LOL! I am always looking at beads when I am on the internet and once in a while, I come across a great set that I just have to have. And these are one of those. The beads were made by lampwork artist Yee Kwan over at www.theglassturtle.com . Here encasing and scroll work is just killer. And this set was made with the highly saught after "Olympia Rain" glass by Double Helix Glass Works. (Since so many of you buy beads, and not glass rods, I will tell you... there has been a run on the glass made by this American glass maker. It is highly reactive and very beautiful glass... it is also very very hard to get, I have tried.)
I wish you could hold these beads in your own hands. They are beautiful and have so much depth. I really love them. They look like they have tumbled along the ocean floor. I made sterling wire wrapped scrolls in a "wave" look to go with them. I would love to hear what you think!
Now for the bad stuff and the reason this post is going to be long...
I have been the victim of a scam. I feel like such a moron for falling for it. But as Jo over at www.lampworkart.com said "Thing is nice people are the easiest victims. " So if anything I can feel a little better knowing this happened because I am nice, lol.
So here is the story...
A few weeks ago I got this letter in the mail that said I was being invited for inclusion in the "Empire Who's Who of Executive and Professional Women". It also said that there was no cost to be included and I thought, it's free what could it hurt to fill out the little post card. So I did, and I sent it in. Well, today, I got a phone call from a woman at Empire Who's Who, named Wedny Rosen. She called to "interview" me for bio in the publication. Of course, she called while the kids were wild and crazy... she said all the right things, she stroked my ego just the right way and I was so flustered/confused/convinced by the end of the call, I had paid $508.95 to be encluded as a "Gold Member".
5 minutes later, I felt sick to my stomach. What was I thinking, I am such a moron!?! First of all, duh, I can't afford $500 for a bio in a book, two... I just had an unsettling feeling it was a scam and finally... dummy, it is $500! So immediately called her back to say no, cancel it, I don't want it. Wouldn't you know it... she wasn't available. So, I called the credit card company and said I wanted to put a stop payment on the transaction. They said "too late" it has already been processed and approved. So I said, I want to dispute it. I was transfered to the dispute center who was able to get a real preson on the phone at "Empire" who said they could take care of it. I told the agent at the credit card company to go ahead and transfer me. Turns out the "person" that I was transfered to was a secratary. But after an earfull from me, she said I needed to speak to Daniel Gray. That he handled all these situations. I had to leave a voicemail but the secratary said I would be called back with in the hour. NOT! I was not called back, I had to call again.
Long, long, phone call summed up... I spent 45 minutes saying over and over again "I DON'T WANT TO BE ENVOLVED WITH THIS GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK!" This guy on the other end was good... let me tell you. He was saying everything he could to get me to let them have my money. Then he throws this loop at me that at this point they have encured fees. Fees my ass. I said what fees. He said that their whole process is electronic and my information had already been processed, yada yada yada. What he is/was getting at was if I wanted to cancel, he'd be charging me $100. He finally twisted the conversation enough to convince me that I should get the "Platinum Package" and they would give me space on their homepage and they would refund me half. So I would only be out $258. I thought at least half back was better then nothing. So, I agreed.
Then came a call from Ron. And if you haven't figured it out by now, Ron is very very very froogle. He hates hates hates wasting money. I told him everything and he made me call back again and demand the full amount back. Somewhere in there I also googled "Empire who's who scam" and found dozens of blogs about the dummies that fall for this scam. I did call again and I was able to get Danial Gray mad at me enough to say that he didn't want me in his registry and that he was going to refund my full $508.95. Thanks GOD!
I called the credit card company and they say it will take 3-5 days for the refund to post in our account. Needless to say, I will be checking the account every 5 minutes until it shows up. And if it doesn't show up, I will be calling every day until it does. Whatever I have to do. Trust me when I say, my lesson has been learned. I am a little sad that I have to look at every oppertunity that is presented to me as a scam but I think it is the only way to protect yourself now a days. I hate being so niave but it is who I am, I give people the benefit of the doubt but now I am a little more hardened then I was yesterday. And I feel about as big as an ant. I wonder if there is soap strong enough to wash this big "SUCKER" label off my forehead.
As anyway... you have been warned! Don't give any information to these people if they get your name and address. Be smarter then I was. And you have my word, when you share your name and address with me, it will never be seen by anyone else, ever!