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Update Report on "Scammer" - Steven Davis

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lunammoc Studios, Mar 16, 2016.

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  1. Lunammoc Studios

    Lunammoc Studios

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    Hello all,

    As my partnership is a new company, we did not do background search on this man (lack of experience, but we learned our lesson!)

    I know other threads have been posted, but I wanted to try to help some of you in our situation (other threads are locked). This probably goes for other scammers besides Steven Davis.

    He does use the email -. The story:

    Steven contacted me with his portfolio. It looks impressive and we actually knew a few games he may have worked on. We were excited at his quality and price ranges for modeling, rigging, and animation. I asked him the time frame he could deliver the model we spoke about and he said 10-12 days. Pleased with this, we hired him and paid half of the money up front via PayPal (some of you say not to pay up front, but I find many artist require this in varying amounts which is understandable because what if a company does not continue with their order and you waste countless hours on a product).

    As it neared 10 days, I of course asked for updates. He is VERY slow at replying sometimes 24 hours later, even on Skype. Finally, he told me sorry, the model is not complete because he has been "very busy" and it may take longer than 12 days a bit. I was annoyed and asked him to please hurry this up as this is holding up development. He said okay will do. After about 15 days, I again asked for his progress. He again gave the same excuse that he is just so busy with things in his life. I told him promptly that this is not how you conduct business and he needs to deliver the product or we have an issue. I tried to even motivate him telling him we have other models (which we do) that need done and would hire him again if he can stick to a more dedicated deadline. He says okay he will do it.

    Again, when I ask for an update and where our product is, he says he was out of town all weekend and complained about needing sleep as he got back late. Sob story? I was beyond annoyed. Finally, after 30 days, I told him if he does not give us the product we paid for I am disputing with PayPal and posting a negative review of him on several forums/sites. Suddenly, Steven said he will get it done ASAP. Of course, he only finished the model (almost, he didn't make a clothing accessory we asked for...) and did not do the rigging and animations. So, we got what we ALMOST paid for; half of the payment up front was for the model and the other half for rigging/animations.

    My advice: Do not use this man. He is a scammer and/or extremely lazy. If you do run into such issues as this, I advise you to do what I did and threaten recourse through any means possible. Some people said you cannot do anything, but a verbal contract is binding in the U.S. Just show screenshots of your emails/Skype Convos/PayPal payments/etc. and you do have a case. Consider making an order form for your project with the description of the product, all parties involved, the promise date of delivery, any stipulations that could break the legal contract, and have both parties sign the document and fax it. Of course, if you did not pay a lot, there's not much you can do in a court of law because the court fees would be higher than the paid amount. I wish I had the funds to take him to court just to make an example out of such a person, if he did not deliver the full product (which he technically didn't, he did not include a wearable accessory that was supposed to come with the model as specified in the order form I created).

    Of course, do a background search as others have mentioned first!

    Thanks for listening and good luck everyone!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2016
  2. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    Sounds like the fella is a bit of a procrastinator, or perhaps just overbooked. Definitely unprofessional, but I'm not sure that qualifies him as a "scammer" per se...

    Unfortunate you ran into this problem, but I don't know if the GD board is the right place to be posting this kind of content.
     
  3. Dustin-Horne

    Dustin-Horne

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    @Schneider21 is correct, it's unfortunate but not really the appropriate place as there's no way to really confirm your story.

    This would get you nothing, my guess is that you had no signed contract and even so, you paid half and got what you paid half for so there are no actual recoverable damages.
     
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  4. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Moral of the story:

    When hiring/working with untested personnell, USE ESCROW services.
     
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  5. Lunammoc Studios

    Lunammoc Studios

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    As I mentioned, there are other threads where he has been reported for scamming and ignoring clients. I firmly believed he only replied because I did threaten to take some sort of action. Here are two of the several listed:

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/apprenticeneauxs-steven-davis-scammer-in-unity-forum.164790/
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/do-not-hire-steven-davis.148014/

    I have all the emails, Skype messages, and PayPal payment that has every detail as specified and a verbal contract is a contract in the U.S.A. and this actually has proof as I stated in the initial post, but I did not find it appropriate to share all personal messages between us for the purposes of just a warning to the community. And my taking him to court would be if he didn't deliver what I asked, sorry I did not make that clear, I will update OP.

    I'm not making false claims, just noticed other people posting about how he scammed them and wanted to share a story to give a friendly warning to the Unity community.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  6. goat

    goat

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    Oh, Steven Davis is not the only one. I paid $150 upfront for 1/2 the work to a scammer that used to hang out in the forums and you could see that he knew how to use the tools at a very beginner level (he had to of to make the modifications he sent me) but wasn't any good artistically despite claims to the contrary. As I wasn't too surprised cut my losses and moved on.

    Can't imagine what they bother and do with so little money, it's obvious they cann't support themselves or any type of habit off their scams. For the effort it takes to scam one person they could be gainfully employed and earn a lot more at a retail store.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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  7. tango209

    tango209

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    Perhaps a little of the Dunning-Kruger effect?
     
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  8. goat

    goat

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    A little of it maybe, not much, because that's not really common place at all, that Dunning-Kruger effect. It's just pride, no need to try to medically excuse or justify it. Sometimes psychiatrists and psychologists can be naive or political in their creation of 'conditions' but we're not doing the funding so, oh well.

    The artist I talked too claimed to have all these big contracts that I was 90% sure from the get go were phony claims but for $150 I decided it's no biggy if they couldn't produce. I told the artist if those big contracts are paying you what I'm going to pay you then you aren't being paid enough so no cuteness or predatory business practices on my part. We've probably all had experiences were we know we are being lied to and the liar knows we know, but in the interests of civility we hold our tongues and move on.
     
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  9. Gametyme

    Gametyme

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    I can also confirm that steven davis is a scammer.
     
  10. goat

    goat

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    Steven Davis is a pretty common name so be careful of assuming a Steven Davis you meet is the Steven Davis talked about here on this site. And while I can't call myself scammed by Steven Davis I did offer him some money to do a model once and he didn't produce. I was going to post the results to the forum because at the time he was claiming he was being unjustly persecuted so I told him I'd help him out and pay him to make a model of a caricature of a well known celebrity that couldn't be faked. I didn't pay him because he didn't produce.
     
  11. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Sounds a bit to me like "buy cheap, buy twice". I'd love to hear how much was quoted for the complete asset in the OP. If it's as little as I guess it is, I'm not really surprised how this turned out.
     
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  12. goat

    goat

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    Yes, it's really smarter to go use Poser Pro 11 Game Dev or DAZ Studio Game Dev licenses or Morph 3D and get a extremely morphable and customizable set of models that need just a bit of prep work to use in games that are as good or better you can buy freelance anywhere anyway.

    Poser Pro 11 Game Dev or DAZ Studio Game Dev licenses or Morph 3D (and there are others Mixamo Blendswap and iClone, and so on) make it a case of buy once and use multiple times in multiple games.
     
  13. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    I was thinking more of hiring better paid professionals, like we have a few here on the forum. But your solution can work as well, depends on what you need and can afford.
     
  14. Gametyme

    Gametyme

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    I know its him because of the email address.
     
  15. DreReid

    DreReid

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    Is he on this forum??
     
  16. goat

    goat

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    That'll work too but a indie or hobbyist can outfit themselves with all they need for less than $1000 and if they want something really unique from those DAZ, Poser, Morph 3D models as the main protagonist and main antagonist for their games then they've scaled back the amount of work what they must find and hire a professional for to something they can reasonable afford.
     
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  17. drewradley

    drewradley

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    DAZ Game license is the best investment I've made in my hobby. But I came to Unity from the DAZ/Poser verse. Been using Poser since version 1 and have been collecting DAZ originals for years and years BEFORE coming here. Even have a huge Renderosity library that I can use since I bought them BEFORE they changed their TOS and I have permission to use them. Poser World is another good place. I asked if I could use them in a game and he said I could. I think it's in their TOS now.
     
  18. goat

    goat

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    I know what you mean. I bought Poser 4 way back I think in '99 waiting for it and something like Unity to come along. I forgot about Poser & DAZ for a while and now recently caught up again to having a usable collection of models. I've since taught myself basic Blender skills but that's more because it's an interest I've always had but couldn't afford to go to college for an indeterminate time. I took Computer Graphics courses my senior year in college but not with the ideal I could ever be as productive, fast, or good as all those folk at DAZ 3D, Poser, and elsewhere. Of course then Poser 1.0 was still a 4 or 5 years away and all the PD computer graphics demonstrations involved ray-traced silver teapots from the University of Utah.
     
  19. SputnixFox

    SputnixFox

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    I'm a freelancer myself, I recommend in the future to use an Escrow service and milestones. (I use Guru.com) Never pay money upfront, you're just asking for someone to run away with the money. What have they to lose expect for a burner email account?

    After an agreement has been met, either the whole fee, for small projects, or the first milestones fee, is paid into an Escrow. Once I feel I have completed the project, I ask for feedback and request the funds to be released from Escrow. The client cannot remove the monies from escrow without my approval. I cannot remove the monies from escrow until the client approves. Then we both review one another.

    I think Poser is a good tool to get started, but is no substitute for custom models. I also think the general gamer is also pretty aware of Poser and the kind of models it produces. Perfect for prototyping, but I wouldn't let one of those models get released.
     
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