I apologize for this late reply, I hate to commit thread necromancy but this thread does come up whenever my company name is googled so I think its important that my response be there for people to read as well.
What I'm posting here is similar to letter I wrote to the gaming community last week, on dakka.
From 2009 to about early 2011, we were affected by a conman who caused great damage to our company. We ejected him and then fixed the damage. We talked about this here with Raef Granger (formerly of the D6 Generation):
In response, the conman launched a smear campaign against us. Here’s the site he runs it from:
The only things he doesn’t accuse us of are child labor, rape, and talking in theaters.
Proof Discountfigs.com Has No Credibility
Historians test something called “external credibility.” It’s what you notice if you’re given a parchment written by Henry VIII, but you notice is clearly printed by an inkjet printer. The parchment is falsified: its contents are therefore not credible.
“M.E. Shenny” is the “investigative journalist” who put up the smear content. If you Google M.E. Shenny you will find no evidence that he exists. No magazines our journals he’s worked for, no stories he’s written, nothing. He magically sprang into being with a gmail account of all things, in February of 2011. He is completely invented. Would you trust someone who tries to convince you of something, who starts out by lying to you?
Secondly, journalists don’t post stories on sites that try to sell you things, and are really keen to gather your email address. They post on news sites.
On these two points alone, Discountfigs.com has zero credibility. I will not waste time on the numerous accusations and smears it makes. Instead, I will show you what our customers see: real evidence that we are exactly who we say we are.
Over a Thousand Galleries of Painted Armies, Including Many Recent Projects
See for yourself: https://plus.google.com/photos/10558...9861589/albums
Click on some galleries and read their publishing dates. See how they go up almost daily? See how large some of those orders are? Check out the numbers over the past three months. Or if you like, past three years, your choice.
That’s a lot of painting going up, especially in recent months. This suggests a lot of painters: skilled workers expecting skilled pay. Conmen don’t spend on the job: that defeats their purpose. Now, better conmen may spend a bit to look legit – but does it look like I’m spending a bit? Or, does it look like a huge amount of work is getting done?
Don’t take my word for it. Go on, look and see for yourself. I bet I have more pictures online of Games Workshop products, than Games Workshop does.
Either I have one helluva painting team, or I am a terrible conman.
Catching Scammers is Paypal’s Job
Retailers don’t like working with Paypal. It’s a pain. They randomly freeze your account and run inquiries on you. Even end-users are annoyed by Paypal. Paypal has a good reason: they are the frontline against Internet fraud.
If we were scamming people, Paypal would have watched the complaints go up, and then just moved in and shut us down. Simple as that. They probably have an algorithm to flag fraudulent behavior.
We spent almost a year cleaning up the damage after we ejected the conman. Almost a year of slow refunds, late orders, and large backlogs. If we were scamming people that whole time, how could we have trick Paypal?
We simply would not be having this conversation. Paypal would have cleaned us out.
A year ago.
The Largest Miniature Painting Service in the Fantasy Business
There’s bigger painting services out there, but they’re not dedicated, custom, fantasy painting outfits. We’ve got twelve full-time staff:
Three newbie painters
Five experienced painters
One studio manager
That’s over 30 man-years of training and experience. It’s also a big payroll to cover. A conman won’t have a big payroll. He’ll ideally have a payroll of just one – himself. Not convinced about my team’s size? Go back and look at the galleries. Figure out how much I must paint to maintain such a hoax.
It’s not humanly possible – if it was, I would have found out and got a patent on it.
Six Years Experience
Six years. You don’t do something that long if you don’t love it. You have to push ahead. Solve problems. Build systems. Train people. Sometimes, you even have to log back on Dakka and defend your reputation:
No one sweats like that over something and then throws it away.
Also, who waits that long to make a quick stolen buck? Conmen want fast money. If you take six years, you may as well be working for a living. If I was thief, I would have robbed everyone a long, long, time ago.
Big Names Support Us
We’ve sponsored the D6 Generation, and we’ve painted off and on for all three hosts. Here’s some work we just did for Craig:
We buy our minis from Neal at thewarstore.com. These are not people who will waste time with random fraudsters. These are people of strong character. These are people with a stake in the community. These are people who know the score.
We Didn’t Quit When it Hit the Fan (MadCowCrazy, please take note)
If I was going to scam the wargaming community, here’s what I would do.
Presell a huge amount of minis, painting services, etc… at a massive discount (40% -50%) to as many people as possible. Exactly like we did in 2010 to MadCowCrazy.
Start having problems with delivery, and run for as long as possible taking people’s money but not giving them their goods. Exactly like we did in 2010 to MadCowCrazy.
Send out a big email about how we got robbed of all our money but some mysterious, evil, third party we never actually name. Exactly like we did in 2011 (probably to MadCowCrazy).
Declare bankruptcy. Walk off with all the money.
Oh wait! We didn’t do that.
I spent the next year answering angry email after angry email. We made cuts. We worked weekends. We took money from new orders, and used it to finish old orders. I took responsibility for a mess that I had gotten myself into. I took care of my clients. MadCowCrazy, as he states himself, got his goods.
All the clients who went through the problems of 2009-2011, either got their minis or got their money back. There are a few people we’re still refunding, but the for the most part order has been restored.
A conman doesn’t sit around to face the music after he’s robbed you. He flees town. My name is Navin Weeraratne, my business is Paintedfigs.Com, I live in Sri Lanka. You won’t find out the name, business, or address of an invented persona that attacks me online though.
Paintedfigs.com is still here. We will always be here. People have slung mud against us since the very beginning – download our pricelists and you’ll have an idea why. Our work speaks for itself:
You can see why quality like this, at our prices, creates as many enemies as it creates friends.
Thank you for reading this,
Navin Weeraratne, Owner, Paintedfigs.com