living underground in the real world

scam rant

Oh my GOD PEOPLE!!!!!!

IT

HAS

BEEN

A

WEEK.

Well, two weeks. SO much to chit about, so much to chat about, so much to whine about, so much outrage, excitement, miscellany, stories, pictures, chocolates, outfits & fun times with fellow internetty pals. I am emerging from the tornado of Valentine’s chocolate makings, and, though I complained unmercifully, it was really great. Unlike the mysterious Great Depression of a few weeks ago, it consumed but did not destroy me. My pretty little business—how fun to see it running at top speed.  Ribbons and Priority Mail boxes whirling, chocolate molds continually refilling and de-molding themselves, boxes folding folding folding, dishes washing washing washing.

And, now, how fun to sit in bed and eat roasted cauliflower and pet my foot-fetish cat with my foot and get back in touch with that downtime pal, Ms. Internet.

Where to start? I still want to write about Howard Zinn, and I have lots of peanut butter news and for some reason lots of horribly amazing juicy gossipy whiny stories about crazy crazy CRAZY clients of mine I probably shouldn’t blab about too much on the internet, except in general terms. I have a post about that—basically, how to stay sane when you’re running a business and the world continually throws crazy people at you you must be polite to—coming up, a long long thick block of run on sentences all about feelings and how we have to remember that crazy people only seem so intensely crazy because you’ve done such a good job surrounding yourself with wonderful, sane, brilliant, nourishing people so your tolerance is lowered and—much more touchy-feeliness. Look for it.

(I’m beginning to worry that I’m becoming a person who hypes up posts that never actually get written, and this is really worrying me—in the way that, say, being late for events to which no definite time is attached mega-stresses me out in a bizarro fashion that makes me think I need to go to therapy or something. I can tell myself that being “late” can’t happen when you really haven’t set a time to sit in a coffeehouse and answer emails, but if I figured I’d mosey down at noon and it’s 1 PM, I am stressed and don’t know how not to be, just like I can tell myself “it’s a blog! No one cares!” over and over but….I care!! Argh.)

But for tonight, because my closet just broke for the third time (I keep fixing it with a thumbtack [do not try this] and secretly moving clothes to the boy closet next door —perhaps it’s time to find a more permanent solution) and I’m six New Yorkers behind and am sort of obsessed with a vintage porno movie (more on that to come, you know it, and no, not the one I’m named for [perhaps needless to say, that link is majorly NSFW, unless, you know, you make chocolate vulvas for a living and are already named Lagusta], and do I really want to spend my first night off in two weeks on the internet? Probably not, so I am going to keep this short for now.

But something is stuck so deep in my craw right now that I must share it, so here we go, all quick-like.

(Can you tell, just the tiniest bit, that tonight was the Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti and I ate maybe 5 or 10 more cookies than I should have? I have way way too much energy for midnight. And—MY GOD—THAT TEA WASN’T HERBAL AND I JUST REALIZED THAT’S WHY MY HANDS ARE SHAKING. Oh fuck dudes—it’s going to be that cupcakes post all over again.)

So. What have I been doing when I haven’t been truffleizing, you wonder?

Wasting insane giant huge amounts of time responding to a truffle scammer, that’s what.

Details follow, excruciating details whereupon you will be saying “WHY???? WHY DID YOU KEEP RESPONDING EVEN THOUGH IT WAS SO CLEAR SHE WAS SCAMMING YOU?”

I have no answer to this question except that I am amazed by the scammer mind. The balls! The deadness of the soul of the person who does shit like this! It’s weirdly fascinating. I kept responding because I wanted to see what she would say. Oh, why are people so fucked up?

I kept responding, that is, until I did a thorough search through past emails and realized that my nagging hunch that someone had already tried to pull this scam on me was correct: this same freaker pulled this same scam on me in June and yes, got two free chocolate boxes from me, because I’m a loser. And I nearly fell for it all over again, with a long long long series of emails that wasted a shitload of time I could have been using to make the revolution my boyfriend or something. I didn’t go so far as to actually send off any “replacement” truffles the second time (why did I the first time??? I think I was just so offended at her accusations I couldn’t stand it.), but I’m still annoyed I kept and kept and KEPT responding to emails.

Here’s a weird thing—I have this person’s home address. They live pretty near me. If I was a more petty person I could go knock on their door and talk to them—a big part of me wants to do this, to just honestly have a heart-to-heart with them, because….I dunno, because what sort of fucker tries to get free vegan chocolate truffles? What a weird scam! I sort of want to meet them. Of course I will never do this, but argh, the whole thing irks me way more than it should.

Read from the bottom up to get the ridiculousness in chronological order:

PART TWO: FEBRUARY 2010

[Did I send any truffles to Middletown or Goshen recently? No. Actually, in the past YEAR I haven’t sent any truffles to either town (and there’s no way to get the box she says she got except direct from me–I only wholesale the truffles to one shop in New Paltz, and they sell them by the piece.). But by this time I’d realized I’d already been scammed by her–scroll down for part one. I just emailed her one more time: “Oh! I just thought to do a search through old emails from you–you’re the same person who scammed me out of truffles last year. It’s been fun chatting with you, I think you should find a new job though, because scamming small businesses like mine is really sad. Do you feel good about yourself? What a depressing life.” No response yet. I’d been so polite the entire time, I couldn’t resist being a bit nasty at the end.]

On Feb 13, 2010, at 10:17 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

I told u it was from a lady at my job but I only know of her nickname. Middletown NY (work in Goshen NY)

Sent: Sat, February 13, 2010 10:10:16 PM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Hello Chase,

Where do you live? I’m super confused by the fact that you can’t provide me with even the barest details on where the truffles came from so I can check it with my recent orders. Can you give me an address where they were sent, or even a city?

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 13, 2010, at 7:41 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

It’s pretty messed up to send out something with hair and then not stand behind it. I was thinking about ordering your meals for me and my husband, but with service like this I probably should pass.

Sent: Wed, February 10, 2010 2:46:40 AM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Yep, we were just inspected in November and we of course always receive no violations.

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 9, 2010, at 8:21 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

Have you ever been inspected by a NYS inspector?

Sent: Tue, February 9, 2010 2:44:16 AM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Hello Chase,

I’m sorry about that. Unfortunately, without being able to verify that you did in fact receive truffles, I’m unable to send replacement ones. I’m sure you understand that as a small business owner I take immense pride in my work and am very concerned about quality control issues. If you find that you can verify for me that truffles were sent to you by providing me with the name of the person who sent them or address to which they were sent, I would be happy to replace yours. Otherwise there’s nothing I can do in this situation. Best of luck to you.

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 8, 2010, at 9:59 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

I was actually called into work today and that lady had quit. I asked my boss for her name and she said due to HIPPA privacy laws she can not tell me.

Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 10:08:12 PM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Unfortunately not, but as soon as I know the name of the person who sent them I’ll send them right off.

Thanks for your patience.

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 7, 2010, at 9:52 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

is there any way you can send them sooner so i can be home when they arrive?

Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 9:13:34 PM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Hello Chase,

Sure–I’ll send them as soon as I have the name of the person who sent yours, so I can note it and speak to the person who was working when yours were made. [that person was me, of course.]

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 7, 2010, at 9:05 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

When will the new ones be sent?

Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 9:04:40 PM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Hello Chase,

Sure, just let me know their name and I will note it on my order sheet.

Thanks!

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 7, 2010, at 9:01 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

The boozy box seem like the only ones I would like.. A lady from work I only know her nickname I will have to ask for her real name when I go back to work this week.

Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 9:00:13 PM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Hello Chase,

If there are a few flavors you don’t think you’ll enjoy we can try to leave them out, but basically it’s an assortment. I can make a note to include as many as possible from the Boozy mix though.

Who sent you the truffles, so I can note it on my chart?

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 7, 2010, at 8:51 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

Is there any way I can choose which ones?

Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 8:42:42 PM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Hello Chase,

It’s an assortment of all the truffles we make.

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 7, 2010, at 8:34 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

What flavors are included?

Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 8:32:17 PM
Subject: Re: Hair in truffles

Hello Chase,

Oh dear, that’s terrible! We always wear our hair completely put away when making chocolates, so I’m baffled as to how that could have happened, but just let me know your address and I’ll send you new truffles next week. Sorry again!

Kindest,
Lagusta

On Feb 7, 2010, at 8:30 PM, Chase Nelson wrote:

I had got a box of 28 truffles of yours as a gift and there was hair in the box and even inside a few of the truffles.. The first 2 I tried actually. I ended up throwing them away because that was grossing me out seeing the hair. It was a dark shade of brown hair.

[a) i have black hair. b) like everyone in the world has brown hair. OF COURSE I ALWAYS WEAR MY HAIR UP IN A FUCKING SCARF WHEN COOKING!]

***************************************************
PART ONE, JUNE 2009, IN WHICH I AM SCAMMED (just out of $30 of chocolate, BUT STILL!!! It stings. I believe at the time my thinking was this: It is clear that she is scamming me. But on the teeeeeny off chance she isn’t, I can’t let someone out in the world think my truffles are shite. Thus, I will send the boxes, even though I know it makes me a sucker.)

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 6:34 PM, lagusta’s luscious wrote:
Regretfully not.

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 20, 2009, at 6:34 PM, Nelson wrote:

You cant do the ones for my wedding?

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 6:33 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
I hope you have enjoyed the free chocolates I’ve sent. I regret that we will be unable to provide any chocolates for your wedding. Please continue to enjoy the remaining chocolates, and have a wonderful celebration. [at this point I decided: fuck this fucking lady. Are you amazed by my politeness though??]

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 3:06 PM, Nelson wrote:
Me and my husband ate the kahula ones already.

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 3:02 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Would you mind taking a picture and sending it to me to confirm that?

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 20, 2009, at 3:00 PM, Nelson wrote:

They didnt feel cold so I dont think they were frozen. The ones you sent though they forgot the double chocolate. There is 4 Kahula. [this is a ridiculous accusation.]

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 2:59 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
I’m still confused as to why you could not bite into the others. Were they frozen? That is the only reason they could be hard. If they were very old they would be moldy, not hard.

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 20, 2009, at 2:58 PM, Nelson wrote:

I could actually bite into these! They were nice and smooth and creamy on the inside. I only tried the coconut rum and the kahula so far, but they werent hard at all like the others.

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 2:51 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
How are they different from the ones you received before?

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 20, 2009, at 2:49 PM, Nelson wrote:

Wow, I just got them a few mins ago.. I have tried a couple different truffle companies and these are by far my favorite..

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 2:10 PM, Nelson  wrote:
Oh. I guess its not coming today so Monday then. Hopefully they arent melted.

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 2:09 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Hello,

That is the correct tracking number. It was mailed out yesterday via Priority Mail, and the post office confirmed for me that it should arrive Saturday or Monday. Sometimes tracking numbers do not show up for around 24 hours.

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 20, 2009, at 7:50 AM, Nelson wrote:

That tracking number isnt coming up.

On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 3:14 PM, Nelson wrote:
Ok my wedding is at the end of August so I will let you know soon then!

On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 3:12 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
About 2 weeks is the absolute minimum, but 1 month is better.

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 19, 2009, at 3:11 PM, Nelson wrote:

Thanks so much! Hopefully they will get here tomorrow. I cant wait to try them. How much time do you need in advance for a wedding of 150 people?

On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 1:53 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Yes, it is 0309 03330 0001 6929 6227, you can track it at usps.com.

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 19, 2009, at 12:55 PM, Nelson wrote:

Do you have a tracking number?

On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 8:38 PM, Nelson wrote:
I dont drive, but since we are close it should get here pretty quick

On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 8:34 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Yep, if you come to New Paltz you can pick them up as well. Just let me know.

On Jun 17, 2009, at 8:27 PM, Nelson wrote:

arent u in new paltz?

On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 8:23 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Priority Mail is 1-3 days, but not guaranteed.

Lagusta

On Jun 17, 2009, at 8:16 PM, Nelson wrote:

when will they get here?

On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 8:09 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
They will be sent Friday via Priority Mail.

Lagusta

On Jun 17, 2009, at 7:21 PM, Nelson  wrote:

Do you know when they will be sent so I can make sure Im home?

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 7:42 PM, Nelson wrote:
Thanks so much! By the box is fine also! If you get a tracking number please let me know and thanks again.

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 7:36 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Hello,

Sure, I will send a box of both this week. We don’t provide the pyramids in quantity so if you wanted them for a wedding you’d need to buy them by the box, but I will send them along anyway. [WHY???? Because I’m stupid, that’s why.]

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 16, 2009, at 7:21 PM, Nelson wrote:

I would like to try the boozy box again. Do you have samples of the chocolate coconut cream pyramids? I would like to use both for my wedding.

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 7:17 PM, Nelson < wrote:
I live and work in Middletown NY but there are people who work there from all over NY NJ PA and CT.

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 7:13 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Hello Nelson,

Oh, I thought they were shipped to you at work. What city do you work in? I can check when we shipped a Boozy box there. Also, do you know what flavors especially were hard? Also, if you’d like to send me your address I would be happy to send another box to replace them, of other flavors if you’d like. I feel like somehow you got a box that was maybe very old or had melted and firmed up again, that’s about the only way they could be hard.

Thanks,
Lagusta

On Jun 16, 2009, at 7:07 PM, Nelson wrote:

They were left on my desk at work.

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 6:54 PM, lagusta’s luscious <lagusta@lagustasluscious.com> wrote:
Hello Nelson,

I’m so sorry to hear about your experience, that’s terrible. I’m so confused as to how the truffles could be “hard”! Even if for some reason they were very old, they shouldn’t have gotten hard—it’s a mystery! I’d like to check and see when your truffles were sent so I can make sure they were fresh–what is the address they were shipped to? If you’d like, I can also let you know who sent them.

Thanks for the info and sorry again,
Lagusta

On Jun 16, 2009, at 6:14 PM, Nelson wrote:

I had got your boozy box as a gift. It was left for me at work and no one will admit to sending them to me, but either way they were terrible! They were hard as a rock and almost chipped my tooth. I need truffles for my wedding and I see your close by me so I was hoping to use yours but this experience was terrible!

[OK, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE…it just factually makes no sense. Who buys $15 boxes of truffles online and leaves them anonymously on people’s desks? And hardness in relation to truffles just makes no sense either. Oh man, why did I let myself be scammed? Argh argh argh argh.]

10 Responses to “scam rant”

  1. Joshua May

    oh man, how was your bakesale?!

    haha, I failed at the vegan Ferrero Rochers (they got stuck in the mold – help?) but I made some shifty mint chocolate truffles. they were actually pretty good, but clearly a far cry from the visual elegance of yours. I have a little bit of envy.

    we had a shit-ton of delicious stuff, but I was over-tired and over-sugared to even think about touching any of it. I’m a little sad now though. but we (the organisers) have been getting together for snacks, so it’s worked out super well.

    we banked our cash – just under $3200! and Canadian government is matching donations, so effectively $6400!

    how fucking rad are vegans? seriously

    (and how fucking unrad are dirtbag scammers?)

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Bake sale was super duper rad, but my god, yours sounds RIDICULOUS!!! And, oh Canada. Man oh man, the stories my Montrealian sister-out-law tells me about the amazing Canadian government are off the hook.

      I wonder if they got stuck in the mold because the chocolate wasn’t tempered. That’s why that happens to mine, when it happens. How did you melt the chocolate? Truffles are super simple, i’m sure yours were amazing! (and when I say simple, please know I mean it in the “takes 10 minutes to learn, a lifetime to master” sort of way!)

      Reply
      • Joshua May

        tempered chocolate? what do I look like, some kind of expert? I was using an ice-cube tray with alphabet impressions on the top (hey, it was last minute and I was ridiculously desperate and short on time). I melted the chocolate in a double boiler, with a little vegetable shortening to soften it a little. nooo idea if that’s a bad idea or what. seemed logical at the time!

        at least they were delicious to scrape out in pieces for days after the sale. nom!

      • lagusta

        Well, I’m sure it tasted amazing! My opinion is that the double boiler method almost always introduces some water into the mix, which untempers the choco, making it hard to de-mold. Ice trays….sound like they would have made it tricky too. And the shortening probably didn’t help because it made it all softer—but who cares, it should be fun. Personally, now that I have a fancy tempering machine (and have made every imaginable chocolate mistake over the years) I have no idea how home cooks ever make anything with chocolate without it becoming a giant streaky, un-de-moldable mess, so I salute you!

  2. cowjonesvegan

    Wow – and how ridiculous that she used the same name again. I actually understand why you kept replying – I would have too. I think that on a cetain level, it’s so outrageous that you want to see what they come up with next. How disturbing though that this person picked someone as hardworking and ethical as you – I can’t imagine that she leads a happy life.

    Reply
  3. ASB

    Hey there, where in New Paltz can I try your chocolates by the piece?

    Thanks & I loved the “kindest”s

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Ha! I know. The sad thing is, “kindest” is my default email signature. You can get the chocolates at:

      -Gomen Kudasai on Main street (the noodle shop)–just the Vandanas and Vulvas -Cocoon on Main St (but none are there now…feel free to go in & ask for them though!) -The Cheese Plate in Water St Market, but I’m pretty sure she’s sold out right now.

      So, right now, almost nowhere, but if you want to order 2 boxes I can make them in this week’s batch & bring them to ya!

      Reply
      • ASB

        Thank you, but I am chock full of Valentine’s day chocolate right now!

        Instead, I’m anxious to try your chocolates on my next trip to WFAS (come spring).

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