I'm just letting the future B2Bs know about this "company." The proprietor's name is Hugo Lopez and his website is www.hugolopez.ca. He can also be found on Facebook and YouTube. According to his site, he does wedding photography and videography. I don't believe that is altogether true. Here's why:
Photography is extremely important to me. I had some photogs in mind, but the quality was not that great or they were way over budget. I came across Hugo during a Google search. He's from Vancouver, but now lives in Puerto Vallarta. He is by training a dancer and runs a one-stop shop event company: DJ, entertainment, graphic designs, and photography.
I reached out to him and asked him the usual: price, package, references, portfolio. He sends me his YouTube channel links of some videos and slideshows he claimed to have done. I fell in love wih one of the videos, but his other work was great too. In the video, he said the location was PV and the couple's name was Mary and John, date of wedding Jan. 2011. I checked his refs, they were all glowing. So, I paid the 50% deposit: we were getting all day photo and video and a 2 hr TTD for $1600. I thought it was a great deal and he seemed cool.
However, the video always sort of bothered me. The water in the video was very blue, very unlike PV, but very like Cancun. I let it go, but I tried to find the gazebo from the video and even made a post on here. Couldn't find it and no one recognized it. So, I let it go. On a completely unrelated search, I find the video again on another person's website (Eric is his name)! The video was longer, but it was essentially the same stuff. He had different names for the couple and said it was shot in Cancun and the hotel where it took place. I get suspicious again, but think, maybe Hugo second shot the wedding. I check to see if Eric and Hugo are friends on Facebook and nada. Neither one referenced the other on their sites. I check the hotel website for the gazebo, and it's the right hotel in Cancun.
I contacted Eric and he informs me the video is his and he never worked with or met Hugo. He wrote a cease and desist letter. Eric also wrote to Hugo's Canadian "partner", whose photos Hugo used also. I watched to see what Hugo would do: fight or take it down. He "privatizes" the video links instead. I asked him nonchalantly what became of the video and he says he's reorganizing his website and gives me the private link to his version of the video. I immediately let him know that I know the video isn't his and he should let me know what's going on.
He to this day refuses to admit he stole the work and insists the bride and Eric are making a big deal out of nothing, they're jealous, etc. He never once actually just said, the videos weren't mine. Also, the "partner" he used was contacted and he had no idea who Hugo was! Hugo claimed to have used him as a second shooter, but if one glances at the partner's site, he has more pictures than Hugo. Needless to say, Hugo removed the partner's name from the website, but continues to use the partner's photos.
I was willing to work with him if he just admitted he hadn't worked in weddings before and was trying to branch out, but his responses were disturbing and bizarre. People who can't admit when they're caught have issues. He got really spooked though when the bride called him and he is ready to give me my money back.
So, learn from me and make sure you follow up with every vendor you work with. We're taking a great risk working with foreign vendors, but share every info you can to keep foolishness at bay. It'll keep these people honest. Hope I help someone with this story!