MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Faith Smith has her own candle and jewelry selling business; so when she saw a flyer online in May advertising a brand mixer and offering people like her the chance to sell products and meet other entrepreneurs, she jumped at the chance.
She paid $55 via Cash App to have her brand be part of the event. But she never got a contract and when she contacted the organizer the day before, she didn't get good news.
“He informed me it had been cancelled, and he was trying to reschedule in September," Smith said. "So I asked for a refund over and over. I’m still asking for a refund today."
Matthew Hopson runs Mathias Quintre Fashion, the company that was supposed to put on the event.
“We were going to try to make it happen, but the week of the event, we realized we're not able to do this," Hopson said.
WREG's Stacy Jacobson sent Hopson a message Friday and asked about Smith’s $55. He agreed to meet outside his Southeast Memphis workplace and explain what happened.
He told us he should’ve been more honest with vendors before the event. He acknowledged that was a mistake.
“I should’ve communicated with them from the beginning, letting them know what’s going on, so they didn’t have to build up frustration," he said.
WREG was there as Hopson transferred back the $55 to Smith over Cash App.
They both said they’ve now learned lessons.
“A lot of vendors prefer PayPal, and now I know why, it’s more secure to pay through PayPal," Smith said.
“I'm learning," Hopson said. "Even me because I’m an entrepreneur myself — my first time being in a situation like this. I know I'll never allow it to happen again.”
Hopson said they’re planning a new event in September to make up for the last one, and many of the originally vendors are participating, but Smith doesn’t plan on it.
Officials with the Better Business Bureau remind people not to use cash payment apps for services before they’re rendered. Your safest bet will be with a credit card or PayPal, so you can contest the charge if it doesn’t go through.
Hopson said he still has three vendors to pay back and planned to do it within the next week.