Davison Design & Development
Complaint 173007 Details
- Date Occurred: 10/25/2012
- Reported Damages: $14,000.00
- Location: RIDC Park 595 Alpha Dr. Pittsburgh, PA 15238-2911
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In all of my years of being an entrepreneur, I have never felt so disappointed, frustrated, and powerless as I have than though working with Davison Design. This is the first time that I have ever posted about a company in public forums and the first company complaint I felt compelled to submit to the BBB. I even wrote a personal letter to George Davison himself in hopes of receiving some form of response.
I understand that everyone has their own unique experience when working with Davison, but mine on nearly all accounts has been overwhelmingly negative. If after reading, you still choose to work with Davison, you must know two things. First, any verbal communication or agreements are completely nullified when you sign the first contract, meaning any Davison employee may persuade or coerce you with false promises and information while not being held liable. In my complaint to the BBB, you may pay particular attention to the things I was told throughout the entire process that turned out to be untrue. Second, just because a company has signed on to be included in Davison's list of potential target corporations does not mean that they share any professional working relationship. The target company that was chosen for my project turned out to not even return any communication whatever from Davison, let alone any decision whether to accept or reject my idea. After thousands of dollars spent and over 10 months of waiting for a reply from the target company, I did not even get the courtesy of a rejection.
Below is my exhaustive account of my unfortunate working relationship with Davison. And if an employee claiming to work with Davison feels the need to respond to my post with offers to contact their customer service department, I have already attempted this multiple times and have been virtually ignored. If my issues were able to be resolved through their customer service department, I would have had no need to post them on this forum.
Letter to George Davison:
I am taking the time to write you personally in order to bring to your attention some facts you might find interesting about my experiences as a client working with representatives of your company.
When I first had my idea for a new invention, I made it myself and actually used it successfully for 3 months. It was so successful, in fact, that my friends and family encouraged me to make more and try to market them. While researching this avenue, I came across Davison and was immediately impressed. After a long search of looking at other companies, I decided to put my full trust and faith in yours.
I also read up on your background of how you got started in the inventing business, along with all the hardships and challenges you had to face. If I remember correctly, I believe that is one of the main reasons why you decided to start your own company; to help people bring their ideas to market while avoiding much of the negative experiences you had when starting out.
That is why I find it unfortunate to relay to you that I have been exposed to many of those same negative experiences and emotions while progressing through the design/presentation process with your company. I know you care about your company and have spent many years refining the design process, but for me as a current client, I feel that my trust in choosing your company to work with has been misplaced and I am now filled with doubt and disappointment.
My idea spent about 6 months going through the design process and has now been in the hands of the target company for over 8 months. They have not yet offered a response to the acceptance/rejection of my idea. So you see, I am not disappointed over the result of my idea, rather the design process itself, the representatives I worked with, and the lack of value that I now feel as a paying customer of your company.
I tried multiple times to resolve my issues with Davison’s Compliance Department, but after 3 weeks of being virtually ignored, I was left with no choice but to file a formal complaint with the BBB of Pennsylvania against your company.
I have included with this letter full documentation of my communication with the BBB and a representative of Davison. In the complaint, I tried to be as objective as possible, sticking to facts and not opinions, as I sincerely believe that my rights as a paying client of Davison had been violated. This is opposed to being perceived as a disgruntled client who didn’t like the way the results of my idea turned out. I do not yet have a decision from the target company, so the ending of this story is yet to be revealed.
It is my hope that you take the time to review my case and my idea’s history with your company, in order to help your company improve. Of course, I would like a favorable outcome to my idea, either by refund or acceptance by the target company. But at this point, I can only give an unfavorable review of my dealings with Davison because I do not feel that I have been treated fairly or considerately as a client, which will ultimately lead to future loss of business for your company.
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.
Official BBB of Pennsylvania complaint:
I am writing in concern over the status of my project and the poor quality of services rendered by Davison Design.
I have been working with Davison for over a year now and have contacted multiple representatives of the company regarding my dissatisfaction with each step of the design process with little or no results.
For clarification, I will break down each stage of the design process and include my comments.
During the pre-design process, I was told by my director that I would be allowed to give feedback for each stage of development, in which Davison would then use to make adjustments. A client/designer communication would be established and a two-way street of feedback/implementation would continue until the client is satisfied and thus could proceed to the next step. This was a critical point in my decision to work with Davison, as I already had working prototypes of my idea and specific information to the field of which it would be applied. I was more than willing to supply this information.
However, this client/designer communication turned out not to be true. After speaking to the vice president, he confirmed that the design process is a one-way street, where Davison provides what they think is best and there is no option to rework a project if the customer is dissatisfied.
I was also told that my idea would be presented to the target company in person, so that it could be explained and demonstrated. This also turned out not to be true. The only initial piece of information the target company received was a virtual rendering on a piece of paper.
During the pre-design process I was informed that the research and design costs of pursuing the development of my idea was eligible to be claimed as a deduction on my taxes. This was another big reason for choosing to go ahead with working with Davison. However, when it came tax time, there was no representative at Davison who could help me file the proper claim or confirm that the costs could be deducted. Even after my tax preparer called the IRS, he received conflicting information about this deduction.
After receiving the virtual rendering, my reaction was one of disappointment. Of the three goals that Davison has set for itself in the virtual design process, I found only one out of the three was successfully accomplished.
“First, we have attempted to compile as many of the functions and features as possible of your original idea into one complete, cost-effective product that we can present to the corporation.”
- I believe this was successfully accomplished
“Secondly, we studied information about the corporation and attempted to integrate your idea into a product suitable for their line. As you will notice, your rendering illustrates packaging geared directly towards the corporation's line of products.”
- The overall package design was extremely generic and the compilation of images could have been taken from any internet photo site. I personally researched the target company’s product lines and the presented design was nowhere near the scope of their existing product packaging. I requested multiple times for a list of how the virtual rendering was specifically geared directly towards the target corporation’s product lines and was never supplied an answer.
- The images on the product packaging themselves were poorly photoshopped and the working product depicted on one of the images was grossly enlarged, completely misrepresenting the proper use and dimensions of the product.
“Lastly, we studied the name to make sure it communicates to people who have never seen a product like this before.”
- The name on the design was not chosen properly from someone with knowledge in the field to which it would be applied. While it may seem minor, the name is wholly inaccurate and would give anyone unfamiliar with the product an incorrect impression.
These concerns were recorded on the survey that accompanied the agreement and after speaking multiple times with my director and vice president, my dissatisfaction was well known at this time. I did, however, sign the agreement to continue with the process because I was told through these conversations that A) if I wanted a rework, it would have to go back at the front of queue just like a new project and may take additional months to complete, B) I was told that the virtual rendering could still be changed throughout the process after the agreement was signed, and C) I was told that the virtual rendering was “just an representation of the idea” and it was implied that it carried no real importance. If I had known at the time that this would be THE ONLY PIECE OF INFORMATION initially presented to the target company (and currently the only piece) there is absolutely no way I would have allowed the process to continue without a rework of the design.
I felt the Executive Briefing fell way short of accurately and professionally representing my idea. The actual product sample presented in the photo appears to have rough-cut edges, it looks wrinkled, the stitching does not look uniform, and overall does not portray it in a manner that looks like it was professionally made. I supplied my own prototype to Davison for an example which appears of better quality construction than that which is represented in the summary.
The product packaging design looks like it was “cut and pasted” directly from the virtual rendering onto this briefing. I never did see the completed product packaging as it would be shown if the target company asked for it.
During the entire design process, I volunteered much of my own feedback and opinions of what I would have liked to see incorporated into the design and to help aid the design team in an area of which I was told they had little knowledge of. I didn’t see much (if any) of my feedback used and the inaccurate design summary reflected this.
Also, in the “New Discovery” section, there was a grammatical error. While trivial of itself, the Executive Summary was supposed to be the “final proof” of what would be shown to the target company. This made me question Davison’s quality assurance team as well as the quality of information the target company would actually receive.
Again, the above concerns were noted on the opinion form sent in with the signed agreement. And again, the only reason why I signed this agreement was because it was confirmed through speaking with the vice president that a re-design would not be possible. This is quite contrary to what I was originally told during the pre-development phase and before any money was paid to Davison. I made the choice to continue with the process, even though I was very dissatisfied at this point, because the alternative was to have my project halted and my fully paid money wasted.
Presentation to Target Company
Once I was transferred to the Licensing Department, I received an email indicating as such and was informed that my current director would no longer be my contact. This was fine, except that the incorrect name of my director was used in this email communication, which was very odd. I had also tried to contact my director asking for more information about the tax deduction for a few weeks before this time and received no responses. It was only after speaking to my new Licensing Dept. contact that I was informed that the director I had been working with was no longer with the company. This was also very odd considering all the questions and concerns I had throughout the process and furthermore, this unfortunate event was never communicated to me prior to this time.
I have been told that the virtual rendering was submitted to the target company and as of this writing, it has been over 7 months in their possession with no decision made. I have been told by my licensing department contact that 4-6 months is within the commonly acceptable time frame, which I understand. I am also fully aware that the company has the right to delegate as long as they wish without coercion from Davison to arrive at a decision. However, I have requested repeated times for the director in contact with the target company to simply ask about the status of my project on my behalf. I would like to know whether my idea is being legitimately considered among the target company or if it has even been looked at or forgotten about. I have been told that the director is in regular communication with the target company but when receiving updates from my Licensing Dept. contact, I am mostly told that the director only got a voicemail on his last call. I have requested to speak to this director as well as requested to see a list of the calls made and their results during the time in which the target company has had my project. These requests seem to have been ignored.
Since my extreme dissatisfaction has been escalating, I have attempted to contact Davison’s Compliance Dept. via email. I have sent three such emails indicating my concerns with the status of my project. The first email response was received three days after the initial submission and indicated that someone from Davison would contact me. I did receive a call from my Licensing Dept. contact shortly thereafter, but only to tell me that the director once again was not able to talk with the target company’s contact. No response was received about my project concerns. Two weeks later I sent another email to the Compliance Dept. and after no response after three more days, I sent another email. Another week has gone by and still I have received no response addressing my concerns.
Thus, I am now compelled to write a formal complaint through the BBB. As of now, I have no idea of the status of my project other than being in the possession of the target company. And to avoid the perception of a client who received a negative decision from the target company, I have filed these complaints before a result has been given. I have also moved to requesting a refund of the money I paid to Davison for the continual poor quality of services rendered as well as the misinformation (either intentional or unintentional) that persuaded me to sign the agreements during the developmental stages of the design process.
Most recent attempt to contact Davison's customer service dept. (also no reply from Davison):
I hired Davison Design because they claimed to be a full service company for developing and marketing ideas to corporations with which they have an established rapport. My design was sent to the target corporation, JD D'Addario, 10 months ago and there has been no decisive response from them. I recently discovered that Davison has attempted to contact D'Addario only 3 times in those 10 months, only leaving voicemail messages with no indication that these messages were ever returned. When directly posing this question of communication to my licensing department contact (of which I already knew the answer through my complaint filed with the BBB) she avoided answering, as if there was something to hide.
For a company that is supposed to have a reputation of carefully selecting target corporations to market ideas to and adding them to their database, D'Addario has shown no interest in returning any communication with Davison, let alone providing any feedback or decision about my idea that has been sent to them. I understand that target companies may take time to provide a decision, but in all regards D'Addario appears to be a "deadbeat" company that has no rapport or respect for Davison whatever. Also while Davison claims to have complete knowledge of the target company's marketing and manufacturing processes, they have claimed complete ignorance as to the company's product review process, which I find disconcerting. They say each company has its own review process and they may need time to show the idea around their departments and such. This reasoning was understood for the first 4-6 months, but at month 10, with solely a virtual rendering on a piece of paper and no indication of returned communication, this no longer holds credence.
Davison has lost a lawsuit for transparency issues before, and I see a complete lack of transparency in regards to providing me, a paying client, with truthful answers or tangible results. I have also seen no evidence that Davison is actually performing the actions that they claim to be taking with my idea.
I paid Davison for their service and trust in choosing a company to market my idea to, with which they claimed to have an established working and professional rapport with, and they simply have not delivered. It has been indicated that after 10 months, Davison hasn't even received any returned communication from D'Addario whatever and I have just been informed that Davison will no longer attempt to contact the company. To have a working relationship with this company is a false claim, and is certainly not what I paid a professional company for. For this, I request a full refund.
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Business Profile Summary
- Complaint Against Davison Design & Development
- Complaints Filed: 9
- Reported Damages: $96,295.00
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