Butler Sourcing - Yusuf Uqdah attempted to scam me
From December 1, 2010, until January 15, 2011, I did contract work for an individual whose birth name is Yusuf Uqdah. Yusuf Uqdah is also known with the alias of Joseph Heller, but he possibly uses other aliases - he actually created a profile on Facebook using the name John Wilks and his own email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Yusuf Uqdah is now engaged with a business venture named Tribes & Fashion, but at the time was the owner of a company known, among the others, as Butler Sourcing.
After 6 weeks of working with Yusuf Uqdah, we agreed that we should cease our collaboration. Mr. Uqdah first attempted not to pay me for the work I performed during the first two weeks of January. In February, however, he claimed to have accidentally sent me the payment twice. Rebuffing my offer to visit the bank and correct the mistake, he proceeded to take actions which were apparently meant to scam me. After his attempts failed, he proceeded to post a series of anonymous comments about me, stating a series of false claims. Unfortunately, he has deleted my response to his claims from this thread and I feel forced to warn other against this individual who has already many negative reviews on this site, both against himself and his company.
What follows is my original reply to Yusuf Uqdah:
I have to admit that I was somewhat puzzled when I found this series of libelous claims about me. In the first place, I was obviously surprised to read such frivolous and malicious fabrications. In the second place, I was intrigued by the fact the author of these posts chose to stay anonymous, in spite of being known for using many names and aliases. In fact, the author of these posts is an individual who initially introduced himself to me as Joseph Heller. Shortly thereafter, however, the same individual announced that he should be addressed as Yusuf Uqdah, which he claimed as his birth name. The same individual, however, has apparently created a Facebook profile under the name of John Wilks, using the email address email@example.com. At the moment of this writing, Yusuf Uqdah (a.k.a. Joseph Heller, a.ka. John Wilks) seems to be engaged in a business venture called Tribes & Fashion, which operates the site http://www.tribesandfashion.com/. At the time of the our 6-weeks collaboration, however, he owned and managed a company that, similarly to its owner, had gone through several name changes, having been known as:
- Heller Sourcing
- Butler Digitizing
- Digital EMB
- Butler Promotions
- Butler Sourcing
- Butler Patches
- Butler Custom Caps
- Butler Custom Labels
The decision of Yusuf Uqdah (a.k.a. Joseph Heller, a.ka. John Wilks) to post his falsifications anonymously seemed counterintuitive at first, but the reason behind his decision was actually easy to discover. In fact, searches on this site for his names (and those of his company) returned hundreds of negative posts from a variety of sources. The allegations against Mr. Uqdah cover a range of topics, from customer complaints for not receiving the goods/services they purchased, to statements about his dishonesty and lack of integrity. While it would be impossible to summarize all the negative comments about Yusuf Uqdah, a post from a personal acquaintance is indicative of the general tone of such comments: "I knew Yusuf since he was at La Salle High School and I knew him at Berkeley. He has always been a scammer thru his career. I wouldn't trust him or his actions at all. He was alway unethical and very dishonest. Please be careful when dealing with his company" (http://butler-patches.pissedconsumer.com/they-did />
While refuting all the baseless lies written by Yusuf Uqdah (a.k.a. Joseph Heller, a.ka. John Wilks) on this page would take a lengthy essay, the following is a summary of how our 6-weeks collaboration.
On our first meeting, he introduced himself as Joseph Heller and the owner Butler Sourcing. He described his company as a mature organization with a solid market presence, a strong IT infrastructure and operations in China, the Philippines and the USA. In time I found out that everything I was told was either a lie or a gross misrepresentation. In fact:
- the real name of the person I met was Yusuf Uqdah, with Joseph Heller being only one of possibly several aliases. When asked about the reason for not using his real name, Mr. Uqdah claimed that using his actual name would hurt his business as he believed that "most Americans aren't smart enough to understand that not all Muslims are terrorists";
- Butler Sourcing (and all its various reincarnations and reinterpretations) had barely escaped bankruptcy. In particular, the Philippines branch of the company had retrenched in the previous months and had been considered for elimination;
- the financial viability of the firm was highly questionable, with at least one contractor (whom I personally know) not receiving the last payment owed by Yusuf Uqdah. Continuous reminders to reduce costs were sent by Mr. Uqdah to his employees almost daily;
- the operations in the United States merely consisted in Yusuf Uqdah's mother receiving the packages for Butler Sourcing's customers at her own residence in California, before forwarding them to the intended recipients. Mr. Uqdah later explained this as an expedient to trick his customers into believing that the merchandise they received had been manufactured in the States or, at the very least, to hide the fact that it had been produced in China;
- the IT infrastructure was outdated and inadequate, with the company's operations relying on a buggy application, written by inexperienced software developers and hosted on severely underpowered hardware;
- Butler Sourcing's web applications were open to intrusions and attacks, which Mr. Uqdah blamed on a legion of disgruntled, former employees/contractors.
After passing a programming test administered by an associate, whom Yusuf Uqdah (a.k.a. Joseph Heller, a.ka. John Wilks) defined as a "personal friend and very accomplished programmer", I was persuaded to join Butler Sourcing. Immediately after joining the company, however, Mr. Uqdah's gross misrepresentation of Butler Sourcing became apparent, as the severe challenges faced by its firm made for a troubled work environment. Following my disillusionment with Butler Sourcing and the sudden loss of my mother in the beginning of January 2011 (the "personal problems" to which Mr. Uqdah referred to in his post), I made the decision to end my collaboration with the company on January 15, 2011. At the request of Mr. Uqdah, I committed to assisting his business associates throughout the month of January, whenever necessary. While Mr. Uqdah suggested that he would compensate me for any work I would perform after January 15, his actions were clearly indicative of the fact that he had no intention of paying me at all, even for the work I had already done. In fact, he immediately resorted to using the same excuses and techniques which he had used to avoid paying another contractor. Incidentally, I later found out from the posts on this site that Mr. Uqdah uses similar techniques to avoid issuing refunds to his dissatisfied customers. Nevertheless, I assisted Mr. Uqdah's business associates as necessary through the end of January, without ever inquiring about the status of my payment.
In the beginning of February, much to my surprise, Mr. Uqdah contacted me online and informed me that he had accidentally sent my payment, covering the first half of January, twice. I promptly offered to visit the bank the next day so that I could rectify his mistake, but Mr. Uqdah invited me to wait for instructions. I was actually contacted by phone from someone who claimed to be an employee of the financial institution where both Mr. Uqdah and I were banking. Following the directions I was given, I sent a detailed message to the bank through their online banking system, authorizing the partial refund to Mr. Uqdah but wording my authorization in such a way that would prevent him from claiming any refund in excess of the accidental payment. In the meantime, Mr. Uqdah had sent me a very rude and arrogant email, accusing me of dishonesty and claiming that I didn't intend to return his money. I explained to him that a technical issue had caused a delay of a few days and assured him that I had done exactly as I was instructed to do. Weary of his verbal hostility, I nevertheless took measures meant to prevent him from contacting me online in the future, confident that I could still be reached by phone when needed. I monitored the status of the secondary account that I had used exclusively to transact with Mr. Uqdah for a few days and then, assuming that the transaction was pending completion, I simply left the matter alone. Once again, I was reassured by the fact that I could be contacted by phone, if necessary.
As it happened, I never received any call, neither from Yusuf Uqdah (a.k.a. Joseph Heller, a.ka. John Wilks), nor from the financial institution. Only several months later, after transferring my funds to another bank, I realized that the refund to Mr. Uqdah had never been completed. At first, I assumed that Mr. Uqdah had changed his mind and decided to compensate me for the assistance I provided to his associates during the second half of January. After finding this series of posts, however, I am inclined to believe that the supposed mistake made by Mr. Uqdah was part of a failed attempt to scam me, possibly using a technique such as the "advanced fee fraud". Even discounting my prior knowledge of Mr. Uqdah's ill reputation, I can't otherwise explain why the bank never completed what should have been a legitimate transaction. Furthermore, in spite of all the tough talk on this page, Mr. Uqdah was perfectly aware of my whereabouts and contact information for many months after our collaboration ended; yet, he never tried to reach out to me.
Yusuf: I am not quite sure of what your real intentions were, but it is clear that you are, once again, lying. If you had merely intended to receive a refund for the "accidental transaction", as you falsely claimed, you would have obviously followed a different course of actions. For instance, you could have let me visit the bank and rectify your "mistake", as I offered to do. You could have called me or sent me a text message on my phone, as any logical person would do. You could have even visited me at my place of residence, if you so chose, as you had the precise address. Instead of pursuing a sensible or logical solution, you chose to spread anonymous lies about me, apparently incensed by your failure to scam me. It is, therefore, quite amusing that you would label me a "cheater", when I never took any action to deceive you and, in fact, never even contacted you about my payment. I would point out the hypocrisy of your actions but, having been "always unethical and very dishonest", as your former high school friend wrote, I am sure you wouldn't be particularly disturbed.review #315596
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