In March, 2013, I hired Romy and Jacob to produce products for my small business under their private label service. Lina Asselien was not only my rep, but an owner and major shareholder of Romy and Jacob, Inc and also Canilux Group Ltd, and also RJ Distributions.
So, after scouring the internet for any negative reviews or records of lawsuits, all seemed to be in the clear, and I was already familiar with their brand.
Romy and Jacob told me (and they claim this on their web site as well) that they personally own their manufacturing facilities, and personally produce the products for the client. All over the web, you can see various business addresses posted in their listings which are said to be their offices, factory, and so on.
When five months had passed, and they hadn't even shown me photos of my samples, much less completed one round of samples for my products, were attempting to charge me for items I never even asked to be made, and violated their contract in every possible way, I hired an attorney.
Upon some checking, I found that each and every business address provided by Romy and Jacob on all of those very public web sites turned out to be apartments. Private homes. All residential buildings, none of them commercial or industrial.
Further checking revealed that an image they have since removed (when they were called on it) on their web site of a factory they claimed to be their "12,000 sq ft factory in upstate NY" actually belongs to Bergamo Clothing company, which makes specialty athletic wear for cyclists, and has nothing at all to do with Romy and Jacob.
Is it a little odd that someone who owns a factory would steal images of someone else's factory instead of using their own? Why, yes..it is!
Every day, it seemed I was uncovering something new and alarming about this company I paid so much money to with the agreement that my products would be made.
Romy and Jacob refused to take any form of payment other than a wire transfer, which I admit is dicey, but because on the surface, I had seen no red flags, and because I made the payment through my own bank, I was willing to give them a chance.
Under false pretenses, they took $14,000 from me, and even though they absolutely did not deliver on any of their services or complete a single sample, much less a product..they refuse to return my money.
They refuse to mediate, and when they finally decided maybe they should hire a lawyer to write a letter, of course they never acknowledged the $14,000 they owe me.
I even met my rep at a recent industry trade show, and though I was having serious doubts (this was July) I still continued to give her a chance to show me that she was legitimately doing what she'd promised to in our contract and in all those many e mails and phone calls. She had no problem stabbing me in the consumer back the moment I returned home from that trip though, attempting to charge me nearly $4,000 MORE for products she'd failed to even show me photos of. Yet claimed to be producing.
Now, she claims I asked for lots of changes which is why things were taking so long.
Changes. On items I'd never even seen photos of. On samples they'd never actually completed.
That goes far and beyond outrageous or dishonest and right into fraud as far as I'm concerned.
They were very upset that I posted complaints on sites dedicated to consumer rights and protection, and claimed it was illegal. Obviously, it's perfectly legal, and I am fully within my rights to use such forums.
Being that they are based in Canada, perhaps they don't have freedom of speech and don't understand that concept.
If my report saves even one person from going with this fraudulent, scam of a company, then I've done well.
They clearly do not care about their reputation or they wouldn't be lying to people just to get their business, then failing to deliver the services and goods once they do have the person's money.
Further, if they were a legitimate business, they would never allow a dispute with a client to escalate to such a point that the person was left with no other recourse than to communicate with consumer organizations.
Taking money under false pretenses with no intention of delivering the goods or services is fraud, I believe. I feel they need to be investigated.
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