Ripped off by Carl and Suyin Bowden of 16 Hands Ltd, Christchurch, NZ

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Thinking of using Carl and Suyin Bowden or 16Hands Ltd for web development? Think again!



16hands Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand Company Directors' Suyin and Carl Bowden should never be used for any web development.
There are lots of people with the same name, so to be sure we are talking about the same ones, these are their profiles

Message from Carl Bowden's Father

"I am Carl Bowdens father, I have looked at your web site about Carl's way of doing business. Your experiences do not surprise me: during the last part of his time at polytechnic, and when he started to take on work, that I had got for him, Carl would do the same things, he did to you, you have my email, I like you to make contact. Paul Bowden... "

Carl and Suyin have not tried to clear his/her names in our or any other previous known fraud. They just keep going using the fact they are conducting "business" using a tiny valued limited liability company, so it is worthless for anyone to take them to court as they funnel money/assets away from their company. Funds instead locked into their Family trust account. Meaning a win for any complainant would still mean no/little recompense. Also any complainant, even when they win, will be out of pocket for court costs of over $50,000.
They know this and use it to their advantage.

The Bowden's do have the legal opportunity to defend themselves however they can not prove fraud did not happen. So they look for other means to ensure their current victims are not notified by scaring or shutting up previous clients.

Our own dealings with Carl and Suyin Bowden

Carl and Suyin were engaged back in March 2008 as an independent contractor to develop a New Drupal Based Website for Home of Poi. Over a number of years of not meeting deadlines and delay tactics and still not delivering a finished website, on September 17th 2012, Home of Poi put a halt to using their services for the new website.
Yes, Carl and Suyin said that they would still work free of charge to provide that promised website.
Home of Poi Ltd asked for their money back in November 2013 to which Carl Bowden replied "You will not get any money back! I have it all screwed down in our family trust."

Suyin and Carl Bowden are using their worthless shell company 16hands Ltd to protect themselves from paying back any money or actually providing a website.

And according to his phone call has also purposely put the money we paid into a family trust for safe keeping. Safe for them that is. Alas it is nearly 2014 and still nothing provided. However they do enjoy their nice modern house/farm, taking overseas holidays and riding their horse called "Standing Ovation" on their farm in Canterbury. And we continue working hard and paying off our loans.


Updates:

Sadly I heard of another family who also got ripped off for an educational website, again they were not given a working website and very helpful Carl and Suyin Bowden have not returned any money.
Carl and Suyin do apparently "Feel Bad", well all I can say is good for them.

2014 March: Thank you for all your support in spreading the word via emails within the industry. It is great how programmers rally against this type of behaviour.

2014 May: Very sad to hear Carl and Su have ripped off another business this year.

2015 May: Carl's father makes contact with us. (see above)

They know they can get away with it and they know how to play their game. Don't be fooled. They will come across as very clever and the perfect people to use to get everything done right. Carl will even try and do photography for your projects to bleed you dry before you catch on what he is doing. Eventually Su will be there saying she will help keep an eye on the project and make sure the jobs Carl is doing are completed. This is just another delay tactic to keep charging you more money. Then of course they have the deadlines that always seem to pass for this and that reason. If you complain they will say they are very close to finishing and you would be "silly to stop when it is so close to being completed". After all you have already spent $$$$$$ and you can't walk away from that? can you?

Other common delay tactics to look out for are:
  • You need to update to latest version.
  • We are Delayed by unexpected problems caused by other peoples work.
  • Your existing software has been set up all wrong.
  • Spend more money now and you'll be better off in the future.
  • Carl does not want to give you a bad result.
  • Carl has actually done 20hours extra work that he has not even charged you for.
  • Why are you complaining? Carl is suffering by doing extra work for free and burning the midnight oil.
  • Carl and Su are the ones being abused for their extra effort. It's not their fault! They are working very hard for the best result.
  • My favourite: Carl says "I am not actually a programmer, I am actually a graphic artist."
  • AND then Carl says "I wanted to employ an actual code programmer, but you wanted me to do it."


What should you do?

No doubt you completely trust all that they tell you. They will come across as the best most caring people you have ever met. You may not believe any of the above is true.
It is only our hope you will read this and investigate yourself. Always verify!
Don't just take our word for it.
I highly recommend contacting your lawyer, accountant and any other web developer and showing them what you have so far from Carl and tell them how much it cost and your ROI (If you have that). Like many others I am sure you will be very surprised.

Only use a programmer who is proud to list their previous work on their website.


Wishing you the best of luck


Malcolm Crawshay
Managing Director
Home of Poi Ltd
Phone 0274 334 058