In September of 2019, I happened upon Buddy Bandana on instagram. They were advertising that they needed brand ambassadors. Being a huge dog lover (all animal lover, really), I was immediately enthused. A handful of messages later and I was in. I thought I had accomplished something but really, they had found another sucker.
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY
I ordered my matching dog bandana and human scrunchy set with the discount code that they provided (that’s how they get ya!) and waited, anxiously. When they came, I had my son take pictures of my dog and me.
I quickly shared them with my contact at Buddy Bandana and waited for our feature on their page. As well as plenty of attention which would lead to fame and fortune! Ok, well, I definitely expected the picture to be posted, anyway.
LEARNING THE TRUTH
But, nothing happened.
Never the less, it gave me something to blog about! So, I did. If you missed it, check it out here—> The Buddy Bandana Is Perfect For Your Buddy (Or Not) I wrote about my new adventure, sang their praises (particularly the part about their apparent commitment to donate to animal shelters) and shared a discount code.
After posting, I still expected to see my boy, Captain, on their page and I definitely didn’t expect to find out that Buddy Bandanas is one big scam.
It didn’t take long for the comments to start rolling in.
I never got my order.
They aren’t reachable.
I sent pictures and they never responded.
On and on.
At first, I wanted to pretend that it was the wrong Buddy Bandana or that they had fixed their issues. But, like I said, the comments went on and on. So, I added a disclaimer to the top of my post so readers wouldn’t think that I was actually associated with the company.
I’m sure you can figure out that I never heard from them again; not even when I reached out with a link to my post. I was trying to give them an opportunity to solve the problem and show us all that they were good guys, after all.
So, yeah, they’re not good guys, after all.
THE STORY CONTINUES
About a year later, I received a message from a guy from the BBC. He explained that he was doing a documentary on instagram brand ambassador scammers including Buddy Bandana. He said that my post had been the breakthrough that he needed and through the post and the comments, they believed that they had tracked down the scammer behind the cute dog pictures.
So, fast forward to an awkward zoom interview with a fellow across the ocean. This came complete with a bad connection and being forced to turn the video off so that the sound would at least work. It wasn’t fun to talk to a black screen but I could still hear his Scottish accent so all was not lost…. 😃
Anyway, after being told repeatedly that I had inadvertently really done a good thing as they were hopefully going to be able to stop them; I said good-bye and set about feeling really good about myself. I also looked forward to the link that he promised to send me when the documentary aired.
I find it a little ironic that I never heard from him again, either. But, at least, this time, my money wasn’t involved. He didn’t really owe me anything so no worries. Either way, I took with me the belief that I had been part of the solution and that, my friends, is pretty awesome.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE
But, then, the other day, I got an instagram message from Buddy Bandanas, asking me if I would like to be a brand ambassador. What?!
Well, I may be part of the solution but the problem clearly hasn’t been solved yet.
So, be careful out there, people. It’s painfully hard to know who you can trust. And who you can’t. If anyone has had a similar experience with Buddy Bandana or another scammer, please let me know in the comments. That’s how we can help each other stay safe and un-scammed!