***I had to change the title slightly as it came off as contradictory to my disclaimer. The rest of this post still stands. Do with the information what you will.***
Recently, one of my favorite YouTubers has been seemingly pulling a scam (the proportions of which are unknown) on unsuspecting subscribers. I, too, was almost pulled into purchasing her product under false pretenses. I know you all are like, “What on earth are you talking about, Tori?” First, let me begin with this disclaimer:
I am NOT telling anyone not to buy the product, nor am I trying to attack this person, rather I truly felt it my civic duty, if you will, to expose the dishonest business practices of this individual and leave it up to you all, the potential consumers, to decide for yourselves whether or not these practices are acceptable. If you ask me, the evidence against her is too great. Buyer beware.
With that out of the way, I want to say that up until this controversy sparked, I was a subscriber to this individual and was very fond of her videos. This all started after Torridiana777 posted a video after a long hiatus with the subject matter being a new product from an “up and coming” business called Hair Teaz, which she had been given samples of from a “friend of a friend.” The product is little more than a tea rinse (recipes for which can be found online as people have been doing tea rinses for many, many years) with other certain ingredients added specifically for the upkeep of the hair. I thought nothing of it; I even took a peek at the website and product prices. Nothing unusual, really.
Concern came about a week or so later (correction: I saw the video nearly a week later, it was posted the very day after the first video she made) when,after she uploaded yet another video about the product–which was odd in and of itself as she normally is gone for months at a time before posting again–I happened to notice a comment from a youtuber saying that he/she posted a question on her previous video asking whether she owned the business and that their question was deleted and never answered. They went on to say that if she did not own the business then she is being listed as the merchant on the receipt. Seeing this, I decided to support this user by asking the same question. The way I prefer to deal with issues I may be having, be it with a person or business, or service, is to state something positive and then come to the problem. I do not remember my exact wording, however I do have screenshots, which I will post below. I essentially very politely said that I was interested in buying the product (which up until I saw that comment, I was) and that I saw the previous commenter’s comment and wanted to know whether she in fact does own the company, reason being that I was being smart about buying an unknown product that, as far as I know, has only debuted on YouTube. She responded by saying something along the lines of I do not own the company or product and I wish I would have come up with it, “I would never use my middle name,” “My first name s Danielle,” “My last name is Williams.” I was fine with that because the question was finally answered and truth be told, I wanted to believe her (even though I had seen a video in which her mother called her Torriana and she jokingly responded by saying she did not like her stating her “government name”). However, other people began to express the same concerns after seeing the same comment I saw.
Many became a little wary and scrutinized the website and product as being suspicious as the site contained no photos of the owners, or users of the product, etc and the information on the owners was extremely vague, citing them as two sisters, Torriana Rene and Christina Ann Towns (information which was added in between the time span of both videos and after questions of validity were posed). The site uses nothing more than stock photos, which under ordinary circumstances would be fine if their legitimacy and practices weren’t in question. Someone pointed out that she claimed she had been using the product for six months when the website stated that their grand opening was on 11/22/2012. Others stated that Torridiana777’s claim that free shipping was in effect was in fact false and they had to pay shipping and they had received no response from the merchant on this issue. The other major concern was that the receipt from PayPal (yes, PayPal) listed Torriana Towns as the merchant. Someone else posted and outright called her a liar and immediately created their first and only video calling out Torridiana777, the product, and the company as a scam. I initially sent her the link to this video and joked about it as being over-the-top and inferred that their statement made in the video were mostly unfounded and not true. In fact, someone else commented on that video who also believed Torridiana777.
She never responded to that message, though, I didn’t really expect her to, being that she has over 13,000 subscribers and it is not always possible to respond to everyone. Immediately after sending that message, I checked my inbox anyway and noticed a personal message from another user (I won’t state their username for their own privacy) in which they said they saw my comment and they felt the company was “fishy” so they googled the name Torriana Towns. Within this message they included the results of their search which turned up a LINK to a style blog/webmag containing an interview with and photo of Torridiana777, citing her name as Torriana Towns. Upon seeing this, I responded by telling the user that they should confront her with this evidence and see what she says.
Rather than remaining idle and waiting for someone else do or say something, I decided that I, too, would confront her, but I would do so on a public interface. I returned to the second product video and posted a comment to the effect of, ‘You are one of my favorite youtubers, but I can’t ignore the evidence that a user sent to me containing a link with a interview and photo of you. The page cites your name as Torriana Towns even though you say your name is Williams. What’s going on? Why hide that from us?’ I returned later to look for a response only to find that my comment was deleted and I was blocked and unsubscribed. Admittedly, I was offended. Here is someone whose videos I enjoyed and thought that had I the opportunity to know her well enough, it would be cool to hang out… and she not only ignored my very valid question and concern, but pretty much tried to shut me up over the issue. Disbelief is an understatement.
Since then, she has disabled commenting on either video about the Hair Teaz product. I speculate that people continued to question her after that. I probably shouldn’t have, but I sent her yet another personal message stating that she really was one of my favorite youtubers and that it wasn’t a front when I said that and I was upset about being blocked and unsubscribed, but that there was no use in dwelling on it. I then posted the link to the website (I couldn’t do so in my comment I sent as YouTube does not allow URLs in the comment box) and hit send. No response, of course.
The user who sent me the link and I continued back and forth about it. In the last message, they told me that Torridiana777 responded to them, saying that she was well acquainted with the sisters and that thy just have the same name. Of course, neither of us believe her after seeing the interview and photo.
The user who first commented asking about the business says she will cancel her order and request a refund via PayPal and that when she visted the website again she saw that it had been created on 11/19/2012 and that the site changed, or rather added something; it now reads “All sells are final” in small print on the checkout page. This wasn’t present until there was talk of refunds.
Further evidence against her can be found here, a Whois.com report a user from LHCF posted. It contains revealing information on Torridiana777’s business’ website Eden’s Lapel and its owner, which is clearly listed as “Danielle Towns.”
Whatever her name is, she has decided to take advantage of her subscribers and insult their intelligence by telling them not to believe their eyes and that they’re looking at oranges when they’re really looking at apples, telling them to drink the kool-aid, so-to-speak.
This whole situation is beginning to stink of the Mop Top Maven and Enso Naturals scandal…
See the update to this article HERE.