Business Owner Blasts Instagrammer Who Took Her Money But Didn’t Promote Products

A business owner in Singapore retaliated against a social media influencer who allegedly took her brand’s money and products without posting sponsored content.

In a Facebook post on April 13, Trixie Khong, owner of local jewelry brand By Invite Only, warned others of Elaine Heng, an Instagram personality with some 83,000 followers on the platform.

via Facebook / Trixie Khong

According to Khong, she invited Heng to work on sponsored content to be promoted on her Instagram, but the latter just dropped off the face of the earth after getting her payment and sample products. The first post was supposedly uploaded on March 6.

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“All communications are good up to the point I paid her,” Khong wrote. “I paid it in full within a few days and was the price she quoted. Even sent her the products and then she [went] MIA for three to four weeks!”

via Instagram / Elaine Jasmine

“Eventually I gave up and asked for our money and products back via email and text. No response. Commented on her IG to get back to us. Got back saying that she will pay us back ‘soon.’

“Finally, I resorted to commenting on her latest post with the truth of the money and products owed and she immediately texted me back. It was so epic that I got a ‘lol’ from her. #mademyday that I can screenshot this.”

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Khong shared screenshots of their earlier conversations:

Khong: “Original text when she agreed to post for us on Mar 6. Post didn’t happen although the date was suggested by her. No mention of the quality of our products, not ‘shit’ at this point.”
Khong: After chasing her multiple times via email and text, we left a comment on her post on IG saying something like ‘Elaine can you please get back to us…’ She came back saying sorry and it slipped her mind. At this point still willing to post for us. No mention of quality of the product. Still not ‘shit’ at this point.”

Khong’s post quickly went viral on Facebook, and as it turned out, others came forward to share their own experiences with Heng.

From Sylvia Lim: “Thanks for sharing! Here’s part of her message to me few years back.”
From Malvina Fransisca Wijaya: “Exact same thing happened to me last year. Engaged her to do the post in Nov 2016 and the post was not up till Feb 2017, so eventually I asked for refund. And the refund took one month cos she went MIA. No reply and she even blocked me on WhatsApp and Instagram after that.”
From Regina Pek: “She claimed that the length of my dress is too short and it exposed her butt cheeks even though other models and influencers that might be taller than her vouched otherwise. Though length of clothes is subjective to each individual but she’s seen in more revealing and short pieces of clothing. Furthermore, she did not exchange or return the dress to me in exchange for anything else, or even communicate with me about the length, but what she did was to defame my clothes on Instagram along with defaming other influencers advertising for me, naming them unethical and etc. She conveniently used my dress to target other influencers… I asked her to remove the post because she shouldn’t be using a paid advertorial to fuel her possible personal grudge with people.”

On April 14, Khong updated the post to announce that Heng had reached out to pay back in full and a request to take her post down. She refused to “warn fellow brand owners.”

“Elaine has reached out to me and paid me back in full and an additional $100 [Singapore dollars] ($76.35) for the products this morning. She requested that I take this post down but I will not be doing so.”

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“My intention of this post is to warn fellow brand owners or people who engage influencers as part of their job. It is definitely not meant to be a bribe to get my money back. Getting my money back is such a bonus as I was prepared to lose it completely. My last message to her will be thank you and good luck.”

That very evening, Heng did a live video to take a jab on Khong’s products, saying that she was “very shocked” of their quality. In her defense, she claimed that she refrained from posting to maintain credibility.

Heng claimed that she wanted to ask for a refund and return the products, but her busy schedule — which reportedly involved travels to places with no Wi-Fi — prevented her from corresponding.

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Khong responded to her video:

“Elaine just went to did a live video saying our products are bad and probably played the victim (again). If my quality or product is ‘shit’ and you as an influencer decided not to post, the action should be to contact the brand, explain your POV and refund the payment. Not delay and ignore our replies.

“So I have added some more screenshots of her agreeing to post on two occasions and then the screenshots of her this morning with her apology and her bank transfer back to us. I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire and decided not to publish these screenshots but since she decided to proceed I have nothing to hide.”

Khong: “This morning 14/04. The day after I posted this Facebook expose. She did say she will refund me but that was on 3rd April, about two weeks ago.”
Khong: “I didn’t reply [to] her. She immediately sent me the payment of $500 (US$381.77) back plus $100 (US$76.35) for the products. We actually made a profit on this. She said sorry and to be honest, it ended there for us. I got back my money, I got to warn others. Win win! But she just went on her social media to say our products are ‘shit’ that’s why she wouldn’t want to post. Totally respect that, everyone has a right to their own opinion. If you think our products are not great, we have a two-week no questions asked exchange policy! #hardsellabit”
By April 16, Heng posted a lengthy apology on Instagram:

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“I don’t deny many of the alleged accusations. Yes, some were taken out of context and dramatised to put me in negative light, but some parts of it were true. This is something I admit and I am truly sorry. As such, I would like to take the initiative to formally apologise.

“Firstly, I acknowledge having a busy schedule on my part, does not warrant a delay in payments. For this, I apologise and will focus on improving my work ethic.

“Secondly, I should have handled conflict with a better attitude. I was angry and hurt but I should not have responded in such a spiteful manner.

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“In future, I will be more mindful of how I treat others.”

By now, many of you would have heard of the latest ‘Elaine Jasmine Saga’. A jewellery business owner posted an expose about me and the unfortunate encounter we had while working together a few weeks ago. – To be honest, I initially refrained from commenting on the issue because I felt it was unnecessary as I always believed that issues can be solved by communicating directly with the other party, instead of taking the matter publicly online- it wouldn’t reflect well on either side. – However, the matter quickly blew up as the owner’s post soon started spreading. Aside from the post, other brand owners added comments and screenshots which showed other instances of when I displayed similar behaviour. – I don’t deny many of the alleged accusations. Yes, some were taken out of context and dramatised to put me in negative light, but some parts of it were true. This is something I admit and I am truly sorry. As such, I would like to take the initiative to formally apologise: – Firstly, I acknowledge having a busy schedule on my part, does not warrant a delay in payments. For this, I apologise and will focus on improving my work ethic. – Secondly, I should have handled conflict with a better attitude. I was angry and hurt but I should not have responded in such a spiteful manner. In future, I will be more mindful of how I treat others. – I am truly sorry for my unprofessional behaviour and the unhappiness I have caused. It was never my intention to do so and it hurts me so much to see so much negativity created because of my mistake, even if most of the instances mentioned took place years ago when I was more naive and immature. – Thank you to those of you who have stood by me to encourage and advise me during this period, as well as friends/clients who have expressed their concern and continued faith in me despite everything. – Moving forward I hope to grow as a person and learn from this encounter. I will do my utmost best to prevent such issues from arising again. – Love, Elaine Jasmine

A post shared by Elaine Jasmine 王瑞敏 (@xelainejasmine) on

Featured Images via Facebook / (Left): Trixie Khong | Instagram / (Right): Elaine Jasmine

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