WebStar and SkyWeb list the same address in this building in Belleville, Ill.
The WebStar/SkyWeb storefront.
A picture of Nathan Chaney posted on MySpace.
St. Louis, Mo., March 27, 2014 – WebStar Corp., a web development company in Belleville that shut down last year amid complaints of questionable business practices, appears to have reopened under a new name.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that WebStar’s owner, Nathan Chaney, opened a virtually identical business under the name SkyWeb Corp. about the same time he was closing WebStar. The new firm’s website is strikingly similar to the website for Chaney’s former company. Both businesses appear to offer the same services.
BBB advises consumers to use caution when dealing with Chaney or any of his companies. The business has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible.
A businessman from Richmond, Texas, called his experience with Chaney, “a horrible ordeal.” The man paid Chaney and WebStar $1,200 in August to build a website for his roofing and siding firm. “He never did anything at all.”
“There was no response, ever,” said the employee of a heating and air conditioning business from Friendship, Tenn. That company also paid WebStar $1,200 to develop a website.
Neither business has received a refund.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said there is nothing to indicate that Chaney’s new business would operate any differently from the old one.
“Different name, same concerns,” Corey said. “Mr. Chaney can’t expect to dodge his problems simply by changing his company’s name,” she said. “He has a responsibility to face these complaints head-on, not try to hide from them.”
Records show WebStar Corp’s website, www.webstarcorp.com, was created in January 2012. In late 2013 and early 2014, BBB began receiving complaints about the company from customers who said they paid for websites that the company never delivered.
On March 14, Chaney responded in an email to BBB that he had closed WebStar in late 2013.
The Skyweb Corp. website, www.skywebcorp.com, was created On Oct. 31, 2013. It appears that much of SkyWeb’s website content is identical to WebStar’s site content.
Both WebStar and SkyWeb list the same address at 1723 West Main St. in Belleville.
On March 18, SkyWeb advertised on Craigslist for entry level sales employees, describing SkyWeb as a “startup company that helps businesses with website design, marketing, advertising, etc.” The ad continued: “We have a small but growing client base scattered through the country and are looking for commission-based sales reps to help us grow and expand.”
Three days later, BBB contacted Chaney about SkyWeb and the ad.
Chaney said that the day after he posted the ad, he decided to get out of the website development business. “It’s all done with,” he said at one point. Minutes later, though, he said he might get back into the business if he could find a way to do it.
“I feel absolutely horrible about what happened,” he said of the problems with WebStar. “It just didn’t work out.” He blamed his problems on an inability to attract good employees, and said, “I had a server crash and lost pretty much everything.” He said he still would like to finish work on the promised websites, but said he does not know how long it would take to complete the jobs. He said he has no money for refunds.
A contractor in Fairland, Ind., said he paid WebStar and Chaney $850 in April 2013 to build a website for his company. “I got a couple of emails from him, but he never did anything,” the customer said. “There was no product at all.”
A businesswoman in Grand Prairie, Texas, said she paid Chaney and WebStar $1,000 in July to build a website for her heating and air conditioning service. She said all she got for her money were a few sample pages. “I told him I wanted my money back, and he said, ‘that’s a joke; you’re not getting your money back.’”
BBB offers the following advice for business operators in need of website development work or other web services:
Contacts (News Media Only): Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-645-0606, email@example.com, or Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, 314-584-6743, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bill Smith, Trade Practice Investigator, 314-584-6727, email@example.com