Palm Springs, Calif. - Theresa Darrah says for over 10 years she has always delivered her advertising as promised by her contracts. The contract she signed with the Blue Coyote restaurant doesn't promise much. Much of it is left blank, but the number on the check is clear, two thousand six hundred and seventy seven dollars. Darrah cashed it the day she received it on July 26th.
The Blue Coyote expected to get their ad on tables in other restaurants, and receive a dozen tables with advertising on them for use at their restaurant with a month.
"You'll get 'em this week. You'll get 'em next week. Now she's not even returning phone calls or e-mails," said Blue Coyote General Manager, Kami French.
The Blue Coyote is the featured restaurant on Darrah's website, www.dmtsalestabletop.com. She tells business owners she will advertise their business on table tops that will go in the Blue Cayote.
"Now this last month or so, I've gotten like ten calls from people saying, "is my ad in your restaurant?'
'Who are you?' I have no clue who you are," French said.
"Well, Theresa told us that you have your tables, and our ads are on your tables.' I said we don't have tables, and we haven't had tables, we're supposed to have them by September, and now it's April."
Darrah has put tables into restaurants in the past. Some are still being used, like those on the patio of the Beer Hunter in La Quinta, but they were produced more than five years ago. We called an ad for a realtor who said she was happy with the ad sold to her by Darrah.
Dozens of others who have done business with Darrah more recently are far less satisfied. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department received 70 phone calls from people wanting to file reports against Darrah following our initial stories about her advertising business.
Beer Hunter General Manager Billy Sherman says he gets calls from people expecting to see their advertising on Beer Hunter tables from recent agreements with Darrah. Sherman says the Beer Hunter has not done business with Darrah in at least the last three years since he has worked there.
Darrah says she is a vendor of ABC advertising and that they make the tables. A written comment from an ABC employee under one of their marketing videos says Darrah's independent Distributors Agreement has been terminated https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIGXN7QlmNo. ABC Advertising tabletops has not returned our calls.
Meanwhile, the letters and phone calls keep coming in to our station from people who say they've been scammed by Darrah.
"We should all band together and file a huge suit against her," French said. "A fraudulent suit. Go to the police, all of us. Because it's got to be tens of thousands of dollars now."
Darrah has declined to address the accusations in an interview, but through her lawyer, Leonard J. Cravens, Darrah released the following statement:
Re: Stories about Theresa Darrah (DMT) Tabletop Advertising Business
This press release is to answer the concerns about Ms. Darrah's business (DMT) that has been reported/published by Channel 2 & 3 over the last few days.
DMT has delivered table top advertising for over 10 years in the Coachella Valley. She has always delivered her advertising as promised by her contracts. Some disgruntled clients have sued her, asking for their advertising fees to be refunded, perhaps because they did not get the perceived results from the advertising. As you know, advertising results can never be predicted, whether it be by print, radio, television, or even table tops. It should be noted that local media does sue businesses when they don't pay their advertising bill. One thing that should be noted is that she has never taken money without delivering the advertising. Since table tops need time to be manufactured and installed, it does take some time for the advertising to be delivered to the venue that it is installed in.
As to specific allegations regarding CV Auto Works (CV), the contract was signed on 10/20/11. The advertising on the table tops were delivered as promised. It should be noted that the ad runs for 2 years after the tables are deployed. This ad is currently in the business of Macario's
Mexican Seafood on Indio Blvd. As to CV's lawsuit against DMT, DMT was never properly served with the lawsuit. On April 3, 2014, we filed a motion in small claims court to vacate the judgment. This news story was the first notice to DMT that CV had filed a lawsuit.
As to specific allegations regarding Advantage Inspection, the contract was signed on 10/2/09. The advertising on the table tops were delivered as promised. Copies of said contract are attached with the copy of the ad. It should be noted that the ad runs for 2 years after the tables are deployed. As to this contract, it has long since expired. We do have have color pictures of the ad as it appeared on the tables. This ad was placed in the businesses of D'Carlos and Mario's Italian Cafe in Rancho Mirage for a total of two years per the contract.
As to Blue Coyote Restaurant, there are two separate issues. First, Blue Coyote Restaurant bought advertising on Table Tops in another restaurant, namely Teddy's in Old Town La Quinta. This advertising has already been at Teddy's since January. As to the new tables at Blue Coyote Restaurant, these well be installed by the middle of May. As a reminder, businesses that have tables installed get the tables at no charge to the restaurant.
As to Home Smart Realty, their ad will be placed in Blue Coyote Restaurant when the tables are installed in the middle of May as previously reported. The day the tables are installed is the date the 2 year running of advertisement starts per the contract.
As to PS I Love Your Hair, he was given a table top ad in a restaurant in Cathedral City. The business owner complained. He was given another ad in Teddy's in Old Town La Quinta, which is much closer to his business. That ad was give for free for two years. The owner was also given web site design for free as well.
Each advertisement is placed in tables in one restaurant. Each advertiser is also listed (their name and telephone number only) on all of the locations that are renewed. It seems that a few dissatisfied clients have misinterpreted or misunderstood that clause of the contract.
As to the allegation that DMT deposited post dated checks early, mistakes sometimes happen. If a current or former customer suffered a loss (such as bank overdraft fees) from this, please contact me with the details. If such a thing actually happened, DMT will be happy to reimburse those fees. As it turns out, one of the persons who accused DMT of depositing a post dated check early gave no post dated check to DMT, but paid in full with one check.
Ms. Darrah stands by her commitment to provide advertising to local business as well as free table tops to local restaurants. The station should implement investigative reporting such as asking for written proof of misconduct instead of just taking people's word for it. She would be happy to take a reporter around to view all of the tables in the Coachella Valley. It should be noted that when I asked the reporter if he had viewed any of the tables, he said no.