Influencer who took brand’s products and money without uploading sponsored content gets exposed by business owner

Photos: By Invite Only/Facebook & Screengrab from video

Another day, another influencer saga. This time, the drama revolved around an Instagram personality and Trixie Khong, the founder of local jewelry brand, By Invite Only. On Friday, she took to Facebook to air her grievances on “the sad truth about why influencers get a bad reputation”.

Hold on to your seats, ’cause this is gonna be a long ride.

Apparently, Trixie contacted an Instagram influencer named Elaine to work on sponsored content for her brand. Everything started off well enough, but after she paid Elaine and sent her the products, the influencer dropped off the face of the earth and never uploaded said sponsored posts.

According to Trixie, her efforts at contacting Elaine via email, text, and comments on her Instagram page were all in vain, which led to Trixie exposing the social media personality — backed by WhatsApp screenshots of their conversation — for her lack of integrity and unreliability when it came to work ethic.

“Please do not think that all influencers are like her,” Trixie explained in a disclaimer. “Many are very professional… just don’t waste your brand’s hard-earned money on this particular one.”

In an update the next day, Trixie revealed that Elaine finally reached out to her and returned the money, requesting for the now-viral post to be removed. But Trixie refused to do so, saying her intention was “to warn fellow brand owners or people who engaged influencers are part of their job”.

“Getting my money back is such a bonus as I was prepared to lose it completely,” she said. “My last message to her will be thank you and good luck.”

In the aftermath of the buzz on social media, multiple business owners came forward to share their own negative experiences with Elaine. While it’s their word against hers and these are unverified claims, the evidence of unprofessional behavior seems to be mounting up against the influencer.

In another update, Trixie said, “with so many business owners experiencing her con and proof with screenshots, who you gonna believe?”

Of course, there are two sides to every story, and Elaine subsequently responded to the fallout with an 11-minute Instagram live video of her eating noodles (for some reason) while explaining her tale.

If you didn’t want to get into the details, Elaine basically said she was “very shocked” to discover the jewelry was of poor quality upon receiving the items. Because she wanted to maintain credibility, she decided not to promote the brand and instead wanted to ask for a refund and return.

She claimed to have told Trixie about her decision but admitted it slipped her mind to refund the brand owner due to her extensive travels and lack of Wi-Fi on an island (ah, the perks of being an influencer). She then alleged that Trixie used her brand’s account to post negative comments on her page, but she deleted them.

After the blowout over the weekend, Elaine posted a lengthy explanation on her Instagram page this morning, apologizing for her unprofessional behavior and the unhappiness she caused. She clarified that most of the examples people cited occurred years ago when she was “more naive and immature” (even though she pretty much acted the same way in the recent bout with Trixie).

Anyway, she ended off by declaring she would improve her work ethic and be more mindful of how she treats others in the future.

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