25th of October 2002
As you should be aware I have been very busy recently, where I am handling all e-mail, business matters and spending a large amount of time interviewing people for the new job that I am offering.
I should decide who gets this new job later next week, where their main job is to update my accounts and to fill the spot left by No2 in answering e-mail. When they will start working for me will naturally all depend on when this chosen person can leave their current job (if they have one).
This new person will be a welcome addition and will go a long way to solving several existing problems.
As I have seen that I did not upload my latest news on the 9th (whoops), then that is a new section that you can read. If it is still worth dealing with the NoChex payment system will all depend on how things work over the next few days, but all these service constraints I believe is now getting to be too much.
The biggest news I am sure that people will want to know is about the supply of these Magic Module CAMs and Interfaces, when it has been like six weeks now from when I was first expecting delivery, where there has been no sign (or more importantly "delivery") of them since.
As I have very recently heard from my own supplier, then the latest news is that this long overdue order will be here either next week or the week after. We will have to wait and see if that turns out to be true, but after all this time it requires a lot of patience.
Several customers have been asking me about my previous mention of a price increase when I get in these new CAMs, which is true enough when the market price has been increasing, which makes a good reason to increase my own price. What they of course ask about is if they will have to pay more for their already outstanding order.
The short answer to that is "no", where as your order has been accepted, then it will be completed at that price, even if I have to pay more than that myself to obtain them.
These new Magic Module CAMs, whenever they turn up, should be using the v1.03 hardware. What that exactly means to how well they operate I do not yet know, but I am certainly looking forwards to giving one a test.
Well to sum up the news today; then I am extremely busy, NoChex sucks, and these damned CAMs will still arrive sometime in the future. In other words "life sucks" at the moment, but since everything comes to an end, then so are there happier times ahead.
For people who have e-mailed me and not yet received a reply, then you should do so before Monday, when I will be working hard all this weekend to ensure that turns out to be a fact.
9th of October 2002
I have received another one of those annoying e-mails from NoChex recently, where again they are changing the financial aspect of their business. And this time it could well be that I could discontinue accepting NoChex payments.
When I first began using NoChex, then their service was excellent, where I could have my customers send their payments to my account. Then when I needed the money I could just debit my full balance to my bank account, where in all this they just charged me 99p.
An excellent value service, which is why popularity of the NoChex service quickly grew.
Unfortunately a few month later they imposed a £1000 limit on how much you could withdraw each week. This first change was very annoying, when to begin with this limit meant that it was physically impossible for me to withdraw money faster than what I was receiving it.
After speaking to NoChex, then they increased my account to £5000 a week or £1000 a day. This still meant however that I was now having to pay many of those 99p charges, where there is no such limit on their own payment gateway.
Some time after that my allowed debits dropped to a £500 withdrawal per day. Talking to NoChex they denied that this was true, where only showing them proof that my now usual £1000 debits were being denied did they fix it.
Most annoying of all is when they imposed their 1% withdrawal charge, when I now have to pay £10 on every £1000 transfer. I almost gave up using their service at that point, like many other suppliers really did, when £10 on a debit card refund is very extreme.
Following this new charge, then they then send me a "prove who you are or we will suspend your account" e-mail. Crazy I thought, but I sent then the proof of who I was, which kept my account running. Still after all these issues, then I again thought hard about no longer using their service.
Since it seems that NoChex is working hard to destroy their own service, then on the 22nd of this month they will impose their new £90 account limit.
Now at the peak of using their service I was moving over £2500 a week out my NoChex accounts, which would exceed their new limit by 28 times. Still as far fewer people these days now wish to use the NoChex service, then NoChex payments these days are a lot less common.
The big problem from the 22nd would be when some customer wishes to send me payment of more than £90, such as with the £130.42 payment for a MAGICKIT. Since their account cannot hold more than £90, then so would they have to send me £90 in one transfer, and then in a second transfer send me the other £40.42.
It is obvious why they do this, when due to their other aspect of automatic withdrawals if your account balance exceeds £90, then NoChex would now expect to make £3.96 out of this single payment.
Sure they are quoting FSA e-money regulations as the cause, but I do not believe for a minute that this is anything other than NoChex wishing to squeeze as much money as they can from their long suffering customers.
The proof of that of course is with their rival service of PayHound, where the only thing I have come up against is doing debits at just £500 a time. That is only due to my first £1000 withdrawal not going through, but since I can do two £500 withdrawals in one day, then that is no problem at all. Also PayHound currently charge me nothing, which I am sure will change if they become more popular.
My point here is that PayHound has never been quoting any FSA money regulations, where like with the last time of when NoChex was saying that their was some regulation requiring them to get me to prove who I was, then PayHound had no such issue.
Again I suspect that PayHound will go on as usual, while NoChex goes on and implodes.
Well, that is all the news that I have for today.
5th of October 2002
Unfortunately the restocking of the Magic CAM and Interface is not going well at the moment, when I have had no delivery of these CAMs within the last three and a half weeks since my own supplier first expected to receive them.
Failure to supply these CAMs within the second delivery estimate means that I have now fully marked these items "Out of Stock", which is to help prevent further sales of them.
During the past week I have been looking into the cause of this problem, when the delay is getting longer than it should for simple high demand. And what I found out is that the manufacturer of this Magic CAM (Dream Multimedia) has fairly recently been subject to a legal ruling in Germany banning further production of this CAM.
The matter is related to the company SCM who for a while has been mentioning that Dream Multimedia has been infringing one of their patents. I expect this ruling is just the start of legal action between these two companies and not the end of it, where we will have to see in the future what turns up.
I have always been doubtful that SCM has a case, but that of course is for the courts to decide. If they do have a case, then this would be down to SCM refusing to allow Dream Multimedia to pay them royalties for using their patent. The reason for that is of course because SCM would make more money by forcing all the end users to use standard single conditional access system per CAM models, instead of these more cost efficient all in one models.
Anyway, since I already know what the manufacturer is doing to ensure further CAM supply to their customers, then by now they should have fully relocated to their factory in the Middle East. What this exactly means is that now they are fully based in a country not supporting international copyright (and patents) law, then they will have no problems in supplying their own customers with more Magic CAMs.
Therefore that allows for continuing CAM supply while this legal matter with SCM is dealt with.
Considering long term view, then since SCM like most companies would be interested in maximum profit, then it is likely that these two companies will reach an agreement to allow for further fully legal CAM supply. No doubt the price of these CAMs would have to increase a large amount in order for Dream Multimedia to pay their asking price in the future, which is of course if SCM does have a valid case.
Speaking of the near future, then that is why my own local supplier is currently in Italy, where he is meeting Dream Multimedia at a trade show. And so sometime early next week I should know for sure when I will have these CAMs, where it is also possible that my own supplier will be personally bringing his order back with him.
That is what usually happens when the supplier wishes to minimise known supply, where we will soon see if this situation applies in this case. I would believe so, when if my supplier just wished to discuss delivery, then he could easily do so by phone or e-mail.
Looking at the current CAM supply market, then every supplier around is currently running out of stock. That is why within the last couple of weeks I have had over a dozen other suppliers looking to buy CAMs from me. The answer to that is of course that I do not have stock myself at the moment, where when I soon do, then I sure as hell would not be giving my stock away to other suppliers.
The manufacturer at this time, due to popularity, this legal problem, and no doubt that SCM had their CAM production seized in Germany, is currently taking new orders for completion in December. This means that once this new stock does arrive, then I will have to find out even more stock, when what I will soon receive will not last until December.
Naturally if my own long waiting customers wish to cancel their orders, then they can do so. However I would see that as a bad idea, when just about every other supplier is out of stock, where my closest rival (who surprisingly found some supplier with CAMs to spare) has recently increased his price to over £50 more than my price. I would even expect that his special stock will only last days or a week or two at most, where he would then also be fully out.
Also I will now have to consider raising my price as well, which will help discourage customers when I do have stock, when this would cause my stock to last longer.
Anyway, it is the case that very early next week I should have a very good idea as to when I will have CAMs, if not have them here by then.
As my life is all problems at the moment, then No2 is no longer working for me. I did some time ago agree with him that he could do another job, as well as my one, as long as he continued to answer e-mail in the evening. Unfortunately he broke that agreement, when his replies have been getting slower and slower until he simply gave up answering them without telling me.
So at this time I am now telling customers to e-mail me directly, when you won't get a reply from No2.
However, I am now seeking a new worker, where this should be complete within a few weeks time. This time I will be able to select someone to meet my exact requirements, where loyality will be the most important aspect.
Since I am now having to do lots of extra work, then this means that I do not have time for all the extra things, like frequent updates of this News page. And all that I do will now be running slower, which I why I need to find someone to replace No2 quickly.
Well I have lots of site information to update, where I hope to have Magic CAM stock and a new worker very soon.