Envato Leaves a Sour Taste

"updating the website from work"

Image via Wikipedia

Recently I was asked by a customer to build them an ecommerce website. Because  of the nature of their business; selling a lot of small products in a lot of categories, I decided to use a different theme than normal and eventually settled on a theme from a website called Themeforest. This is where I made a mistake! I checked out the theme by looking at their demo and screenshots and it looked like it would do the job.

Envato is one of those companies that has so may many different websites – I think for deliberately confusing for the customer, that in order to buy the theme you needed to create a login – not especially different but it would appear that the login is on a website called www.activeden.net – at least this is the website that has suspended my account with Envato Marketplace.

I tried to use the theme and immediately ran into problems with the look of the main header and asked for some support from the designer. I got a response that started “Don’t get me wrong but that’s silly and completely out of practice” – like a red rag to a bull!  I didn’t anticipate the problem when I started the design and thus felt that perhaps I should look for a better design. I found one from a company called Templatic. This is a great company to work with – not only did they allow me to try the theme on their website, seeing the look and feel and being able to use all the admin area, but they even answered my support queries on a Sunday! This theme was a little more expensive but frankly more than worth it.

Couldn’t find anywhere on Envato to ask for a refund (maybe because they don’t give any!!!) and eventually sent a refund request through Paypal, only to find my account has immediately been suspended because of it. As I also purchased some graphics from their marketplace and hadn’t yet downloaded them, somewhat of a problem: so I sent yet another Paypal request for them to either provide me with a download link or give me my money back. Back came yet another email telling me my account was suspended – yet again.

Now most websites that I buy product from, come with a 60 day money-back guarantee. I know some people may abuse this but not me! On the Envato website there was no indication of accepting Terms & Conditions, but even if there were, who reads them? So currently I am left with a theme I will never use, graphics that I paid for that I can’t get access and out pocket some $55.

The moral of the story is of course to at least try out a product before you buy it and if you can’t don’t buy it especially if it is from any company in the Envato marketplace because there is no way you will ever get your money back.

Appointment of Liquidators–What a Rip Off!!

In 2007 I was a Director of a Company called Real Estate Bodrum Ltd and we paid for exhibition space to a company called Blendon Communications. Needless to say they then went into “Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation” owing an awful lot of money.

Of course the Directors of the company did all right. They went with the magazine publishing arm of the company and I see from this post http://www.globaledge.co.uk/news/trinity-mirror-sells-homes-overseas-33219 that they once again own the magazines. No doubt “business as usual”

But what about the poor old companies that were the creditors? Well since the liquidators were appointed they have managed to recover just over £265k – big deal considering millions were owed. But what I find particularly galling is that of this money over £122k has been paid to the liquidators. Nice work if you can get it!

Their rates are, as usual in the financial world, not on the same planet as the rest of the population charging from £440.50 for an hour of a Director’s time down to £65.25 for support staff.

The Directors of Blendon Communications bounced a refund cheque on us three times which from the emails at the time, it was obvious that they new that they did not have the necessary funds – I believe this is called fraud!

To cap it all the liquidators state “I have reviewed the books and records of the Company…. My findings which are confidential, have been duly conveyed to the Secretary for State for Trade and Industry” so I won’t even be able to find out if they have made any reference to this probable fraudulent activity which was reported to them.

The moral of the story – try not to pay for anything up front especially in any business dealings concerning Globespan Media (formerly Blendon Communications.

Car Tax Goes On Increasing

Well the annual tax disc renewal begging letter has dropped through my door and once again showing yet another whopping great increase. This year an additional 14% up to £245

It would be nice to actually have some maintained roads for this sum but in rural areas, road surfaces are rarely replaced and as such last year I had to replace an alloy wheel and had some seven flat tyres most caused by pot holes. Like most road users I have cursed and sworn under my breath about these (except when I had the bill for the cracked alloy when it was shouted from the roof tops) and borne the cost myself (but why should I???)

It is of course getting beyond a joke. Thanks to the money grabbing Gordon Brown, and I note no indication that George Osborne is ever going to reduce these unfair rises in car tax applied retrospective to older cars, I am left in a situation where my car is virtually worthless.

It was bought in 2004 having been registered in 2003 and is a Volvo S60. Not a particular large car but sufficient to tow a small caravan for when we go on holiday because we are not in a position to afford foreign holidays. It now has a book value of around £2000 and as a consequence I can’t afford to change it for something newer that will tow the caravan. So I am in a catch 22 situation just like many other people that work for themselves.

Once again it appears that the poor hard working individuals who try to make their living by their own ends and stay within in the law are heavily penalized. With over 800,000 unemployed in the West Midlands, and my age of nearly 59, there is little prospect of employment.

How long before people will not be able to afford to pay such extortionate taxes but out of necessity have to drive and will do so, especially in rural communities where there is no public transport. We are being left with little choice…….

BT sent a flyer offering me extremely cheap Broadband – basically 10Gb for £4.99

As I live in the county and get speed only just quicker than dial up – around 60k YES k, I thought I would take up this offer on my other line so that I could run some work processes and free up my home line for the rest of the family.

Sadly I am still waiting and my blood pressure is not helped in that every time you phone for assistance you basically start at the bottom. I have had BT Openreach engineers out twice to look at the problem and both agree the problem is between the "box and the pillar". Apparently there are two 50 pair cables in between, one will take Broadband and is full and the other will not take broadband because of the line loss. (Possibly due to the cable being aluminium and not copper?)

Anyway every time I call I have to start from the bottom, being sent from pillar to post (maybe should be box to pillar?). At no time have I ever managed to contact someone who can actually view on screen either engineer’s report. They do the same old checks and we are now at the stage were I am to be called back by the "specialised helpdesk" who have the authority to call out yet another engineer. I was told by the manager in India that they will make sure he has the bit of cable with him. This helped to reduce my blood pressure as the distance between the box and the pillar is over half a mile and is all underground. Good laugh!!!

I would of course like to say bye bye to BT – but what good will it do me – the new company will get just as big a run around as me and put another layer of management  in  the food chain for me.

In 2010 " The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, pledged to bring in the "best superfast broadband network in Europe" by 2015 but said universal broadband of at least Mbps would not be a reality in the next two years, although it would be in place "within the lifetime of this Parliament". Speaking at an industry event, he added: "I have looked at the provision the Government had made to achieve this by 2012, and I’m afraid that I am not convinced that there is sufficient funding in place." Four years to go then!

The government wants more people to work from home – surely a green initiative that reduces road congestion and subsequent carbon emissions but when is this going to become more than political posturing.

Welcome to My World!

For some time now I have been thinking about a personal blog but have been worried that others might see it as self promotion. Well there was always going to be a bit of that…. but after all if I don’t blow my own trumpet who will!!!

Not only that but I decided that I need a platform to "air" my own views as some of the things that happen in this PC world I find unbelievable and wanted to put my not so PC views on these stories no matter what subject. I will though steer clear of anything that might get me into trouble with the thought police and I am too young to get put on a "no fly" list. Commenting will be left open but moderated and if I don’t like what you have to say then either I might trash it (or spam it which will be even worse for you) or of course I might well refute your comments or even resort to name calling. It’s my blog and therefore my privilege.

I wanted to create a website www.bringbackhanging.com but my wife thinks I might get too much hate mail…

So other than that I will tell you a little about myself and what I do. Work wise I am licensed to sell real estate in Florida but thanks to the bankers and their credit crunch, there are not a lot of people interested in buying so over the last three years I have turned my hand to Internet Marketing and during the course of which learnt a lot about blogging, web design and search engine optimization. I maintain websites for both individuals, charities and companies and will carry out SEO tasks for not a lot of money:-) I am proud of the fact that for one organization they are on the first page of Google for a very common term that has 94 million results.

I can see that Social Networking is the next growth area on the Internet and have learnt how to utilise this to the advantage of Companies to build branding and trust.

I am a family historian and lecture on a number of subjects and you will find pages with my lectures and contact details should you wish me to lecture.