Guess what… yes, you got it – no refund. I’m done being even remotely civil with these criminals now:
Well Monday has passed and Tuesday too. Seems like you’re full of shit once again. Why bother contacting me if you had no intention of paying the refund? Did you just want to taunt me or were you hoping I’d give you enough of my financial details for you to steal the rest of my money?
Gerard May 27th, 2014
Posted In: Problems
Out of the blue today (months after last contact) I got the following:
I come back to you about the problem you got about the SwissPen. You weren’t delivered. So please send me your bank detail and we will refund you on monday.
Thank you in advance
3d print team
Of course I’m not going to give a company that I don’t trust my bank details, especially since eBay has kindly told the world my home address and date of birth. I’ve given them one of the email addresses associated with my PayPal account instead. Since I paid via PayPal with a credit card I’m pretty sure it’s actually illegal for them to refund me through any other method anyway.
Gerard May 24th, 2014
A card, in your name,
A loan, just the same,
A mobile phone today,
With your data from eBay.
They stole your details,
Address and email,
Your full birthday,
What they took from eBay.
Tell me how (they logged in as staff members),
Tell me how (it took 3 months to tell us),
Tell me how (you gave our passwords away),
After we trusted eBay
They’ll wipe your rating,
With credit they’re not paying,
You’re fucked, they’ll all say,
‘Cos you bought from eBay
Gerard May 21st, 2014
So after a week or two of waiting I contacted the Swiss e-commerce ombudsman again to get a progress update. Their response (and I’m paraphrasing here, not quoting) was:
We tried to phone Jean-Charles Monnin’s work number and got no answer. We phoned his personal number (we got it off the Internet) and spoke to his wife who claimed ignorance. Now you’re on your own and to proceed any further you’ll need to hire a Swiss solicitor. Be happy in the knowledge that someone else also contacted us about this so at least we know you’re not making it all up.
Really? You assumed a number you got off the Internet was correct and didn’t even try a phone book? Didn’t try writing to his office? Thanks very much. Even PhonePayPlus is more effective than that.
Gerard March 11th, 2014
So after I downloaded the Android 4.4 (KitKat) update for my HTC One this week it appears that HTC have pulled the update from general availability. I was curious about exactly why this was since whatever cause them to remove it has now been installed on my phone. I started a chat with HTC UK support, asking them what had caused the withdrawal:
Roman P: Dear HTC One customer,
The current release of Android 4.4 (KitKat) software has been temporarily taken off line. As HTC are committed to quality and providing the best customer experience possible we made this decision. This is temporary so please stay tuned over the next few days for a new release. We appreciate your patience
Roman P: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Gerard Krupa: You could answer the question I asked instead of pasting your script
Gerard Krupa: If there is a flaw in the firmware I’ve installed on my phone severe enough that it was removed from general availability I think it’s only reasonable that I should be informed what serious problem it might now be suffering from
Roman P: We cannot comment anything about KitKat update. Please understand my position. I have to follow comapny (sic) policy as well.
So it seems that HTC have instructed their first line support not to provide any information on what caused the withdrawal leaving those of us who installed it while it was available with some unknown bug or security flaw infecting our devices. This certainly doesn’t inspire me to give any more of my cash to the struggling handset manufacturer.
Gerard February 27th, 2014
The nVidia Shield isn’t officially available in the UK but there’s at least one reseller on Amazon who’s importing them and selling them over here for around £255. I’ve tried some different Android gaming solutions (the laggy Ouya with its proprietary app store and nagging e-mails, the good but somehow clunky Moga Pro and plain old touch-screen controls). nVidia’s offering, to me at least, is by far the best solution to date. The Tegra 4 processor is excellent, especially in those games that are optimised for it and the device is solid feeling if a little heavy. The 720p screen is only a smidge on the small side but very crisp and bright and (here’s where it wins over the Moga) adjustable to a good range of angles.
Battery life is OK though not great. If I spend my lunch hour playing Asphalt 8 and the rest of the day on standby then it will be in need of a charge by the end of the day despite that hefty weight, a good portion of which you’d imagine is due to the battery. Sound is sufficiently clear enough from the speakers though I spend most of my time with headphones connected.
If there’s one serious flaw in the device I’d say it’s the stability. The Tegra Zone app crashes frequently when trying to jump to a game’s Google Play page and Asphalt 8 occasionally has a flaw where the car select screen gets stuck in a rapid loop of navigating to the next vehicle which is only solved by quitting the app entirely (can’t say whether that’s a device issue or the game but I never suffered from this when paying on the Moga and HTC One). The landscape orientation can also cause some issues such as the keyboard occupying most of the screen or on the Marvin ZX Spectrum Emulator (an app designed for portrait mode phones) having no keyboard at all. It’s not really a failing of the device and portrait mode is supported but it’s very awkward. If you’re not familiar with Android, be warned – not all games support external controllers but the Shield has a control-mapping overlay as a sort of controller shim.
Sadly as I have a slightly outdated 580GTX video card and no Miracast device I wasn’t able to test any of the Shield’s display mirroring features.
The price of the device is high compared with other mobile consoles such as the PSP and Vita but the availability of (admittedly non AAA) games at relatively cheap prices (consider the £35 price of Angry Birds Trilogy on Vita vs the £2-3 Android price if you don’t succumb to micro-transactions) and the quality of the hardware made it a worthwhile purchase for me.
Gerard February 25th, 2014
Received the following e-mail from the Swiss e-commerce ombudsman this morning. Doesn’t really help me get either the pen or a refund but at least they’re taking steps to prevent further victims being scammed:
Dear Sir,We try to get in contact with unmanageable Mr Monnin by phone. If we don’t success, we’ll give you further advice how to go ahead and we will take ourselves steps that his homepage will be taken from the internet.
Gerard February 19th, 2014
So the last deadline has passed with no pen and no more word from Monnin & co. I’ve now requested that the Swiss consumer ombudsman deal with the matter. I strongly recommend that everyone avoids this company. I can’t help but wonder if Monnin’s other company (Novatiq, a company that claims to make military robots and hasn’t posted any news on their site for 2 years) is also all smoke and mirrors.
Gerard February 3rd, 2014
I decided to buy one of these to use as a PC-on-a-stick since it has a generous 256GB(-ish) of space and USB3.0 high speed support for what seemed like a reasonable price of around £150 (discount of about £300 from RRP). There are a few reviews knocking the reliability but it has a 5 year warranty (with Amazon taking responsibility for fulfilling it) so as long as I kept it backed periodically on my Windows Home Server box this seemed acceptable.
I’d started with a WD My Passport, moved on to a 120GB SSD in a 2.5″ caddy but wanted something smaller that I could pick up with my MacBook Pro without worrying about a cable getting yanked out.
I have to say I’m very disappointed. Copying my (already 23GB) Parallels Windows 8.1 VM was actually very quick but that was the last time it impressed me. Random-access speed on this drive is not remotely good enough to run a Windows VM. It would hang for minutes at a time, controls would be unresponsive and when I finally gave up it took about 10 minutes to shut down. Running on both the external HDD and USB3.0 SSD it was difficult to tell the difference from a SATA device.
Gerard January 26th, 2014
Posted In: Gadgets
Gerard January 14th, 2014
Posted In: Gadgets