Wednesday 8th June 2005 Finally - this blog has got updated!
Regular visitors to the site and customers will have known that we were closed for business for about 3 weeks recently - this is because i've got married!
After a fantastic honeymoon it was back to earth with a bump with many jobs needing doing, things to be sorted, moved, bought, put together, taken apart, thrown away - lots of domestic "stuff"!
Things have been a bit slow on the website development side of things since - i've done a few odds and ends but again the jobs are backing up!
I will try to post a couple of pics here when we've got them back from the photographer - another job to do!
Wednesday 20th April 2005 This has been a monthly blog i'm afraid - sorry about that! Things have been hectic in my personal life as well as at work... more details when then we reopen in May after our "Spring Break".
The office is now closed until 10.30am Wednesday 18th May - click Here for a bit more info.
Friday 18th March 2005 OK, the updating of this blog has not been at all regular lately - i have been catching up with paperwork and other non-website related work stuff - theres plenty of it! Plus ever increasing sales and making sure these go out the day they're ordered often has me running around like a loon - answering phones, packing parcels, and at least once a week not managing to get the citylink parcels ready for the daily 4pm collection, so i have to take them down to Gatwick (in the next county!) in the evening.
Yesturday was a bit of a write-off as we had a 14 hour powercut! It was not going to be my day, i could tell - 1.15am the lights started flickering and then went out all together. Normal people might be going to bed at this time but not me - Thursday and Friday are nights i like to work "late" and i had a list of things as long as my arm that i couldnt do as no internet.
Phoned the electricity board (for the first time) - said they'd get an engineer onto it.
I ran the batteries on the lappy down for a couple of hours by candlelight - editing some photos i've taken for the next load of products to be added to this site and went to bed.
No power in the morning... getting serious now, not only does the kettle not work but neither does the computer, fax, cordless phone, answerphone or credit card machine! Had a good root about and found a wired phone so at least i could take calls.
I'd had a situation going with a customer who'd ordered online at the start of the week, and who needed the goods for the weekend, so had to be sent yesturday to arrive today.... i was waiting for a delivery address for him where it could be signed for. He'd told me - in an email which i now couldnt read!
1.15pm came and went - 12 hours without power and i'm in danger of loosing some food in my freezer at this rate, and i still cant get this guys' address. I use yahoo to manage my emails online, in theory giving me access to it all from anywhere - hmmm... not from Shels' house (my fiance for new readers) so if i was to get the goods out to this customer i was going to have to go to my mums (18 mile round trip) to log on with her ancient AMD850 to get his address!
Back at 4x4cb HQ, 3.40pm, i've got 20 minutes to pack a setup into a tube and box, the electricity board are knocking on doors apologising for the delay with the power, which they had reconnected 10 minutes earlier!
Seems there was an underground fault which meant they had to dig up Croydon road (as busy a road as it sounds!) which must've caused chaos seeing as we already have 2 lots of roadworks in the High street/Bell street!
I especially like it how the electricity people say there is ZERO compensation if you're disconnected for under 18 hours. Oh well.
Work : I've been doing a few more bits and pieces here and there on the site, including a new "products" page which i'm hoping will allow people to find the different products on the site much easier.
Another new thing is the Yahoo! Messenger online live support boxes dotted around the site Hopefully this will be a good way for visitors to the site to ask any questions they want, and get guidance for navigating the site if needed.
Closed on Tuesdays We're now closed on Tuesdays, although if i'm around i will probably be answering emails and sending any next-day delivery parcels, but not guaranteed!
Monday 14th February 2005 Well, updating this blog has been a bit of a joke lately - apologies to all. I've been thinking of things to write - it goes round in my head during the day, but i've just been too busy to stop and write at the time, and so hard pushed for time in the evenings too that it just hasnt happened!
My attention has been away from this site for a little while, all these new items i have to add have still not been added, and many other things not done yet.
I do believe that parcels going out to customers take precidence over all other things, so that fact that we're too busy answering peoples questions on the phone, taking orders and packing & despatching those orders to be able to update the site as often as i'd like, is just one thing i'm gonna have to live with!
Hopefully the ongoing car situation has now been "sorted" - for the umpteenth time... those who've read previous entries in this blog may remember the Renault 5 i bought for a song, well the starter has packed up, i have a mate who had a R5 recently and thinks he's got one for me but at the back of his shed. The slight wheel bearing noise has got louder and all in all the car just isn't me.
I'll get my hands dirty and stick this other starter on it, and pull these bearings and sell it on, it's in such lovely condition, i should sell and cover my costs - but we'll see!
For a daily driver i've had a preference for german makes for the last few years - last car kept for any length of time was a VW Scirocco GTX and before that an Audi Coupe GT5S, so call me mad - but in a fit of "i need a motor", I bought a BMW off Ebay of all places.
High mileage but recently had all belts changed (what led to the demise of the 'rocco) and seemed straight enough. Was only over in Ashtead, a few miles away so i had a good look over and drove it off.
The start of a saga, as always...!
Within 20 miles steam was seen from under the bonnet and the temp was starting i rise. I made it to Shel's and investigated. A gasket between a union casting with coolant in and out and the throttle body was leaking water under pressure.
Simple enough - whip it off the throttle body, clean up the gasket on the union on the bench, fit another gasket, bolt it back, top up and bleed, job done. This was without reckoning on the parts department of Cooper BMW at banstead!
I phoned, described the gasket i needed, the guy said they would order it in and post it to me. It eventually arrived just in time for me to have a go fitting it at the weekend, but lo and behold - they'd sent me the wrong gasket.
Ok, lets get smart i thought... take a photo of the gaskets i need, and email it to them.
I did this and emailed it along with a explanitory email to the email address on the bottom of the invoice that came with the wrong gasket and waited.
Nothing the day after i emailed, and nothing the next day. I phoned, and spoke to someone in parts - no they hadn't seen the email, it hadn't been passed on.
How a company can just ignore an email titled "Wrong BMW parts received, photo attached of parts needed", which quotes an order and invoice number and is obviously the sort of email that should be attended to, is beyond me.
He gave me another address to email it to, his own email address by the look of it, which i did, and waited again, having asked for confirmation of receipt of it.
Nothing for a day, so i phoned, left a message, without anyone getting back to me. The next day (last Friday) I managed to get to speak to him - the parts were there (not being posted as he had agreed to do on the phone last time). It was too late for them to go on the delivery van, I explained that i needed them to sort the car that weekend. He said he'd try and send someone down with them.
The phone rang, good to his word, someone had brought the gaskets down, but couldn't find me... despite the wrong gasket being posted to 62A, both my emails quoting 62A and the credit card order address being given as 62A, the guy was trying to deliver to 21 Holmesdale Road! Thank god they hadnt sent them - i'd never have got them!
Anyway, i'd found that some jerk of a previous owner (not necssarily the ebay seller i bought it from, but who knows?) had tried to bodge the job with some silicon sealant (!!) so i decided to flush through the rad and engine coolant system with a hose and renew the coolant.
Damn hose wouldnt reach out the front where the car was parked, so had to wait until today to borrow Shel's to get the job done.
Anyhow it's running great now - a fluctuating idle was cured by correctly fitting the idle valves's connections, and fingers crossed - it'll be ok now.
Won't leave the guys' feedback just yet though just in case!
Thursday 27th January 2005 Well, once again, no time to just sit and do this blog - have many office tasks to do that have fallen behind, along with a lot of business, has all gone to make me a busy person this week!
Work : Finally received the Midland 42's back in stock, i havent updated the site descriptions yet to say back in stock, hopefully will do later or tomorrow... £99 for the Multi version of a unit that used to be £119 !! Value indeed.
One slight problem, as these are the first ones of the Multi batch, and due to a mistake in the factory, they've been shipped with european plugged mains chargers - not a real problem as they've sent us adaptors to go with them that change the plug to uk standard, and these are perfectly fine to use at 240v UK mains.
Rectified by the next shipment i hope, but the stocked units at this time are like this, and theres nothing i can do about it!
Friday 15th January 2005 The car grief is finally at an end, for now... a long-mot'd and very tidy but incredibly slow renault has been purchased - not a manufacturer usually associated with the Bangernomics principle, but at what i paid, it's fairly disposable.
Work : I've had so many new products in recently - i haven't added any of them to this site yet, which is crazy - i've got to get around to it, i need to set up a little "studio" here for taking snaps of products for use on the site - even a simple product picture takes time, editing, adjusting, resizing, copyright watermark, plus unpacking, taking the pic and repackaging the item itself.
If anyone is after something that they've seen at another UK cb supplier and cannot see it here, get in touch (here) - It's likely that i can supply it.
Thursday 14th January 2005 Not doing very well on the daily blog thing, sorry - spent most of the day chasing round after cars - not on all fours in the street like a mad dog although it felt like it at one point...
Saw an ad for a car with "mot Jan 2006" - thats what the ad said... took 2 hours to eventually get there, only to find it didnt have a years mot, it didnt have any - the guy is a motor trader, met me at a petrol station and wanted to do business in the next street (not his home or work address), immediately smelt a rat, but said he's wasted my time coming to see a car that was not as advertised and more importantly couldnt be taken away that day.
He started to get a little "unfriendly" and was huffing and puffing like i was in the wrong... i wont put his name and phone number in here as i dont need the hassle but... if you're looking at a cheap (i.e. £300-£400) car in the SW19/SW20 area - be carefull.
Monday 10th January 2005 "Cars keep you poor" is what my dad always used to say, and most of us will agree with that... the cambelt snapped on my daily driver at the weekend.
It's a £200 car, an 18 year old VW Scirocco, MOT is looming and theres a few things needed for it, so i guess i'm lucky it went now, and not next month after i'd spent a load of money on it.
Just gotta find another old banger now to knock around in for the time being!
I only heard that we should be getting the Midland 42 back in stock (only 6 months late!), along with more of the Midland 48 Excel... the factory have finally got over the component shortage (or whatever it was) that led to such a delay on the handhelds.
Friday 7th January 2005 11.45am So much for the Midland Multi special offer continuing into January... i've sold out of the ones at this price now!!
I have more stock in, but i couldn't do the same deal in aquiring them so have had to return them to the normal prices - SORRY!
I havent done the rest of the January sale bits either yet, hopefully soon.
Tuesday 4th January 2005 OK, a new years resolution - update this blog daily!!
I was surprisingly busy in the immediate run-up to christmas, and had big plans for all sorts of things that i would sort out and do - on this site and at our premises, and with my various vehicles and other bits and pieces.... almost all of it didnt get done over the break, such is life...
Too busy having a proper christmas for a change!
Today has been a bit of a non starter too, as i had a load of things to do, places to go and things to sort out and i optimistically thought i could do them all this morning but things being what they are, i ended up being away from the phone for most of the day!
So, apologies to anyone who's phoned today, and didnt get to speak to me, i am going to try and get through all the messages and missed calls tomorrow.
Likewise emails... an unbelievable number of enquiries over christmas and new year which i need to wade through... hopefully tomorrow for these!
Midland prices and January Sale
One of the things i wanted to sort out was a load of items to offer you guys in a January Sale... this should be done soon, and likely that the Midland 78 Multi and Midland 48 Multi will continue and their Special offer prices, at least for part of January.
Theres also a whole load of new kit to add to the site, new CB bits and stuff sourced from new sources, but i need to make a couple of alterations to the "inner workings" of the site before i do these... but theres quite a few bits to go up.
Anyway, thats it for today!