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4x4CB's BLOG !   Archive (2004 - 2009) / 2005 - Second Half
2005 - First Half   |    2006 - First half   |    2006 - Second Half   |    2007   |    2008   |    2009   |    December 2004   |   

Sunday 20th November 2005

Apologies to anyone who called on Friday - we had a power cut - all part of being out in the "middle of nowhere" i suppose... don't know why, trees on the line or something - anyway it was off from 11am until 4 or so. The eagle-eyed may've noticed that we are closed on fridays, and we weren't actually there to know that the answer phone wasnt working, and calls were just ringing and ringing (although the phones' a plug-in one too, so i wouldnt have heard it anyway, cos it wasnt working either!) Neither did i know (until the next morning) that the outgoing message i had recorded on Thursday evening had been replaced by the default message - some posh bloke saying the call could not be taken... no-one left a message at all!

I've changed general email addreses - this doesnt make any difference to people contacting us - you can still email us at sales,info etc [at]4x4cb.com or use the enquiry form, but replies to emails and enquiries will come from a Gmail address... it'll be obvious it's us.

I'm going to try out gmail, as it seems to have a conversation organising style that fits the kind of back and forth email conversations i get into with people while we discuss a proposed system for their landy or whatever. Hopefully it'll help me keep on top of all these emails i get!



Wednesday 2nd November 2005

Looks like this has turned into a monthly blog rather than a daily dose - apologies to anyone whose used the "Daily Dose" link hoping for daily updates...OOOOPS!

Now things are getting more sorted out, i should be able to add more often.

I need some help, feedback and ideas regarding the package deals that are on the site, and i'm hoping some of my kind blog readers could spare a few minutes to have a read of this, check out the page in question and drop me a quick message...

There are a number of new CB's coming to the marketplace which i want to include in the package deals that i offer... trouble is, i dont want to page to get even longer, with even more packages... so...

do i limit the number of packages to just a few of the CB's that are on offer?

do i change the approach completely and have "choose the cb you'd like" and "now choose the aerial mounting you'd like" and "finally choose the aerial" sections for people to work their way through?

the current page is a bit long-winded, and i hope that if read correctly it all makes sense, but humans being humans, this might not always work, so does the page (and the actual idea of the Standard Aerial Choices) work? Is it easy to understand?

what can i do to make the page more understandable and attractive, without getting across all the info that needs to be given, and without loosing the choice that i currently offer?

Talking of choice... are there too many packages on offer - or not enough?

All these are questions that i'd like the opinion of anyone, it's easy for me to get bound up in what i think makes a good site, and constrained by what i want to say in terms of additional information, but i realise that one person will see things differently from another, so i'd love some feedback on this...

The package deals page is here : http://www.4x4cb.com/public/showpage_preview.cfm?Page=650

All comments appreciated, you can send me a message by using our Enquiry Form Here
Just address it to "General Enquiries"... i will get it.

Thanks!



Sunday 2nd October 2005

Well, we're pretty much settled into the new premises now - ready to get cracking tomorrow!

One slight problem is the internet connection - we are right out in the middle of nowhere basically, and almost classified "end of the line" by BT. They have a special End Of Line department dealing with whether or not you can have broadband by phone there (gonna miss that 2mb NTL cable pipe!) and i hope i don't even have to go there with them. A mate of my wife's was calling the end of line dept every month for 2 AND A HALF YEARS to be told "we are improving that exchange, still dont know if it [broadband] is available - call back next month". Still don't think they are connected. They live 2 miles from our new place. Hmmm. I'll know more later this week.

We have new opening hours, these are not the hours i work (i wish!) as there is a HUGE amount of stuff that cannot be done during the normal day when answering the phone, packing parcels etc - just the hours that i will be available to take any calls.

I've been getting a bit behind with many of these behind the scenes jobs - ranging from my income tax return to updating and improving this site - researching new products and expanding Ebay operations, so for the moment at least, i will be doing these on the days when we are "closed".

On an entirely different note, Surrey Ambulance are promoting an idea where people put ICE (in case of emergency) numbers in their mobile phones, so the emergency services can reach your next of kin if anything nasty happens. Sounds sensible and may i suggest you do the same? I've put in ICE Wife and ICE z Mum - the z means it'll appear after the Mrs's number in the list, so she'll probably only get called if it's real bad!



Tuesday 20th September 2005

So... ages since this blog was updated again!

I'm sitting here with a bad back - i'm able to sit at the computer now which is an improvement on the last couple of days!

This is not what i need at the moment as we have got to move premises - lock stock and barrel, and all a bit sudden...

The move have been planned for about a year but has been accelerated by a combination of local council "jobsworths" and downright two-faced and very unpleasant neighbours.

Basically, if you work from home, as i do - then your council can make you apply for a change of use - from residential dwelling to mixed dwelling and commercial - thing is, they don't like to give these out (i was told at the time that i would have to apply but i would NOT get permission) so they will FORCE you to move your business to business premises or close.

It's this kind of petty bull**** that is strangling the small business. This is not a council house - i own the house - yet the local council have the right to "shut me down" or make me move.

The Enforcement Officer from Reigate & Banstead borough council doesn't give a damn - in fact he told me to "get a job"... i'm sorry but i have not put myself through 9 years of hardship (both in work - allnighters and 70 hour weeks, and in money - just how much money do you think there is in CB radio nowadays??) to be told to 'get a job' by some @rse from the council who's acting on a malicious complaint from my immediate neighbout who i pi$$ed off cos i wouldn't chip in with her to have our shared carport roof done when she was getting well overcharged to start with!!

Her carport roof was leaking about a year ago - she came to me saying that it must be on my side and leaking through and that i MUST pay equal shares in getting the roof repaired. This is no special roof - just the area of 4 parking spaces yet she wanted about £3000 off me!!!

I explained that mine wasn't leaking - i keep my boxes and tubes there, ready for our goods to go out in, so it certainly was NOT leaking. I also explained that i was due to be getting married and i just couldn't think about spending that amount on something that wasnt affecting me and wasnt my fault.

Her reaction (this is word-for-word as i was SO insensed by it) was : "we'll see what health and safety say about it"

Health and safety??? At the time i thought she was mad - obviously thinking there is some "overseeing governor" who would force me to cancel my wedding to pay for her carport... what nonsense. I thought. Only she went to the council with some trumped up BS about me and my business.

This wasnt all she did - she's told all my other neighbours that the cars and vans that actually belong to another neighbour were in fact mine. I didn't realise this until i was blocked in by some guy who lives accross the road - i went to his door to be greated by four letter obsenities from him and his wife about all my f'ing cars everywhere !! I eventually found out that everyones been told that they are mine.

Anyway, the guy from the council let slip that "she" - the complainant had alleged all sorts of comings and goings that are simply untrue and designed to get me "in trouble". I can think of only one person who'd do this.

This woman has managed to get rid of my 4 times a week collections by citylink and my 2-3 deliveries a week and my 0-2 visitors a week - the price was untold stress on my wife and i (this has been hanging over us our entire married life together since April) so much stress that (we think) contributed to a miscarriage my wife had last month.

As you can tell, i feel agrieved by this - i feel insulted and very angry, but as with the "best" council produced BS - there is NOTHING i can do about it.

There is no complaints procedure - the decision of the individual enforcement officer does not have to be accounted for, there is no set percentage of the house that you can use for business before you have to change your house to part-business premises, and there is no appeal against the decision. The whole thing rests on the whim of ONE person - if they are not on your side YOU ARE STUFFED.

Who says small businesses flourish in Britain? It does, but only in "appropriately" taxed and business rates charged premises. If you work from home, watch out.



Friday 22nd July 2005

Sorry for the inactivity on this blog - the pressures of keeping orders going out quickly and other work and personal stuff have prevented me from updating this and many other parts of the site lately.

I have also had a major problem with my computer which has now being sorted with the purchase of another machine - once things are up and running with this one i should be able to update things more often!

We sell a lot of PMR446 walkie talkie units and i have just read a review in the August 2005 issue of Land Rover Owner International which i co-operated with and provided a few samples for review.

Their reviews were based on subjective "real world" usage in the sort of environments that they would likely to be used in when greenlaning or offroading.

The Cobra MicroTalk 725 did very well - i wish i had also sent the MT525 as this retains many of the 725's features and performance yet is at an even lower price!

Shock news yesturday is that the Cobra UK 25LTD ST has now gone the same way as the Cobra 29 - it's been discontinued by the factory and no new stock is available. I do have some refurbished units which are fully boxed and almost as new but there is VERY limited stock of these - be quick if you want one!

Some big news (for us, although it won't affect our customers that much) is that we will be moving in the next few months to premises in Dorking - about 10 miles by road from where we are now. Exact dates are yet to be finalised but i will be clearing some odds and ends before we move - stuff thats not on the site as yet, and may make good use of our Ebay shop to do this.

I'm still getting asked quite a lot about the current CB license situation - as i understand it you do still need a license, the plans to do away with the UK band in 2010 needed legislation to be passed over 12 months ago and this was not brought before parliament because the Radio Communications agency were becoming Ofcom at the time. To my understanding the proposed timescale cannot now be kept to, so if this is still to go ahead i would say we may be looking at 2011-2012 if not later, and IF at all.





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