They couldn't even come up with an original idea! Just use an existing product and say that it's yours, just like with the Celebrity.
Monday, January 28, 2008
They couldn't even come up with an original idea! Just use an existing product and say that it's yours, just like with the Celebrity.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The story goes that Valdi got this great idea back in 1998 about this keyboard with programmable screens on each key, called the iBoard. He filed a patent application in Sweden and created the company Intelligentia International AB to realize the whole thing. The idea was to license the technology to other companies that would manufacture the keyboards and other devices with display keys. Time went on, and Valdi travelled to USA and started the company Swedish Keys to manage the patents there. Several patent applications were made both in the US and other parts of the world. Later he helped to start the company United Keys in 2004, which would continue where Intelligentia and Swedish Keys left off. The company tried to license its technology for several years, but didn’t have any luck until this year.
The true story
Valdi did indeed file a patent application about the keyboard back in the end of the 90’ies. However, the application fee was never paid, so the Swedish patent office closed the application in 2001. I have written about Intelligentia International AB before when investigating Valdi’s past, and came up with this: The Company winded up without any economical assets. The last activity in the company seems to have been in 2001 or 2002 sometime, when they got really hard criticism from the authorized accountant. This was because that Valdi couldn't provide any documentation on income and expenses, and that taxes and fees hadn’t been paid in the right time, or at all. There were even missing money in the company. The accountant even concluded that the company was obligated to do a forced liquidation because of several failed equity issuances.
What about United keys?
United Keys also seems like a bit of a shady company. Back in September 2005 they started to take preorders for the keyboard “250PRO”. The keyboard would have monochrome LCD-displays on the function-keys. The price was announced to be $299.99 when delivered in January 2006, but United Keys offered a “friends and family” discount that would lower the price to $199.99 until the end of 2005. As you might expect (It involves Valdi, right?), no keyboards were ever delivered. Instead, they pushed the release almost month for month, and accordingly extended the timeframe for the discount. During this timeframe, Valdi said in several interviews and postings that the keyboard actually was available for purchase and delivery. This went on until the start of 2007 when all information about the 250PRO was discarded, and instead they started to take preorders with the following text:
“Soon we'll make available a display key PC keyboard, with the 12 function keys enabled. This is a real production unit built by a top keyboard manufacturer. But it will also be our first ("pilot") run. As such, it will probably need software improvement (which is where you come in!). If you are technically strong, and a true "first adopter" by nature, we'd like you to bang around on it — and then provide feedback. It'll be priced accordingly, reflecting a huge discount vs. future products. Let us know your interest by filling out the form below.”
This information is still available on their website, but the wording has changed a tiny bit. Now it will have 9 keys with displays instead of 12, and will be manufactured by Foxconn instead of a "top keyboard manufacturer".
What about the patents?
As I wrote above, the original Swedish patent application was never granted. An application has been made in Canada, but a patent has never been issued due to that United Keys never has returned a request for examination. There is however a couple of patents approved in the US from United Keys and Valdi, but as most people know, it’s comparatively easy to get a patent approved in US (as in this very similar case), and that it necessarily won’t hold up in court if objected. The approved patents are also quite general, just claiming the idea of programmable display keys on any type of device. What’s more, there is already older approved patents for these types of keyboards, which would make the newer patents invalid.
Is there more to it?
Except for the patents, I can’t find any current links between Valdi and United Keys, maybe they are going serious? Trough my research, I have found more and more of Valdi’s apparent lies about his and the companies histories, so I wouldn’t count on it. So let’s end this article with a quote from Valdi himself in an interview about the keyboard and patents, dated around last summer, the same time he announced the Medison Celebrity:
"Art Lebedev has scammed about two million Swedish crowns from gullible people who think that they will get a fantastic keyboard for Christmas. [...] They think that they can get away with just good marketing and pretty pictures of a product that they don't have."
Maybe Valdi should apply the same logic to his own products and ideas?
Friday, January 4, 2008
I'm sooo chocked!
The "news" comes from Computer Sweden, who has spoken with Medison's Nordic Manager Robert Klanjac. In the article he states that "they are making progress" and that they still have "logistical problems". He can't say anything more, not a new date or anything, but he promises that everyone who has ordered will receive their computer.
On the usual question about if they are scammers, he gives the usual answer that 2Checkout warrants that Medison won't get any money until they make the actual deliveries. But 2Checkout can't do anything about stupid and impossible business plans and notorious liars, can they?
Oh, and happy new year and welcome to another age of the Medison Circus!
The original article has now been updated with an quote from 2Checkouts Geno Arce who says that they haven't head anything from Medison at all for over three months now. He states that they must be able to trust their partners, and that any further partnership with Medison will be discussed with the company's board of directors.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Lets first recap what I haven't posted about:
* Redesigned medisoncelebrity.com. Some new graphics but still broken links. Many references to 2co has been removed, but there are still some links and information around. For example, they use 2co's phone number as contact information.
* Valdi claims that they have bought yet another Brazilian company "The company has 80 employees and it is logical to add this kind of company to Medison", says Valdi Ivancic.
* They also claim that Atalho now is "a part of the company".
Now to the latest news. The Swedish magazine Computer Sweden got a Medison Celebrity sent to them for review. The computer has a Medison-logo and runs Ubuntu instead of Fedora. The writer seems generally positive and it seems like he has forgotten all the bad stuff that Medison and Valdi has done previously in this story. In the article Valdi also claims that they will start to deliver the computers around new year, but "it's a goal and not a promise".
Anyway, so far so good. Now to the interesting part. Later during the day PC För Alla also got a look at the computer, and they could quickly see that this computer actually is the exact same one as Medison showed at their press conference several months ago. Only difference is that they have removed the serial number sticker even more, and placed a Medison-sticker on it.
Oh, maybe there wasn't any news really. Just the same Medison-circus as always.
And just a reminder to all new and old readers: Stay away from Medison and Valdi, they are just energy vampires that won't do any good. At all. EVER.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
October 8, 2007
Medison buying Brazilian Company
Medison is buying a Brazilian company. "The company has 40 employees and has a logistic structure that we've been looking for", says Valdi Ivancic. [more to come]
So, now suddenly they are buying a quite big company with the money they, according to Valdi him self, don't have? And they are solving the logistical issues by using a company in Brazil, when the computers, again according to Valdi, is manufactured in Asia? Sound like quite a round trip for customers in Europe. I wonder how the "up to approximately US$30" shipping charges are going to cover that...
As usual not one single verifiable detail. I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that ZDNet, CNET and SlashGear (all mirrored by several other blogs and news sites) recently has published articles about everything being a hoax?
Monday, October 1, 2007
Q: Why can't I buy a laptop now?
A: Just now you can't order any laptops because we are busy completing the delivery of the ones we have already sold. Once that has been done, we will resume taking new orders.
Q: How much does shipping cost?
A: It can cost up to approximately US$30, depending on where you want it delivered.
Whops, another lie in the first answer, as 2co already have confirmed that it was them who suspended Medisons account because Medison falsely claimed that laptops had been shipped. And I really like the wording in the second answer; "It can cost up to approximately US$30", what kind of answer is that? It costs maximum US$30... Or more! Why even write "up to" when they obviously don't know how much the maximum shipping are?
I really don't think that we need to worry about any laptops getting delivered at this stage anyhow.
Over to the people that have given up, Larry Dignan (executive editor of ZDNet news and blogs) has finally given up waiting for his order, writing "...this is a $150 laptop that will never come" in his blog. Larry has been quite active on blogging about Medison, and has until now been quite positive on that the laptops would get delivered in the end.
Another person who has given up is Martin Appel, editor at IDG/PC för Alla (Sweden's biggest and most read computer magazine), has done a Web TV chronical where he claims that he knows that no laptops ever will be delivered from Medison and that they will blame this on the media and bloggers. Actually, Martin wrote an article already in the start of August that he believed that no laptops would get delivered, and that Medison consisted of "Maniacs with wild grown plans and a big hubris". He's even harder than me with the words it seems ;)
Saturday, September 22, 2007
It doesn't seem like they want to give up though. Customers who has contacted Medison has received replies like:
"We are sorry, but just now you can't order any laptops because we are busy completing the delivery of the ones we have already sold.
Once that has been done, we will resume taking new orders.
Please check our website later for more information."
"At this time can't give a precise date for the delivery but we do ask you to be patient. We hope that you are satisfied with this reply, please don't hesitate to contact us if there are any other questions."
Sounds very convincing and trustworthy, doesn't it?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Please note that this isn't directed towards 2co, this is just an explanation to the readers that don't want to spend several hours reading 2co's forums and the 70+ post on this blog, including discussions in the comments. I'll try to cover some of the reactions point by point.
Everyone who is worried can just cancel their orders!
I don't believe it to be the customers responsibility to investigate the legitimacy of a product sold by a reputable company like 2checkout (remember that they are Medisons reseller, not just payment provider). If a customer purchase a product, they should expect to get it delivered, or if it cannot be delivered get a cancellation notice in a reasonable time frame with an explanation.
Let's also remember that there is lots of people out there that doesn't read Swedish technews, this blog, 2co's forum or any other source that brings light on this issue. Many people have probably totally forgot about that they placed an order three months ago.
2co has already answered the questions, stop bugging them!
Yes and no. I took their statement about the canceled orders as just what they wrote, that it just was about the orders marked as shipped. But as you can read in the comments of my previous postings, on 2co's forums and on several news sites many understood it as all orders was canceled. Therefore I felt that a clarification on the matter was needed from 2co's side. And as it turned out, it was just as I suspected, and a clarification was obviously needed. I would also like to add that I'm totally satisfied with e's answer on the questions, and wonder why it was so hard to answer in a good way from the start.
The problem is not with 2co, they protect the customers!
Yes and no, again. I do agree that they protect the $150, but that is where their responsibility ends according to them, and that's what I don't agree with. If something is sent, and the buyer pays for shipping (as Valdi himself has said), 2co will not cover this extra cost. So imagine if 4Kg of papers are sent (I'm not claiming that this will happen, but Medison has at least shown that they can ship nothing and claim the opposite) from China to USA via UPS, it won't be very cheap. Also, 2co will according to their buyer's agreement not cover any warranty issues and as we know that it can take 3+ months for Medison to answer an e-mail, warranty service might be a hard thing to get from them.
I also don't believe that 2co's responsibility ends at the customers in this case. Valdi is using 2co and their statements ("...it is the opinion of 2CO's CEO that Medison is a legitimate enterprise...") as an argument for their legitimacy towards other partners. This is an issue because Valdi has clearly shown that he is good at one thing at least, and that is to make money disappear (intentional or not), and could lure these partners into losing invested money.
2co has handled this whole thing as they should.
No. 2co has made several statements that they wrote to gain trust from the buyers that they haven't lived up to. Let's take a couple of examples:
They wrote “The order form *will* be corrected. Unfortunately, my point team on resolving many inquiries was collectively unavailable but you'll see the some presentment changes and clarification made soon” about one month before stopping new orders, but it was never fixed.
They wrote "We will require tracking information in this case." on the question if Medison was required to supply tracking numbers on all orders marked as shipped. When the shipping notices were sent out without tracking information their answer changed to “We do not need a tracking number to do verifications this is done by telephone". After this, they even reported to blogs and media that customers had received laptops, just because they received some false reports on that.
They wrote “We've been really supportive and responsive to many questions but, at the end of the process, customers who ordered and have not already canceled will receive one of two communications from 2CO: a). We're canceling your order, or; b). Your order is ready to be shipped -- please reauthorize this sale”. As we all know, the customers that had their orders marked as shipped and charged never received any request for re-authorization. Their reply to this afterwards was that no re-authorization was needed, since shipping was free to Sweden. Not only didn't their first statement mention anything about that it was in regards to shipping, Valdi has clearly stated several times that shipping isn't free, even to Sweden!
Let 2co belive what they want!
Sure, they can believe what they want. Everyone can believe what they want. But, expect the things written above, there is more. To be able to trust a company doing business as a reseller like 2co, it's important that they have good rules towards the suppliers. 2co do have good rules, but do they make sure that the suppliers, Medison in this case, follow them? Let's see:
"Supplier shall maintain sufficient inventory to fulfill purchases by 2CO for resale to Customers in a timely manner. Supplier shall not rely on the existence of a particular Transaction to obtain funds or credit to enable Supplier to obtain the Product necessary to complete the Transaction."
Does anyone think that over three months is "a timely manner", if anything even gets shipped?
"Supplier owns or otherwise has the full right and authority to use and disseminate (1) all information, data, graphics, text, video, music, or other intellectual property which forms a part of its web site, or which is used by Supplier in its advertising and promotional efforts, and (2) the Products it supplies to 2CO (or to potential Customers)."
"Supplier is in compliance with all applicable national, federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, requirements and/or other standards established by any governmental authority having jurisdiction to control such activities, including, without limitation, the Federal Trade Commission, and State and local consumer protection agencies; Supplier is also in compliance with the regulations of applicable credit card associations regarding the sale of Products over the Internet or other transactions where the credit or debit card utilized for the purchase is not present, which are in effect prior to the effective date of this Agreement, or which become effective during the term of this Agreement."
Medison does not comply with laws in Sweden and UK, from where they operate.
"Supplier shall at all times respond promptly to inquiries from 2CO on behalf of Customers or from Customers directly, and shall endeavor to resolve disputes with said Customer."
There is e-mails sent almost three months ago from customers that hasn't been answered.
"Supplier is expected to maintain a ready inventory of the Products it offers for sale to 2CO, or promptly notify 2CO that an order will not be fulfilled in a timely manner."
See above answers.
"Notifying 2CO that a Product has been shipped to a Customer prior to shipment having occurred."
This has already been covered by 2co.
You need to be more neutral!
Neutral about what? If there would have been any positive in this story, I would have written about it. But there hasn't been one single positive thing to report since all this started three months ago.
Your grammar sucks / You don't have the right to... / You're not a journalist / Keep to only posting news / and so on.
I'm not a journalist. I'm not a news agency. I don't pretend to be an authority of any kind.
I'm a blogger that writes about what I feel important, and as long as I don't spread any misinformation I don't see any problem. Don't like it? Don't read it!
Monday, September 17, 2007
As you might have read, I posted the following questions on 2co's forum some days ago (the full conversation can be found here):
The questions we need answers for at this moment, to settle some speculations at least, are the following:
* Are Medison still able to mark the open "authorized orders" as shipped, without any proof at all like last time?
* What will you require Medison to do to open up orders of them again, and what proofs of this will you require?
* How long are the deadline until you cancel all orders if the above isn't met?
These questions should be easy to answer and shouldn't violate anything or anyone. These questions are the ones that currently are in the customers and the general public's interest. Agreed?
kristin from 2co has now posted a reply:
"The questions you want answered are directly related to vendor status and that is confidential information. Since the orders erroneously marked shipped have been refunded there are no additional credit card orders in our system which need to be canceled.
2Checkout carries the liability in regard to this issue and the proofs we will require are also subject to negotiation between Medison and 2Checkout.
Your concern, as either a "potential vendor or customer" should end with the knowledge that you, as a consumer, are protected and that you, as a vendor, won't be the topic of conversation due to a self-appointed protector the the online shopping community who believes they should be privy to internal communications about your business, product or past.
2Checkout was founded to help the entrepreneur. We do business with a quite a few people with bad credit, who lost their merchant accounts due to excessive fraud or who simply want to dip their toes into the online selling community before diving in with long-term contracts, etc. That is no way is indicative of a lack of commitment toward protecting our consumers because we hold the fiscal responsibility. "Buyer beware" doesn't apply when 2Checkout is the middleman.
You've managed to skew that perspective around because we won't play into your desire to be the source of information regarding Medison and if customers or vendors choose to go elsewhere because of that I would hope they'd reconsider because you've done a great disservice in generating any type of doubts about the integrity of our business.
Finally, should Medison get the kinks worked out I'll personally be buying a laptop or two. Especially if it is sold via 2Checkout. It's a bargain."
Yes, that's right, instead of answering the questions, they go full out with a personal attack against me. Good work, that really shows how serious they are. :/
They also show that they, for some reason, still believes that the laptops just are some "kinks" away. Unbelievable.
The small answer we do get though, is that all orders except the few hundred that was marked as shipped still stands, and that the persons with those orders could have their cards charged without any delivery what so ever, and have to wait for a month for 2co to return the money as last time.
I posted the following reply:
Thanks for your reply. Can I take this answer as a confirmation that all other orders still are active? Would be great with a clarification on that, since many customers believe that everything is canceled from your previous replies, and it has also been reported that all orders has been canceled on news sites. You must agree on that it's important with proper information to the customers at least?
I would also like to say that I don't understand the part about "you've done a great disservice in generating any type of doubts about the integrity of our business". The only thing I have done is to ask questions in the public interest and provide you, other partners, media and customers with facts. If that creates doubts about your business it's really your own fault!
That will be my last try to communicate with them, they have clearly shown that they rather want people to spread rumors and speculate instead.
In other news, medison.se was down for some time earlier today with the message:
Account over bandwidth
Maximum bandwidth has been exceeded and this page has been temporarily disabled. Please go to your service manager to purchase more and reactivate.
Remember what Valdi wrote in the last press release, that they changed hosting provider to increase the availability of the sites? No comments from me necessary...
Saturday, September 15, 2007
What we currently are waiting for is Valdi's press release that should come "soon" as he said last Thursday. Were also waiting on what action he will take with the now defunct order button on medisoncelebity.com, that hasn't been working since Wednesday. It wouldn't really surprise me if he set up an account with paypal, worldpay or Google checkout instead, or just claim that THEY chose to take down the order page until they have solved the "logistic problems" with current orders.
I'm also waiting on answers from 2checkout on the three following questions that should be answer without breaking any contracts or things like that:
- Are Medison still able to mark the open "authorized orders" as shipped, without any proof at all like last time?
- What will you require Medison to do to open up orders for them again, and what proofs of this will you require?
- How long are the deadline until you cancel all orders if the above isn't met?
Anyway, I listened to Medisons press conference (the one from first of August). It's even more crazy when listening to it now in retrospective. As many people have requested it, I'm considering to transcribe some of the parts to English while waiting, if people still are interested in it. The audio files are over two hours, so it will probably take awhile, but I can do in parts and post it in sequels. I can give you a quick sample:
Journalist: - The computer has a Czech keyboard...
Valdi: - No, It hasn't. It, it has Czech keys yes, but it's not a Czech Keyboard.
Journalist : - But what are the definition?
Valdi: - Ehhh, no, this keyboard also have other... so... other keys except the Czech ones... that are on other keyboards. So it is not a Czech keyboard.
As a side note you can see from this photo taken at the press conference that it actually has a 100% Czech notebook keyboard layout.
So if you like me too do an English transcription, please give me a shout in the comments or e-mail me and I'll start work on it if the interest is high enough!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
2Checkout also posted a response to my last post, as usual in their "we answer, but doesn't really answer anything anyway"-way:
"All remaining orders are authorizations only and will resolve back into the customers account if they have not done so already. No funds have been taken from their cards. Customers may feel confident that 2Checkout has continually monitored this matter, and that certain measures have been taken regarding Medison's account."
As I understand this answer, they are continuing their support for Medison. I have replied with the following post:
"Do you still do business with Valdi/Medison? Do they still have the option to mark those orders as shipped without any details at all like they did, causing customers to be charged?If you plan to continue your support towards Medison/Valdi, what will your requirements be to open up for new orders?
And if you continue your support, why? There is at least four direct breaches towards your TOS..."
And as a direct result of their book-example of bad and inadequate communication, many newspapers and sites are reporting that 2co has canceled all Medison-orders, which isn't correct.
Oh, and in an interview in Aftonbladet, Medisons "Swedish CEO" Robert Klanjac answers "no comments" to all questions! I don't think that guy ever has said anything useful regarding Medison.
In other news, two persons has been removed from Medisons management according to medison.se; Per Söderberg (Sales Manager) and Lauri Kuru (Press Relations) are no longer listed there. None of those persons has ever commented anything in regards of the Medison Celebrity.
2co has made the following statement on their forum:
"Due to the logistical problems currently preventing Medison Europe Limited from shipping their Celebrity laptop, and the backlog of current orders, 2CO has suspended accepting new orders at this time.
Some orders were inappropriately marked as shipped, in violation of 2CO's terms of service, and therefore the cardholders were billed. Affected orders will be automatically refunded within the next 48 hours unless the customer specifically requests to suspend the refund at this time. Affected customers have been contacted separately via email."
I'm still very perplexed by the wording of their answer. Seems like they are prepared to continue working with Medison and Valdi even after that he clearly has shown what he is capable of, just if they solve the "logistical problems". It also seems like that they won't cancel orders that are ordered but not not marked as shipped. Are they just waiting for those orders to get "inappropriately marked as shipped" too?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
"Dear 2Checkout customer, I thank you for your patience regarding your Medison Celebrity Laptop. I apologize, but due to certain logistical problems, your laptop will not be able to be delivered at this time. 2Checkout.com has issued you a full refund and you should see this on your statement within 5-7 days. 2Checkout.com will contact you and inform you when you may replace your order for your Medison Celebrity laptop."
This means that 2co confirms that these orders was marked as shipped in their system before any actual shipment was made. What surprises me most about this is that it seems like 2co will keep on having Medison as a supplier, even that this is a clear violation of their own Terms of service for suppliers. The terms clearly states that the suppliers account should be "immediately suspended":
"If 2CO ascertains that Supplier is allowing or conducting any of the following listed activities, the Account will be immediately suspended and funds for completed sales of products or services to 2CO will be withheld from Supplier pursuant to Section 13:
Prematurely Marking Products as Shipped to Customer: Notifying 2CO that a Product has been shipped to a Customer prior to shipment having occurred."
I'm getting more and more confused about 2co's actions each day, I wonder what they really are up too?
Update: As a reader noted in the comments, it is not currently possible to place any orders trough 2co currently, after the first page it gives an error. I of course ask 2co why this is, and if they actually have suspended the account after all!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
However they will not provide hosting for Medison at all due to everything surrounding this story, that it was a mistake from their side to accept them as a customer, and has suspended the hosting account. I wonder who Medison will contact now? I guess he's running out of cheap web hosts supporting .se-domains...
The full answer follows:
"Hej Tommy! Kontopaketet registrerades igår, och de har angivit fel namnservrar så därför fungerar ej deras sida.Vi kommer suspendera kontot ikväll och har kontaktat ägaren om detta. Kontot kommer sedan avslutas.
Vi anser inte att vi kan erbjuda webbplats för medison.se - vi känner väl till detta fall, men har tyvärr begått misstaget att skapa kontot trots allt - ibland blandar man ihop alla de olika domännamnen som förekommer.
Med vänlig hälsning *****
The debated computer firm Medison owner says that he can finance the project until the business goes around.
But the CEO, with 90 percents of the shares, had no registered income last year and lacks taxed fortune.
- I have lived on my wife. It is her that has supplied the family. Now, it's my turn, says Valdi Ivancic to TT. He does not want to say how much he or the four other owners that owns 10 percents has invested in the company. But total amount itself is according to Ivancic about a in the context very modest sum - about a half million Swedish crowns (about 73 500 USD).
This should, apart from other expenses, be enough to producing the upwards 300 000 portable computers that Medison says has been ordered from the company.
- Because of that we have certain agreements with those that produce, assemble and distribute, we don't need to have much more money than that right now, says Ivancic.He states in other word that Medisons collaborative partners, whose identities are not disclosed, give the company credits. But he does not want to describe the contracts in detail. Neither Ivancic wants to tell how much Medison pays per produced computer, according to him only in consideration to the producer.
Ivancic, who is CEO and majority owner in Medison, is nationally registered in Sweden. But the company itself, with the complete name Medison Europe Limited, is registered in Great Britain. A head office does not exist.
- The company is constructed virtually can one say. We are very few persons and we are on traveling foot permanently. Because of that, we sit and communicates a lot via internet and telephone, says Ivancic.
- That makes it difficult to say about the company is here or there.
Was started recently
Medison started the launch of their low cost computer last spring. But Medison Europe Limited was started as late as in the middle of July, according the British company register. According to Ivancic the choice of registering country depended on that the suffix "Ltd" in the name is more internationally accepted than the Swedish "AB".
Earlier have several other Medison-companies with connection to Ivancic, that has been registered in Sweden, been discontinued or has gone bankrupt.
The CEO states that he periodically since 2004 has been living in Brazil, where he been on paternity leave but also has been joint owner and counselor in different companies. He has however all the time been nationally registered in Sweden.
In the two last income-tax returns, those for year 2004 and 2005, he has all in all a declared income from service of just over 20 000 Swedish crowns (about 3000 USD).
"Medisons avsikter och datorer till alla
Den senaste tiden har Medison medvetet valt att lägga kraft på att leverera Medison Celebrity laptops till sina kunder. Vi har valt att under en period inte gå ut och bemöta rykten och en del lögner som skapat kritik mot företaget, enskilda personer i Medison och mot den produkt som Medison har. Några individer som skriver bloggar och i diskussionsforum har näst intill gått ut och skrivit att Medison skulle vara ett blufföretag, men även uppmuntrat sina läsare till ren förföljelse av nyckelpersoner i Medison.
Vi på Medison ser att det är svårt att sätta stopp för rykten och lögner skapade av personer som inte har någon insyn i Medison som bolag, vare sig vad gäller avtal, produkter eller betalningsförfaranden. En del av dessa individer väljer att sprida rykten och lögner för att skapa en stark kritik mot företaget Medison. De må göra det av ren avundsjuka eller med andra motiv i bakgrunden, men det kvarstår att dessa individer inte har någon som helst information om leveranser, betalningar eller huruvida Medison skulle vara ett blufföretag.
Ett sådant rykte, byggt på rena lögner, kom den gångna helgen då Medison hade ett tillfälligt stopp på sina sidor www.medison.se och www.medisoncelebrity.com på Internet. Det har skrivits och spekulerats kring om Medisons ägare har tagit pengar som köpare ska ha betalt för en dator och försvunnit ut från Sverige och nu befinner sig på hemlig ort för att fly rättvisan. Medison svarar nu upp mot denna kritik och beklagar det olyckliga avbrottet på hemsidorna. Detta har vi ju sett kan drabba även riktigt stora företag så sent som i förra veckan. Medison har valt att omdirigera sina sidor på Internet så att vi kan ta emot många fler besökare till våra sidor. Vi har tidigare fått in önskemål om att lägga ner resurser på att öka tillgången till våra sidor på Internet då det under vissa perioder har varit svårt att tillgå dem för allmänheten och våra kunder. För att tillgodose detta önskemål valde således Medison att lägga sig på servrar som vi tror ska kunna svara upp emot den förväntade trafikökningen. Anledningen har alltså INTE varit att Medisons ägare på något vis skulle ha kommit över pengar för att lura några köpare.
Medison har istället inte fått en endaste krona in i bolaget av de beställningar av Medison Celebrity datorer som kommit in via vår hemsida. Pengar har reserverats på beställarens egna konto för att efter en leverans kunna betalas ut till vår amerikanska partner 2Checkout.com (2CO). Först när datorer levererats och 2CO har kunnat verifiera att våra kunder mottagit en Medison Celebrity dator, så har Medison en chans att få pengar överfört till bolagets egna kassa.Medison är ett seriöst företag och kommer att leverera datorer till dem som beställt en dator av oss. På grund av den stora efterfrågan på vår Medison Celebrity dator, även kallad folkdatorn eller tusen-kronors datorn, som kommit in på så kort tid, har vissa delar i logistikledet inte fungerat som de ska. Det innebär dock inte att vi inte kommer leverera eller att man inte kommer få den utlovade produkten för de pengar man betalat. Vi beklagar att så många har fått vänta lite längre än de, från början utlovade, 4-6 veckorna, men vi var ute redan den första augusti på en presskonferens och meddelade att det skulle kunna röja ytterligare ett par veckor på grund av just den stora efterfrågan som kom på datorn.
De som trots denna information känner en viss osäkerhet eller har ändrat sig har naturligtvis den möjligheten att avbryta sin beställning och då ha tillgång till sina pengar igen. I de få fall som det ska ha dragits några pengar via 2CO så kan även dessa pengar fås tillbaka. I samtliga fall uppmanar vi våra kunder att kontakta 2CO för att göra en sådan eventuell avbeställning.Medison har fått in stora orderingångar världen över och företaget förhandlar om exklusivitet med flera företag i flera länder. Vi har fått ett fantastiskt stort gensvar på så kort tid med en minimal organisation. Medison har för avsikt att fullfölja sina åtaganden gentemot sina kunder och framtida partners.
Vi på Medison uppmanar Er som följer Medison och det som skrivs om företaget eller nyckelpersonerna, att inte tro gå på rykten och lögner om att detta skulle vara en bluff. Vi är seriösa affärsmän och gör detta för att ge alla en jämlik möjlighet att få ett demokratiskt redskap som vår Celebrity laptop är. Vi erbjuder detta redskap för ett pris som tidigare var omöjligt att få som konsument. Vi tar vårt fulla ansvar och vi tar hand om våra konsumenter och blivande Celebrity-ägare. Vi kommer att leverera!
CEO & President
Medison Europe Limited"
Hopefully someone will translate it, or maybe Medison will do so themselves later. But it's the worst press release yet from them yet with loads of pure BS. I'll try to cover some of Valdis points:
"Some individuals that writes blogs and on forums have almost said that Medison is a scam company, but has also encouraged their readers to pure persecution of key persons in Medison." He goes on and writes that it's really hard for them to stop these rumors and speculations, because the persons that writes them doesn't have any insight in Medisons business, contracts, products, payment procedures, deliveries, or if Medison is a scam. The persons that write this do it because of "pure envy or other motives in the background".
Newsflash Valdi: It's not only on blogs and forums that you can read about that Medison might be a scam and is an unserious company. It's everywhere. Newspapers, serious business-sites and so on. And what about the "persecution"? I read loads of blogs and forums about this, but I haven't seen anything about anyone who encourages persecution of anyone in that way.
And of course people doesn't have insight in Medisons business, how could we? And why is it so hard to answer the accusations and rumors, just give us the information that give us anything trustworthy that can be checked with the sources.
After this, he writes about why they changed hosts and the speculations about that they would have shut down the sites and ran of with the money. He writes that thatisn’t the case, but the reason of changing hosting provider was because they have received requests from customers to "increase the availability" of the sites because customers have had problems reaching the sites during "certain periods". To meet this request, they choose to "put themselves on servers that they believe can cope with the expected traffic increase".
Oh, really? Where can we read about those accusations? Sounds quite interesting to read. I thought that the speculations were that their sites were disabled by their previous hosting provider due to one reason or another. And when would these problems have been? I check both sites daily, and never had a problem reaching them until this weekend when they changed hosting provider. And is the solution to this really to shut down the sites and make them inaccessible? As of this moment, medison.se is yet again unreachable, and pages are still missing from medisoncelebrity.com.
Valdi also goes on with the same story as usual about that the customers money are safe with 2co, and that the delay are because of "logistical problems". Seems like it's this story that 2co has bought without getting any facts. He also say that the computers are delayed, but doesn't mention any new date. They also negotiate with several companies in several different countries about "exclusivity", whatever he means with that. He ends with writing that people shouldn’t trust the lies and accusations about Medison, the rant about "democracy" and that they are a serious company that cares about their customers and that they will indeed deliver all computers. Oh please...
Monday, September 10, 2007
- Valdis "best guess" is that the first computers will arrive in "a couple of weeks". (Tommy: So what about the orders that already has been marked as shipped??)
- The problem with delivering the computers at this stage is purely a "logistical problem" caused by the "big demand". (Tommy: About 7000 orders according to 2co. Is that really a big demand for Valdi, that earlier wrote in his CV that they were prospecting sales of 200 000 computers per month?)
- Many of the computers has already been manufactured and assembled in different parts of the world. Valdi does not want to say where they were manufactured or where they are now.
- Valdi says that their partners (that he doesn't want to mention, as usual) have understood the "seriousness" and are working on getting the computers to be delivered. (Tommy: Anyone surprised? Just in line with his earlier statements)
- Medison do have some computers ready to be shipped, but they won't send them until a bigger part of the orders can be delivered, to silence critics that say that they only would deliver some computers and then run off with the money. (Tommy: Again, what about the orders already marked as shipped? Also, 2co has confirmed that this can't happen, so why bother?)
- The reason they sell the computers so cheap is purely because of "democratic issues". If they would have done it to earn money they "would have done something else". (Tommy: So, first they say that they will earn money from only sell computers, then they change it to that they will earn money from ads and partnerships, and now they don't need to earn money at all?)
- The article is summed up by the fact that Valdi has had many unsuccessful businesses earlier. (Tommy: I have covered this on the blog in details earlier)
The article is written in a quite negative way in total.
"Some orders have been marked as shipped, but no tracking information has been received and therefore we cannot tell you if they have in fact been shipped."
"These are electronic funds and no interest can be gained by 2checkout, on the contrary, 2Checkout has to pay a fee to refund these orders."
I still find it very strange that they keep on trusting this company that abuse their system in this way, remember that these orders was marked as shipped over two weeks ago. Other than this, they keep on going with their mantra that the customers money are safe.
Anyway, I wonder how long the sites will be hosted by the new hosting providers, if the sites actually were suspended from Surftown...
Saturday, September 8, 2007
First of all, Medison's both sites seems to have been pulled from their host surftown. The following message has been floating around:
"Medison is changing webhotel for the websites www.medison.se andwww.medisoncelebrity.com.
We are told that the redelegation will take up to 48 hours before our websites will work again. We are doing our best to speed up the process.
During this time it will not be able to buy Medison Celebrity laptops and it will not be able to reach us on e-mails.
Temporarily e-mail addresses are being set up and will be posted in public asap.
Everyone who has ordered a Medison Celebrity laptop will receive a laptop. For checking your orders or cancel the order, please contact2CO on www.2checkout.com during these days.
CEO & President
Medison Europe Limited"
I have not however been able to verify if this message really is from Valdi or not, but it seems like surftown has suspended the sites from their side. It also seems very strange to fix temporary e-mail addresses AFTER the site was taken down, if it was by them self.
In other news 2co first claimed in Swedish news that the first laptops actually had been received by customers, but they withdrew this statement later saying that it only was a story pulled by bloggers and customers trying to get more information regarding the matter.
Now 2co instead writes on their forum that they have given Medison a deadline before they cancel all orders & refund all customers. They have not however said when this deadline will be. They also write that they actually has seen one of the laptops, but most likely it's the same Clevo that was shown to Swedish press with scratched off serial number and Czech keyboard.
Sorry for the lack of links, I'm posting from a laptop with 3G modem and are a bit short of time, but links to all the news & posts can be found in the comments of my last post.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
IDG/PC För Alla wrote an article about it yesterday (Friday the 31st that is) where they sum it up and they also state that they have been in contact with several distributors and shipping partners since EMEA Services jumped the ship, but no one has any partnership with Medison. They have also talked with the service provider Infocare again, and they state that they still don't have any contract and it seems like there won't be any (surprised?). They have also tried to contact Valdi several times without any result.
And the last of yesterdays non-news is that 2co wrote an "answer" to my open letter that don't have any answers at all. Just some random BS not relating to my letter at all:
"This is to reiterate that 2Checkout is in continuous contact with Valdi in regards to Medison and their Celebrity laptops. On two occasions, we have met face to face with Valdi to address your concerns and to help solve certain logistical problems. If you have placed an order, be assured that no funds will be taken from your card unless the item has been marked shipped. If your order has been marked shipped, no funds will be released to Medison until you have received your laptop.
It is in the best interest and a matter of integrity for 2Checkout.com to continue to protect it’s customers (you) and it’s vendors (in this case Valdi), in effect, you are all 2Checkout customers.
I would like to thank you all for your patience regarding these matters."
Feel free to create an account on their forum and ask for answers, it might help if they see that more people actually are interested in their actions and answers! The thread is located at http://www.2checkout.com/community/support/topic.php?id=309
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Now, I would like to answer some questions and do a few clarifications regarding my letter. It seems like some people reads things that I didn't write, and other people doesn't read what I wrote but comment anyway. Let me first start with what I'm not saying: I'm not saying that Medison is performing an intentional scam, I'm not saying that 2co is an unserious company, and I'm not doing any doubtful or false claims. I don't believe that the questions is unjustified, but that is of course a subjective thing, I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert or know-it-all in this kind of matters.
A little clarification on why I wrote this letter now, why it might sound a bit harsh might be in place: The reason why I wrote this now is because that money has been withdrawn from buyers cards, without the security and convenience steps that 2co previously has written about. Suddenly, when the shipping notices was sent out without any tracking numbers, the previous requirement from 2co that Medison had to provide this was just thrown out of the window without any valid reason. I feel that the questions about this and the other things stated by 2co needs to be answered for customer safety. How long will 2co keep the money before they release it back if no computer arrives for example?
And the reason for the some what hard words and tones is that many people, including me, has previously been asking these questions without getting any valid answers, or that the validness of the answers drastically has changed after the last weeks event after the shipping notices.
Some people are also asking "Why now, why not wait until the deadline?", "Give them time" etc. My questions to those persons are: What deadline, give them time for what? The questions are still very much important even if some computers arrive, not all orders will be delivered at the same time. And how long time should people be expected to wait? The previous deadline two weeks ago? The new deadline tomorrow? The eight weeks Medison mention on their website? The three months that Valdi wrote in a previous announcement? Or even longer?
And last, I'll try to answer the question why I do this again. I'm interested in technology, I have previously been involved in uncovering big IT-scams here in Sweden, and I'm trying to do the general public a service. Why do someone help an old lady walk over the street? Why do someone try to stop a burglary of an unrelated person? Why do people do other stuff out of pure interest? Why do people write blogs? It's not my intention to get all deep on you, but this is how I feel, and I hope you get the point.
Anyway, let's just hope that 2co at least try to answer the questions, I don't see why they shouldn't our couldn't if they have pure intentions. Then all this wouldn't be an issue. Well, I'm not exactly expecting an answer on question #1, but the rest of them at least ;)
By: Tommy Truthseeker
Dear Sirs and Madams and To Whom It May Concern,
Let me first state that everything told in this letter is based upon facts if nothing else is stated. If you have any questions regarding the source of information of any given statement, please contact me and I will provide the source.
This letter addresses the concerns and issues with 2Checkout.com, Inc (2co) supplier Medison Europe Limited (Medison) and/or Valdi Ivancic (Valdi) and 2co’s role, responsibility and handling of this matter.
1. The first question I ask why 2Co, as the serious company you claim to be, continue to have Medison as a supplier, after being notified about that the following about Medison and/or their CEO Valdi:
* The company and/or it’s CEO Valdi has at multiple occasions lied and exaggerated about their history, the products they sell and many more things.
* The company doesn’t have any valid contact options for its customers. No phone or fax-numbers. No monitored e-mail. No valid shipping or visiting address.
* They don’t answer any questions from the press after being confronted about a confirmed lie.
* A company who’s only employed person and CEO are applying for a head position at a Swedish county, this with a CV consisting almost only of lies and exaggerations.
* A company and person whose past in business only has managed to loose money and doing suspicious things.
* A company that violate several laws in the country that they are based.
* A company that several times have proven not to have the competence or possibility to pull of a project like this.
* A company that even can’t provide any information on what the final price will be, not even how much shipping are and how it will be paid.
* A company that can’t provide any information when their product will be shipped.
* A company that can’t even update their own website with correct information. For example, “Due to the unexpectedly high traffic to our support line past 24 hours it broke down” has been stated on their site for over one month.
Again, why oh why would ANY sane, serious company do business with a proven unserious and incompetent company and/or person like this?
My next questions are regarding 2Co’s previous and current handling of this matter.
2. For almost four weeks ago, one of your employees wrote on your forum: “We're definitely working with Medison to clarify the shipping issues. You'll see more information made available as it becomes available.” No new information has been given since then. Why is this?
3. Almost three weeks ago one of your employees wrote on your forum: “The order form *will* be corrected. Unfortunately, my point team on resolving many inquiries was collectively unavailable but you'll see the some presentment changes and clarification made soon”. Also the information that this problem existed was notified almost five week ago. This issue has not been resolved and it still says “Scandinavia – FREE” as only shipping option, when Valdi him self has stated that all customer must pay for shipping. Why hasn’t this been fixed as you stated it would be? How do you define “soon”?
4. When confronted about the fact that the recent shipping notices didn’t contain any tracking numbers for the shipping, you answered: “We do not need a tracking number to do verifications this is done by telephone”. When asked about if Medison would need to provide tracking numbers earlier, you reply was: “We will require tracking information in this case. Due to the large number of orders we will undoubtedly permit an alternative method for supplying 2Checkout with that information in place on having to individually enter tracking information for each order”. Why did you change your standpoint on this?
5. You previously stated:
“We've been really supportive and responsive to many questions but, at the end of the process, customers who ordered and have not already canceled will receive one of two communications from 2CO:
a). We're canceling your order, or;
b). Your order is ready to be shipped -- please reauthorize this sale”.
Now the shipping notices were just sent out without any more information and money was withdrawn. Why was this changed?
Let’s continue with some current customer concerns:
6. How long time do you estimate that the shipping will take? When will you start to contact customers that have had their order marked as shipped?
7. How do you handle customers in different time zones when calling for verification?
8. How long will a customer need to wait until they get a full refund if no computer arrives?
9. If a customer claims that they haven’t received any computer, but Medison claims that they have shipped it, how will you handle it if you don’t have any tracking numbers? Let’s say that 10 customers say that they have received computers and 10 say that they haven’t.
10. If a customer receives a defective unit or feels that the order doesn’t meet his or her expectations, how will this be handled, especially when there isn’t any way for customers to contact Medison? Will the customer need to pay for shipping for returns and/or service if this is needed?
11. From where are the orders shipped?
12. How many orders will you verify before any money is transferred to the supplier? Will you halt the payment process if just one or two persons claim that they haven’t received any shipment?
Last but most important question:
13. What would make you to stop your artificial life support of this whole mess? When the customers have waited xx months for their shipments? When the first customer claims to have received something else than a computer? When the second batch of computers isn’t shipped after xx months? When you get to know that Medison can’t handle returns or service of the sold units?
And please don’t just reply with the standard “the customers’ money is safe”, “we can’t comment on this or that”, or that “we have to wait it out” for an undefined period of time. This is bigger that that. The longer you keep your support of this alive, the more you show potential scammers how easy it is to scam people (not trough you, but in general) and are enabling other companies or persons to get hurt in the meantime in other ways because they think that this is 100% legit since you still are supporting it so strongly.
Please try to understand that I only do this in the interest of the customers and consumers in general. I have absolutely nothing to gain from this personally at all, I just do it pro bono.
http://www.medisonscam.info - Medison Celebrity: Scam or just a bad idea?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
We do not need a tracking number to do verifications this is done by telephone.
2Checkout has not violated any international law, nor have we condoned any kind of fraud.
You as our customer are completely secure, you will receive your laptop, or you will receive a full refund."
I can't believe this. They say that they will answer questions, but they don't answer any? And suddenly they don't need tracking numbers, when they previously said that Medison was required to provide this information? Why do they change their answers all the time? I have previously thought that 2co was a somewhat serious company, but I'm really starting to change my mind.
Let's see if I can write up a new open letter with some interesting questions!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
"I have spent two days face to face with Valdi going over issues that are of concern. I am hopeful that those concerns will be addressed in the near future by Valdi.
2Checkout is aware that sales are now being marked as shipped in Valdi's account and will now start the verification process. As soon as we have verified that orders are being received I will revisit this post and issue an update."
I replied with the following post:
"Have you received any proofs at all that any laptops exsist except Valdi's own Clevo with scratched of serial number and Czech keyboard?Are you aware of that customers still don't know how much shipping are and that there are NO WAY for customers to contact Medison for assistance?How will you start the verification process? Have you received any tracking numbers? When are the first laptops scheduled to be delivered?
Again, the reason why we ask YOU this is because that there is NO WAY for customers to contact Medison, so please don't just say that that this will be adressed by Medison/Valdi, since there is no way of contacting them/him for a customer."
Let's see what happens...
"kirstin said: "The order form *will* be corrected. Unfortunately, my point team on resolving many inquiries was collectively unavailable but you'll see the some presentment changes and clarification made soon."
How do you deifne soon? Almost two weeks since you wrote that now, and over four weeks since Valdi said that everyone had to pay for shipping. The only shipping option on your order page is still "Scandinavia FREE""
"Is it possible to get an answer on if any orders has been marked as shipped or not? Just sound a bit strange to me since you earlier said:"We've been really supportive and responsive to many questions but, at the end of the process, customers who ordered and have not already canceled will receive one of two communications from 2CO:
a). We're canceling your order, or;b). Your order is ready to be shipped -- please reauthorize this sale.
THAT is what it all boils down to. "
A shipping confirmation without any tracking number doesn't match any of those alternatives."
I wonder why they doesn't answer with just a confirmation or denial at least, wouldn't be too hard?
Anyway, three days to go until the first Medison-computers will be delivered (Valdis own words) so I wonder what will happen next, and how Valdi will get words out any further delays...
Saturday, August 25, 2007
This message is to inform you that the following order has been shipped.
Order Number: ********
Order Total: 1038.5 SEK
Tracking Number: 00000000
Shipping Method: Scandinavia
Product Provided by: www.medisoncelebrity.com
Comments : Will be delivered to your home by Medison
Thank you for your order,
The message itself seems legit, that's just how 2co's shipping confirmations look, and the "Shipping Method: Scandinavia" is the same as it says on 2co's order page.
However; no tracking number or shipping provider is noted, and 2co them self wrote "at this time no laptops have been shipped" just one day ago.
What this means at the moment is very hard to say, because the only thing someone with access to Medison's account at 2co needs to do is:
"To mark your orders as shipped, please follow these steps:
1. Log into your 2CO Account Homepage.
2. Under “Helpful Links” click on the “Mark” link by “Mark Shipping”.
3. Choose the format you would like to search by and click the “submit” button.
4. On the Shipping Page you will need to enter a tracking number (or other text, if this does not apply).
5. Confirm that the Shipping Method is correct
6. Choose to notify the customer or not.
7. Add comments, if you like.
8. Click the “Mark shipped” button."
This brings me back to a question I asked 2co three weeks ago:
Tommy: "You say that no money are transferred to the suppliers account unless that the order is "marked as shipped" in your system. What does this check mean, is it just a box to check, or do they have to provide a tracking number that you follow up in all orders by automatic means or other?"
2co: "We will require tracking information in this case. Due to the large number of orders we will undoubtedly permit an alternative method for supplying 2Checkout with that information in place on having to individually enter tracking information for each order."
2co has also answered this previously, when confirming the fact that shipping isn't free:
"All customers who pre-ordered will have shipping costs identified via re-invoice and be asked to re-authorize the order. Free shipping may still apply to the Scandinavian orders to which it was originally intended". This has not happened and Valdi has already confirmed before that shipping isn't free to Scandinavia either. The previously reserved amount has however now been withdrawn from the customers cards according to several persons.
All in all, I would say that this e-mail makes the whole thing look even more fishy...
Edit: The orders was marked as shipped Saturday morning Swedish time.