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Internet company puzzle

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XFool
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Internet company puzzle

#139684

Postby XFool » May 17th, 2018, 7:36 pm

Has anyone ever heard of, or used, a UK company called 'Battery Force'?

Quite a long time ago I used them for a particular battery. I used them ever since for such orders, they seemed to offer good prices, no mistake with orders, were always prompt with delivery - free with orders over £10. No problems whatsoever, entirely satisfactory.

Some time in February I needed some batteries and went to their site. I found a notice saying they were having some problems with their promised whizzy new website but they expected to be up and running within the week. They said all their customers would shortly be sent an email. Currently they were accepting no orders either via the website (obviously) or by telephone. They left an email address and phone number for contacting them for enquiries.

The week came and went, as did quite a few more weeks. No change. I poked around and at one point even seemed to uncover the whizzy new website under development and obviously not yet complete or usable. e.g. "30-DAY SATISFACTION GURANTEE" and links not yet working.

More time went by, I decided to phone them. By now I expected 'number unobtainable' or that the phone would just ring and ring, at best a recorded announcement. To my surprise the phone was answered quite quickly by a women's voice. She essentially told me what the website message said: "Hope to be up and running shortly". I was so surprised that, rather than pressing for more information, which may not have been forthcoming, I simply thanked her and hung up.

The weeks went by.

The other night I carried out a periodic check and was surprised to find their site available again. It looked like the prototype site I found before, complete with "GURANTEE" mistake. Sadly now 'Free delievery with orders over £30'. I tried to log in but my ID was not recognised. I tried 'Forgotten Password' but received no email, so it looks if they have lost their user database. Also, links to 'CONTACT US' and 'SITEMAP' still do not work and their are NO contact details on the site, either email or phone. All this makes me reluctant now to sign up.

Anyone any experience or clue as to what has been going on?

I have just seen this from Companies House:

18 Apr 2018 Notification of Supreme Imports Ltd as a person with significant control on 18 April 2018

18 Apr 2018 Withdrawal of a person with significant control statement on 18 April 2018

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139693

Postby XFool » May 17th, 2018, 8:14 pm

This company, Supreme Imports, is mentioned as having 75% control in that last Company House listing.

http://www.supreme.co.uk

https://www.ft.com/content/058f6b7a-44a ... ac3a6482fd

Possibly a buy out, private take over or struggle for control? Not going smoothly then!

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139695

Postby chas49 » May 17th, 2018, 8:37 pm

As it happens, I had one of those GDPR emails form them today and I opted-in. Wondering whether that was a good idea now...

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139696

Postby XFool » May 17th, 2018, 8:38 pm

chas49 wrote:As it happens, I had one of those GDPR emails form them today and I opted-in. Wondering whether that was a good idea now...

When did you register for an account with them?

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139733

Postby PinkDalek » May 18th, 2018, 1:24 am

XFool wrote:… Supreme Imports, is mentioned as having 75% control in that last Company House listing. …


I looked at Companies House when you first asked.

The only company I could find with a similar name was Battery Force Limited (a dormant company) https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/comp ... ng-history .

There were two filings dated 18 April 2018. One states Notification of Supreme Imports Ltd as a person with significant control on 18 April 2018 and the other Withdrawal of a person with significant control statement on 18 April 2018.

It is confusing as the January 2017 Confirmation statement showed no person with significant control, yet the last Annual Return had Supreme Imports Limited as owning 100% of the issued share capital. If you look here, at the foot, you'll see the correction https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/comp ... nt-control, so at least that is now clear.

You'll also be able to see that the sole director of Battery Force Limited is also a director of Supreme Imports Limited and has been since 2005. The ultimate parent company of Supreme Imports Limited is under the control of that director, according to the latest filed accounts of Supreme Imports Limited, which show an annual turnover in excess of £50 million and post tax profits in excess of £5 million.


Also, links to 'CONTACT US' and 'SITEMAP' still do not work and their are NO contact details on the site, either email or phone


As for https://battery-force.co.uk/ (presumably the website you've been looking at) there's no mention that I can see of a Limited company at all. However, there is an address provided, which matches the registered office address, and other contact details at the foot of the homepage (and elsewhere). If the Contact us page didn't work before, it does now, https://battery-force.co.uk/contact-us/. I've yet to spot the site map.


Overall, despite the occasional typo, I don't think you should be concerned, although I haven't accessed the FT link***. Especially if you pay using a credit card (although the protection still probably depends on the spend).


*** I was going to ask what it says but found this on a search (assuming it hasn't been superseded):

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk ... g-14563750

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139736

Postby Breelander » May 18th, 2018, 4:45 am

PinkDalek wrote:.. I haven't accessed the FT link***…

*** I was going to ask what it says but found this on a search (assuming it hasn't been superseded):
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk ... g-14563750


Actually, if you access the FT link it conveniently says at the top 'Subscribe to the FT to read:' and then gives you the title of the page. Knowing that, the usual methods work if you want to read it.

Yes, basically the same news, but in greater depth.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139754

Postby Redmires » May 18th, 2018, 8:20 am

When looking up internet companies I'll often check the company address on google maps. In this case, Supreme Ltd at M17 1AF are a "real" company. If I find on google maps that it's not so, such as a unrelated building or PO Box, then I'll usually avoid.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139770

Postby XFool » May 18th, 2018, 9:04 am

Thanks for observations.

Something clearly went very wrong in February which they don't appear to me to have fully recovered from: website seems unfinished, lacks information and is a bit slow. Plus the apparent loss of customer account records.

On Trustpilot they used to have a stream of regular good reviews but nothing since 27 February. Such a long break must have harmed their business considerably.

Presumbly the idea behind the site update was the usual one of moving to a 'mobile friendly' platform.

Old website, 13 Mar 2016
https://web.archive.org/web/20160313140 ... .co.uk:80/

The announcement, 13 March 2018
https://web.archive.org/web/20180313140 ... rce.co.uk/

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139795

Postby PinkDalek » May 18th, 2018, 11:12 am

Breelander wrote:Actually, if you access the FT link it conveniently says at the top 'Subscribe to the FT to read:' and then gives you the title of the page. Knowing that, the usual methods work if you want to read it.


Okay, actually I should have said I didn't bother going down that route.

Yes, basically the same news, but in greater depth.


However, it has some potential inaccuracies. It suggests a dividend was paid to Mr C of £4,500,000 by Supreme. Later it says "Supreme is owned by SI Holdings". The journalist is unlikely to know what SI Holdings did with the dividend received from Supreme, albeit SI Holdings is also under his ultimate control.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139826

Postby chas49 » May 18th, 2018, 1:36 pm

XFool wrote:
chas49 wrote:As it happens, I had one of those GDPR emails form them today and I opted-in. Wondering whether that was a good idea now...

When did you register for an account with them?


A long time ago!

Having read later posts, and done a bit of searching myself, I think Supreme (or the Director(s) of it) have been behind Battery Force (either as a brand or a LtdCo) since it started. I don't think there's a takeover scenario - possibly a botched website change though?

Looking at my old emails, I had one on 2 March which said

While we wait for our brand new state of the art website, please be aware we are still on Amazon if you need any batteries.


and then nothing till the GDPR one just this week.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139859

Postby XFool » May 18th, 2018, 4:12 pm

chas49 wrote:
XFool wrote:
chas49 wrote:As it happens, I had one of those GDPR emails form them today and I opted-in. Wondering whether that was a good idea now...

When did you register for an account with them?

A long time ago!

Thanks. That's what I wanted to know. My first order with them was in 2005, my last October 2017. So they still have your account record but seem to have lost mine.

chas49 wrote:Having read later posts, and done a bit of searching myself, I think Supreme (or the Director(s) of it) have been behind Battery Force (either as a brand or a LtdCo) since it started. I don't think there's a takeover scenario - possibly a botched website change though?

Yes. If you look at their old site via the Way Back Machine, as I posted, you can see at the bottom of the page Supreme Imports Ltd (trading as battery-force.co.uk) listed as the owners of the site.

I wondered if there was a falling out with the website developer or a serious IT failure. (Ironically I suffered one around the same time)

chas49 wrote:Looking at my old emails, I had one on 2 March which said

While we wait for our brand new state of the art website, please be aware we are still on Amazon if you need any batteries.

I never got to see that. Would have been worth knowing, surely? Yet not mentioned on the temporary website either.

I think I may email them.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#139887

Postby Imbiber » May 18th, 2018, 5:58 pm

I have used Battery Force in the past. Recently I have used Battery station. Good prices and quick delivery.
No connection etc.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#140401

Postby XFool » May 21st, 2018, 6:03 pm

...so I emailed them.

Got a polite reply today in which they confirmed all customers would have to re-register for the new website, as the accounts couldn't be transferred. Um. So how (as per the site announcement) were they ever going to email all customers in the first place? I certainly wasn't emailed.

They will pass my observations on the new website to their web developers.

Still sound to me like something went very wrong somewhere.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#140403

Postby chas49 » May 21st, 2018, 6:09 pm

XFool wrote:...so I emailed them.

Got a polite reply today in which they confirmed all customers would have to re-register for the new website, as the accounts couldn't be transferred. Um. So how (as per the site announcement) were they ever going to email all customers in the first place? I certainly wasn't emailed.

They will pass my observations on the new website to their web developers.

Still sound to me like something went very wrong somewhere.


And how did they manage to email me to tell me the new site is live? The subject of the email on 17 May was "We're live and we'd like to keep in touch!" and had an opt-in button (for GDPR purposes).

I logged in yesterday and I could see my previous order history - and I didn't have to re-register either.

I think they've got some wires crossed somewhere :)

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#140406

Postby chas49 » May 21st, 2018, 6:12 pm

chas49 wrote:
XFool wrote:...so I emailed them.

Got a polite reply today in which they confirmed all customers would have to re-register for the new website, as the accounts couldn't be transferred. Um. So how (as per the site announcement) were they ever going to email all customers in the first place? I certainly wasn't emailed.

They will pass my observations on the new website to their web developers.

Still sound to me like something went very wrong somewhere.


And how did they manage to email me to tell me the new site is live? The subject of the email on 17 May was "We're live and we'd like to keep in touch!" and had an opt-in button (for GDPR purposes).

I logged in yesterday and I could see my previous order history - and I didn't have to re-register either.

I think they've got some wires crossed somewhere :)


Just checked - my password (which still works) is 4 years old, according to my password manager. Think I'll change it now anyway....

EDIT: It worked yesterday. It doesn't today!! - resetting now.....

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#140408

Postby XFool » May 21st, 2018, 6:15 pm

Only confirms what I said above, they definitely lost my email address (which was also the account username). Something obviously misfired somewhere.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#140409

Postby XFool » May 21st, 2018, 6:17 pm

chas49 wrote:Just checked - my password (which still works) is 4 years old, according to my password manager. Think I'll change it now anyway....

EDIT: It worked yesterday. It doesn't today!! - resetting now.....

Oops!

Still having problems then.

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#140410

Postby chas49 » May 21st, 2018, 6:18 pm

So - tried to "reset" my password. No email received, so I created a new one (same email address). No order history carried over - so either I have two accounts with the same email address or they really did lose all the old records....

Losing confidence now....

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#140421

Postby XFool » May 21st, 2018, 6:46 pm

This is descending into farce...

I just checked the site out. The site links at the bottom of the homepage still don't work, but they at least seem to have passed on my message about the misspelling of "GURANTEE" on the new website, because they have altered it.

It's now misspelled as "GAURANTEE"!

Rather than point out the misspelling I obviously ought to have given them the correct spelling. ;)

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Re: Internet company puzzle

#147401

Postby XFool » June 22nd, 2018, 5:58 pm

At last! They now seem to have now found out how to spell "Guarantee". :)

https://battery-force.co.uk

But still no working 'Sitemap', 'Information' or 'Contact Us' links....

And the first new entry on Trustpilot since February doesn't sound too promising:

https://uk.trustpilot.com/reviews/5b27e ... 0700ce3860

Unlike most previous entries.


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