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Everything posted by stunned_monkey

  1. I'm not naming the installer because the situation is ongoing. The cost of 3-phase is about £12k and the new inverter at least abother 3. Plus a fair bit of replacement wiring will be required. The frustration is that this is all in the name of "safety" when considered against a vanishingly small likelihood which could easily be covered by a £20 circuit breaker.
  2. A little bit complex, so I'll try to bullet-point this: - before you have solar panels installed, if the peak output is above a certain level, you have to get approval from the Distributed Network Operator in your area (the people responsible for the electricity grid), in my case, SSE. - my installer submitted the application in 2018 and it was approved so they went on an installed the system, which is an 8.2kW array with twin tesla powerwalls. - in 2020 I discovered they never submitted the paperwork to SSE to finalise and be issued a certificate. You need this to get onto a smart tariff which directly meters your exported electricity. As far as SSE are concerned, my system doesn't exist. - in the intervening time, the regs have changed from G59 to G99 and our system, as installed, won't get approval. It doesn't contravene the new regs, but SSE have toughened their internal criteria. It boils down to the fantastically unlikely event of both powerwalls going nuts and exporting at full chat on a very sunny day, taking the theoretical export beyond the limit for a single phase installation. No, a simple circuit breaker isn't sufficient - but I cannot get anyone to explain why. - the only 'fix' is to upgrade the house and solar inverter to 3-phase, something the installer refuses to do on the grounds of cost. This cost will be significantly more than I could go to Small Claims court over - and it isn't as though I can just pay someone else to do it. - the installer's comms is just terrible, giving the distinct "bury head in sand" attitude. If it weren't for my asking SSE directly backm in 2020 I don't think they'd have volunteered the original clerical error. Interested if anyone has any suggestions! In an ideal world, SSE would change their minds, or dictate what safety device they'd need to see installed in order to protect against this crazy unlikely scenario.
  3. If your product has a 10 year warranty, and the company who sold it cannot supply the replacement part within that time, do they have to give a refund? My advice is to avoid the sensor bins on sale at www.autobin.co.uk . We've had ours 6 years and now need a 3rd lid. Unfortunately the way they process their warranty claims is simply to make you pay £25 for a replacement lid. Except they don't have any in stock and can't say when they'll have any. What are my rights here? Can I demand a refund of the retail price? They are still listing the complete bins for sale, but refuse to issue one as a replacement. Also... Autobin is (now) a trading name of Smart Home Products (it's what they say when answering the phone). Interestingly, Companies House has a series of accounts filed as a "dormant company" only. The Autobin Company from whom the original bin was purchased was dissolved in 2015. Alarm bells?
  4. Stop talking to the reseller. That lot really made my skin crawl, and seem to be graduates of the school of debt collectors. If that is indeed their attitide, why would you want to use their software, where such a minor infraction results in attempted extortion? Especially as they tacitly endorse it anyway, by simple virtue of not employing suifficiently strong anti-piracy measures (try running a dodgy copy of Creo and see how far you get I suggest you give them one chance to honour their offer for startups *which you were going to use*, or you'll switch to Fusion 360 and take your chances in court. So their actions have directly resulted in the loss of a customer. They really should care about this.. Well, they have to tell you formally what evidence they have before issuing court proceedings (14 days IIRC). Have a look for Pre-action Protocol for more info. It may be that they've now realised their evidence is a pile of easily defeatable hogwash following people like me laughing at them for citing 192.168.x.x IP addresses, so they sit on it in the hope of scaring you instead. Tell him/her the above, block the reseller.
  5. IMO they're getting way too big for their boots in pursuing this course of action. They're annoying genuine and future customers off with this policy. I suggest you tell them your situation and that you were about to embark upon a licencing process but have been put off by their behaviour. By chance, I too am in a position where I'm involved in a startup. Because of my experience with SW - and despite us all knowing it prety well, we've elected to switch to Autodesk Fusion 360, which has a refreshing and VERY pragmatic licencing policy which I believe will see SW's crown toppled within a few short years. It's free for hobbyists and startups turning over less than $100k How enlightneed is that? It ensures massive takeup of the package by the next generation and they get an incredibly powerful de-facto beta testing army behind them. There's also a ton of public domain resources to help you make the switch, including tutorials specifically for people used to solidworks. It'll cost you nothing to give it a go. We hit the ground running within a couple of days But in short, as with others, you aren't their target. I sugget you provide the above feedback, but others advise simply ignoring them. I can't argue with that.
  6. dx has it pretty much covered. Remember for them a threat letter costs almost nothing, and saying it's from their "enforcement officer" or othersuch is merely a tactic to scare you. And it's working. Their behaviour smells a lot like the stuff you'll read on the debt forums... One thing to go and have a google on is "pre-action protocol". It's the stuff they have to send you as a formal warning before initiating legal action. I think you'll agree they haven't done this (it includes setting out all the evidence against you, which will be less-than-concrete IP/MAC address stuff - especially if they cite 192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, 172.16-32.x.x addresses) and all they're issuing are threat-o-grams. I totally agree you should be blocking their emails - they have no way of proving you've ever received them so you don't need to worry about ever reading them. Act on postal threats only if they comply with PAP. My threat went away when I told them categorically that I would not be buying a licence because I couldn't afford it, and that I wasn't using it for commercial purposes (can they prove otherwise in your case?).
  7. Thanks for the replies! It was stated in SP's reply to our original appeal, and referenced in POPLA's summary. So a contract is only formed in this case when we actually pay? ie a technical loophole. I'm pretty familar with debt collectors and am not "scared" of them in the way the uninitiated often are (in fact it was the reason I joined CAG in the first place many moons ago - for actual debt problems, now long gone!). That said... when you say unregulated, may I assume this means they *don't* have the power to affect my wife's credit file? She works as a mystery shopped so often has to sign up to mobile phone contracts, mortgages etc and needs to maintain a clean slate.
  8. Thanks, I believe I've already provided most of the info above. Yes there were ANPR photos. We don't have the original letter and the date was some point in late August and almost certainly arrived within 14 days. Appeal was submitted online. The facts of the case are not in dispute.
  9. After parking in the rooftop park of the Gateway Shopping Centre in Trowbridge (Boots, New Look and Next), my wife received a parking charge notice from Smart Parking. At the time she parked there, she went looking for a machine, and found one with a cover saying "not in use". She went further and found a second, identically covered. She assumed all the machines were out and without walking the full area of the car park trying to find another machine, went about has business in Next for about 30mins. The charge would have been 80p. I appealed the charge to SP on their website (as her). They unsurprisingly rejected it. Two points here: 1) in the appeal text submitted online, I referenced Ref Prendi - v- Camden - Case 2100346960 "...the Enforcement Authority cannot expect motorists to tramp [around] trying to find a machine in working order". 2) In their reply letter, they say that all 4 of the original *council* machines were covered, and that there were another 4 SP machines, *of which only two were working*. Let me repeat: Of 8 machines total, 4 were covered and marked "not in use", and 2 of the remaining 4 were not working. My wife then appealed to POPLA who have rejected her appeal: Summary from POPLA: Given that the majority of the machines at the site were not working or were covered the appellant deems it reasonable of her to have assumed the paring[sic] charges were on[sic] in place on the date of contravention. The appellant states that as there were no signs pointing out where or how to pay she deems the parking charge to have been issued unfairly. The relevant sections of the response (they also state the signage meets requirements - which we must accept): Even if a motorist presents extenuating circumstances setting out reasons why they did not keep to the parking conditions, POPLA cannot allow an appeal if a contract was formed and the motorist did not keep to the parking conditions. While I appreciate the appellant’s comments and have no reason to doubt her version of events the terms and conditions of the site, require payment to be made when parking. On review of the signage in place at the site I am satisfied that the operator does clearly offer a cashless payment option for motorists at this site. Fundamentally, it is the motorist’s responsibility to check for any terms and conditions, and either adhere to them or choose to leave. The appellant chose to stay, therefore accepted the terms and the parking charge that the operator subsequently issued She's very annoyed about this because fundamentally, she wasn't trying to get away without spending 80p! Her "fault" appears to be not noticing and pursuing the cashless payment option (she didn't see any signs offering this, but does accept she may have missed them). Should we pay up or push on?! I presume the next step pushing on would be writing to SP telling them we intend to challenge?
  10. I received mine by post and email. It sounds like you're in the same situation as a previous post: You're a legal user and they're trying to press you on a technicality. Tell them to **** off or you'll switch to a different package and let the licence you do have lapse. You aren't the droids they are looking for. For people like me wanting to do non-commercial stuff with SW I suggest an independent windoze install on a dual boot machine. In the SW-only installation, disable the network adapter.
  11. jozzle: Well first off, don’t reply to them at all. It’s very unlikely they’ll pursue you any further than their threat-o-grams. You may also get calls from their reseller claiming to “want to help”. I blocked the number. I regret ever answering them. SW make piracy easy for a reason. You are learning the software and one day might be in a position to want to buy it. Harassing you in this way is a very good reason why this policy may backfire. They left me alone when I told them categorically that I wouldn’t be buying a license (because I could not afford to) and was no longer using the software – having never used it for commercial purposes anyway. If you decide to talk to them, you could try telling them you were interested in trialling it (they will know for how long you’ve been active on it). They have a bunch of ‘likely’ evidence, but have no proof. All it would take would be a 3rd party who uses your computer to have installed it without your knowledge/understanding. renegadeimp: Yeah, me too. Where there's a will, there's a way. But a VPN would have hidden one of the single biggest pieces of info they collected against me, ie my ISP's internet address, which they used to chase down my identity through my ISP. All they would sniff on my local machine is a couple of 192.168 addresses and its MAC (and port 25 traffic) Can software be written to bypass a disabled network adapter in the background?
  12. Hi jozzle, sorry to hear they’ve got their claws into you too. But you say you’ve read the thread through yet ask how it went for us all. First things first: DON’T REPLY or acknowledge their threat in any way. Do you use the same PC to collect email from the domain which you own (registrant details available from a whois lookup) which can be tied to a clear CAD usage for work? eg if your domain is “freelancecad.com” or “davedoesmechanicadesign.com” then they might have an arguable case. They will have tied your email address to the mac address of the machine on which you’re using SW. All you would really have to argue is that you weren’t using it, your son/daughter/uncle/bloke next door was using your machine, and you thought it was a demo copy. They can’t prove it was you. They still have to stump up the cost of taking you to court, and best case for them is they are awarded the cost of buying the software according to another previous post on this thread. This means it’s in their interests only to scare you into coughing up. Scare tactics cost little. Also I suggest you definitely don’t partition your hard disk and install a second copy of your OS of choice onto the new partition, create a dual boot system and DEFINITLEY don’t disable the network adapter in that installation and install and only use SW there. It’s also a terrible idea to subscribe to a VPN and spoof the mac address on your “clean” installation. Nord VPN has a deal on at the moment for 3 years for $99. All IMO J
  13. That information is not available unless I tell them – which is kind of my point. As it’s not information which is allowed to appear on a credit report, my honest answer would have to be “not in the past 6 years”. I wonder if they’re allowed to refuse me if I refuse to disclose information to which they aren’t entitled? Sounds like you guys don’t know either No, I’ve never been made bankrupt and settled almost all of my debt, several by agreement (partial), and one by getting it written off due to them admitting to not having my original credit agreement. CAG was of immense help to me at that time.
  14. It's a few years since I was in trouble with debts, and on a much more even keel these days. Or to put it another way, all my previous woes have long since dropped off the bottom of my credit history (ie 6 years). Recently in applying for financial products (mainly mortgages), I noticed they ask the expected questions about bankruptcy, credit defaults and even simply making special arrangements with a creditor. So far so obvious. What bothered me was they ask if you have "ever" had/done any of these. To which my answer would be "not in the past 6 years" if I were being truthful, and I believe is the extent of their entitlement to information. But I really don't want to get into that, so I've just lied and said no. What bothers me is of course that I'm then signing a legal document which contains a lie, and that if I were to refuse to answer the question, I wouldn't get the mortgage. I wonder if they are allowed to ask that question in the first place, or if you can still be penalised for refusing to answer it fully?
  15. Hi, I think the headline is that you aren’t the prey they’re searching for. It was an oversight on your part and you’re very sorry and have now activated the license *you already owned*. As much as they shout and scream and stamp their feet and threaten to advise their clients to commence court action, my experience suggests these are all just scare tactics. I suggest you write to them and state categorically you will not be buying an additional license, but will continue to use the license(s) you already had and have now correctly activated. This is something very easy for them to check, you may wish to invite them to do so. You might want to throw in some suggestion of jumping ship for another CAD provider if they don't bugger off. The bottom line is yes, you made a mistake, but it didn’t actually *cost* them anything other than the time they’re now wasting chasing you. Just my 2p…
  16. I would like to emphasise my question from an earlier post, and I suspect this is the way they're "finding us": Do you personally own the internet domain to whose registered address they've sent the letter? Do you use the same computer to collect/send email? This is, I believe, the connection they're making - they're recording the machine’s MAC access, and sniffing email traffic (this is easy, it's unencrypted), then doing a lookup on that domain and if the name you tack onto your emails matches the owner of the domain, they shout hooray and send a threat-o-gram to the domain's registrant at its registered address. The funny thing is, this approach is likely only to “catch” one-man-bands because larger companies will be behind firewalls with mail servers handling email etc. I suggest the primary defence is: “I am not the only user of this computer and I/my company does not use Solidworks” (your teenage kid installed it and was using it for school without you realising it wasn’t a trial version or something – solidworks DO tacitly encourage this ‘misuse’.) All IMO, take with pinch of salt
  17. Hi All, I received an email about a week ago telling me that "their clients" have elected not to pursue the case as they don't believe I've been misusing it commercially. He also went on patronisingly to warn me they'd be monitoring my mac address for future use (time to get Windoze to spoof it then) and absurdly insisted that a 192.168 address correlation could be used in evidence. I'm not doing their job for them by telling him this is daft and that I know what I'm talking about (much as I was tempted). I made a mistake in replying to them in the first place and not denying I was using the software. Has ANYONE received a threat-o-gram who ISN'T the registered owner of the domain to whose email the threat was sent? Don't think so... this is really the only "evidence" they have. A final word. ... Any software company has a right to make money and protect their interests within the law. Much as people troll the debt forums telling people to stop keep trying to wriggle out of paying their debts, this is a situation where however guilty we may be, simply demanding they stick to the applicable laws and making demands witin those laws will make the majority of these threats go away. Or in this case just ignore/block them. You can't threaten someone who can't hear you. All IMO of course
  18. Oh yes - he tried to suggest that as my email had come from the same IP address as they had logged, it proved it was me - that IP was I think which is common to all the ADSL routers like mine (pretty generic ISP-supplied one!) In a former life I was a roving engineer for a network solutions provider setting up firewalls 'n' stuff. Didn't tell him that of course.
  19. Sorry for not replying sooner. I too received the letter recorded delivery. In it was all their "evidence" and when I pushed them to comply with Pre-Action protocol, they said it did (it didn't because they didn't declare the value of the infringement that they would claim). I replied stating categorically that I would not be buying a license because I was not using the software commercially and couldn't afford it anyway and they had no evidence to the contrary. I also told them I was blocking all their email addresses (I have). I also said "I suggest in you do not cite a 192.168.x.x non-routable IP address as evidence in future". I haven't heard anything since.
  20. Spanish number but English Chap, right? Was it to the number on your website or the number you have in the phone book stacked to the address to which your domain is registered? He then passed me to the ****er at their UK reseller
  21. So far I've had only the one letter from them. I recommend you force them to tell you exactly how they've connected you to the use of their software. If, like me, they've sniffed an email connection and went after the owner of the domain, you have an easy argument that many people have emails on that domain.
  22. Hi Sparty. What follows is my opinion -please take my advice with due caution. I'm no legal eagle! Firstly, you're in the right place. Just try and ignore those who basically say "well, you made your bed, you lay in it" because the advice from others will have value that you wouldn't even get from a solicitors. I speak from past and present experience. I wouldn't have known to look up exactly how many times they've actually taken anyone to court over this (zero - see previous post on this thread), and also knowing examples of successful, big cases resulted basically only in forcing the infringer (is that a word?) to buy a license. Someone else further up very helpfully explained how heavily weighted the law is in (y)our favour. It's also pretty common knowledge that SW is easy to pirate and isn't available for a reasonable cost to people like you and me - I certainly would buy it if it were. They aren't interested in chasing down the little guy, but I think they're taking the approach of pushing as many scary buttons as possible to make you cough up. If they put you in touch with their UK reseller, that guy is a total so-and-so. He acts just like a debt collector and I blocked his email and phone numbers after the first day (I use call control for android to deal with the phone calls). If you have admitted using it, just make it very clear that the software has little value to you - ie you've generated little of value with it - this is something they need to show in order to claim damages - and that you couldn't afford it anyway. You may wish to do this n writing, although I did it over email with the solicitors after they sent me a copy of all the emails in the post. Read up on pre-action conduct, what they must tell you and when. Ignore the "you must reply within 3 days" as this is clearly outside that law. I asked them to tell me how they'd made the connection with my business, and they had to admit all they had was a shared machine being used to collect email. He also tried to tell me they already had adhered to PAC but it's right there in black and white what they need to do and they hadn't. That and the citation of a 192.168 address pretty much confirmed for me that they were just employing scare tactics. If you've told them you aren't using it, stick to your guns and force them to tell you why they think you are. All they';ll have is a mac address collected by their software and your domain. They can't prove it's your mac address, and they won't know how many people have email addresses attached to your domain. It could be anyone, right?! I've also now blacklisted the solicitors email domain so they can't contact me other than in writing. I suggest you do the same. There;s a reason for insisting things are done in writing and that is because by law you can consider it as having arrived if sent. I have found this to take the pressure off considerably. If they really care, they'll write. [i've mentioned debt collectors a couple of times now - this is how I originally found CAG several years back and the people on here were invaluable and empowering me in dealing with them. Eventually I had many thousands written off by following the advice here and forcing my creditors to stick to the law. I'm now comfortably in the black and finding my experience then has apparently left me with a healthy level of cynicism towards legal threat-o-grams! If you come through this as a result of CAG, please do as I did and drop them a donation ]
  23. Another update: After a week or more of silence I got a letter, registered post from the lawyers, STILL banging on about commercial misuse. Within this letter was a connection between a mac address and my domain. It is indeed the mac of my network adapter, but they can't know that. I emailed a response (as invited) in which I asked them how they made this connection, in accordance with PAP. Apparently the software sniffs out non-personal information and reports it in accordance with EU law (which I checked). Then it gets more interesting. A reply email tried to suggest that a cad package could be used for parts management (ie like a shop - my little on-line shop offers about 15 items for sale) which is daft, and that their connection with my domain was sufficient to prove commercial use. Then something really laughable: They pointed out my email header and their software had logged the same machine IP address, and cited a 192.168 address. As a former IT engineer, this was immediately preposterous and is somewhat akin to the use of 555 phone numbers in american movies. Most home routers serve 192.168 addresses, and many will serve the same address to the first/only machine on the network. This is somewhat moot as I haven't tried to deny the use of their software, just truthfully letting them know it hasn't been for commercial use. But maybe this will be useful to future visitors. I replied saying that all they had was evidence of a shared machine being used to collect email. I stated again that I wasn't using SW for commercial use, that they were wasting their time yet there didn't seem to be anything I could do to convince them otherwise. I told them I couldn't afford the software and that it isn't of much value to me other than to learn it (true). Also politely suggested that they should avoid citing 192.168 addresses in future. Silence now for 2 days.
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