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                    Fourth Level Development Complaints
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[Originally posted to comp.sys.amiga.misc, after making the rounds on some
mailing lists.  Consumer and dealer complaints about Fourth Level
Developments of the UK have been running rampant for months, and this is a
transcript of a discussion between a user and a FLD rep. -Jason]

From: David Gill <spot@davgill.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Fourth Level Developments - Treforgate

What follows is a transcript of messages sent between myself and Trefor S.
who represents Fourth Level Developments, the publishers and F L
Distribution Ltd., the distributors of AmiFileSafe (AFS).  It starts with
my request for information.

Should you have been taken in by their "Valentine's offer", do please
contact me as I am trying to persuade them that it is their duty to provide
apologies and full refunds to those involved.  Others will be free to make
up their own minds whether they wish to deal with this firm.

FLD now concentrate on sales to the clone market.  If anyone can suggest
suitable newsgroups who would benefit from this information, then please
let me know.

For the sake of brevity and clarity, all quoted material in correspondence
has been removed and replaced with <>.  The only other amendment is that I
have removed some personal information contained in one of my mails.  All
Trefor's responses are verbatim.

............................................................................

*AFS Pro registered user -----*

Dear sir,

I shall be most grateful if you would kindly answer a number of questions I
have concerning the continued support and development of AmiFileSafe PRO. 
I paid for the upgrade to version 3 and a fully working version of Disksalv
in you Valentines offer.  The product was promised by May 1996.

1> What is the expected date for the release of version 3?

2> Will Disksalv ever be available and if not will there be a replacement
product?

3> Will ReorgAFS ever be developed and if not will there be a replacement
product?

4> Why has the mailing list been discontinued?

5> Why have I been denied access to the telnet server?

6> Will interim versions be placed on the telnet server as they become
available?

Please provide answers to the above as it is very frustrating not having
any direct communication from you.  Rumours abound in newsgroups and with
your permission, I would be happy to share your response.

Yours faithfully,

David

..........................................................

<>
We are unsure on this one -- the Amiga market has died recently and there
just isn't much interest in it anymore.
<>
DiskSalv is available, it is just we no-longer stock it due to a problem
with IAM.
<>
I suggest you ask Mark Harden about that one.
<>
We did have problems with the list server on the Amiga - it now has been
moved and should be running ok.
<>
Maybe you are not registered on it.. If you could give me your name,
address, email address and serial number and I will check it out for you.
<>
Yes.
<>
Sure, I can understand that one.

Regards,

Trefor S.

..................................................................

Hi Trefor, on 07-Jan-97 09:29:06, you replied to my mail.

Forgive me if I find some of your responses confusing.  Please be kind
enough to explain in more detail.
<>

Are you saying that there is not much interest for AFS or the whole Amiga
software/hardware market.  If as I presume, you refer to AFS, this could
well be down to the perceived lack of development.  The adverse publicity
in many Amiga newsgroups and rumours which you have done nothing to squash
cannot help sales.

What about the interest shown in version 3 by the people, like me, who
responded to your Valentines offer?  We were promised version 3 by May '96.
If at anytime you decided to delay development due to a perceived lack of
interest in the Amiga market, don't you think you should have refunded the
monies taken?

Lack of communication makes people think the worst.  I do not believe that
you intended to defraud at the outset, but the statement you have made
above, implies that you intend to do so now or, indeed have been for some
while.

By now, it is probably too late to provide an explanation of your actions
and offer a refund to those not prepared for a further indefinite wait.  A
full refund plus additional sums for compensation would, no doubt, be
required to establish your honest intentions.

<>

My first paragraph refers to a "fully working" version of Disksalv.  I have
the program, but only one of the functions is operative with AFS.  The
version I have supplied by you is unsupported by the author.  There have
been updates made available on Aminet.  The patches specifically refuse to
update Disksalv AFS.

I have communicated with Dave Haynie and for you to say "it is a problem
with IAM" does not help me.  Once again, I have paid you for a fully
working version of this product.  The problems are between you and it's
author.  This is something that has been known for a long time and as with
AFS3 you have not had the decency to communicate in any way, let alone
offer a refund to those that have paid you.

The second part of my question was "Will there be a replacement product?"
which you have chosen to ignore.
<>

This is a strange answer as I believe your original statement was that
Holger Kruse was to develop this as Reorg is his program.  Just before the
mailing list went down, there was some furore about your breach of a
confidence in letting it be known that Mark Harden was working on a
defragger for AFS.  Does this mean that we shall never see such a product
as there "is a problem with" Holger Kruse and Mark Harden in addition to
Dave Haynie?

<>
Thanks. Will you be taking an active part?
<>

I have been registered twice.  It has been under separate numbers, as on
one of the earlier upgrades, you sent me "user" instead of "pro" and
proceeded to regiter that.  The latest number used was -----.  I originally
purchased AFS pro as version 2.01 and have your receipt numbered --.  I
also hold receipt number ------ for the Valentines offer.  To ask for my
name and address now would seem a little pointless.  But for your
indulgence..

Name
Address
Email
AFS reg'd no.
<>
Thanks. What is the latest Beta version?
<>
Thank you, but it's a shame that you have not provided any good news.
<>
I look forward to receiving a full response.

David

...................................................................

Thanks for your email.

Ive had ensure that your serial number is now on the updates server.

I am sorry we can not supply you with AFS V3 at the present time.  If you
return to us all the items you received in valentines offer along with your
reciept we will refund your money.

Dave Haynie has produced a new version of DiskSalv however he will not make
it available to us, so it is impossible for us to make it available to our
customers.

Holger Kruse has not written re-org AFS, so there isn't much we can do
about that one.

AFS3 development had already started when we made the valentines offer.

I hope that answers your questions.

Regards,

Trefor S.

......................................................................

Hi Trefor, on 08-Jan-97 10:56:44, you wrote,
<>
Thank you, but will there be any udates?
<>
You want your piece of paper back!  If you cannot supply what you promised,
you had better produce a suitable alternative or provide a full refund to
include interest to date to all those you have duped.
<>
There is no evidence of that on the updates server.
<>
The ones you have chosen to answer are incomplete.  Please reread my mail
and respond accordingly.
<>
David

.........................................................................

<>
The current version is 16.16, I am unsure as to when there will be any
more updates.
<>
I already stated that you could have a refund if you return the goods and
proof of purchase.. What more do you want?
<>
That is because there are not any versions which the end user could test
at that point.
<>
I will look back at your previous email.

Regards,

Trefor S.

..........................................................................


On 7 Jan 1997, David Gill wrote:
<>
No, I do refer to the whole market in this case.
<>
As in my previous email.
<>
We did not, nor ever will intend to defraud customers.
<>
As in my previous email I can offer you a refund on return of the goods
and proof of purchase.
<>
At this present time we can not offer a replacement product.
<>
We will read it, but all questions to FLD should be emailed directly to
FLD.
<>
1616

REgards,

Trefor S.

...........................................................................

Hi Trefor, on 08-Jan-97 16:42:08, you wrote,
<>
You already have my proof of purchase.  If not, then you would not have
been able to send me the goods for which I have prepaid.  As you have not
delivered there are no goods to return!

What more do I want?  - All those who have prepaid to be offered a full
refund to include interest to date on the goods for which they have prepaid
and you are either unable or unwilling to supply.  The other major omission
in your correspondence is an apology for the length of time you have chosen
to keep your customers/creditors in the dark, bearing in mind you promised
delivery by May 1996.

The offer of a refund to *all* should have been made long ago.

David

...........................................................................

<>
  You goods that you would have to return are those send to you under the
  valentines offer -- I take it you purchased this offer?

<>
  I can only speak about individual cases. We are not willing to pay
  interest however.
<>
  I apolagise that you have not received information eariler.

  Regards,

  Trefor S.

...........................................................................

Hi Trefor, on 09-Jan-97 16:08:15, you wrote,
<>
If you have no record of my purchase of the offer, then you are admitting
fraud.  You tell me what you want returned.  If you refer to the Disksalv
floppy, then I suggest you look at your letter to me dated 30/1/96.

BTW this letter states that ReOrg is in the process of being written -
expected release 2 months.  What did you do to upset Holger?

<>
I am asking you to speak *to* individual cases, not about them.  Will you
do so?  You may not be willing to pay interest.  A court of law may decide
otherwise.  It is your mess and up to you how you want to resolve it.

<>
Will you be writing individually to all concerned?

<>
cc'd to AFS List in accordance with your wishes.

David
....................................

Any reply to this will be forwarded.
Thank you for reading this far.

David Gill, Maidstone, England
spot@davgill.demon.co.uk