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Cooper craft - Cautionary notes for customers - Its fate and thoughts on an alternative

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Hornby plc is a public company, owned by its shareholders. Shares are, if you like, a form of crowdfunding. The advantage of shares over crowdfunding is that a public company is controlled by law and shareholders, unlike crowd-funders, have legal rights.

Hornby is currently raising money via a new share subscription, so they reckon there remains a market for their shares! This is not a recommendation to buy Hornby shares.

Hornby is an odd hybrid between a public and private company given its majority ownership by one single investment fund. That fund effectively underwrote the recent share issue, perhaps suggesting some doubt as to whether there is a true market for the shares. In no way would I describe Hornby as a liquid stock.

 

Outside the model railway commission space, companies who raise money on crowdfunding sites for share capital are governed by corporate law and, eg https://www.crowdcube.com/pg/crowdcube-inc-about-us-1, FCA regulated (as are Hornby’s broker Numis. That’s not what we’re talking about here. In the model space, crowdfunding has not been an equity driven model and is arguably a loosely used term given the crowd funders do not share in any potential upside. You are effectively lending your money to the company at a zero (negATive real) rate. Of course, you may be valuing the intangible benefit of owning a model as your “return” and/or viewing a discount you get relative to purchasing once the model is delivered. Up to that point you are taking both production risk and, critically, credit risk. Hence my comment if Hornby want to fund in this way (given this is effectively debt, worth noting some companies have raised retail bonds eg Nat Grid and some crowdfunders have offered debt products), they’ll need to find some structural mitigants

 

David

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Alternatively, one could simply set fire to a succession of £20 notes, or place a large online order with Coopercraft! 

 

Been watching music videos with trains recently ?  

 

 

 

At least it was their own money !

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Hornby is an odd hybrid between a public and private company given its majority ownership by one single investment fund. That fund effectively underwrote the recent share issue, perhaps suggesting some doubt as to whether there is a true market for the shares. In no way would I describe Hornby as a liquid stock.

 

Outside the model railway commission space, companies who raise money on crowdfunding sites for share capital are governed by corporate law and, eg https://www.crowdcube.com/pg/crowdcube-inc-about-us-1, FCA regulated (as are Hornby’s broker Numis. That’s not what we’re talking about here. In the model space, crowdfunding has not been an equity driven model and is arguably a loosely used term given the crowd funders do not share in any potential upside. You are effectively lending your money to the company at a zero (negATive real) rate. Of course, you may be valuing the intangible benefit of owning a model as your “return” and/or viewing a discount you get relative to purchasing once the model is delivered. Up to that point you are taking both production risk and, critically, credit risk. Hence my comment if Hornby want to fund in this way (given this is effectively debt, worth noting some companies have raised retail bonds eg Nat Grid and some crowdfunders have offered debt products), they’ll need to find some structural mitigants

 

David

I wouldn't say that I would never get involved with crowd funding as we all have our levers but it is not something I'm enthusiastic about or have participated in to date large for the reasons stated by clearwater.

 

I think you need to consider it from two sides. If I was a model producer I'd love it as it de-risks projects, obviates the need for conventional finance, avoids the prospect of having to manage inventory over an extended period and customers take care of the cash flow. And I still have ownership of the IP and tooling for future use. All good.

 

As a consumer however it strikes me that in return for buying a model I am tying up cash by essentially providing cost free finance to a model producer, carrying that producers risk with no guarantee of getting anything and trusting that the final product will be good. This isn't an investment as all the benefits of me providing that finance and carrying the risk (i.e the IP and tooling) go to the model producer. There is another problem which is not unique to crowd funding, tying up discretionary spending in pre-order commitments with no idea when those orders will be fulfilled and with a risk that prices go north before delivery. If it is one model it's not a big deal but the way things are going it would be very easy to end up with commitments for ££££££££££'s and no idea when those commitments will become due.

 

I may be lucky as I have enough for the train set and my main model train interest means I don't need to get involved with crowd funding etc, if things were different maybe I'd join in but maybe I would just concentrate on another interest.

 

I am not having a go at those using this model as the people doing it are good people and in most cases probably could not produce the things they're making without crowd funding. For example I have the utmost respect for the Revolution guys, my view is strictly an opinion of a business model.

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I have had a letter from Worldpay – which basically says “Nothing to do with us, mush!”

This is wholly unacceptable as Dunn is clearly in breach of Worldpay’s conditions, which sate at section 3.2 “. You shall: refrain from doing anything which we reasonably believe to be disreputable or capable of damaging the reputation or goodwill of us, or any Other Financial Institution, Other Payments Organisation or the Card Schemes".

Worldpay are in effect aiding an alleged fraudulent trader in facilitating Dunn taking money from customers for products which those customers will never see. I intend to respond to Worldpay along those line.

This saga has become an object lesson in how difficult (if not impossible) it is for an ordinary Joe to take any meaningful action against an alleged rogue trader. Sadly, it may also influence our willingness to deal on-line with the 99.9% of wholly honest traders. For anybody reading this thread, there will always be that nagging feeling, on placing the first order, “is this another Dunn?” Pity there is no trade association which the honest traders could have Dunn ejected from.

 

Perhaps the BBC 'Rogue Traders' programme might even be interested in this as an example of the very difficulties you're experiencing, and the fact that the Law and the System and the Internet Hosts offer no support in respect of persistent but low-level misconduct.  Nothing to lose by trying!

Edited by Willie Whizz

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Been watching music videos with trains recently ?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frIUgilfsWA

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6q4n5TQnpA

 

At least it was their own money !

Ironically Jimmy Cauty is a ‘modeller’ relying heavily on Prieser, Bachmann, Oxford, Hornby and maybe just maybe....Coopercraft? Edited by rich_eason

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As a side issue It would be interesting to discover what connection exists between Cooper Craft and Ford Nursery (the plant wholesaler) as they both trade from the same address and neither is Limited.  

 

As seems often to be the case on this Forum, some people are inclined to make ill-considered comments.  It takes no time to check facts and in this case, although Coopercraft and Ford Nursery share the same road in their address, they do not share the same precise address and are not connected.

 

Has anyone considered that although the website and Worldpay have led people to place and pay for orders, that money might still be sitting in Worldpay's account and not in Coopercraft's?  I would agree that if orders cannot be taken, then the website should have been corrected to show this but sometimes even website owners are shut out of their own sites because of technical glitches - it has happened to me.  Website registrations are commonly renewed automatically, so if the registration has been renewed, it does not imply any activity on the part of the owner.  The very fact that the site has not been updated for more than 3 years should tell you something.

 

I put these things up to show there can be different ways of looking at things.  Coopercraft's problems and inability to produce items have been well known and documented for years.  There have, in that time, been many opportunities at shows for people to see Paul Dunn and ask questions.  I have not seen much evidence of that here but lots of evidence of people continually going over old ground and taking swipes at someone who clearly does not read this Forum and therefore not in a position to respond.

 

I neither condone or condemn Coopercraft from whom I have purchased items this year with cash.  At shows, I have found him, like Kelly, polite, helpful and completely open about what he is and is not able to do with the range.  If he is going to be at any shows in 2018, one will clearly have to scan show literature.

 

Caveat emptor!  Responsibility does not necessarily lie entirely with the vendor.

Edited by davidbr

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All very well davidbr but none of that justifies his refusal to refund money or pay debts to the bailiffs.

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I put these things up to show there can be different ways of looking at things.  Coopercraft's problems and inability to produce items have been well known and documented for years.  There have, in that time, been many opportunities at shows for people to see Paul Dunn and ask questions.  I have not seen much evidence of that here but lots of evidence of people continually going over old ground and taking swipes at someone who clearly does not read this Forum and therefore not in a position to respond.

 

Caveat emptor!  Responsibility does not necessarily lie entirely with the vendor.

 

In response to the highlighted point, He did for quite some time, but the excuses started some years ago.  Andy went out of his way to try and help as well as Ian Kirk. The situation he finds himself in, is of his own making.

 

As for your last point.  When payment is taken and goods aren't supplied the responsibility lies wholly with the vendor.  I do find it odd that in some way it would be the fault of the customer?

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As for your last point.  When payment is taken and goods aren't supplied the responsibility lies wholly with the vendor.  I do find it odd that in some way it would be the fault of the customer?

 

You should try that in the building trade Mr Bacon, it would go down a bomb, do a few, ticket to Brazil, what's not to like?

 

Mike.

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You should try that in the building trade Mr Bacon, it would go down a bomb, do a few, ticket to Brazil, what's not to like?

 

Mike.

 

I will admit that the reason I build houses rather than extensions is because I hate customers, I have actually refused to sell one house as the prospective purchaser was a right kn*b and cheesed me off with demands.

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As seems often to be the case on this Forum, some people are inclined to make ill-considered comments.  It takes no time to check facts and in this case, although Coopercraft and Ford Nursery share the same road in their address, they do not share the same precise address and are not connected.

 

 

 

Just for the record, I purchased Experian business reports for both Cooper Craft and Ford Nursery on 30/10/17. From the reports their addresses are listed as:

 

FORD NURSERY
WILLOWS, OAKE, TAUNTON, SOMERSET, TA4 1BE
 
COOPER CRAFT
WILLOWS, BROOM LANE, OAKE, TAUNTON, SOMERSET, TA4 1BE
 
 
Jonathan

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Just for the record, I purchased Experian business reports for both Cooper Craft and Ford Nursery on 30/10/17. From the reports their addresses are listed as:

 

FORD NURSERY
WILLOWS, OAKE, TAUNTON, SOMERSET, TA4 1BE
 
COOPER CRAFT
WILLOWS, BROOM LANE, OAKE, TAUNTON, SOMERSET, TA4 1BE
 
 
Jonathan

 

 

 

In one way its easy to see how you assumed the two are together especially as there are not unit 1 unit 2 etc, on the other hand there are several old farm yards near me where two or more businesses work from separate units. Also remember a lot of businesses have registered addresses at their accountants etc. So its a bit of a mine field.

 

I have only met the chap at shows, and bought what was on show. He seemed just a normal chap who was a bit shy (I never mentioned any thing about the problems) / embarrassed in his manner. Its just a great pity what has happened  

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There is a clear warning on the front page of the web site saying do not pay for any goods so people should see it. It is in red capitals and is fairly clear. Also the copyright date on the web site is 2017.

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There is a clear warning on the front page of the web site saying do not pay for any goods so people should see it. It is in red capitals and is fairly clear. Also the copyright date on the web site is 2017.

 

Except you can't follow the request in red capitals and place an order without paying........................

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There is a clear warning on the front page of the web site saying do not pay for any goods so people should see it. It is in red capitals and is fairly clear. Also the copyright date on the web site is 2017.

 

This has been posted before, but if you Google 'Kirk coaches' the searches take you to the relevant pages, bypassing the home page and you are able to make and pay for an order.

 

Top of the search page

http://cooper-craft.co.uk/Pages/2/About-Us.html

2nd on the list

http://shop.cooper-craft.co.uk/index.php?cPath=61

 

No warning to be seen there.

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Just to say crowdfunding is of course nothing like shareholding Crowdfunding is merely an advance purchase of a product , nothing more , shareholding is about ownership.

 

Crowdfunding attraction to the consumer is entirely based around the fact that the item proposed is something not available in the same form or price point elsewhere. If it was, no one would crowdfund. Therefore it has its uses

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Except you can't follow the request in red capitals and place an order without paying........................

 

Perhaps sending an email, but at this moment in time I would be very wary of sending any money. Is cash on delivery an option? or is that a thing of the past ?

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This has been posted before, but if you Google 'Kirk coaches' the searches take you to the relevant pages, bypassing the home page and you are able to make and pay for an order.

 

Top of the search page

http://cooper-craft.co.uk/Pages/2/About-Us.html

2nd on the list

http://shop.cooper-craft.co.uk/index.php?cPath=61

 

No warning to be seen there.

 

 

That's how I got caught :(

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Has anyone considered that although the website and Worldpay have led people to place and pay for orders, that money might still be sitting in Worldpay's account and not in Coopercraft's? 

 

I haven't considered that, purely because that is not how Worldpay work.

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Another unhappy customer has posted in a FB group this morning - have put a link to this thread up.

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Brief update. I went back to the County Court in Somerset on 5 December advising that, as Dunn’s address is also the address of his business Cooper-Craft, these were business premises which the bailiffs could enter. I had a ‘phone call this morning from the Court. Unfortunately, as the building is a bungalow it is classed by the Court as a private dwelling which they cannot enter without the owner’s permission – irrespective of what may actually be going on within. Accordingly, the route of the Small Claims Court has come to the end.


I had a long and friendly talk with the Court official and got the distinct impression he had the distinct impression Dunn knows how to play the system. The officials tried, on two visits, but simply could not persuade him to pay up. Two things he did confirm – first, there is no known connection between Dunn and the adjacent market garden business on the same road. And second, there were no cars or other vehicles outside Dunn’s house. The official also thought the property was originally owned by Dunn’s parents.


While I would still encourage anybody on this board who is owed money by Dunn to pay the £25 and lodge a Small Claims Court claim, there is no point going beyond that stage. I am still waiting to hear what action, if any, has been taken by Trading Standards and/or Action Fraud and will follow that up in the New Year. A response to my second letter to World Pay dated 29 November is also still awaited. The web site provider, Sinclaire Knight, do not respond to e-mails – even innocuous ones (under a different name) simply asking for their address! They may be a shell business and not actually trade.


Nothing will happen until the New Year. Then, in the absence of action by Trading Standards, Action Fraud and World Pay, I may start to get nasty. If you are reading this Dunn, it’s not over yet.

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Nothing will happen until the New Year. Then, in the absence of action by Trading Standards, Action Fraud and World Pay, I may start to get nasty. If you are reading this Dunn, it’s not over yet.

 

 

 

That would definitely put you in the wrong.

 

But do tell us, just what is the sum lost to warrant all this vindictiveness?

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That would definitely put you in the wrong.

 

But do tell us, just what is the sum lost to warrant all this vindictiveness?

 

The sum is irrelevant - Dunn is a criminal and TheTurfBurner is the victim of a crime.

 

It is not vindictive to wish to ensure that Dunn does not simply get away with fleecing his potential customers.

 

It surprises me that you seem to sympathise with Dunn.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Edited by cctransuk
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....It surprises me that you seem to sympathise with Dunn....

Nothing surprises me anymore.

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