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Our fans!

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Drum roll please!!!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Sunday, August 23, 2009 0 responses


As you can see here, last year, for Molly-Rose's 6th Birthday, we had a Pirate Party, and had an awesome drumming performance by Elliot and Josie of Talkin' the Drum.

Well, we are so lucky to be welcoming them to our store opening on Saturday too!!

At 10am, everyone will have their spirits lifted by the awesome rhythms of the African drums, as the most effective way we could think of to create an atmosphere and drawer attention to our store!

They entertain like you wouldn't believe and it will be AMAZING to have them there.

Thanks so much to Josie and Elliot for going out of their way to make our day the true GRAND OPENING that we were hoping it would be!

We are (finally) becoming EXCITED!!

tan.x.

Jumping Castle! Woohoo!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes 1 responses



I just wanted to let you all know that I found the most reasonable Jumping Castle Hire place in Brisbane that I have EVER come across!

They are at www.ijump.net.au ! The lady that I spoke with is Margaret and she was so very helpful and obliging!

I have looked at hiring Jumping Castles for our kids birthdays before but they were always waaaaay out of our price range so I was really hesitant about enquiring, knowing that our budget is basically ZERO due to the whole scamming thing. Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised and really want to encourage others to give them a go!

I am hoping that the addition of a jumping castle to our grand opening will be a big hit and make for a really fun day for everyone. At least if no-one even turns up, I will know that our five kids will have a ball! lol. In light of all of the stress of the past few weeks, our kids certainly deserve a fun day without the tension that has been in our house ever since this all started.

Btw, we still have no update about the airing of the Today Tonight story, so many of you keep asking and I only wish I could offer more info. Will be sure to post it here as soon as we know anything at all!

tan. :)

Scam Update!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes 1 responses

Hi everyone,

Well the scammer(s) are still on the prowl! Today I received the following email, 3 separate times, and from 3 completely different email addresses/senders:

"Dear sales,

My name is chestnut morris the owner of chestnut morris
Int'lConsultant,I'm interested in purchasing some products from you for
some of my clients, i will like to know if you accept credit card for
payments and also which type of credit card you accept.

Also kindly let me know If it is possible to pick up from your store, as
i do have my own shipper that will be handling the shipment.

I will want you to get back to me with your product listing and price per
each or get me the product website where i can choose out of the vast
products you have.

Waiting for your reply so i can forward the products needed."

Further to this, I just had a phone call from the ACCC in response to my lodgement of it on Scamwatch and they said that it is absolutely PROLIFIC and they are getting hundreds of people every week who are being ripped off by these mongrels!

So, be VERY careful people, and make sure that you don't end up like us!

tan.x.

Finally! Some good news!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Friday, August 21, 2009 2 responses

We are definitely officially opening our store next Saturday, 29th August!

Our store is very small, but we have been working hard on making it as beautiful as possible. We have decked it out in a range of eco-friendly fittings, many of which are second hand and/or recycled too!

Please join us for the official opening and invite as many people as possible to join us!!

We will be having:

- Free Face Painting & Balloons!
- Belly Dancing!
- Busking!
- Organic Sausage Sizzle!
- Great OPENING SPECIALS!
- Free Samples!
- Giveaways GALORE!

Come along and join in the fun!

On other news, the Commonwealth Bank has allowed us out of our Merchant Agreement (thanks to the assistance of our fantastic solicitor!) so that we are free to set up a new EFTPOS facility with the wonderful Bendigo Bank!

Still no news on the airing of our Today Tonight story though! We will be sure to post as soon as we know anything.

We are attending the Hillbrook Anglican School Sustainability Day tomorrow, so must go an prepare, but I must say that I am so relieved to actually be able to post something POSITIVE on our blog - FINALLY!

tan.x.

From bad to not getting any better... :(

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Monday, August 17, 2009 2 responses


Well, hi everyone.

It has been a week since I last posted and I have been procrastinating on posting as I really wanted to blog about something OTHER than this whole credit card fraud thing. It is really taking over the Ankle Biters blog and I am sad that something so negative is monopolising it.

I have been working really hard on uploading a huge range of gorgeous new toys and linen and much more up to our site this week and was hoping to do a big post with some gorgeous pics and a nice chit chat about it all.

Also, it was our beautiful Zali's birthday on Tuesday and it is Neo's 1st birthday tomorrow and we had a little Dora/Diego celebration on Saturday that I also wanted to share with you all.

I even managed to get a little bit of work started on our shop and was going to post some pics about that for you all too, but alas, it won't be possible.

Instead, I get to tell you the following, and I am going to put it all in point form to save some time:

- Today CBA has overdrawn our account to the value of $2400, which is the amount of the first chargeback that has come back due to the fraudulent transactions. We have never received any form of notification of this from CBA or any type of formal correspondence AT ALL from them to date, in relation to this.

- The only thing "in writing" that we have ever received from the CBA is their "fraud prevention pack" which arrived last Monday 10th August, about 2 weeks AFTER they called us to tell us of the stolen credit cards that were used.

- Elizar from Huggalugs is our life-saving ANGEL who so VERY VERY generously donated the services of her wonderful solicitor to assist us. He has been working on the case since late last week for us and today has reported that we may have a slightly positive outcome from it all, but that we are likely to be liable for at least some of the $24k in some way. (I can't go into detail here due to the legalities of it for now).
- The wonderful solicitor has however managed to negotiate some "breathing space" for us and CBA has agreed to not overdraw our account with anymore charge backs temporarily, which gives us enough time to get the hell out of there and get our business up and running again with a new bank... So Blair from Jirsch Sutherland, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! And if anyone needs an AWESOME Intellectual Property lawyer for trade marking and or patenting your products/brand, please contact Blair, he will serve you wonderfully!

- Following on from the advice of many other small business owners on the Skout Trade Fair forums, we today visted the Bendigo Bank and they were very helpful, accomodating and gave us a wonderful sympathetic shoulder to cry on too! They have set us up with a new personal bank account and tomorrow we will have a new business bank account up and running too. They are also looking into alternative EFTPOS options for us so that we can get "back on the horse". I thoroughly recommend Bendigo to anyone needing a personal touch, they truly do live up to their claims.

- Many of you have asked when the Today Tonight story will be airing and/or has it aired yet.

The answer is that it hasn't yet aired and won't be airing for some time apparently. :( This is because they are doing quite a large story and it involves a great deal of research, with us being the centrally "featured" persons. It may even be a few weeks before it goes to air, apparently. So, I will be sure to post, twitter, blog etc about it as soon as we know anything!

Lastly, I really am getting so very anxious, I just can't stop thinking about our financial situation 24 hours per day right now, and have a constant knot in my stomach. Despite the fact that many people have tried to console us by saying "at least this is drawing attention to Ankle Biters" etc, our orders have all but ground to a halt. We haven't had a single order in almost a week now and I think it is because people are becoming scared that we can't provide them with a secure shopping environment.

I really want to emphasise to everyone that we are still providing the same beautiful products that we always have, and the same great service too. For those few orders that we have received over the past fortnight, delivery has been a little slower than normal due to all of the distractions we have been dealing with, but over all, we are trying our best to provide business as usual.

Please everyone, don't lose faith in us! The impact that this is having on our business only continues to worsen our situation as the bills are mounting and with no income to speak of there is no way that we can pay them.

We are still Ankle Biters - Everything For The Green Parent, and our range of gorgeous, hard to source products has been steadily growing to one that we are extremely proud to offer you. In fact, I have uploaded over 100 new products in the past week in preparation for our store opening so the range is even bigger than ever before!
We only hope that we have continued support as our bricks and mortar store is due to open on 29th August and may be very short lived if things don't start to turn around very soon!

Thanks again to everyone who continues to assist and support us. It means more than we can voice in a few words, and we promise that some day, in some way, we will return the favours you have all shown us.

Thanks so much,

tan, steve and our 5 little ankle biters.

Today's update...

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Monday, August 10, 2009 11 responses

....People are starting to take notice!!

Hi everyone,

Well, I am so swamped with all of this that I have barely had a moment to concentrate on our actual business (packing orders etc), so I am going to try and make this brief and give my poor kids some attention and get these orders packed...

Firstly, I need to give an EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA special thank-you to three very wonderful ladies!!

1. Jodie at http://www.lovemum.com.au/ - Jodie has been really campaigning hard for us and has drummed up a whole lot of support. I don't know what we did to deserve her, but Jodie is fast becoming our own personal little angel!

2. Stella at www.littlemissstella.com.au- Stella too has taken us under her wing somewhat and has been busy distrbuting press releases and passing on a GREAT MANY number of invaluable contacts for us to follow up. Stella has put me in direct contact with many of those "in the know" reporters and radio hosts etc and has even put her very own assistant "on the case" for us! Thanks so much Stella, you are a gem!

3. Johanna at www.strawberrycommunications.com.au - This morning I received an email from Johanna saying that she was sending a press release out that she had written. Within half an hour my phone started ringing and did not stop all day. Thanks to Johanna, we will be on the Brisbane Times website tomorrow and have Today Tonight coming over in the afternoon for an interview and story too! Everyone I spoke to today credited Johanna with being the reason that they made contact with us, and from the bottom of our hearts Johanna, we thank you so very much!

So, thanks to the three lovely ladies above and also the MANY, MANY ladies and small businesses that I listed in my previous post, and probably HEAPS more that I don't even know about who have been tweeting for us and Facebooking for us etc, we feel that we just might pull through this!

Logistically, I still don't know how we are going to AFFORD it, but at least we are feeling more optimistic about it.

Tommorrow I have to visit the police station again to add more depth to our story. And we have the Today Tonight stuff in the afternoon so I will be sure to update you all more on this as soon as I know more about it myself.

In the meantime though, I am absolutely aghast to reveal that over the course of today, I have received emails from 15 separate businesses, all of whom forwarded me the EXACT same email that I received from the perpetrator of this fraud. As well as this, there was another 8-10 different businesses who SAID that they received the email but had deleted it!! That is a grand total of almost 30 separate small businesses (most of whom are WAHMS!) that have been affected by this guy, and all of whom, except for us (!) have narrowly missed out on being victims here too!

God only knows how many more people out there have been targeted! These are only people on the Skout Trade Directory, so I am sure that there are many more outside of Skout who have been targetted but aren't aware of it all as they haven't had the opportunity to read the forums at Skout.

And here's the real clincher!! I just telephoned the guy and get this, he actually ANSWERED the phone!! My hubby got on the phone and tore strips off him and then he says to me "oh, I don't like the way your old man speaks to me". Ummm, like, mate, you are so lucky you are in another country, cause its not just speaking that he'd be doing to you!

Then he says to me "oh, you have 5 kids? i am so sorry, i don't want to hurt your family. i will send you $10k back if you give me your bank account details". Ummmmmmm, yeah right! You want our bank account details so you can clean it out too?? Well, I may as well give them to him cause I think we have a grand total of about .25c in it right now!! And what's he going to do rip of $10k from someone else's credit card and forward it to us?!? Not on your nelly sonny jim, don't be sending us any stolen funds, thanks very much, we're already up to our necks in it!!

Then, get this, he goes onto to say that he is homeless and his "friend" in the US had sent him the cards so that he could buy products and sell them to earn a living. hmmmmmmmm.... he's homeless but he has a mobile phone and a computer to send emails?? THEN, I say that to him and he responds with "oh, yes, I visited my friend who let me use his computer to send an email. WHAT?!? Your "friend" let you use his computer long enough to send at least 30 separate Australian businesses emails, some of who actually received the same email, multiple times, over a course of a number of days. I may have been stupid enough to fall for it once mate, but not again, not ever. You can tell me all the lies you like but I am not for a second going to buy into your sordid little web of tales that you are spinning in a bid to get yourself off the hook!!

Phew! Did that feel good! I certainly needed to get THAT off my chest! lol.

Ok, so here's the thing... Whilst I was speaking with him, I could hear others in the background saying the same kinds of things, and they were all male, Middle Eastern sounding voices. I am sure that this is a big, organised ring and that they are collectively targeting whoever they can and funneling money all over the world to feed their drug habits and god knows what else!

The paramount thing now is to stop them and prevent others from falling into the same situation and hopefully Today Tonight will help us to do this!

Thanks again to everyone who is following our story and this blog, we will continue to keep you all updated on any new twists and turns in the saga.

Please keep sending your stories to me as this all helps, and keep forwarding our blog, and facebook page etc to all of your friends and contacts through your tweets and emails etc, we need to get a huge following if we want to a) make the CBA crumble to public pressure and b) catch the mongrels that have done this to us and many others like us!

tan and clan.x.

We were contacted by the Courier Mail...

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Sunday, August 9, 2009 3 responses




A quick update everyone...

We were contacted by a reporter at The Courier Mail today. She is going to follow it up tomorrow, so hopefully something will come from that!

Also, many of you have forwarded me the direct telephone numbers and email addresses of reporters and journalists from a variety of newspapers, news and current affairs programs. I am keeping my fingers crossed that somebody somewhere listens to our story! I have discovered today that MANY, MANY others have been contacted by this same scammer over the previous week. He goes by the name of "Daniel Robisson".

If ANY of you are contacted by this person, please report it to the police IMMEDIATELY! I have listed it on www.scamwatch.gov.au so that hopefully, MANY MANY more will be made aware of it and prevent him from putting other families' livelihoods at risk...

More updates to come!!





A special Thank-you!!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes 1 responses




A very special thank-you to Maree of http://www.noteabledesigns.com.au/ who has just given us what is possibly our best lead so far to try and get some publicity about our situation.
Thank-you Maree, truly, from the bottom of our hearts!


Our new Facebook group!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Saturday, August 8, 2009 1 responses



Hi everyone,

At the suggestion of one of the lovely ladies who is trying to help us out, we have started a Facebook group, entitled "Help Us Fight The Commonwealth Bank!".

Please join it as we try to take on the big guys and pass it onto everyone you know! Perhaps if they can see that this affects many thousands of people, the will crumble to public pressure. Well, probably not, who am I kidding? But, we can only try...

Click here to view and join the group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=114624500255&ref=nf

The biggest collective thank-you EVER!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes 2 responses



WARNING! MONSTER post to follow, you may need a cup of tea for this one!

Dear Friends,

We really don't know how to start this post, except to say thank-you so much for the enormous, collective HUG you have all given us over these past few days! We have been truly OVERWHELMED by the response our blog post about our situation has received. Although we have only 8 "official" followers, it has become clear that many more of you are viewing our website, tweets and blog than I had ever imagined. Even MORE of you have shown your support to us by posting links to our blog on your own websites, blogs, tweets and facebook pages.

Your support has shown me that my sincere wish to find good in every person on our planet is not one that is completely naive after all. Since all of this came to light, I have been beating myself up for being so naive, in accepting the orders from the "target" (this is how the Commonwealth Bank refers to the guy who did this to us).

Certainly, I know now that a few of you were also contacted by the same guy and for a number of reasons didn't follow through with his requests. Steve (my hubby) summed this up completely when he said "those others were probably not as desperate for the income as we were". It is true that we REALLY needed the income that these "orders" were going to give us - as I originally posted, we thought someone was offering us a ray of light, and "helping" us to set up our shop by sending this guy to us. How wrong we were.

I have, since posting about this, been in contact again with Commonwealth Bank. They have NO INTENTION on letting this slide. According to them, WE are unequivocally responsible and lible for the complete amount of $23, 995.00 once all of the charge backs come through. They have unfrozen our bank account, thankfully, but will not let us use our EFTPOS machine. They are pretty clever really because whilst we can't use the damn machine, they are "allowing us to keep our merchant status" meaning that we still have to pay the monthly fees associated with having it!

The Commonwealth Bank has gone so far as to say that I must submit to them an outline of everything to do with our business, right down to every piece of stock we have, the lease to our new shop etc. I am really saddened by this as I know what it truly means - they want to know just what we have and what Ankle Biters is worth so that they can prepare to take it all from us. Of course, the young girl on the end of the telephone (who, I'm sure has no idea what it feels like to have 5 kids depending on you for their next meal), denies this, saying it is just for "their records", but I am not to naive to know otherwise.

"Gabby" (the compliance officer for our "case") recorded our conversation and is sending us the Merchant Fraud Pack that apparently outlines our obligations. Funny, I thought that we should have been given this BEFORE being accepted as a c/card merchant and being handed an EFTPOS machine with absolutely no training except on which buttons to press to make the thing work!

We were never told at any time that by using the MOTO function on our machine to process payments where the cardholder wasn't present (ie. over the phone or internet), we would become liable for any chargebacks that occured. Umm, hello, we are an INTERNET based business, so how do you suppose that we only accept transactions when the cardholder is present?!?

Besides, when we processed these transactions they were shown as "approved" which, we thought, indicated that they were fine. Apparently not.

Since going public with all of this on Friday, I have received MANY emails with stories from other small businesses who have experienced similar situations. Here are just some of them:

"I got your message the other day and just thought I would let you know that this happened to us but from America and we only lost $1000 not the huge amount that you did! We were also made to pay this back and felt so violated by this so I now how devastated you must be and I am sorry this has happened to you."

"To get this exposed via the media you just have to send them the information in a letter/press release 'new business ripped off by overseas fraudster to the tune of $x'. I was the victim of internet fraud a few years back. £10,000 was stolen from my bank, it was the deposit for my home - it went from my account the day before I was due to exchange contracts but the police and my bank worked together to trace the funds. It's terrible that your bank are not helping - definitely get a high profile media to take up your cause it could help! "

"Well we feel so sorry for you - sounds like a nightmare. what we dont understand why the bank would not be responsible for this as clearly not your fault. I would take it to A Current Affair as this not right. We had fraud and ANZ honoured this."

"I am so sorry to hear this has happened to you, that amount of money is a massive loss for any small business. ....I have been the victim of international fraud myself (certainly not that amount of money) and it seems there is very little that can be done about it when it is an international issue. The best suggestion I have is to contact the likes of today tonight or ACA and have them hear your story."

"I have just read your email and am horrified that something like this can happen. I had something happen to me on a much smaller scale involving only $5,000 where Westpac had actually let a company take out a loan in my name and deduct money from my account with any signature from me whatsoever. It took me about a year of constant phone calls to get that money back and Westpac have still not resolved this issue and I am constantly sent lists of questions that I have to answer making me feel like the criminal.

...I hope the Commonwealth Bank is doing the right thing by you (which is a big ask when talking about a bank). Not that I ever had much but I have no faith in our banking system. It was only when I threatened to contact A Current Affair that Westpac did something about my money."


"I am both sorry and angry for you! Its time the banks took more responsibility for this I am so sick of them taking money every time we have a charge back, despite, likeyou, a trading history, ID, THEIR authorisation, they are happy to take the money but why does the small business have to suffer."

"I am so sorry, I read your story and felt terrible as the exact same thing happened to us at the end of last year. Unfortunately we were not able to recover any funds and there was no one to help. We felt exactly the same way with our 4 orders and we also thought that someone was looking out for us as we had just purchased the business a few months before. There have been many tears and I feel like such an idiot now looking back.

I was contacted by the bank two days later and of course it was too late. "


"We too were the victims of a sting!!! Not as bad as you though.

We had internet orders from a customer who said they were in the UK - but were actually in Africa. They gave us a stolen credit card - but they were contacting us by email and were VERY believable.

...We actually rang the CBA before dispatch to ask if the card was fraudulent and they said they couldn't tell us!!!"


I am absolutely shocked and dismayed by just how many of you have similar stories to share. These banks are making a fortune out of all of us without one ounce of consideration for the families that they are affecting!

Something urgently needs to be done about this! It seems to me that the sheer volume of people being ripped off this way is an indicator of just how grave this situation is. There are people being taken through the ringer left, right and centre, and the banks are well, laughing all the way to the bank! It seems that it doesn't matter how many families and small businesses are affected by this, so long as they still make their billion dollar profit at the end of each year.

As well as the stories I have been receiving, I have had many, many words of support, and offers of help, and the forwarding of contacts etc. I personally have submitted our story to Seven Sunrise, A Current Affair and Today Tonight, as so many of you have suggested. I have had no response thus far from any of them, but will keep my fingers crossed. I also have the direct contacts, (thanks to you guys!) of the producers of some of these shows as well as some News contacts and newspaper contacts, so will follow all of these up on Monday.

In the meantime, I REALLY want to thank EACH and everyone of you for taking the time to call and email us! I physically cannot possibly send or respond to each of you individually, I would be here for weeks, so please know that your words have been warmly welcomed and gratefully received. You have really helped us to try and be optimistic about this, and somehow try to turn this situation around. I still really don't know how we are going to manage all of this, financially, we were already on tenderhooks (some of you may already know that we lost another large amount of $$ last year through our distribution company Green Revolt, when our manufacturer in Pakistan went bust). But, at least now, I feel supported and motivated to get through it, rather than defeated and ashamed.

I want to now show you guys the faces behind this! Here are our five little treasures, and the reason that we tried to build Ankle Biters in the first place:







If only the powers that be at the Commonwealth Bank could look at these pics, maybe they would understand the affect this entire situation is having.

Anyways, this post is getting ridiculously long, so I just want to finish off by listing the wonderful people who have contacted me over the past few days about this. I really don't know how to thank-you all, and just can't physically do it individually, so this is the best way I can think to do it. Some of you we have never had the opportunity to meet before, so it is extra special to receive your thoughts and offers of assistance!

So, thank-you to this huge list of simply AMAZING people...

EXTRA special thanks to Miriam at www.bubbachenille.blogspot.com and Liesa at www.handmadeheaven7.blogspot.com.

Also, Jodie at www.lovemum.com.au .

You ladies are absolute ANGELS!

Heather at www.babiesandkids.com.au

Stella at www.littlemissstella.com.au

Bonny at www.bonnibuns.com.au

Johanna at www.strawberrycommunications.com.au

Siobhan at www.downtoearthorganics.com.au

Tiessa at www.jtkids.com.au

Belinda at www.dewdrops.co.nz

Monica at www.beyondpinkandblue.com

Jodi at www.itchdesign.com.au

Melissa at www.ele-ahbaant.com.au

Amanda at www.stylecollective.com.au

Peggy at www.cookiesandcream.com.au

Jannine at www.natureschild.com.au

Lou at www.skouttradefair.com

Georgie at www.merinokids.com

Kerri at Molly and Jack, Oatley, NSW

Kim & Simon at www.stickytiki.com

Alison at www.agoo.com.au

Amanda at www.bay6.com.au

Mel at www.thehipinfant.com.au

Victoria at www.downtoearthbaby.com

Pam, Jude and Ros at www.organicbabe.com.au

Despina at www.backpacks4aussiekids.blogspot.com

Stephanie at www.moobeardesigns.com.au

Katerina at www.twinklelily.com

Jo at www.babyjo.com.au

Angela at www.kidsstylefile.com.au

Tracey at www.niftythriftyloveliness.blogspot.com

Lianne at www.mystical-entertainments.com

Anna at www.barefootmagazine.com.au

Pauline at www.funkyfriendsfactory.com

Terese at www.redhillchildrenswear.com.au

www.ministylista.onsugar.com

www.aussieproductreview.blogspot.com

www.ulitmateguide.wordpress.com

www.littlediva.com.au

www.tatyourtot.biz

www.babyuniverse.com.au

www.designer-kids.co.uk

www.completepartyboxes.com.au

www.rusticfuture.com.au

www.cleverstreak.com/wordpress

www.bellybeyond.co.nz

www.cackleberrykids.com

www.upinanniesroom.com

www.enchantedgarden.com.au



Also to our good friends Nat Saville, Barbara Bennett, Jill Blacker, Sandy Forbes, Kellie & Maryann Lister, Fiona Deegan, Tracy Couper, Iona Crichton.

Also, there are a number of you who posted your support anonymously on this blog and via email and we want to show our sincere thanks to you too!

And finally, we have also received emails of support from many of our dear, loyal customers of Ankle Biters, many of whom have expressed their concerns that we may not continue our business or may not open our physical store as planned. At this stage, we have decided to continue with our plans, assuming that we can afford to do so. We are going to try our darndest to not let the villains here destroy our dream, nor to prevent us from sharing our beautiful product range with you! If this should change, we will post it here first so that you are all kept well informed. However, for now, it is business as usual, albeit without the ability to accept credit card payments except through Paypal...

MEDIA ASSISTANCE URGENTLY REQUIRED!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Thursday, August 6, 2009 13 responses

I'll make this brief so as not to take up too much of your precious time. I am Tanya from Ankle Biters.

Last week, we became victims of internet fraud to the tune of aud$24k. We were taken advantage of by a "customer" in the UK who placed large orders with us under the veil of being a wholesaler and had us transfer large amounts of money using our EFTPOS machine as the channel to do so to his "shipping agent" who was supposed to be collecting the goods.

To cut a long story short, turns out the shipping agent was HIM and the credit cards were stolen.

The worst part is that when he placed his 1st order (he placed 4 in total), we thought that someone had “heard” our please and the universe was offering us a genuine leg-up to prepare for our shop opening! We felt like we had one the lotto! Then as time progressed and as I wrote in the blog, our kids were even sick and he telephoned us and said how it pained him to hear their cries in the background blah, blah. All the while knowing that he was ripping us off.

We have been to the police and spoken at length with our bank (CBA) and it looks like we will never see any of this money again. The Commonwealth Bank are refusing to budge and have frozen our bank accounts and turned off our EFTPOS machine until we pay back all of the money. They don’t seem to understand that if we can’t trade, we have no income and won’t even be able to pay our rent let alone return any funds. We have five small children and were already struggling to make ends meet. We are opening a new shop in a couple of weeks and this couldn't have come at a worse time for us.

We feel that it is unfair and unjust of the Commonwealth Bank knowing that they continue to make huge profits all the while putting the livelihood of families like ours at their mercy, and we want people to know about this!

Anyways, we are emailing you all right now as you are on our Press Release List for our wholesale/distribution business Green Revolt. We are just hoping that SOMEONE amongst you may have a contact in a television station, or a newspaper or in law inforcement, or a solicitor or SOMEONE that may be able to offer us assistance. We are located in Brisbane.

We don't want charity, we are just hoping for a point in the right direction and maybe some publicity about this to prevent it from happening to any other families like ourselves.

We will be between banks and police stations all day today, but if you can phone us on 0488110806 or reply via return email if you can help, we would be so very appreciative.

We are trying to remain positive, and hope somehow to turn this all around.

Tan and Family.

Internet Fraud; we've been bitten.... :(

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes 5 responses

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!

Sadly, we have just become the victims of credit card fraud due to a dishonest customer making regular large purchases using stolen credit cards. As such, we are currently unable to accept credit cards via our secure server or telephone as we are putting different measures in place to ensure that this does not happen again. In the meantime, we have switched back to accepting Paypal for those customers wishing to use credit cards to complete their payments.

Additional to this, we will no longer be accepting international orders without prior arrangement.

The team here at Ankle Biters sincerely apologises for any inconvenience that these two decisions may cause, however with our new physical store opening soon, this could not have come at a worse time for us. We are a small business simply wishing to support the needs of our young family and wanting to find good in all of the people we deal with. Sometimes, however, these wishes are taken advantage of and we find ourselves in a situation like the one we now face.

On a more personal level, we feel gutted that the "customer" who committed this crime against us repeatedly passed on their "good wishes" to our children whilst they were sick, all the while knowing that their actions could very well threaten our livelihood and our ability to provide even the most basic of needs for our kids.

If you are the person who did this and are reading this, we sincerely hope that you are unable to sleep at night knowing that your actions have put our family into a very dark place! We now have an extremely long road ahead of us if we ever want to build any kind of financial security for our children, which is the main reason that we built Ankle Biters in the first place. Our joy and hope at being able to run a business that enabled me to stay at home and be a mum to our kids whilst earning a steady income has now been replaced with hurt and frustration as we try to make ends meet. We try to see the good in all people on our planet, but it is people like you that make us question it, and for this we are deeply saddened.

Please watch this space for further updates as we embark on a legal battle against the perpetrators of the fraud and the bank who provides our merchant facilities. We will be fighting tooth and nail to rectify this situation and hopefully to set a precedent to the many other small, online businesses who are being taken advantage on a daily basis as we were. We acted in good faith to provide beautiful products to our "customer" and followed all of the security measured that we had been taught, but still became victims. Our bank is unswayed in their claim that we must now return all of the lost funds and we will be pulling out all stops to seek justice for ourselves and our kids.

Thank-you, Tanya, Steve and the five little Ankle Biters.

Just found this AWESOME article on Treehugger.com...

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Sunday, August 2, 2009 0 responses

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share these two great articles that I found on Treehugger.com. Treehugger is a fantastic website which publishes articles on new products and issues relating to all things green, and is a great read!

So, check out these articles...

Why Second-hand is healthier for your Baby - We know that buying organic and/or recycled is the healthiest choice for your baby and the environment, but for those on a budget, buying second-hand is great too!

How To Go Green:Babies - This one, I found from a link on Treehugger, on the Planet Green website.

And here is an eye-opening extract from the Planet Green article:

"Green Babies: By the Numbers

6000: The number of diapers the average baby uses before potty training.
200 to 500: Years it takes petroleum-based disposable diapers to decompose.


49 million: The number of disposable diapers used per day in the United States; Australia uses 2.2 million, Japan uses 6.7 million, and the U.K. uses 9 million.

53 percent: A home-washed cloth diaper has only 53 percent of the ecological footprint of disposables, and a diaper laundry service has a mere 37 percent of that footprint.

$1.4 billion per year: The estimated amount of money Americans spend on complicated births due to smoking while pregnant."

Now, I'm no scientist, but those are some very alarming numbers! Are you doing your bit to help ease the burden on our planet...?