ZX Vega+ News

(Unauthorised and Unofficial)

Vega+ Shipping Dates

  • End of September 2016
  • October 2016
  • In time for Xmas 2016
  • February 2017
  • A "few weeks" from March 10th 2017
  • Summer 2017
  • 8 weeks from August 9th (October 4th, 2017)
  • Mid October 2017

Q3 2017

Jump to latest blog entrytop

Friday 14th July, 2017

Lee Fogarty tweets that he agrees with the campaign to get the Watchdog TV programme to investigate Retro Computers Ltd:

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Tuesday 18th July, 2017

Preston Thomas (long-time cheerleader for RCL and author of the infamous Mic Drop rant) becomes embroiled in an argument on Facebook over another member who was banned by Preston's wife Tamara Thomas for asking questions about progress on the Vega+. Preston had been promised a Vega+ for testing by Lee Fogarty but even he seems to have given up all hope of the Vega+ being released when he posts:

As far as I am concerned the whole vega+ thing is dead

Preston Tthomas considers the Vega+ dead

Backer Neil asks Indiegogo to contact RCL to find out what is happening, and Indiegogo confirm that they too are being ignored. The following message is written, along with their usual generic "contact the owner" message:

Hi Neil,
Thanks for writing back. Unfortunately, we also didn't receive any updates from the campaign owner.

Confirmation that RCL are now ignoring Indiegogo
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Saturday 22nd July, 2017

Someone at RCL is still monitoring backers comments as today a backer confirmed they put a comment up which was deleted, and they were banned from the "official" RCL Facebook group. RCL are still alive it seems, monitoring backer comments and trying to eliminate any negative talk.

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Monday 24th July, 2017

The official Retro Computers Limited entry on Google Maps has been deleted. It would be a shame for this valuable historical listing to disappear, so here are a few screengrabs that show there were 17 one-star reviews out of 17.

RCL Google Maps entry (before RCL deleted it)

RCL Google Maps reviews summary (before RCL deleted it)

RCL Google Maps reviews sample (before RCL deleted it)
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Thursday 27th July, 2017

RCL spokesman Lee Fogarty's company Creative Spectrum now has an active proposal to be struck off. The Creative Spectrum record on Companies House now shows "First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off".

Creative Spectrum first strike off notice
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Friday 28th July, 2017

Suzanne Martin breaks radio silence to ask backer Graham Kenny for his PayPal information. Many people on the public discussion facebook group wonder what caused Graham to be approached all of a sudden. Graham himself is none the wiser, and has guessed because he offered to donate his pledge to charity that RCL are trying to win some sympathy in the courts at a later stage. Graham refuses the refund request in this email exchange:

Graham
Do you have a paypal account? If so could you please confirm if it is connected to your registered email address?
RCL

Graham's initial reply:

Good Morning RCL,
No, my Pay Pal account is not linked to my (email) address. Can you please tell me why you want my PayPal information or moreso, what is going on as this is quite possibly the most bizarre handling of a project from any company I have ever witnessed?
Regards,
Graham Kenny

Suzanne Martin replies with:

You have asked for a refund.
RCL

Graham very kindly tells Suzanne that another backer deserves the refund before him. Backer Daniel Newby has famously posted more than 1000 comments on the Indiegogo campaign before RCL obtained the rights to 1000 games:

You should perhaps look at prioritising Daniel Newby's refund first. Come back to me once you've sorted him out.
Regards,
Graham

Suzanne Martin wants Graham Kenny's PayPal details

Graham Kenny refuses Suzanne Martin's refund offer for now
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Sunday 30th July, 2017

Lee Fogarty has once again appeared on the "democracy" group to convince people that the Vega+ project is still alive and on-track for release:

  • Lee has apparently told Derek Chandler that SMS can make 1,000 units in a day meaning the production run should take a week.
  • Lee and his cohorts have done all the stress testing of the prototype units.
  • There are no board revisions, only a minor tweak that's been done, but nothing on board.

Lee Fogarty claims only a minor tweak has been done

Jan Saggiori posts in the "democracy" group that the Vega+ is now to be sold in Argos:

Jan Saggiori boasts that the Vega+ will be sold at Argos
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Wednesday 2nd August, 2017

Jan Saggiori posts what can only be described as a load of nonsense in the "democracy" facebook group about the questions being asked by backers on the Argos website. Argos themselves admitting they were getting no answers from RCL regarding delivery, and Jan Saggiori now claims that trolls (possibly working at Argos) were writing all the questions to cause trouble:

Jan Saggiori claiming Argos fake

Jan Saggiori claims of a hater working at Argos

Suzanne MartinThe results of a google search of the RCL directors by a backer has been posted as a comment on the Indiegogo campaign. A post made on Monday 31st July, 2017 on website PR Fire (a free press release distribution service) claims that Suzanne Martin is re-launching her PR services. (The original post has since been removed, a now all too familiar story in the Vega+ debacle.)

The bottom of the press release contains a link that points to an extremely detailed blog post that claims to outline Suzanne Louise Martin's criminal history. (An archived backup is available in case it is removed.) The date at the top of the article shows a publishing date of Wednesday July 26, 2017 and the post contains significant claims about Suzanne Martin's past: a drug trafficking conviction, fraud cases, a false allegation/Indian rape case, a long history with the police and courts, bogus stories to the newspapers and much more.

According to the article, the Daily Mail newspaper was going to expose this information but when asked for her final comment on the article, she claimed she would commit suicide to avoid the article becoming public.

The accuracy of the post cannot be verified at this stage, but the author seems to have gone to great lengths to provide a selection of court case and employment tribunal numbers. We are hopeful that the Vega+ community (as well as the press) will investigate the authenticity of the information on that page over the coming days, and updates will be provided as information is verified or proven to be inaccurate, whatever the case may be.

Real Crooks blog on Indiegogo
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Friday 4th August, 2017

The author of the blog post claiming to show Suzanne Martin's criminal history has updated the page and now includes two scans of court documents that claim to show her 12 month conviction for importing cannibis resin. (Once again, a backup is available).

After the information claimed in the blog post yesterday (the bulk of which has yet to be verified) by someone about Suzanne Martin, it might be appropriate to remind everyone of the circumstances and evidence provided by Paul Andrews in the closed Facebook group (in early May 2017) as to how he claims he was driven out of RCL by Suzanne Martin and David Levy back in March 2016.

The false allegations made against him bare a striking similarity to the claims made in the blog post found yesterday by the blog poster of prior incidents between Suzanne Martin and multiple third parties.

The full transcript of the reveal by Andrews is shown below in PDF form, and a separate post contains all the screen grabs of the full email chain, real story from Wikipedia and and associated mystery tweets made at Andrews and people he knows. You can all make your own minds up.

Full transcript (346k PDF)

In yet another setback for the beleaguered Vega+ campagin, Argos have now removed the Vega+ from their website. Many questions from backers were not able to be answered, and it seems that Argos have pulled the pin after getting the run-around from RCL.

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Tuesday 8th August, 2017

Long time thorn in RCL's side Daniel Newby has finally received his refund! After 1103 comments and being lied to about being refunded back in February, Daniel has apparently received his refund. We hope for Daniel's sake that he transfers the money out of PayPal before RCL claim it back! Here's a selection of the posts from Indiegogo that mention it:

Daniel Newby refunded after 1103 comments on Indiegogo

Another unconfirmed piece of evidence regarding the Suzanne Martin blog has been located, this time involving the Pardeshi Guest House case in India

Paul Andrews posts on his Facebook page, indicating that he has the full RCL bank statements. Paul's message reads:

Due to the on-going and increasing discontent between Retro Computers Ltd and its backers of the Vega Plus console and suspicions as to the state of the funds invested, we approached RCL’s bank to discuss our concerns on the 19th of July 2017. We were informed by the bank that we had third party (as in viewing rights only not transactional ones) rights to the account, something we had not known prior to that point in time. We requested full bank statements detailing every transaction since we left in April 2016 till the current date. The bank provided those statements to us as we are fully legally entitled to them. We have informed RCL, Levy, Martin and Mrsic-Flogel and their solicitors that we have the bank statements (in order to be completely transparent) and their solicitors have responded requesting that we not make these public. We will make a further statement on these bank account statements in due course after we have received legal advice.
Paul Andrews and Chris Smith

Phil Jennings, a disgruntled backer still waiting for his refund, has contacted Codetapper with a damning series of emails he had with Lee Fogarty. In an ironic role reversal, it seems this time Lee was the one being led "up the swanee" as Phil convinced Lee to setup a cowboy builder website for him. Lee openly discussed about doing a cash job, revealed the standard price he charges for websites and posts, found that Lee resides at the address he returned court papers from whilst pretending he didn't live there, that Lee would accept a lump sum payment despite his company soon to be struck off Companies House and much much more.

Phil also requested that the information be passed to George Cropper (of Bum Fun Gaming fame) for a possible video, and George has released his thoughts on the latest developments:

RCL return to the Indiegogo campaign, and are met with a large number of angry backers who have seen that angry posts eventually lead to a refund. RCL post the following about an "announcement very soon":

Retro Computers
We will be making an announcement very soon. We are also very sorry that a hardcore group of people who have been refunded Ratcliffe and Co are still posting abusive comments.

RCL announcement soon

Suzanne Martin/RCL apparently does not like swearing:

Please do not swear

A backer asks why RCL reply to a single backer, whilst ignoring 4770 others. A curt answer avoiding the question follows:

RCL reply to Kelvin Salter

RCL reply to a backer that asked if RCL will be pulling a rabbit out of a hat:

Retro Computers
There will be a rabbit... we are still here. The rumours are just that....rumours

There will be a rabbit

RCL claim they will be updating soon, but many people note that they've heard this story many times before - and often prior to several months of ignoring the backers.

RCL will be updating soon
In what appears to be an attempt to hide negative comments from the campaign (as Indiegogo only displays the 10 most recent comments without clicking a link to show more), RCL post the same message "We apologise for the foul mouth rants from a small group of people" over and over:

RCL foul mouth rants from small group

Lee Fogarty has once again blocked Codetapper on Facebook, after being tagged in a post. Less than a week ago, Lee had suddenly unblocked him, presumably so he could read his posts.

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Wednesday 9th August, 2017

After Paul Andrews post yesterday that he has copies of the RCL bank statements, Lee Fogarty posts on facebook confirming that his company Creative Spectrum has been charging RCL: "Some people are asking how much my company has charged RCL over the last 16 months. In total across multiple projects, it's around £14k".

Lee Fogarty charged RCL 14k

This appears to be a contradiction to what Lee stated on the 22nd of March, 2017 when he said "Nowt to do with me - I only host the website and update the blog. Got no access to anything else. Not an employee, don't get paid, etc":

Lee Fogarty nowt to do with me, not an employee, don't get paid etc

Suzanne Martin posts various family photos on facebook from Paul Andrews trip to the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) taken in January 2016:

Suzanne Martin posts Paul Andrews holiday snaps

Suzanne Martin posts Paul Andrews holiday snaps

Jan Saggiori (admin of the "democracy" facebook group) and Suzanne Martin/RCL encourage others to spread the images of Paul Andrews:

Jan Saggiori: Yes, but then be ready to be attacked by the haters in all possible ways, as well as receive threats to you and your family from unknown people (them)...

Suzanne Martin: Yes please feel free to these are images from FB so Copyright Free

Suzanne Martin claims the images she posted of Paul Andrews are copyright free

Codetapper's host receives a complaint from Suzanne Martin as well as the police, and the entire Vega+ section of the website is taken offline by the host for the time being. The rest of the Amiga content on the website remains.

At the same time, George "Bum" Cropper receives a series of harassment violations on all his Vega+ videos, and almost all the Vega+ videos are taken offline by YouTube.

RCL release update 61 on Indiegogo containing a link to the Europe song "The Final Countdown" and stating that they aim to begin shipping the Vega+ to backers within 8 weeks. Eight weeks from today would be Wednesday the 4th of October. The full update text:

We apologise sincerely for our forced radio silence (more on that) and delay in our promised updates, but please know we have been, and are still, working on the Vega+ final production and delivery.
In the meantime, we can only apologise for the incessant online written abuse, attacks and misinformation from a rather malevolent small team doing all they can to attack the RCL team personally and professionally, and prevent Vega+ brought to the market (despite their claims otherwise).
In time, we will be able to publicise in detail what is going on, including the names of those making up the above-mentioned group. But right now, on the advice of our lawyers and related authorities, we have to wait until all various investigations and legal actions have been completed.
We know many of you are extremely frustrated, and with good reason. But the Vega+ IS happening, despite what you may be hearing and reading. To reiterate, you WILL all receive the Vega+, albeit a few weeks later than we planned and wanted due to a production issue and outside influences beyond our control.
We can also confirm we have secured rights to some of the biggest games in the Spectrum scene, and the final games list will exceed all expectations. We aim to begin shipping the Vega+ to backers within the next 8 weeks, and to follow this immediately with our first shipments to retail.
And to the RCL trolls, we’re not going anywhere. Peace out

RCL also release update 62, consisting of an image containing the text: "the song "the final countdown" is now playing in your head."

If Suzanne Martin was under the impression that refunding Daniel Newby yesterday would silence him, she appears to be mistaken. Daniel demands Suzanne resign on the Indiegogo comments:

Daniel Newby
@tony she can’t deny them the court documents were there ‘GUILTY AS CHARGED’. How many kids lives have you ruined SUZANNE because of their parents getting hooked on DRUGS YOU IMPORTED. SUZANNE MARTIN YOU ARE A LOWLIFE SCUMBAG !!!!!!!

RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN
RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN
RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN!!!!!!!

Suzanne Martin/RCL replies with:

Retro Computers
Chill out Daniel....

Daniel Newby demands Suzanne resign
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Thursday 10th August, 2017

Paul Andrews posts the following:

Short Statement Reference Retro Computers Ltd
Despite having completely legally received (as a shareholder) from RCL’s bank copies of its bank statements, I have received advice that at this present time these are confidential and it would be inadvisable for me to publicly release the details of how the funds have been spent or even the current account balance. This is because it would potentially invite legal problems for me personally as I remain a shareholder, a position I have kept in the hope of helping the backers determine the status of their investment in the Vega Plus. Sadly, I have no control over the actions of the current RCL directors, having left before any of the more than half-a-million pounds they received from Indiegogo was paid to the company. I therefore can’t offer any explanation for their recent unusual activity on various internet forums, nor the vicious personal attacks by them against me and my family on social media, but urge those involved to stop this behaviour for the sake and reputation of the company. I am however pleased to hear the recent announcement (yet again) that delivery of the Vega Plus is imminent and I look forward to seeing how the situation develops.
Paul Andrews – 10th August 2017

Gareth Corfield publishes a new article in The Register called We'll deliver 'in a few weeks' says troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm. (An archived version is also available). Highlights from the article:

  • Troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has promised to deliver its Vega+ product in “a few weeks”.
  • So far there has been no tangible sign of any progress being made in the delivery of the consoles.
  • Suzanne Martin, RCL’s managing director, did not deny to The Register that she was posting pictures of Andrews and his family on Facebook groups linked to RCL, insisting that the photos were “in the public domain” and claiming they were proof that Andrews misused company money for a personal holiday. Andrews said that the photos were “absolutely not” in the public domain and that the holiday had been a business trip to the CES show as part of RCL’s abortive attempt to enter the US market.
  • Various bloggers who have been closely monitoring the saga have been in touch with El Reg, saying someone has attempted to have their blogs suspended over the last couple of days.
  • RCL continues to insist that production is only a few weeks away. The firm told El Reg a few months ago that it would go into production in July, something it now admits it has not done.

Backer "Braw Ness" (who had not posted any comments on the campaign until today) posts a number of what seem to be abusive comments about other backers on the Indiegogo comments section. Braw changes the profile name to "R'étrõ Cëë-Ell", and other backers notice that all previous comments now appear to be from the new name and wonder if it is another shill account (such as the Nick Roper account). Here is a list of all the comments posted by "Braw Ness" aka "R'étrõ Cëë-Ell", from oldest at the top to newest at the bottom:

R'étrõ Cëë-Ell
Why do people here not understand the difference between a pledge and an order? It’s almost like they think they’ve placed an order for a tangible good, and not just pledged money towards a project which may or may not successfully deliver a tangible good. But the general public aren’t so thick that they wouldn’t understand the core principle of crowdfunding, are they?

R'étrõ Cëë-Ell
Graham Kenny – you’re merely thick, that’s forgivable.
rratcliffe – you clearly have a personal interest beyond the crowdfunder here, so I feel sorry for you. Nothing more.
rob – I don’t know who you are, but you’re a complete embarrassment to yourself, your family and everyone you’ve ever been in contact with. Watch where you run your mouth in the future, you cretinous c*nt.
And no, I have no connection to RCL other than finding the likes of you poisonous idiots hilarious to laugh at.

R'étrõ Cëë-Ell
Ronan at this stage I could happily lose my pledge just for the entertainment value of the foam-mouthed self-righteous detractors of the project. If I receive a console I’m The end, it’ll be a bonus. I’ve backed plenty projects here and elsewhere that have failed in some way or completely, but none have supplied such a contingent of looneys who need to go off on one every thirty seconds. At least give me that :D

Graham Kenny
@Braw What’s your real name? You must be as thick as pig shite to come on here of all days to declare your love for RCL… or just a shill.
Tell you what, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that youre new and Ill be polite. Go do a bit of homework and if you come back here after that mocking backers for taking a stand, then clearly you’re beyond help.

R'étrõ Cëë-Ell
@Graham, you greasy double-ender, can you not see that I’m here to laugh at you and your ilk, as opposed to support RCL? I literally don’t care about my Vega+, I only care about you, how thick YOU are, and to laugh about how angry you get over something so utterly stupid and pointless as a failed crowdfunding.
You and your shit-thick, furious chums do no favours to anyone, for or against the Vega+, and the fact you and your fuckbuds can’t see it is knicker-wetteningly hilarious. Keep it up!

R'étrõ Cëë-Ell
I did think maybe Daniella Nooby might be some sport due to all caps, but I suspect they are presently headbutting a patio with loads of Spectrum Reimagined buried underneath, in pure rage

R'étrõ Cëë-Ell
@Graham you wish you were being trolled, that would probably make you feel better about your own disturbing and obsessive ineptitude. You’re being mocked, not trolled.
And I didn’t just appear to make you feel special today, snowflake, as you can see this ain’t my first IGG, and you’re not the first braindead fuckwit I’ve ever encountered.
I’m not pro-RGL, I’m anti idiot. Read my previous comments. See where you fit in.

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Friday 11th August, 2017

Codetapper receives some information regarding the takedown of the Vega+ section of the codetapper.com website. When asked for details about why the site was taken down, Codetapper is told that Suzanne Martin had phoned and emailed the host, and Suzanne's email expressly said it must not be forwarded. A police officer had also contacted the host, but there was no mention about that information being private. When asked what the actual complaint was, the following was given:

I am a police officer from Colindale Police Station in the Metropolitan Police.

I am investigating this ongoing matter between Lee Fogarty and Retro Computers where they are being harassed online.

He has informed me about someone who hosts a blog on your servers. Lee Fogarty states they have written offensive and derogatory things about him and from what they have sent me they have also released addresses and contact numbers of the directors of Retro Computers Ltd and Lee Fogarty.

Is there anything that can be done about removing these posts? No one deserves to have their details posted online for anyone to see. You never know who is looking at them or what they will be used for.

Multiple people contacted the police station in question to find out if this takedown was a prank/hoax. The officer in question, TDC Levy, has not provided a police case number to the ISP or replied to email requests for information about the takedown. (TDC = Trainee Detective Constable.)

The Indiegogo comments section descends into chaos after a backer realises that their name, profile and photo can be changed and all comments will appear with the new name.

 

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Sunday 13th August, 2017

Paul Andrews tweets the cropped parts from the conversation Suzanne Martin posted earlier.

Jonathan Cauldwell tweets to say that he is prepared to write all 1000 games for the Vega+:

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Monday 14th August, 2017

Daniel Newby alters his profile to appear to be "Lie Fogarty", and posts a message on the Indiegogo campaign. (This message will become important the following day when RCL post on facebook).

Daniel Newby pretending to be Lie Fogarty
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Tuesday 15th August, 2017

RCL post a warning on their facebook page saying that if you impersonate other people you will be reported to various law enforcement agencies:

We are aware of people or persons impersonating members of the RCL team.
For clarity we ask that you please stop posting, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, false or profane content on this campaign or any other social media platform or content that is invasive of another’s privacy;
To be clear please do not impersonate any person or entity, including any employee or representative of RCL or infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity, or other right of any other person or entity, or violate any law or contract.
Any infringement of this will be notified to the relevant authorities, Police and or enforcements agencies in the relevant jurisdiction.

In response to this messages, someone asks RCL to confirm if people like Lee Fogarty, Jan Saggiori, Preston Thomas and Tamara Thomas are representatives of RCL. The question is ignored by RCL.

RCL will report impersonators to law enforcement agencies

In the comments for the same post, RCL now state that the "finished box design" from "a few weeks back" (actual date Wednesday 29th of March, more than 4 and a half months ago) is not the final design after all.

Per Najbjerg Odderskov: Give Them a good update with photos and all 2 shut their mouths. 7 weeks to delivery, cant wait. Have a photo of the box maybee?
Retro Computers: We posted a pic of the box a few weeks back - but we have actually decided to tweak the design since then. So I'll see what I can come up with.
Deryck Pritchard: a few weeks ago... good use of creative writing there, it was 5 months ago, considering you've missed everything single deadline for release that you've published I ain't holding out much hope of the postman delivering in 7 weeks. As for the main content of this post is it any surprise people are getting creative in taking the Micky out of this shambles.
Anthony Pye: Quite Deryck - that pic of the box was ages ago - what do they think we are idiots ??!!

Backer Graham Kenny is force refunded £110 for his order, and the status of his contribution is changed to "refunded". RCL did not have Graham's PayPal information, so Graham is sent a link to collect his money. If the link is not clicked before September 14, the money is returned to RCL. Graham posts that he has no intention to click the link, and wishes to remain a backer.

A backer asks for a refund by posting the text "Please refund order #271." 18 times in the same Indiegogo comment several times. RCL claim that the backer is in breach of community guidelines and ask him to stop spamming the comments section:

Paul Spann
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.
Please refund order #271.

Retro Computers   Campaigner
You are in breach of community guidelines and please stop spamming the comments section

Asking for a refund multiple times is apparently in breach of guidelines
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Wednesday 16th August, 2017

George Cropper (Funky Spectrum) returns with a new video called The Vega+ - The Untouchables and reporting that YouTube has checked out his content, determined it is not harassment and all his strikes have been removed. The video is one of George's longest, with a 17 minute commentary of the current state of the project.

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Thursday 17th August, 2017

Backer Paul Hargreaves manages to obtain a refund by asking (9 times) if the link regarding Suzanne Martin is true. The full post:

https://realcrooks.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/ms-suzanne-martin.html

Wow! If this is true then I’d have NEVER got involved in this crowdfunding campaign. I would NEVER be involved knowingly with something associated with a person with this criminal record.

Consider this request #9 for a FULL refund… order #2565.

(Will be doing this daily btw now until I either receive a working Vega+ with the 1000 games on it or my refund!)

Paul Michael Hargreaves refund question
As knowledge of Paul's refund becomes public knowledge, the floodgates open as many backers that have had their refunds refused/ignored post the same message. In response to these refund requests, RCL ignore the requests and instead post the following comment:

Deliberately sharing malicious, false and unsubstantiated content is not only a breach of community guidelines it may constitute a number of criminal offences. We again ask you to cease all contact with RCL personnel and to refrain from sharing what is clearly malicious material.

Apparently sharing a link to the daily blog is also a breach of community guidelines:

Phill Saddington
The Internet never forgets, neither will we – https://web.archive.org/web/20170712143839/codetapper.com/zxvega/daily-blog

Retro Computers   Campaigner
Deliberately sharing malicious, false and unsubstantiated content is not only a breach of community guidelines it may constitute a number of criminal offences. We again ask you to cease all contact with RCL personnel and to refrain from sharing what is clearly malicious material.

Sharing link to blog is in breach
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Friday 18th August, 2017

A backer receives confirmation from Cyril (Indiegogo Customer Happiness) that PAUL ANDREWS is still listed as the campaign owner. He asks on Indiegogo "Why is PAUL ANDREWS still marked as the Campaign Owner, RCL?":

~~~~
From: Cyril (Indiegogo Customer Happiness) [mailto:support@indiegogo.com]
Sent: 18 August 2017 11:11

Hi Lee,

Thanks for reaching out. Please see the campaign owner’s contact info below:

Campaign Owner’s Name: PAUL ANDREWS
Campaign Owner’s Email: retrocomputersltd@gmail.com
Website: http://retro-computers.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retrocomputersltd/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sinclairzxvega
~~~~~~

Paul Andrews still listed as campaign owner

The ZX Vega+ information previously hosted (and taken down) on codetapper.com is moved to a new server after a large number of free offers to host it. The replacement (unofficial and unauthorised) website is discovered and links appear on Twitter and the Indiegogo comments section within an hour of the site going live.

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Saturday 19th August, 2017

Force-refunded ex-backer Richard asks Suzanne to confirm whether the allegations about her are true. Suzanne Martin decides not to answer the question, and instead blocks Richard.

Are links on Indiegogo about Suzanne Louise Martin true (in Spectrum 4Ever)

Richard posts a comment on the Indiegogo campaign informing other backers of what happened.

20170819_are_links_on_igg_about_suzanne_true_blocked.png
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Sunday 20th August, 2017

Several people on the Indiegogo campaign attempt to gain their refund by posting a similar message to Paul several days earlier. The refund requests are unsuccessful, and RCL reply with the following message several times:

Posting malicious anonymous links will not result in a refund and posting this again at any time will result in your account being placed on hold and a complaint being made to Indiegogo. We suggest you remove this and any other abuse. Whilst the “blog”: is anonymous your details are not and we strongly advise you to remove and cease from posting this content to avoid further action being taken against you. All our rights are reserved in this matter.

Backer Lee Staniforth posts a similar message asking for a refund, and RCL threaten that posting the link again will see his account placed on hold. RCL suggest that Lee removes his comments, even though there is apparently no way for a backer to do so:

Retro Computers   Campaigner
Posting malicious anonymous links will not result in a refund and posting this again at any time will result in your account being placed on hold and a complaint being made to Indiegogo. we suggest you remove this and any other abuse.

Lee Staniforth
"we suggest you remove this and any other abuse." Please tell me how to do this?

Retro Computers   Campaigner
Go into the comments section on your account and delete your earlier comments.

Lee Staniforth
Ah, RCL, unfortunately that option is only available to Campaign Owners of an open and active campaign. Us lowly backers do not have the option of removing our comments - keep up.

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Tuesday 22nd August, 2017

Backer Paul Spann announces on facebook that after having more than 30 refund requests ignored he has decided to recover his money through small claims court. Paul used the RCL address on the homepage for his claim:

Retro Computers Ltd
10-14 Accommodation Road
London
NW11 8ED

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Thursday 31st August, 2017

Backer Daniel Newby's Indiegogo account has been suspended, and all his posts from the previous 4 days have been deleted. Daniel posted well over 1000 comments on the campaign in an attempt to get his refund:

Daniel Newby profile showing over 1000 comments

The campaign itself has seen over 400 comments removed from the campaign in the last 24 hours. Some of these deleted comments appear to be from at least one known member closing their Indiegogo account, but this is not the case for Daniel Newby. Daniel has now created his own Twitter account so you can follow him there until his Indiegogo account is re-instated.

With the Vega+ due to be released in approximately one month, it seems strange timing that the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega and Vega Plus Group has decided to close and archive the group.

Sinclair Vega and Vega Plus group archived
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Friday 1st September, 2017

RCL release update 63 on the Indiegogo campaign, containing yet another delay. (The previous update stated that the Vega+ units were to be delivered in 8 weeks, which would be Wednesday the 4th of October 2017.) Today's "Happy Friday" update consists of a single image containing the following text:

Well, it's the first day of September and we are on track for the Vega+ reaching your game-hungry mittens by mid October.

We've been busy replacing some of the games and making additional tweaks and polishes we know you'll love.

We'll be releasing new images soon, and thereafter we will aim to bring you regular updates as we countdown to our delivery.

Happy Friday!! :)

Happy Friday! Delivery now mid October
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Tuesday 5th September, 2017

The twitter account Anon y Mouse posts 2 images that appear to be the RCL bank account statements from May 2016. The images are mainly blurred out, but show multiple payments to David Levy, along with an expense for just under £61 to Palms of Goa restaurant. Someone with a dry sense of humour has already linked a photo of David Levy dining out to the Palms of Goa Google maps page.

David Levy chess player helping himself to ringfenced funds for a meal at Palms of Goa restaurant

George Cropper releases a video called "THE VEGA+ - ANONYMAN OR ANONYMOUSE?" where he discusses RCL's "Happy Friday" update (from Friday 1st of September) and shares his thoughts on the Anon y Mouse twitter account @LevySexRobot. Many people have wondered whether the Anon y Mouse account is in fact RCL themselves trying to play "the victim" card.

Friday 8th September, 2017

An article has appeared on The Verge called Indiegogo may now call a collection agency if backers aren’t kept informed about delays. Highlights from the article:

Indiegogo is making a pair of changes today that are designed to compel crowdfunding campaigns to be clearer with backers about the state of their products. The first change is a requirement that tech campaigns disclose what state their product is in - be it just a concept or one ready to hit the manufacturing line. And the second is a requirement that all campaigns update their backers at least once a month about how the project is going.

If campaigns fail to do either, Indiegogo may remove them from the platform, offer refunds, and even attempt to acquire dispersed money through collections agencies. Combined, Indiegogo hopes these measures will give people more confidence when backing a project and then again later on while waiting for it to ship, which is when delays often hit and communication tends to break down.

“One of the things that we found is that in certain cases, either our backers didn't have all the information that they could use to help them make a decision to back a project, or after a campaign there was often not good communication between entrepreneurs and backers,” Indiegogo CEO Dave Mandelbrot tells The Verge. “So we've implemented a number of changes to improve the backer experience.”

A developer having a look at the World of Spectrum API found Lee Fogarty's code was faulty, and an error message exposed the fact that Lee was collecting and storing information about every visitor to that page. The developer could not replicate the problem, but reported the problem to George Cropper who exposed it on the Spectrum For Everyone facebook group on Wednesday 6th of September. George received a lot of criticism for exposing this, but an IT professional was able to recreate the fault and George releases a video called WOS API BREACHES DATA PROTECTION ACT containing screenshots of the fault. An independent third party is also shown how to recreate the fault and posts the error message he sees on facebook.

Here is an example of the SQL code failing to run behind the scenes when you view the using the api/basics webpage:

Lee Fogarty tracking error

Multiple people expressed concerns that the Vega+ could be released without the 1000 promised games by using the World of Spectrum API to download the games, thus bypassing having to pay GOSH and rights holders. Lee Fogarty has bragged in facebook messages that "They are going to be well pissed off when they realise I am working on a feature for the Next lol".

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Saturday 9th September, 2017

Backer Paul Spann updates backers on the small claims case he opened against RCL on August 22nd via an Indiegogo comment:

Update on my asking the court to get my money refunded.
Basically MrLevy has replied to say he intends on defending the action fully.
So that is proof that they ARE refusing refunds.
Who would have guessed….EVERYONE!

This appears to conflict with Suzanne Martin as she has said multiple times that RCL have never refused to refund a backer.

Lee Fogarty's company Creative Spectrum has received an objection to the compulsory strike off from Companies House. At this stage there is no information about who objected to the company being dissolved.

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Tuesday 12th September, 2017

Yet another of David Levy's businesses fails, this time his company Erotic Chatbots Ltd is struck off on Companies House.

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Monday 18th September, 2017

The Anon y Mouse twitter account releases a large number of bank statements claiming to show that RCL had already spent almost all of the backer's money back in August 2016:

In response to multiple outbursts from Jonathan Cauldwell on social media, George Cropper releases a video titled Vega+ Unfounded Accusations Fly.

A lurker/spy in the public discussion facebook group reported a photo of one of the bank statement reveals directly to Facebook. The photo was available for everyone to see on the Anon y Mouse Twitter account anyway, so whoever reported it likely works for RCL and clearly has spare time on their hands. Facebook investigated the image, decided it did not breach any community guidelines and immediately re-instated the post.

Post reported to facebook

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Tuesday 19th September, 2017

The Anon y Mouse twitter account releases 13 bank statements, showing all the payments until the end of 2016.

George Cropper releases his summary of the bank statement reveal in a 16 minute long video called Vega + Accounts Reveal.

RCL supporter Jonathan Cauldwell blocks multiple people on his twitter account after he sent out a tweet wishing the "hate mob" would move on. Various responses and questions are tweeted back and Cauldwell blocks people rather than answering them.

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Wednesday 20th September, 2017

The Anon y Mouse twitter account has now released the bank statements from January 2017 until mid April 2017, where the bank balance was down to £436.56.

As a backup (in case the Anon y Mouse twitter account is taken down), the full resolution bank statements have been added to the ZX Vega+ News website.

Vega+ Status

  • All refunds processed:
  • Roll of honour email:
  • Address confirmation:
  • Battery specification:
  • PEGI certification:
  • Final specs released:
  • Games list released:
  • Finished box design:
  • Manual released:
  • Final devices made: 0
  • Prototypes made: 20-30