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back to article Dragons' Den badboy's Expansys back in the black ... just

Wireless tech web retailer and provider of mobile networks Expansys is back in the black – but only just – as currency headwinds, weak UK consumer spending and restructuring took a toll. The group, majority owned (41 per cent) by Dragons' Den investor Peter Jones, pushed up sales for the year ended 30 April by a third to £108.5m …

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Hmmm

They're certainly one of the better gadget merchants I've bought from in the past. I would say though, that their "Estimated Shipping/Delivery" note for new products is in urgent need of being taken around the back of the shed, shot and then buried in quicklime.

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Re: Hmmm

I often wonder if that was why they used to be so popular. They would give a shipping date that was before anyone else and then constantly push it back. I used to be happy paying a premium for their gadgets because I thought I was getting it quickly but in hindsight I think I was just paying extra for hope :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

Very overpriced though and not by a small margin.

I think I bought from them last about 5 or 6 years ago.

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Gold badge

Re: Hmmm

You're buying the wrong stuff then.

They're pricey for the latest shiny as they don't have the leverage with the manufacturers of the big boys. For stuff that's been around a while they're OK and they do tend to snap up near-EOL stock very cheap. I bought my latest phone from them as they were offering the lowest price, a price that everyone else dropped to a par with about two months later....

Accessory pricing is a bit of both. Some things are ludicrously expensive, some the exact opposite. Always shop around.

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5 years ago there were the number 1 place to go to for all my tech stuff. Now more often than not they don't have what I need, or are very expensive. So I order from the likes of Amazon.

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No Selling Point

They used to be the best place to get certain items in the UK, like HTC phones. Now they're just selling the same stuff as everyone else but charging slightly more.

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Windows

The Price!

Used to buy a lot of Pocket PC stuff from Expansys but nowadays they are just way too expensive.

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Shipping

Shipping time do seem to have slipped on the last couple of orders I've had from them. Seems they also relocated the warehouse from Manchester to Montpellier in France.....

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Anonymous Coward

Relocation

Marlow is a very nice little market town in buckinghamshire next to the Thames, Manchester is a crowded metropolis 'up north'

Cost of a 3 bed-room semi in Manchester = small flat in Marlow.

Not so much didn't want to move, more like couldn't afford to.

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Indeed

However, they were given the option of moving and Im sure some sensible relocation packages were also offered. So what Mr Jones has essentially done is forced the vast majority of the staff to quit without redundancy pay. Smart chap, if albeit a bit evil.

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Re: Indeed

They should have been offered redundancy (it would be a legal requirement), but in a retail/warehouse business there's usually a high staff turnover, so it may be that most of the staff weren't eligible for much (if anything).

Couple that to a chuck of staff who are probably casual, pay-by-the-hour who you can just stop hiring and what I suspect would be an extremely small number of staff who are genuinely essential to the business and you can offer some not very brilliant relocation packages.

So yes, smart & a bit evil. But then, he's a business tycoon, what do you expect? It's extremely difficult to get that wealthy by giving your money to other people.

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Silver badge

I used to like them....

...for hunting out odd phones from around the world that you never saw here.

Like many here, haven't bothered buying from them in years.

Rather go Amazon etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Must know a short route.

286 round trip miles gets you just north of Stoke on Trent. Google reckons 355.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Must know a short route.

as the crow flies?

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Anonymous Coward

It's happened before

My daughter used to work for a company that did a similar thing. It was a successful company, largely due to the drive of it's directors and workers. Then it got sold to someone who bought it for his son to play with. The son's first action was to move the company, lock, stock and barrel, to somewhere near his home, so that he didn't need to travel far. Staff morale hit rock bottom, and relocation expenses were pretty minimal, so most of the staff left. Needless to say, getting new staff, to match the quality of the old, in the face of the treatment of the old staff proved difficult and that coupled with the total ineptitude of the new boss drove the company into oblivion in less than a year

I used to buy from Expansys, in the early days, when they were cheap and eager, and provided a good service, but as has been said the prices haver gone up and the service has gone the other way. Is anyone running a book on how long they last before the final collapse?

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terrible customer support

I bought a B grade phone from them - came without a charger or box. Expected that. Also came with CONFIDENTIAL XXX PROPERTY NOT FOR RESALE stamped all over it in non-removable writing. Customer support were useless , Only after 3 months did they offer a refund.

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