First, I will tell you a bit of the back story so that you may understand my woe.
When ASICMiner first introduced their buy policy last month for their new Block Eruptor USB 300 MH/s bitcoin miners on the 5th several BitcoinTalk uses generously setup threads where people could band together to make up the minimum number to order (it was 300 but it was later reduced to 50).
The person that set up the group buy would then make the order from ASICMiner and once they had received the miners they would repackage them and sent them onto their new homes.
I, living in New Zealand had a problem though. These group buys were localised to a few geographical regions and as normal for us Kiwi's we were not in any of them. In fact, over 70% of the world's population was not able to get the new bitcoin miner. It is quite understandable though, international shipping is a pain and very expensive with the customs charges and shipping itself, not to mention all the declarations that must be filled out.
So I decided to get the miners that I desired I would set up my own group buy, and this one would be an international one open to whoever wanted some ASIC goodness no matter where they lived. Out of necessity it was going to be more expensive than the other group buys to cover my shipping and customs charges and it was going to be a lot of work but I decided that it was a public service to the bitcoin community and bitcoin itself that I would be glad to make. It also ment that I would have to neglect mineforeman.com a bit but I though that the end product would be worth it.
My first group buy was a great success with 115 miners sold and sent onto their new homes in 6 continents and 34 countries. Most people have even received their miners excluding a few that I am still working on (as I said, international shipping is a pain but don't worry though, I paid extra for the insurance).
The only problem with that group buy is that I, as a soft-hearted individual lent several people bitcoins while they organised their own to pay me back so I would get to keep none of those 115 miners. NONE! There was only one solution in my mind, run a second group buy.
The second group buy also went well. 60 miners ordered, paid for and earlier this week they were shipped off to their new homes. Better yet since the people who I loaned bitcoin too had paid me back (mostly, you guys know who you are and you will continue to hear from me) 10 of these shiny new miners were mine and were silently hashing away at 3,3 GH/s attached to my MinePeon! To add to that people were still wanting to get miners so I set up a third group buy so they would not miss out.
Now we come to my tale of MtGox woe.
My only real option to turn bitcoins into cash is to use MtGox. I had used them before, in fact I had used them mid last month to transfer a few thousand dollars worth of bitcoin to cover some of my mining operation expenses. As soon as group buy one closed I transferred another 3,000 USD in order to cover some of the various shipping and customs charges.
Unfortunately the money had not shown up by the time the first 50 miners arrived at my location on the 5th of this month but that was OK, I just paid for all the customs and shipping charges myself and sent a note to MtGox asking them to look at it. They sent back a note saying they would and expect it to be resolved in the next 3 days.
When the last 65 miners of group one arrived (after going on a DHL holiday for a few days) on the 13th and the money still had not come through I thought "fine, I will just dip into my overdraft and use my credit card". I try my best to do what I say when I say it and it was not fair of me to visit my MtGox issues on people who had ordered miners. Needless to say though I once again contacted MtGox and received the standard "3 days" message.
I did however have a bit of concern about the 60 miners that were already on their way to me from group buy two, but as I already mentioned, when I say I will do something I will do it. I would just have to abuse my overdraft and credit card a bit more.
On the 19th as I had finished shipping out the 60 miners from and the money still had not arrived (and my overdraft and credit card were abused black and blue) I sent another note to MtGox, this one more of a "Please guys, help a brother out" message I waited for my response, dreading that I would get yet another "3 days" response.
What I got was something else altogether, and to continue my tail I will go into another form of story telling I call the email log;-
I still have not received the transfers, could you update me on your
NeilMe to MtGox - June 20, 2013 05:25
Thank you for the email. Sorry for the delay and inconvenience caused. As we are not sure about the ETA. We will keep this checked and update you.
https://www.mtgox.comMtGox to Me - June 20, 2013 08:56
At least it was not another "3 days" message I thought, but then;-
Sorry for the delay and inconvenience caused. We are currently making improvements to process withdrawals of United States Dollar (USD) denominations, and as a result are temporarily suspending cash withdrawals of USD for the next two weeks.
We have given a official announcement please check with the below link
https://www.mtgox.comMtGox to Me - June 21, 2013 03:16
Best regards indeed, but surely they dont mean my two week old transactions I thought.
Please check the dates on these withdrawals that I am trying to get you to process;-
2013/06/05 09:25:49 \$1,000.00000
2013/06/01 20:03:16 \$1,000.00000
2013/05/31 15:55:05 \$1,000.00000
Even the most recent was 16 days ago. This 'suspension of withdraws' does not apply to me.
Can you please confirm that.
Neil FinchamMe to MtGox - June 21, 2013 05:14
Thank you for the email. All the usd transaction has been suspended for two weeks, once the withdrawal is processed we keep you updated
https://www.mtgox.comMtGox to Me - June 21, 2013 05:14
Are you telling my that withdrawals as far back as the end of last month
were never processed to begin with?Me to MtGox
Thank you for the email. All the usd transaction has been suspended for two weeks both the existing and new., once the withdrawal is processed we keep you updatedMtGox to Me
These transactions were from over two weeks ago, the only way you could suspend them is if you did not process them at the time. Is this the case?Me to MtGox
We keep this checked and update you.MtGox to Me
No, you will give me a straight answer. Were the transfers processed two weeks ago or not?Me to MtGox
The withdrawal has been processed from our end , but due to some issues it didn't reached your bank account. We are working on it to solve the issue . Once solved we will update youMtGox to Me
Can you confirm that since the transactions are two weeks old they are not included in your current two week suspension?Me to MtGox
All the existing and new withdrawals has been suspended for two weeks, we will keep you updated once the issue got solvedMtGox to Me
I am not happy with this and I think I deserve a better explanation than "All
the existing and new withdrawals has been suspended for two weeks, we will
keep you updated once the issue got solved".
I suggest you go talk to your manager and come up with
a satisfactory reason as to why or even how you can suspend a transaction
that occurred two weeks ago.Me to MtGox
Silence... (I dont mean they sent me a message saying silence, they just never got back top me)MtGox to Me
So there is where my tail of woe sits at 8:08 AM this morning, apparently the suspension does apply to me and my two week old transactions.
As I finish this post it is just past 3 pm with no resolution or answers just a bruised bank account and credit card. For those that worked with me for the first two group buys I thank you and assure you that if you have not received the miners yet they are on their way and for the few people that their miners are over due I assure you I will sort it out (I paid extra for insurance after all). For those few that I lent bitcoin to and stiffed me, I will be hunting you down.
I said I will do it and I have, my main regret at the moment is that I will have to close group buy three and refund your bitcoins (please reply to your original order email with a payment address, I will be in touch soon).
This ends my tale of woe (so far), before you feel sorry for me and start sending me red cross packages please don't. While I did overextend myself it was not by much and I did the calculations at the time to make sure if it all went sour I would still be OK. I will not be living in my car nor will I be skipping any meals, even if MtGox imploded right now (after reading this) and never returns a penny I will still be fine.
Perversely I rather enjoyed writing this and I hope you enjoyed it too (you read to the end after all). Stay tuned for updates!
P.S. As soon as I hit publish I will be sending this to MtGox. :p
P.P.S. As I proof read this as best I can (I am dyslexic, writing does not come easy to me) I realise that you may have the impression that I have a burning hate for MtGox, well, I don't. I wish them luck, and if they survive their current issues I will continue working with them. I believe that this current hiccup is probably 10,100 times worse for them than for me and I suspect that there are some larger issues at play here.
P.P.P.S. MtGox, if you're reading this, you may wish to keep your customers better informed though, that is my only real issue.