September 21, 2019, 04:45:42 PM

Author Topic: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends  (Read 886 times)

Offline KnickyLA

I won’t lie to you. This is messy. It will challenge the way you’ve come to see someone as a person, a peer and a friend. I do not want to do this, in fact I’m forcing myself to. However, it must be done because this individual has left me with no other recourse.

Now if this is the first time I’ve communicated with you since we became Facebook friends, I apologize. I try my best to interact with as many of you as I can but I don’t see every post, in fact I am certain there are some of you I’ve never seen any posts from at all.

Also, this is not meant to result in you taking action or even choosing sides. The only thing I want is for this person to be exposed for who they are. For you to know and for him to know that you do. Nothing more. Subsequently I won’t tolerate anyone sympathizing with him on my posts. Those so inclined have private messaging at their disposal for that.

Now follows my grievance and all evidence I have gathered via screen shots to prove it.

On November 24th, 2015 I ordered a Small Navy Hoodie on the Fantasy-Faction website. I paid for it via PayPal. (See screen shot of the Receipt of my Payment to MARC APLIN)

On July 25th, 2016, Marc Aplin posted the following in the Fantasy-Faction Fantasy Discussion facebook group:
If I still owe you a hoody / t-shirt (I .e. you ordered one and have not got it yet) can you message me your address and the size / colour you ordered? I've matched up most, but want to be sure I don't miss anyone :D

(See screen shots of the entire sub-thread exchange between Marc and myself, which concluded three days later with him saying to leave my US address with him so he can quote me the difference in cost (if there was one) to send it there rather than a UK address. I sent him my US address via private messaging the next day.)

A week later, on August 4th, 2016, after receiving no response from Marc, I private messaged him again with a gentle reminder to let me know the price difference for US shipping for the hoodie.

Two and a half weeks later, on August 22nd, 2016, after receiving no response from Marc, I private messaged him again with yet another gentle reminder because I hadn’t heard anything from him regarding the hoodie I paid for at all. (See screen shots for these messages)

Marc said he would message Jennie (Jennifer Ivins) to find out the easiest way to ship me the hoodie and he would keep me posted on what she said.

A MONTH LATER, on September 20th, 2016, I once again messaged Marc to find out the status of the hoodie. At this point he told me:

I don't think she is going to be able to get one in time. I'll refund you if you like, it'll take to long to get it all sorted I think.

NOTE I had to ask to be informed that it would not be possible after all. Zero initiative was taken on Marc’s part to keep me posted as he had said he would.

When I opted for a refund that was when we hit the first of several road blocks. His Paypal could not send payment to me at the moment, and he was asked to contact Paypal itself to resolve the issue.

I then asked for specifics on the hoodie – was it already printed, did he have it in his possession, had he given it away, was it still available, did it even exist? Only to be told:

Sorry! I did have it but gave it to my sister. (See screen shot of this response)

Again note I had to ask to be informed that it was no longer available during the time Marc should have been trying to ship it to me and/or sorting my refund out.

It was at this point I suspected I was being handled. Somewhere between the road blocks, the lack of initiative and length of time between responses and the fact that I had to ask to be updated on the status of the hoodie every single time I realized it wasn’t a priority for Marc Aplin to either refund me or provide me with said hoodie.

Marc then tried to convince me he was making an effort on his end by sending screen shots of his attempts to refund me. It didn’t help when eventually I also realized my card had expired making his lack of intention to issue my refund all the easier for him to excuse. However, he had sent me his first screen shot before my card expired, and since I added a new card there have still been road blocks and lengthy passages of time.

Despite my frustration and suspicion I really did want to give Marc Aplin the benefit of the doubt and so I wracked my mind for a feasible solution to this ongoing issue. That was when I remembered that this was the second run of hoodies and T-shirts to support Fantasy-Faction financially.

It occurred to me then that rather than seeking a refund, all I had to do was ask Marc to send me a hoodie from the next run since I would have already paid for one from the run before. This was when I tried to visit the Fantasy-Faction Fantasy Discussion facebook group to see the length of time between T-shirt/hoodie print runs only to realize that my suspicions were well-founded after all.

I couldn’t find the group. Surely a group of 3000+ members, a group that thriving, engaged and active wouldn’t just disappear. I might have been away from the social media circuit for a while due to a difficult pregnancy but it didn’t make sense that it would have folded in my absence without a word. (See screen shot)

So I searched for it on an alternative account and found it there instead, which means I have been blocked from seeing posts in the group. Confused, I did another search, this time in the group itself for the word ‘hoodie’, and that was when I found out why.

Apparently, there was a surplus of T-shirts /hoodies left after Marc Aplin had sorted out a few outstanding Fantasy Faction shirt/hoodie orders (mine not included of course) and he didn’t want me to see that. I can only assume that the idea of providing me with a hoodie/shirt from the next run or in this case a surplus of the last run had occur to him as well, and his actions are very telling. (See screen shots)

At this point it is obvious Marc Aplin has no intentions of either refunding my money or providing me with merchandise for which I paid, and he never did. He has been handling me all along, and I in essence paid 15 GPA ($70 in my currency by the way) so his sister could get a new hoodie. I was then blocked for doing nothing wrong, other than trying to support Fantasy-Faction itself.

I’m certain if I were Peter Brett, Mark Lawrence or Patrick Rothfuss, none of the above would be the case. I wouldn’t have had to spend over half a year being ignored for lengthy periods of time and reduced to begging for my own money to no avail, good money that I worked hard for, for merchandise I will now never receive.

If there was an honest mistake with an order of theirs, I’m certain they would have been eagerly compensated with complementary merch and many apologies. But this mistake, while grave, is not an honest one. Rather, it is unprofessional, disrespectful and duplicitous.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m forcing myself to do this. I am doing this for my newborn daughter because I can’t teach her how to not take shit from others, if I am taking it myself. I know Marc Aplin wants nothing more than for the truth to slip away into silence, and a part of me knows it would be easier to let him have his way. But I won’t roll over in silence for fools and thieves just to avoid rocking the boat in order to keep a handful of virtual friends. So capsize we must.

"It's what we are conditioned to believe — that if we speak up, our livelihoods will be threatened; that standing our ground will lead to our demise. We don't want to be kicked out of the sandbox for being a "bitch." So we compromise our integrity for the sake of maintaining the status quo and hope that change is coming."

However change is not coming, and he will most likely try to spin a yarn with himself as a victim of some kind to garner your sympathies. I don’t expect him to have the integrity to admit to anything because his actions thus far haven’t been particularly brave or honest or kind. To be frank, it saddens me that he is not who I thought he was. I thought that while not the friendliest, he was at least sincere. I took for granted that he was a decent human being.

I didn’t lie to you. This is messy. It has also been a long time coming. But I didn’t ask you to take my word for granted; I provided evidence to prove everything I’ve said. Whatever Marc Aplin has to say in response, insist that he do the same. Don’t be like me and just take his word for it. Don’t let him take you for a fool.

I know that exposing him to you this way is the last thing Marc wants. He strikes me as someone who is big on appearances. And as it’s the last thing he wants, it will be the last thing I do. Thanks for reading.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 07:52:22 AM »
Hello @KnickyLA wecolme to the forums I hope you stay.

This is a different community from f-f Facebook with different members here, Marc doesn't seem to visit here very often

I've read your post  but sadly I can't help you much maybe one of the mods on here can through if you send them a PM

I hope everything works out eventually.

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Online ScarletBea

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Re: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 09:21:56 AM »
I find it a bit sad that you join the forum just to say this.

It also took me ages to get my t-shirt, and for Marc to reply to a couple of questions on other things that I messaged him for, but I know it's because he's very very busy. He's spread over many things, and some of those end up falling through the cracks.

I'm not on facebook so don't know how that works for blocking and stuff, but I doubt that was done on purpose.
Good luck on sorting everything out...
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Offline CameronJohnston

Re: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 11:50:59 AM »
Eesh, what a mess, hope it gets sorted one way or another.
In the interest of fairness, Marc posted this in response on the Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/FantasyFaction/:

A few people have messaged me about Knicky Laurel / Knicky Bletchley, so I thought I'd better make a post giving my side.

Over the past year, I've been trying to issue Knicky a refund for some Fantasy-Faction clothing she purchased. However, Paypal keeps declining the payment (please see pictures below).

We exchanged over 150 messages over the course of 2016 and the outcome of every exchange was the same: I try to make a payment to her, it fails, she thinks I am cheating her. I phoned Paypal and they told me that my account is confirmed and can send payments without restriction - they operate as a bank these days, so wouldn't tell me anything about Knicky's account at all.

Knicky has changed her name and moved from the UK to the US to Barbados. I asked them if these kinds of things may stop her account receiving money and they said if she hasn't updated all her information and confirmed it - so I relayed that.

Because Knicky sent me an invoice, it became a daily ritual of mine - log on to Paypal, hit 'pay', watch it fail. I asked another staff member to try sending her money and they had the exact same fail message, despite being in a different country.

After a while, we tried an international money transfe. Again, it failed (please see pictures below).

I can understand Knicky being upset. I'm not the quickest to reply at the best of times and 2016 was a particularly tough year for me - as people close to me with know. However, I do think it is unfair to suggest I haven't been trying to send her money back. 150 messages, 50+ attempts to make a PayPal payment, a good 30 minutes on the phone to PayPal (twice), setting up an international money transfer (despite having always kept my personal and FF finances separate), getting another staff member to try make a payment. I

I will point out that the first time Knicky messaged me was to ask me if she should send a manuscript to either Jo Fletcher Books or to Realmwalker (message below). I told her that she'd be best going with Jo and avoiding Realmwalker. I point this out, because my initial conversation with Knicky had nothing to do with money, or me trying to take advantage of her. It's a shame it came to this.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 11:54:42 AM by CameronJohnston »

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Offline Rostum

Re: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 12:09:47 PM »
Edit Post crossed with Cameron's but I will leave as is. Marc is (in)famous for delivery dates but always gets there in the end.

@NickyLA where are you based? What sort of card do you have attached to your PayPal account?

For the amount of time and effort you have put into this it's not about the money or hoodie.
You are obviously unaware of any extenuating circumstances involved across the dates you give.
I would suggest there are better means of resolving a private financial matter than a public, passive aggressive attack whether you are in the right or not.

I suggest you seek advice from your card issuer or PayPal on the best way to retrieve your money.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 12:15:04 PM by Rostum »

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Re: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 12:11:39 PM »
Thanks for posting the reply, Cam - I *knew* (from what I know of Marc) that things had an explanation.
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 08:49:05 PM »
Finances get tricky, with both people feeling they have done nothing wrong. Of course I go with Mark, because he's been a person I have spoken to before you. I also understand that 2016 was an extremely rough year, based on past posts. I understand your reasoning for posting this, but I don't think it will get you what you want.

Offline Nora

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Re: An Open Letter to the Fantasy-Faction Community and Our Mutual Friends
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 10:08:52 PM »
I can understand getting upset for seemingly losing money (ah the French have it right, we use checks a lot, and it's the matter of a postal letter!), but I don't imagine you getting huge amount of sympathy if you're doing a rant in our separate community to make sure we all see an occasional, if important member, in a tarnished light, for the sake of your infant daughter.

I'm sure your infant daughter would rather play, eat chocolate, and benefit from learning that life is better led when little things are let go of.
Maybe teach her to buy books instead of hoodies.

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So capsize we must.

Can't wait to see you in the streets fighting for stuff that matters!

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However change is not coming

The Obama era is indeed over, but Change seems to still be on the menu this year, though few enough are enjoying the newest flavours.

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I know that exposing him to you this way is the last thing Marc wants.

What do you know, maybe the last thing Marc wants is for some internet people to let us know they never got the farmed organs they ordered from him, and that they're sure he's using their prepaid human flesh to compost his garden.

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I didn’t lie to you. This is messy

I'm not even interested in distrusting you, but I wish you would please not call "failing to get a hoody refunded" messy, because you make my life look like a flaming ruin.
This is simple messy decisions. First rule of money management : you should not try to buy things through unprofessional outlets if you're not ready to live with the risk it entails (the little sister of the rule that stipulates one should never lend any amount of money one is not ready to never see again). You should not be spending money for branded hoodies if it represented a real loss.
If it's for the principle and not the material loss, then you should not try to tarnish a man's character in the eyes of a friendly community, when the problem is obviously related to a specific outlet.
When a company gives you bad services, do you go far beyond writing negative reviews, once you've done all the letters and refunds and stuff?
Do you think it's fine to find out what school the manager who failed you goes to, what church he attends on weekends, what hobbies he keeps on the side, just so you can go around making sure every single person he's ever distantly associated with knows how shady his behaviour was, failing to refund you, even though it seemed your account was also at fault?
I'm sure we all understand you've been poorly used at the end of the day, but I doubt your choice of "necessary public shaming" is going to win the crowd over.

I work in hospitality, and such long letters of disproportionate grief make me cringe with the memories of self righteous customers thinking they are demigods owed the earth.
Be serious. If you knew Marc through money dealings, be sure to leave a concise negative review where it'll matter, and don't go on a vengeful–unchristian, might I add, in case you're religious–campaign of shame.

Here it is irrelevant.


P.S: according to google, GPA is not an existing currency. What did you mean? What country has a currency where paying 15 of it is paying 70$?? If your money is weak, isn't it more like you paying 70 of something for a 15$ hoodie? I'm confused.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 10:14:13 PM by Nora »
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