It is no exaggeration, dear reader, to say that I'm considering giving it up.
It's not that I don't enjoy it any more. On the contrary, I enjoy it more than ever, and have been looking forward to 2011 like no other in my short online history.
It's not that people have stopped reading or responding. On the contrary, I've got more regular readers - and comments of a higher standard - than I've ever had.
It's not that I have gone skint. Now whilst I can't say 'on the contrary' here, because times are harder for everyone - including me, I'm still chiseling out a living from my online endeavours (and considering myself a million times blessed that I'm able to do that, so absolutely zero sympathy required!).
No, it's none of the reasons a business should fold.
In fact, it's the most annoying, frustrating, disappointing, downright stupid set of reasons you can imagine.
Firstly, PayPal have decided not to accept more than half of the instalments to the Geegeez Racing Club (and another of my services). This is down to the fact that they don't like recurring billing payments, and seem to reject them for a variety of reasons known only to them. Suspected reason: because I deal with gambling-related products, despite that being entirely legal in UK.
Secondly, despite having an impeccable trading history for four and a half years, and a commensurately pristine relationship with my bank and my relationship manager, I'm having extreme difficulties in procuring a merchant account - which is a means of taking payment without troubling PayPal (who have grown into a monster with zero customer service, and have the power to stop a business dead in its tracks...). The reason for my difficulties in securing alternative processing options: because I deal with gambling-related products, despite that being entirely legal in UK, and despite my bank being happy to accept the transactions into the account.
Thirdly, and what might be the final nail in the coffin, my email sending company have decided to close down parts of my account (to be closely followed, presumably, by the rest of the account), including the 'Geegeez' list. The reason: because I deal with gambling-related products, despite that being entirely legal in UK.
In other words, despite not doing anything illegal; and despite being at continued pains to try to do my bit to tidy up an otherwise dirty arena; and despite having a readership that recognises and embraces that (thank you, thank you, thank you); I am not allowed by the fundamental building blocks of any business, to conduct business.
It is against the terms of service of my payment processor to process transactions for betting-related products. It is against the terms of the service of my emailing service to send emails for betting-related websites.
To put it another way, it's like being shut down by your finance and marketing departments! And, frankly, I don't really have a leg to stand on.
You see, it IS against those company's terms of service, despite what I might consider ethical and know to be legal. So ultimately I can have no complaints.
For the record, aweber - an email sending service of similar size and repute to getresponse, who are closing me down - explicitly state that so long as betting is legal in my country (which, of course, it is), they would welcome my business.
And that's where I'm headed, with some of you too. I will lose somewhere between 60 and 70% of my subscriber list in the process, which is actually a mixed blessing. [Those emails I sent before Christmas asking people to unsubscribe if they didn't read the messages... the trouble is lots of people don't even open the messages or don't use that mailbox any more or whatever. So this way, if you didn't read the message and take action, you wouldn't be signed up on the new list]
As you can probably tell from the self-indulgent rant above, I'm properly hacked off. Fed up. Gutted. I spent a long time building this place for us, and I am seriously attached to it in a very personal way. For large corporations to essentially shut me down despite me doing nothing wrong in the eyes of the law of my own country is ridiculous. And deeply upsetting.
Which is why I'm seriously considering the end of the line.
Ultimately, I'm pretty sure that we'll get over this, and that there will still be a Geegeez.
But right now, it feels a bit like losing a child. Or at least a well-loved pet. [Apologies to those who have lost children. I can't begin to imagine what that feels like.]
Anyway, not much else for me to say today, except I'm working hard to move things across. I'll probably bugger one or two things up along the way, because - as you all know by now - I'm a bit of a techno-clunker. So please bear with me on that.
And if you'd like to continue to receive Geegeez emails, please add your name to the box top right of this page. THIS WILL LIKELY BE THE LAST EMAIL I'M PERMITTED TO SEND FROM MY CURRENT EMAIL COMPANY.
Feel free to leave a message or comment of support for Geegeez below if you'd like. I'd love to have something to email to the faceless bureaucrats!!! 😉
And feel free to pass this message to other people, and encourage them to sign up to Geegeez, as we'll be a tad 'scarce' for a while, alas...