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Roamfree Forced Into Administration

Discussion in 'Domain News' started by geodomains, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. geodomains

    geodomains Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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  2. TroyWhiteInternet

    TroyWhiteInternet Membership: Community

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    Great spot Don!

    I'll have to look into this one as well. Could well be worth going it alone in this space rather than rely on these hopeless affiliates. Would be interested to hear your plan of action, pls message me if you want to discuss.
     
  3. TroyWhiteInternet

    TroyWhiteInternet Membership: Community

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    Don,

    I just spoke with my contact and she advised that's it's the parent company, not the one that pays my bills that's in trouble. She has advised that's it's business as usual for RoamFree Pacific. I'll probably still take action to replace them initially, then come up with a longer term plan.

    I've just been approached by a multi-national who are keen to work with me so there might be something there. I'll let you know of any news as we move forward.
     
  4. TroyWhiteInternet

    TroyWhiteInternet Membership: Community

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    Does anyone else own high profiles tourism domains or websites?

    Don and I are looking at possible options so if you own tourism websites please let us know and we'll try to keep you up to date with any developments. It would be great to have an idea re the size of network (and market share) we have as a group.

    NF - I know you guys have a few.

    You can email me directly: troyw [at] troywhite.net.au
     
  5. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    I think Don knows all ours. We're keen to be involved with anything you can set up.

    Bad news about Roamfree - 25 staff members would have to be the problem wouldn't it. Do they really need that many people?
     
  6. DomainMarketPlace

    DomainMarketPlace Membership: Community

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    http://wotnews.com.au/news/roamfree/

    looks like they cut 50 staff 16 months back
     
  7. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    Wow - how can any site like that warrant 75 full time employees!! No wonder they went into trouble...
     
  8. TroyWhiteInternet

    TroyWhiteInternet Membership: Community

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    They certainly weren't sales people. The number of venues on their lists in my areas has been dropping for months. I actually tried to broker an arrangement where they'd pay me a % for signing up new properties. They didn't take it up. Now they're broke. :(
     
  9. TroyWhiteInternet

    TroyWhiteInternet Membership: Community

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    Thanks to everyone that has contacted me with their tourism domains/websites. One of the options being looked at is developing an independent, cooperative booking system similar to RoamFree's system but independently owned by a small group of domainers/ website developers.

    The plan would be to charge venues 10% (widely accepted in industry). This would then be broken into 6% for the booking website, 2% for the account manager and 2% for system maintenance, etc.

    This is just one of the options being investigated. If you have tourism websites and would like to be kept up to date, please let me know.
     
  10. Ben

    Ben Membership: Community

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    I suggest you explore getting paid in full asap - right now. I'll email you Don re:someone that can help you, I found his details.

    Troy, if you want to contact me somehow I'd be interesting in looking at being part of a system like that. Between me and another travel business I work with we can offer over 75k uniques a month, all Qld traffic. Also another 35+ local travel businesses we deal with are in addition to that, some large names and all resorts or hotels, car rental, tours etc mainly in SEQ. So can help from all angles really. I have about 50+ undeveloped Qld geo's on the go as well.

    Ben
     
  11. geodomains

    geodomains Membership: VIP

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    Hi Ben,
    Yes recieved your email and I phoned the guy you mentioned, " guess what " he is no longer with Roamfree as of yesterday.

    Doesn't look good. :mad:


    Don
     
  12. Ben

    Ben Membership: Community

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    It's a shame. That's not good to hear. Not un-expected either.

    He organised me a payment even though one wasn't due as I was under the threshold, I had them pay me anyway with some interesting facts they didn't want to be hearing. Most helpful person I ever encountered with their lot.

    Still, I really did have annoy them to get this and had to act like a child and play their games. Sorry to say it Don, but might be time to start considering stronger options to get their attention. Squeaky wheel and all.
     
  13. DomainMarketPlace

    DomainMarketPlace Membership: Community

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    Sounds like an interesting project. If RoamFree goes belly up do you think the IP will be sold off?
     
  14. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

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    Don't mean to be the bearer of bad tidings, but reading between the lines (with my Law Student hat on!), RoamFree and all it's subsidiaries or related companies are ultimately going to be "cactus". I hope I'm wrong though.

    Here is a link to the Voluntary Administrator - and their info and circulars relating to RoamFree. http://www.ferrierhodgson.com/en/Current Matters/Corporate Recovery Matters/Roamfree Limited.aspx

    Whilst they say " The administration relates solely to the non-trading parent company Roamfree Ltd. The Group’s subsidiary trading companies, BookEasy Pty. Ltd, Roamfree Pacific and majority owned Tourism Technology, will continue to trade as normal." - have a look at the downloads - and in particular the Press Release.

    Mr Michael says: “My initial focus will be to maximise the recoverable value of the company’s investments in and loans to the Group’s subsidiary companies.”

    That says it all. House of cards - once one falls, so do the rest. The only people to get money out of this will be (i.m.h.o) secured creditors i.e. financiers - and of course Ferrier Hodgson and solicitors. My bet is that they'll try and sell it off as a going concern, but anybody who is interested will try and get it for next to nothing.

    Maybe that is where the opportunity lies for all you guys?
     
  15. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    Yes guys if you have any money owing do what you can to get it out. In my other business (cars) we've been caught several times with companies going bust and if you leave it too late you'll lose it all.

    I wouldn't place much faith in business as usual....
     
  16. Ben

    Ben Membership: Community

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    Neddy, the vultures already split it up, got their profits and ran. All the good assets are sheltered by related, from what I understad, safe companies. Something might salvage and it will be interesting to see where the domains and subsidiaries go.

    They have some fine domains, not sure how that got added in and where they are at. They did go poaching desperate travel businesses into selling for fractions of their true value, one's with nice traffic sites or domains.

    ADDED NOTE: You'll find it's fairly accurate, but I'm no lawyer and this is all effectively hear say and conjecture, I do really wonder what's happened. I get booking daily, $150commission from one today. So fingers crossed someone salvages the good bits and get's it totally new everything top to bottom.
     
  17. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

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    Hi Ben,

    Some good points that you raise. However FHodgson are known as "vulture tamers". LOL. For a start, they wouldn't get involved unless their fees were guaranteed - and then it is their statutory duty to look at related loans and all other transactions. They can "claw back" going back many years if they need to. If you look at one of their PDF's on the link I posted, their fees alone are estimated at $60k - and that's only up until the second creditors meeting! Good job if you can get it!

    One good thing though, as Vol Administrators, they are legally obligated to pay "the bills" from the date they took over i.e. all new and ongoing transactions and commissions. However, this can change if the status changes e.g. receivership or liquidation.

    Let's hope for the best outcome all round.
     
  18. Ben

    Ben Membership: Community

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    Nice info thx Neddy. Fingers crossed they actually start meeting obligations.

    I think you'll find they have no qualms in delaying payment and never have at any stage of trading. I have at least 4 stories of withheld payment from roamfree alone from local online travel operators. They make their own rules and have done for sometime. They law is a long way behind them and not catching soon.

    I would love to know what they owe. If you want to read some gold check these links:
    http://tims-boot.blogspot.com/2008/04/roamfree-rumour-up-to-95-made-redundant.html
    http://tims-boot.blogspot.com/2009/08/roamfree-misses-debt-payments-and-goes.html

    I love the people that defend what they have done like they would have some sort of clue. We do the bookings, we know.
     
  19. geodomains

    geodomains Membership: VIP

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    Well I recieved my first Roamfree payment in my account today since May, was a small payment compared to my sales stats. Me thinks its time for forensic accounting.

    Don
     
  20. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

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    Hi Don,

    Just out of interest, were you paid commissions for referrals made prior to FHodgson taking over? And if so, was it full settlement?

    I've thought a lot about this situation over the past few days, and the thought occurred to me that FH may well make some past payments in order to stop a stampede of people like you and Ben. If they lose good regular ongoing revenue, then the ultimate sale value of the asset is obviously diminished.

    But bear in mind that the tap could get turned off anytime! That's your business decision to make.