brubros

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About brubros

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About Me

  • About Me
    FlightSimmer 10+ yrs. First FS experience however was as a 12 yo in Kenya when I wrote the president of East African Airways asking for a spin in their Vickers VC10 simulator cockpit (Photo: bit.ly/Z1VHaU) which, surprisingly, he happily accommodated. It did not have hydraulics to shake the cockpit but everything else was top notch and quite realistic - even back then. Many years later I was able to find a FS version of the VC10 which kind of completed that circle.
  1. Nope. All I can tell you, Gerry, or anyone that has been following this thread, is that the dishonest ones in a position of power will be receiving a very unwelcomed inquiry from a U.S. government agency based on information that came to light during this research and forwarded to the authorities. If FSGenesis is still an operating company by this time next year then I have failed. I'll check in here again, after it has gone out of business, and when I can go over what precisely happened to the dishonest ones. I received an Emmy nomination not long ago for my investigative journalism work. I know what I am doing Gerry.
  2. Well, Justin, for coming clean I've just placed a custom airport order at your new site. I look forward to the quality result. This does not address current grievances but your authenticity now does, however, address past grievances to the extent possible, at least for me. More later. But this is progress. And thanks for surfacing.
  3. UPDATE : Good thing I am not a betting man. InterMap sent me an update to say that FSGenesis status is "on life support" (rather than being terminated as I had predicted) for reasons that I think are not required to be repeated but make sense. In other news from other research coming together today (things start to click quickly when new facts emerge): FACTS There have been three owners of FSGenesis over the years: Justin Tyme (Pennsylvania/Colorado) until 2013 though ironically this is not yet a fact but rather a de facto aka FSGenesis founder, developer, consultant or employee to new owner Michael Epstein (Florida) for, seemingly, around 90 days only before sale aka eDimensional, BBB 'F' Rating (Florida, California) Cameron Cox (Utah) => Current Owner with Justin as consultant/employee aka put kibosh on lifetime or previously purchased product So the company purchase was actually between Cameron, current owner, and Michael, prior and very short-time owner and not, apparently, between Justin though Justin appears to be part of any deal that involves FSGenesis.
  4. Kind of off-topic but not enough to start a new one. I was shutting down some monitors and saw some results of earlier research that I thought I would share before killing it: Top 5 countries viewing FSGenesis.com (last 90 days): 1 United States 25.12% 2 Martinique 14.19% 3 Canada 9.65% 4 United Kingdom 7.37% 5 Belgium 5.39% The FSGenesis website is estimated to have about 3,000 visitors a month. So I was wondering, why would visitors from Martinique, for example, be the second most frequent location seeking out terrain mesh in the FS world? This question has nothing to do with this inquiry. Just curious if this visitor distribution is meaningful in a FS context or just random given the rather low sample.
  5. UPDATE : Just spoke with a senior representative of InterMap, the technology provider to FSGenesis' NEXTMap product line. The introduction of the NEXTMap technology in FSGenesis' new product line marked the beginning of the end of lifetime memberships. Here are some of the highlights of our call: 1. There has been a definite sale and a purchase of FSGenesis. "We had to write up new contracts with them", I was told. 2. Justin continues to work for (instead of own) FSGenesis but still "lives in his mother's basement". I think that goes back years now - it's also where, you know, I begin to think, is it really worth going after a guy in his mother's basement? But knowing what I know (and can't entirely share just yet) that hesitation is significantly lessened now. 3. When InterMap attempted to contact the new owner about the issues I raised apparently the owner inadvertently picked the call up then begged off the call immediately saying he was late and, after repeated attempts by the InterMap executive, never did return the call. "There's only one reason why someone won't return your phone call" the executive commented to me knowingly. 4. FSGenesis is currently in "account review" at InterMap. If I were a betting man, based on the facts emerging, etc., I'd say that InterMap is about to pull out of its licensing agreement with FSGenesis. I will share the outcome of the FSGenesis account review with their technology provider here when I receive notice.
  6. UPDATE : So FSGenesis.com domain was administered (owned?) briefly in 2013 (May until August) by Michael (though last name is public record nonetheless omitted here) of eDimensional, Inc. (an apparent games accessories vendor with website: edimensional.com) in Jupiter, Florida and later updated with location of Victorville, California). This was discovered earlier but not reported here pending further research. Today I received an information update that indicates that the same company that briefly registered FSGenesis.com also has a track record with, you guessed it, the Better Business Bureau (California BBB via Florida). An excerpt from BBB report: eDimensional, Inc (760) 513-9090 (Disconnected)15329 Tamarack Dr STE 300 STE 1200, Victorville, CA 92392-6412http://www.edimensional.com/ On a scale of A+ to F Example complaint: Complaint: Purchased right hand access controller for XBOX 360. When received it was in very bad condition and did not work properly. When trying to fill out a web site RMA that did not funtion. Tried calling them phone number disconnected. A few day later found out they moved from Florida to Victorville, CA but with only a fax number. Tried emailing the email address I had but with limited response. I told them in the email that it did not work as expected and wanted to return and a credit card refund. This request received no response Product_Or_Service: Access controller XBox 360 Order_Number: XXXXXX View complete record at: http://www.bbb.org/central-california/business-reviews/video-games-supplies-and-parts/edimensional-in-victorville-ca-1023577/complaints#breakdown ------------------------------------------------ EXIT STRATEGY? There's a part of me that just thinks, "OK, if someone verifiably from FSGenesis were just to come on AVSIM and say something like, 'we have heard from our customers and we've messed up a couple of times [specifying those times so we are all clear], we're trying to do better [by doing x,y,z], we can't afford to make restitution to our former lifetime members but we can commit to make [whatever commitments they want to make that demonstrates genuine change]' then, I'm thinking, I have spent enough time on this effort, I'm even starting to get upset at perfectly fine fellow simmers on this forum which is no fun, and, frankly, I don't like where all this information flow is headed (I almost don't want to turn up the next rock coming down the stream I've already started) so I'd like an easy way out is what I guess I was thinking! Is there anything FSGenesis can say to make former lifetime members feel less trashed? Otherwise, how far do I go with this?
  7. Exactly. As I mentioned earlier FSGenesis can hardly be cavalier as their place in the market has become quite competitive where it once was not.
  8. UPDATE: Better Business Bureau of Utah just wrote me to confirm that they are submitting my complaint to FSGenesis and they have until October 27th to respond. 1 FSGenesis can respond (and I'll copy/paste here) 2 FSGenesis can choose not to respond (and their BBB rating goes to hell - which is probably of no concern to FSGenesis) The inquiry to BBB has served its purpose already however. In attempting to get a correct address (the Riverton, UT address on their website is currently inaccurate/fictional according to BBB) and so a lot of discovery took place and new information, some of which I've described in this thread and some of which I alluded to, surfaced in an effort to find a valid address. More on this later.
  9. mgh - I'm sorry. What's your sudden interest in my sudden interest? EDIT Never mind that question. But what you quote from FSGenesis has absolutely nothing to do with this thread. They can terminate offering new memberships anytime they want which they did. Absolutely no problem with that. This issue (and I'm getting tired of retelling this) is about how they treated those that signed up during the time they had the offer. Their treatment of customers are not innuendo - their shabby treatment is fact. As to why I picked this time? Because (if you read this thread which I wish you would) you would know that a few weeks ago I went back to the FSGenesis site to see what new stuff they had only to discover all these shenanigans. That's my "sudden" interest. OK. So, one more time, let's go over why dishonesty may be a part of this ordeal: It could be dishonest if a vendor Offers a lifetime product offer and then not honor the terms of that offer to those that paid even though the company remains in business and under new management. If you want to quote something relevant please quote where they say they went out of business. You won't find it. It's could be dishonest if a vendor Says they lost all your computer records (that's what raised the eyebrow, in fact, of the CEO of InterMAP, the technology supplier to FSGenesis) as a way to terminate previous commitments. Note that this same "kill the computer" stunt was pulled by at least one other FS vendor (if you read this entire thread you can read about a simmers experience from Australia with another fs vendor that did exactly the same thing as FSGenesis - you can say it's coincidence which would be equivalent to sticking your head into the sand in my opionon) so this is not a new trick. It could be dishonest if a vendor: Says on their website (as they do now) that all records are lost but if you supply evidence of your past purchases you will be credited and then entirely ignore people doing exactly as they were told by FSGenesis and supplying prior records only to receive a repeated form letter and no credit for non-membership purchases. Here's an idea: Gerry, here is what I suggest. Why don't you send an email to FSGenesis and tell them there is this disgruntled customer on AVSIM that has been prying into who they are and how they conduct business. Give them a link and then ask them to host a Q&A here and if they are truly innocents then don't you think they would jump at the chance to clear their name and win back customers? Good luck with that.
  10. Mgh - couple comments. Problem is FSGenesis makes no representation that they"ve gone out of business. Instead they write on the website that they are under new management. This whole issue would be moot if they went out of business and perhaps that's the only likely outcome. This still iis in fact finding mode but so far it looks as if dishonesty may have been a factor. There also is the possibility that some state laws may have been violated but it's premature to say for certain. And then there is the IRS and their interest in how/if all of this income for lifetime memberships was accounted for. I could go one. But this happens in baby steps and right now the focus is on BBB outcome and InterMap's call later this week to discuss licensing and other issues related to FSGenesis. Last point. vendor beware should be the new truth in these cases not emptor.
  11. Sorry but that's just not true. Download their USA terrain mesh for $70 today (what I should be able to re-download for free but they are no longer allowing) and the first thing you see is software installation instructions signed by Justin and showing a 2008 copyright. It's the exact same software they have always been selling (they are just charging more now). As I've already described they do had a newer product line that's strictly for non-USA geographies that uses Intermap technology but that's not the primary issue at hand (unless Intermap tells me next week that no such licensing restriction exists). =================== On another note, I find it quite odd that it seems that a contingent of AVSIM community likes to just join in the chorus that there is no such thing as a lifetime membership. Tell American Airlines that. They still have passengers flying around world first class after paying $250,000 each on a one time lifetime promotion years back. American now hate that they offered the deal but they are stuck with it. But it's much bigger than that. If we accept crap from the few vendors that work in the FS space then that's what we'll get. Personally, I've gravitated towards ORBX because the people behind that company list their names, you can reach them, they respond helpfully and there is NEVER any hint of feeling ripped off with them. PDMG, likewise, is a serious company with series work. Not quite as accessible as ORBX folks but they put out a great product and they take customer satisfaction seriously. They and similar vendors deserve our support. FSGenesis (and increasingly FSPS) deserves our scrutiny. It's our community after all and I think many of us would like to keep it professional instead of shady. Thanks for the encouragement! We all deserve better.
  12. Some updates. First, spoiler alert. FSGenesis and FSPS (FS utilities) appear to be run by the same individual(s). This was news to me but I have to believe a number of our FS community members have known this for some time since it was not hard for me to find out using readily available public information. Updates: 1. Better Business Bureau of Utah can find no record of FSGenesis (or variations of that spelling) in Riverton, Utah using the only address provided by FSGenesis on their website. Based on new findings (see below) the complaint is being resubmitted to BBB. 2. The BBB's inability to locate the business prompted a record search for business registrations in Utah but no registrations were found for FSGenesis (or name variations) 3. Which prompted the creation of a complaint filed through Utah's Division of Consumer Protection (last verified address from 2009 invoice for FSGenesis was in Indiana, PA but no registration history exists in that state either) 4. The technology licensor that is the backbone of FSGenesis "NEXTMap" product line, InterMap, wrote me yesterday to say they had an update on their inquiry to FSGenesis but wished to talk to me rather than email - we are scheduled for that conversation next Thursday 10/17 5. Based on additional research a new/different address (a business park in West Jordan, UT) surfaced for FSGenesis which will be provided to Better Business Bureau to refile the complaint (see #1). 6. A new individual name (first name of Cameron) has surfaced (new to me but now that I Google it I see this is not news to everyone) as domain owner for FSGenesis.com that goes back some time. More recently the name has been removed and now has a GoDaddy proxy. 7. Cameron (and the previously mentioned business park address) reappears, upon some further research, and reveals that both FSGenesis and FSPS appear to operate under the same address/roof. 8. Business registration ownership records for FSPS indicate identical family name to owner of FSGenesis domain name. No further updates expected until next Thursday. Reminder on why this research is being done. FSGenesis has been unresponsive to multiple requests over multiple months from many in the FS community on how FSGenesis can justify dropping a previous significant commitment made in return for cash and then expect its same customer base watch it continue to conduct business as usual without further explanation or even token gesture of redress. It is their unwillingness to engage in an open fashion on these and other matters that dictates filing formal complaints through industry and State organizations. Filing complaints requires identifying responsible parties and addresses and that is the stage this effort currently finds itself. A copy of one of FSGenesis' early promotions commitment: Link expires 11/10/14
  13. I agree with most of what you say but disagree with your conclusion. FSGenesis has had ample opportunity to come clean about what has really transpired and why. They referenced that terms of their technology supplier disallowed them to continue honoring the lifetime program (not explaining why their freeware-based product was also excluded). OK. So I rang up the CEO of the technology supplier to see if FSGenesis claim was warranted and CEO put someone to find out what the story is and I expect we'll hear back by the end of the week. That's just taking the next natural fact-finding step. The BBB, likewise, is a fact-finding vehicle (putting aside for the moment their business-centric biases). When communications with a business hit a dead end, like they have with FSGenesis on this topic, calling in the BBB is not premature or unwarranted and is in fact encouraged by the business community (over taking legal action). But I absolutely agree with you that the questions you raise should be addressed.
  14. Informative feedback from all. To those who have had a good experience I have no doubt. I don't necessarily think this is about "bad" people. The product has always been admirable though its space is becoming increasingly more competitive. For those of us who followed Justin's business and personal struggles over the years (it became almost a telethon of email as suggested elsewhere) I am pretty sure all would agree that Justin tried to be on the up and up but was just down on both his luck and, perhaps, business skills. But he had a unique, at the time, product that deserved support. From other research (if repeating what Googling reports is considered research) it appears: 1. About 1,000 people subscribed as lifetime members over multiple years 2. Cost for lifetime membership appears to have ranged from around $90-$120 or about 10X average single product purchase 3. Lifetime was considered viable to Justin because his product was based on data that was freeware he just assembled so his costs, as he saw it, were negligible and offer sustainable 4. That changed when Justin expanded to higher quality data he licensed from Intermap 5. Justin communicates to lifetimers that terms from Intermap no longer allow him to honor the membership for Intermap-based products. His freeware-based products remained free. 6. FSGenesis.com disappears from the internet only to return some time later in a new form 7. New website says all data lost. Users must submit proof of prior purchases. Lifetime offer would no longer be honored. 8. There is one report that Justin stayed on at the company "under new management" in an exclusively technical role though not clear if that's a fact or current 9. Members report submitting proof that is either effectively ignored or outright rejected by FSGenesis 10. New members (who were not intercepted by one of the 1,000 longtime members and forewarned of FSGenesis practices) generally appear to have fs industry average experience. No better. No worst. 11. And, in the back of my head and not on Google, why, with such a toxic liability of a thousand lifetime customers looming over them did they not just go out of business and re-form under a different name to make the change clear and absolute? Why was keeping the entity intact under the circumstances so important? File that under idle speculation. Open to learning of any corrections or additions. What I've done and what I encourage others to do (in addition to posting your story here on avsim as suggested by others as the best Yelp there is for our community): I contacted the Utah branch of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online. Click on big "File A Complaint" button on home page. On the select company by name page FSGenesis will not be found. Just type in FSGenesis and Riverton, UT (if anyone has a more complete address please reply to this thread with it and I'll update this) and the system will accept that. Complete a very basic three page online form. Who are you? Who is the business? What happened? What resolution do you seek? They promise an inquiry and a response. The requested resolution I made to BBB was a refund of my membership. That would be the honorable thing for the company to have done. Problem is if the 1,000 members figure is correct then I don't think it is likely that FSGenesis is just sitting on a $100,000 pot to reimburse us all. BBB, like your congress, responds to numbers so if more than just a few simple complaints are filed with them the more likely this will rise in priority and receive a critical view. This next action I took is FYI only. I don't think it would be productive to flood this company with email. They are innocents with a reputation to maintain and pressure to apply. I reached out this afternoon to the CEO of Intermap who licenses their technology to FSGenesis NEXTMap line (the non-freeware piece). Within the hour (on a Friday afternoon no less) I received a very earnest response from VP of Global Sales who asked for a few days to investigate. No one appointed me sim activist so I'll stop there. But the next place to approach I'd think are retailers carrying FSGenesis products. Not to boycott (apparently many of us silently are already) but to apply further pressure to ask them to request FSGenesis do something about their prior sales commitments and to stop sticking their head in the sand sending out the same form letter ad nauseum. In the meantime I expect that Intermap will be Googling FSGenesis (I suggested they do as much to see for themselves the chatter over the years) and so if anybody else has something to report (and I'm not abusing any rules of this forum by suggesting this) or wants to confirm filing a BBB complaint it might be helpful to do so in this or some other related thread as it is likely your posts will hit some new radar. I hope this can be a do the right thing moment for FSGenesis. And I hope others, who have had a good experience with FSGenesis "under new management", will understand that, like cars, mileage may vary and some of us, reportedly 1,000 of us, feel the way this came down was unnecessarily ugly and unprofessional regardless of their current practices and this must be called out.
  15. True. But there IS a difference and this may be the root of the problem. The examples you cite all went out of business. Doors locked. End of story. FS Genesis makes no representation that it has gone out of business. The only representation it is making is that, out of the blue, it will not honor lifetime memberships or prior purchases of any kind. But you're right, caveat emptor.