The Truth About The ELANS Awards In VancouverTuesday January 20, 2009 - Author: NightStorm -
So, how much do you know about the people you send your money to? I thought that we knew the producers of The ELANS Awards (formerly The Elan Awards) well enough to trust them to their word.
Wow, was I mistaken. From having to wait for months to get a payment, to lies about the delays, to cancelled meetings at the last minute, to actual insulting emails and threats being sent to us because we do not and have never provided the service they are suddenly demanding from us. Well, I’m sorry to the producers, but I’m not a psychiatrist, so I can’t help you with your problems, any more than I can provide free website management to you, all because you think you’re more important than the rest of the planet.
I had not heard of a boiler room until recently. It’s enlightening that my first experience with the term was when someone else in the local Industry sent me a link to The ELANS own Jack Weatherell being found guilty of operating a Boiler room by the BC Securities Commission, and charged $25,000 ($33,219 total, after including legal fees) in 2000 (links further down). Is this someone we want to be associated with? I am left wondering how much of their thousands and thousands of dollars in sponsorship money is actually being invested into the show, and how much is being skimmed off the top by the producers. It supports that theory when hearing from some of the people involved in last year’s show, who have pointed out that some are still owed money. Let’s not forget the day of the show, when we were told by the Center that we could not even enter the venue to set up for the show, because the Producers had not yet even paid for it’s usage. And, while at a recent networking event in Vancouver (one of many that we attend, as we are friends with most of the people there), we took some time to chat with a friend at another company, only to be notified by Holly later that we had no right to speak with him and that we are not to do so again. That one really bothered me… that they feel that because they pay us for webspace and bandwidth, they also have the right to dictate who we can talk to, and what we can talk about. Sorry your highness, but you do not own us, and we will associate with whomever we so choose… which is likely not going to be either of you.
I sympathize with those whose email addresses were farmed by these two, and added to a non-opt-in emailing list. I apologize especially to Andy Dunn (zman), whose name and address was farmed from linkedin, resulting in spammage from Holly and Jack, and his having to “lock down” his profile on there, potentially blocking out possible legitimate contacts (see below for the link).
To be warned in advance to not work with these two people is one thing, but we made a choice not to listen to those warnings, and now we are stuck with the headache of having these leeches attached to our company. I can only feel relief that all they screwed us out of was $150 contract payment, and our time maintaining a site that they either could not figure out for themselves, or could not be bothered to take the time and learn (yes, we offered on several occasions to show them how to manage their site, only to have them cancel at the last minute every time, yet constantly send us “updates” that they demanded be posted right away… something they could have done for themselves, but decided that it should be a service we provide to them, even though it was never a part of the agreement).
The truth of the matter, plain and simple… these two are scam artists to the core, sucking whatever they can from those who mistakenly get close enough, then throwing them to the side once they are done with them. Jack’s history with the Securities Commission is warning light number one to avoid them… if he was so quick to take thousands and thousands of dollars from innocent people then, how is what he is doing now any different? Simple answer, it’s not. It’s truly a reality check when people you thought that you could trust turn out to be nothing more than manipulative liars. I don’t want anyone else to find out about Jack and Holly the same way we have. Take this advice, do your research, and draw your own conclusions. But let me tell you, it doesn’t take $250 to send a game to 5 people… especially when you have to supply them with a copy of the game in advance. Where is all of this money going, if not to actually pay the people they owe it to for their show? Once you factor in that they also are charging an additional $250 just for a ticket to the show… well, the math doesn’t add up (what one person would go through 350 dollars in seafood and champagne, just to find out if they won a $100 pewter trophy?). Lets not even begin to mention (okay, let’s) the fact that in order to submit your game for “nomination” (seems more like having to buy your way into the awards), you MUST send the producers 7 copies of the game for each category you buy into, so that they can be sent to the 5 judges. Wait a minute, there’s that math again. Where do the other 2 copies go? And do the nominators get their games back when it’s all done? So, lets work some numbers. $250 to enter, plus lets say $45 per game (oh, how I wish new games only cost $45) times the 7 copies you must provide. So right now, we’re at 565 just to enter into a category. Want to watch your game win? That’ll cost you an additional $350… that’s right people, the right to attend the show you just sent your 7 games to in hopes of winning a pewter statue is going to cost you another $350. So, we’re now up to $915 just to win an award. They call this an appreciation towards the gaming industry. To me, it looks more like a financial raping. I haven’t even bothered to factor in the hundreds or thousands of dollars that would have to be spent on airfare/travel fees and hotel rooms, for those who don’t have the convenience of living in the host city of Vancouver.
I wish I could tell the World what these two people have to say about those who do NOT “donate” thousands of dollars to buy a sponsorship package… if only there was a way to do so without revealing sources.
But do your own investigating.
How they build their “Opt-In” list (by the way, Opt-In lists are supposed to be built based on people requesting to be placed on it, and not by farming addresses from webpages… Jack and Holly are building their list using the same tactics that are used to send 90% of the spam you receive in your email accounts):
And here’s some great reading on Jack’s history with stealing money from people (Anyone who talks with Jack Weatherell, ask him to explain Tech Investments Inc, and who Ross Kain and Rodney Degroot are):
The above links simply show that Jack Weatherell doesn’t care about the people he works with… he only cares about the money they have, and what he has to do in order to get to it from them, even if that risks leaving them with nothing. A true user and manipulator.
So what do I want? I’ve certainly given up on the money they agreed to pay, especially after sending us an NSF cheque, then telling us that we should be happy to have even gotten that (provided a picture for your viewing pleasure, just to show that they were happy enough with the product to send a cheque, but for some reason the thousands that they are bringing in for submissions and sponsorships just doesn’t seem to stay in their account long enough to cover the expenses they are ringing up). Do I want them off our servers? Yes, but they made the choice to pay for the full year (albeit at a VERY discounted rate, and 4 months late), so I will continue to give them the service that they pay for. What I really want, is for the rest of the World to know just who Jack Weatherell and Holly Carinci really are. I hope that soon, they all do… before it ends up costing them thousands of dollars, lost to 2 people well on their way to becoming among Vancouver’s worst scam-artists. In the unstable economy of today, people’s money should go towards legitimate purposes, and not have to be invested in buying your own award when you fully deserve to be given one (its called an award for a reason, after all).
I wonder how much the SpikeTV Video Game Awards cost to enter…? Or The Grammys. Or The Junos. Or The Oscars. The list goes on, but I imagine the result is the same… no matter what you invest into entering, you at least come out with something much better than these two are providing.
Recently, there was a video game tournament held in Vancouver called Vanlan. The ELANS reminds me more and more of that tournament every time I think about it. Even the people that run both events are the same. Take the money and run.
I know that our other customers have not seen what Jack most recently said to us in regards to them, but just the same I apologize for his statements. If it ever comes down to it, you all will of course come first, and he can take his illegal stock selling, email spamming, and bad attitude and find another host who will provide him with the space, bandwidth, and 4000+ outgoing messages per email spam blitz and find another host to take for a ride.
And, for your viewing pleasure, I give you my $150 custom coding payment: