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UKARA are a cartel?


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#1
ocho

ocho

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I've been trying to join UKARA since September last year. I also support AoBA and any other body that checks a player's eligibility, I would ideally like to be a member of all.

UKARA they change their rules and regs every time I try, only some of their members adhere to these "rules", they took weeks to respond to any communication, and in my opinion seem to be "keeping" this industry to themselves and a few retailers.
First they wanted me to put a telephone number on there, which I can't do as it's an online shop and I work full time. Then they said it was my supplier who had to be UKARA reg'd not me. Then Frank (why is this guy involved, he has a financial interest in selling RIF's yet he can choose who else can compete with him?) treis to get rid of me ... it goes on ...

I'm that sick of them and the way they've treated me, I wanted to post their emails up on here so everyone in Airosft can see what they're doing.

The emails show the latest reply first, so chronologically start at the bottom.

If anyone else has had any experience like this with UKARA please share them


................................................................................
............




Well I'm sorry it's not acceptable for some members to be asked to jump through more hoops than others.

I'll take these emails to the Home Office, UKARA have been very unfair with me the whole way through this, I will take this further. I am also aware of other retailers having the same problem, so I'm not alone.


----- Original Message -----
From: UKARA Application Admin
To: Steve - 8th Regiment Armoury
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: UKARA Application


Im afraid Steve the criteria is their to be followed and is not open for negotiation. As mentioned in a prior email the criteria is amended from time to time.

Best Regards,
UKARA Application Administrator



On 04/06/10 14:24, Steve - 8th Regiment Armoury wrote:
Hi

Firstly, who am I dealing with as I have no name for you.

I have read your criteria and you have changed it again. I have been through this all last year with you guys, it would be nice if you guys actually read the email discussion I've had with you since september as it is all listed below. (it was originally sent to my other email: hoibal@gmail.com)

I have pointed out before that your current members do not adhere to there guidelines, lots of them do not list a phone number yet you keep insisting I do. Why is this, we are going over old ground again. And why do you want 2 trade references now, it was one last time. My comapny is verified by Verisign, Santander and RBS Worldpay as a genuine business which you can check online.

If you look down to your email from december it says:

"Evening Steve, do apologise, it isn't Franks fault, in fact its mine as I hadn't realised the current status. The only bit we need now for the criteria is a "Company Bank Account (merchant account)" slip and/or references from a trade supplier.
As soon as that's through (either by scan, email or posting) I can shoot off the next email with given instructions on the next step, and how to use the system along with the membership fee details."

I can send you a scan of my Merchant Account slip from Streamline as requested back in December, is that okay?

All the best

Steve


----- Original Message -----
From: UKARA Application Admin
To: Steve - 8th Regiment Armoury
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 1:55 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: UKARA Application


Hi Steve, I will resend the criteria email and let you step through it.

Best Regards,

On 04/06/10 12:49, Steve - 8th Regiment Armoury wrote:
Can someone explain the criteria to me as it changed every time I applied! Literally!
Please have a look through this email, I have been pushed from pillar to post over this.

Steve
----- Original Message -----
From: UKARA Application Admin
To: Steve - 8th Regiment Armoury
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 8:48 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: UKARA Application


Hi Steve, your more than welcome to resubmitt your application however you still have to conform to the criteria.

Best Regards,
UKARA Application Administrator

On 02/06/10 13:06, Steve - 8th Regiment Armoury wrote:
To whom it may concern

I have been trying to join UKARA since September last year and seems I am still nowhere near getting this done. Can someone please let me know when I will be approved please as I want to sell RIF's as soon as possible.

Best regards

Steve
8th Regimnent Armoury



----- Original Message -----
From: steve
To: applications@ukara.org.uk
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2010 7:46 PM
Subject: Fw: UKARA Application


Hi guys

Am still waiting for some sort of comunication here, can someone please respond to me? Does it usually take over 6 months to get this organised?

Best regards

Stephen Herbert
8th Regiment Armoury
www.8thra.com



----- Original Message -----
From: steve
To: applications@ukara.org.uk
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 5:27 PM
Subject: Fw: UKARA Application


Hi Application Admin

Sorry for my delay in replying, this is my new address (replacing hoibal@gmail.com).

Who supplies the RIF's we are looking to sell is nothing to do with UKARA (as I have said before on this email), furthermore I would ask that you stop requesting this information given that your Chairman is a competitor of ours. As I have said before, we have been approved as a bonafide business both by RBS WorldPay/Streamline and Verisign, and we are also currently VAT registered, so we see no need to provide trade references; we are simply using your service to check the eligibility of our potential customers. We will of course provide payment for the UKARA service when we have seen the Terms & Conditions of Business, and when we are ready to start selling RIF's.

That said I look forward to receiving your email outlining the next step, details of the fees and of course Terms & Conditions of Business.

Best regards

Stephen Herbert
8th Regiment Armoury


----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Herbert
To: Steve
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: UKARA Application





On 1 December 2009 21:34, UKARA Application Admin <applications@ukara.org.uk> wrote:

Evening Steve, do apologise, it isn't Franks fault, in fact its mine as I hadn't realised the current status. The only bit we need now for the criteria is a "Company Bank Account (merchant account)" slip and/or references from a trade supplier.

As soon as that's through (either by scan, email or posting) I can shoot off the next email with given instructions on the next step, and how to use the system along with the membership fee details.


--------------
Best Regards,
UKARA Application Admin

http://www.ukara.org.uk



Steve Herbert wrote:

Hi Frank

I've received no response from you so I shall assume that for whatever reason my application is unsuccessful, even though I have adhered to all your guidelines.

That said I will now pass this matter to the relevant bodies as I feel you have purposefully rejected my application to try to keep this market to yourself and current members.

I will of course still be selling RIF's next year and am relishing the opportunity to compete with you as my main competitor. I wonder if this might have affected my application?

If your position changes please let me know.

Best regards

Stephen Herbert
8th Regiment Armoury

www.8thra.com <http://www.8thra.com>




2009/10/29 Steve Herbert <hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>>


Frank

Please give me a definative answer as to my membership with UKARA.
I have satified all your criteria. If no please explain why.

Stephen



2009/10/29 UKARA Admin <applications@ukara.org.uk

<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>


Hi Stephen

We have a set of criteria which we require of our retailers
and new applicants.
For existing ones we are gradually getting them to adhere to
our current standards for new applicants they meet the
criteria or they do not join.
The criteria are amended from time to time and sometime at the
end of last year they were amended to reflect the new
requirements that the committee felt were needed from
retailers who wanted to join us.

It is no ones right to join us, it is our association and we
have rules just like the gun trade association and other such
organisations, we are not a cartel we just have a set of
standards.

You meet the criteria asked for or you do not get accepted

We have situations were the public complain to us about the
service and general bad practices of non ukara retailers and
we do not want the same complaints about retailers associated
with us so we set the criteria to avoid the complaints.

Regards
Frank
Chairman



From: "Steve Herbert" <hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>>
To: "UKARA Application Admin" <applications@ukara.org.uk

<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>

Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 4:00 PM
Subject: Re: UKARA Application



Hi

I am used to delays with UKARA, no need to appologise.

I have spoken to the home office who replied:

"Anyone manufacturing, importing or selling a realistic imitation
firearm will have to comply with the legislative provisions to
claim
one of the defences."

As I am the company who will be selling these items, it is
myself who
is responsible for checking a customer is eligible to buy an
RIF at
point of sale, not my supplier. The legal requirement at point
of sale
is with the seller, not the supplier. They are simply my
warehouse and
do as I instruct them.

I have to say that I am unhappy at the way UKARA seem to find any
excuse to stall this process, and am unsure if there is a
conflict of
interest as those considering my application seem also to have a
commercial interest in RIF sales, and therefore would be
considered a
competitor. Please could you explain this.

Best regards

Stephen




2009/10/19 UKARA Application Admin <applications@ukara.org.uk

<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>:


Good morning Stephen, sorry for the delay however we where
discussing your
specific circumstances. As you are in effect acting only
an agent for the
supplier, its the supplier who needs to perform the UKARA
check as
ultimately they are the ones dispatching the goods to your
customers. The
return address would also need to reflect this.

Your supplier may already be UKARA retailer registered?

--------------
Best Regards,
UKARA Application Admin

http://www.ukara.org.uk




Steve Herbert wrote:


Hi guys

It's been a month since I re-applied for UKARA
membership so I am emailing
to see how my application is going. I did have a
referal from your site this
months but couldn't see where you'd listed me.

Best regards

Stephen Herbert
8th Regiment Armoury



2009/9/17 Steve Herbert <hoibal@gmail.com

<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com> <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com
<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>>>


Many thanks, do let me know if you need anything else.

All the best

Steve



2009/9/17 UKARA Application Admin
<applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>

<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>>


We've received your application and will look into it
as soon
as possible.


--------------
Best Regards,
UKARA Application Admin

http://www.ukara.org.uk


Steve Herbert wrote:

I have re-applied on the website, but it already had my
company email from the last time I applied, and I never
got a password so I couldn't use the initial application,
so I re-applied using this email address.

Let me know if I need to provide anything else, or if I
need to change anything.

Best regards

Steve
www.8thra.com <http://www.8thra.com>
<http://www.8thra.com> <http://www.8thra.com>




2009/9/14 Steve Herbert <hoibal@gmail.com
<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>
<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>>
<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>

<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>>>>



To whom it may concern

I have listed my address and telephone number on my
site here:

http://www.8thra.com..._...6&Itemid=11
<http://www.8thra.com...d=46&Itemid=11>

<http://www.8thra.com...id=46&Itemid=11
<http://www.8thra.com...=46&Itemid=11>>

<http://www.8thra.com...id=46&Itemid=11
<http://www.8thra.com...d=46&Itemid=11>

<http://www.8thra.com...id=46&Itemid=11
<http://www.8thra.com...46&Itemid=11>>>

RBS Worlpay wanted this including, and have checked its
size and
legibility and are happy with it.

Please let me know what I need to do from here to
become a member.

Regards

Stephen Herbert
8th Regiment Armoury





2009/9/8 Steve Herbert <hoibal@gmail.com
<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>
<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>>
<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>

<mailto:hoibal@gmail.com <mailto:hoibal@gmail.com>>>>



I think you should reconsider as some of the sites
already
listed do not have these details on their site:


http://www.militaryi...-us/info_2.html

http://www.actiongam...contact-us.aspx

that's just two of them.

Also, this site is closed!

http://www.airsoft-direct.co.uk/

Also, here is a link to look at


https://seal.verisig...=...COM&lang=en
<https://seal.verisig...RA.COM&lang=en>

<https://seal.verisig...HRA.COM&lang=en
<https://seal.verisig...A.COM&lang=en>>

<https://seal.verisig...HRA.COM&lang=en
<https://seal.verisig...RA.COM&lang=en>

<https://seal.verisig...HRA.COM&lang=en
<https://seal.verisig....COM&lang=en>>>

I would like someone to telephone me and explain
why I am
being singled out like this, as you other members quite
clearly do not adhere to your guidelines.


Stephen Herbert
07787 078 242




2009/9/8 UKARA Application Admin
<applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>

<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>>>

Good afternoon Steve, im afraid we're going to
have to
decline your application in respect to the criteria
mentioned on the first email. Should you
situation change
in the future your more than welcome to re-apply.

--------------
Best Regards,
UKARA Application Admin

http://www.ukara.org.uk


Steve Herbert wrote:

Hi there

No problems with that apart from listing an
address
and phone number on the website. This is an
online
business run from my home in my spare time
by me, the
products are sent directly from the
supplier so we
hold no stock nor take returns to the business
address, that is dealt with entirely by my
supplier.
If it helps I have just been issued a VeriSign
certificate for the website, so the business is
confirmed as bona fide as you put it. I am
happy also
to supply you with the limited company
number of my
company that owns the site, listed at
companies house.

I hope this is suitable, as I'm sure you
understand I
would not want my home address or telephone
number
easily accessible online. When the business
grows
enough for premises this will change.

Any further help you can give would be much
appreciated, I am not in any rush as my
supplier is
still looking at different RIF
manufacturers, and
until that is confirmed I will only be
selling normal
goods i.e. clothing and accessories.

Best regards

Stephen Herbert
07787 078 242



2009/9/2 UKARA Application Admin
<applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk
<mailto:applications@ukara.org.uk>>>>>


Dear applicant, I am contacting you from
UKARA in
regards to your
recent retailer application request. We
apologise
if you have
already previously been contacted - if
we receive
no further reply
after 10 days hence from this email your
application will be
removed from the site (however you may
always
re-submit at a later
date).

Before we can continue processing the
application,
we need two
letters of references from either a
trade supplier,
bank, VAT
number, or certificate of corporation to
verify you
are a genuine
business. Please post copies to the
Ukara address
(located at the
bottom of the email), or scanned and
attached to an
email reply.

We also require your shop premises
address - or for
online shops
only, the following criteria displayed
on the website:

* Contact details (postal address) and
phone number.
* Returns policy and a conditions of
sale statement.

Our membership criteria includes:
"All UKARA members have to satisfy
the Committee
that they are
operating as a bona fide business,
properly staffed
at all times
during normal working hours."

UKARA Postal Address:

UKARA Application Admin
Hollygrove
Morwenstow
Bude
EX23 9JL

--------------
Best Regards,
UKARA Application Admin

#2
Devastator

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I suggest you point this thread to them, it would be interesting to hear what they have to say on the matter.

#3
ocho

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I suggest you point this thread to them, it would be interesting to hear what they have to say on the matter.


will do, cheers!

#4
socomtactical.net

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We also have had issues with them as a retailer we and no longer going to be part of them.

We found that the " core" members or what ever they have changed there name to now are simply in it to control and market.

We had nothing but problems with the account being suspended due to non payment when we still had over 4 months left as they apparently couldn't find our payment (8 months after payment) its a joke several emails and proof of payments over 2 weeks finally got back online.

I think it should be run by non retailers, also another thing which annoyed me a bit was the UKARA email list being used to contact us by of the core / founding members to try sell us wholesale.

I have noticed the ukara retailer list getting smaller and smaller hopefully some one else on the block will help.
Laurence
www.socomtactical.net

#5
Matt!

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wow didn't know it was that difficult to sign up?

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New To Airsoft? | Transporting RIF's?


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Welcome to the forums :)

#6
ocho

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Cheers for the reply Socom, sounds like there's more than I thought!

It's a pity with UKARA as it would make things easier, but I genuinely believe that UKARA is now redundant what with the advent of AoBA and UKAPU as both of these organisations can check eligibility, and also the sites themselves can help with information and checking ... we're all working to the same goal, the future of the sport.

I genuinely laughed out loud when they wanted 300 a year for this "service" :lol:

I'm not surprised they haven't posted on here even though I mailed them the link.

#7
Matt!

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before this post i havent heard of AoBA, i have heard of UKAPU but wasn't sure what they did, UKARA are hugely recognized, every softer knows about them but if they dont get their act together then it seems this AoBA will take over they just need to get themselves out there ! :)

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#8
ocho

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Hi Top_dog

After speaking to the Home Office, and chatting to people in the Airsoft community, it seems clear that whilst UKARA can save a retailer time to check player eligibility, that's all they're used for. It's only people who sell RIF's that might need to deal with UKARA as it stands for UK Airsoft Retailers' Association. Players should use AoBA or UKAPU.

The other thing is, if players nationwide join one of these two organisations, as an RIF retailer it makes it soooo easy for me to check your eligibility to buy a gun, which means you get it quicker and everyone's happy. I imagine it also means that once you join and get a membership card, you can go into any shop and buy an RIF with that card as ID.
It all makes sense to regulate players as they are the people who have to prove eligibility to purchase, the retailer doesn't need a special licence to sell RIF's.

So that said maybe I can see why UKARA are trying to hang in there, but truth is they're surpluss to requirements; players nor retailers no longer need them with the advent of AoBA and UKAPU.

(in my opinion lol)




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