Adam Joy, COO of the ANF, has responded to an email I sent him about correspondence relating to Hubbed he sent to a newsagent re Hubbed. In that correspondence Adam inferred that I was on the ANF board when to chose to go with Bill Express. I was not on the board then. I emailed Adam inviting him to revise what he had written. I also asked some questions about Hubbed.
Click here to see a response from the ANF to questions and my complaint about their letter to a newsagent. I’ll post my original email to Adam as a comment to this post.
Here is the response I sent yesterday to Adam’s letter. This response needs to be read in-conjunction with Adam’s letter.
Thanks for responding to my email.
You have inferred that I was on the ANF Board when the Bill Express decision was made. I was not. In fact, I joined months later. You need to advise who you have put about this mis-representation to.
In your letter you refer very selectively to the minutes of several ANF Board Meetings where Bill Express was discussed and use to build a narrative supporting your apparent claim that I supported Bill Express. The minutes in my year on the board were an inadequate representation of three days of meetings. Also, these minutes do not cover Executive Meeting discussions and other discussions. My position on Bill Express then and now is on the public record – a record which is counter to the narrative you have sought to pitch. You need to withdraw what you have written.
Now I will turn to the questions I raised and your response. For ease of comparison I will use the same numbering but not repeat my question or your response.
- I see no evidence of what I would call reasonable due diligence in your answer. You should have financial models at the core of this so newsagents can see the full costs and full opportunities. Your response does not indicate a rigorous process.
- The only business plan that matters to newsagents is their business plan. I would have expected the ANF to create business plans for each Hubbed offer so newsagents can see how it can play out.
- You say you have conducted retailed research on bill payment yet you have not published this. It would be useful to the ANF case that you publish this along with details of the newsagents you have worked with over the last six months on this issue. If your process is sound then the evidence will boost newsagent confidence.
- The ANF should have this information. You suggest its similar to a Point of Sale provider. No, it is not similar. Here, the ANF is a promoter. The obligation on the ANF is considerable yet to fails so far to step up. In terms of Point of Sale, each item in a package – which can be leased through any bank, finance company or other party – can be priced back to the individual item. With Hubbed this is not the case for some of the items. This is core due diligence the ANF ought to have undertaken for newsagents.
- I am told that newsagents querying what happens to Hubbed Premium hardware if they decide to not continue then Hubbed will find another location. I would have expected the ANF to require this to be covered in the contract and further that the lease for the equipment and the Hubbed business itself are one in the same.
- Yes there appear to be three different agreements. My view is that there should be one agreement so as to avoid a core issue with the Bill Express model. Further, I would have expected that thorough due diligence would have required that this be the case.
- Thanks for the response but I would have liked to see more detail.
- I am not challenging the integrity of anyone, just asking a question that needs to be asked. Attacking the question is unhelpful as it detracts from your answer.
- I would gave expected the ANF to be paid for the considerable amount of marketing support provided in your various media platforms and the time invested by your staff in promoting Hubbed to newsagents. I am not involved in any company operating in the space occupied by Hubbed.
- I have seen no information provided to demonstrate experience from the people behind Hubbed in the launch and running of a start up business in the consumer-facing services business at the core of the Hubbed offer.
I am happy to discuss Hubbed face to face. A public forum would be appropriate to demonstrate transparency. If the Hubbed model is good as you say it is newsagents will see that and embrace it. Your responses to my questions do not provide the detail and comfort I was seeking.
The ANF and Hubbed appear to not like being asked questions or challenged. If the offer is genuinely good and if the ANF has undertaken thorough due diligence on behalf of its members thorough scrutiny ought to be welcomed and result of good member up-take.