Bissett Magazine Services have gone into administration without actually telling anyone and have ceased trading, leaving thousands of subscribers to various collectable and part works magazines in the dark as to what’s going to happen next.
Bissett held the Monopoly on subscription services in Australia for anyone who wanted to subscribe to publications from DeAgostini, Hatchet, Eaglemoss etc. and the first anyone seems to have known about it was yesterday when people trying to contact them by phone or email were given an automated message that said they had ceased trading and all subscribers would have to contact the UK customer service teams of the relevant publishers to see what can be done to complete our collections and models. Their website however is still running, business as usual, and it still accepting new subscribers and happily taking their bank details.
Personally, in our household, Bissett was getting quite a lot of business from us. I’m one year into a two and a half year subscription that gives me parts to build a 1:8 scale model of the Back to the Future DeLorean, and I was still waiting on a backorder for two missing parts of my Millennium Falcon build, which should have been completed months ago. My son subscribes to the Marvel Movie Collection magazine while my stepson subscribes to a graphic novel collection. My partner also subscribes via Bissett to various crochet and knitting projects.
So far Eaglemoss is the only UK publishing house that has acknowledged this problem and they are working on trying to find a solution to help Australian subscribers continue with their builds and collections. There has been no word from DeAgostini, Hatchet, etc. at the time of this writing.
We’ve been lucky in that Bissett always sent us our packages first and then took the money from our bank accounts and debit cards a week later. I am an administrator in a Facebook group that is dedicated to providing mods for the DeLorean build and I’m getting reports from some people who had money taken from their accounts by Bissett over the course of the past few weeks without actually getting any deliveries and it looks like they will now have to ask their banks if there is any way that they can get their money back. There is absolutely no information anywhere about contacting anyone concerning money taken for goods not received and the best anyone can get from Bissett is the recorded message on the phone or the automated email response which says the same thing, Contact the UK publishers and see what they can do. Some people are even reporting that they spoke with Bissett only last week and they were assured that their missing packages and backorders were still being processed, myself being one of them.
So at the moment, no one seems to know what is going on. Eaglemoss themselves say they only found out about it all 2 days ago. One person has gone so far as to cancel his credit card for fear the administrators will try and bill everyone for one more issue of their subscriptions and then fail to deliver anything in return. It’s all just a waiting game for the moment unfortunately and there’s not a lot any of us can do about it. It’s even affecting the modders as some Australians are asking for their money back on the mods and upgrades they’ve ordered in case they can’t finish the build.
For some of us, there’s a chance we can get our newsagents to order in the rest of our magazines weekly, but there are also lots of reports from people who say their newsagent won’t deal with partworks magazines and in some cases they’re in isolated towns with no other newsagents to approach. The other problem with continuing via the newsagent is that people won’t get the rest of their promised subscriber only gifts, so a lot of people are hoping a new distributor can be found for subscriptions and they will then continue everyone’s subscriptions as normal. This in itself will mean everyone needs to hand over their bank details to a different entity in order to be able to continue paying for their subscriptions.
As previously mentioned, it’s all a big waiting game for now and there will be quite a lot of people around the country with a half built model or collection that they’ve already invested quite a lot of money into who really don’t want to be stuck with half of what they were hoping to end up with.
If I get any further information I’ll post it all here as it comes in.