Fair Succeed Uncategorized vmware VMworld

#Success Yesterday I got angry with #VMware, at #VMworld but #congratulations are now deserved

Yesterday I blogged

Later that day, VMware proved they can be nimble and take out of scope decisions quickly, i have tired over recent years of large corporates telling me I have a good idea, but their policy/budget/manger/exec does not allow and that they are sorry that they cannot execute the good idea, so…

After the potential PR disaster of mistakenly telling a few hundred people at VMworld Europe they had won an iPod, VMware\’s initial response was simply sorry. Later that was upgraded to a free marketing t-shirt. Ho hum. I was not impressed.

So I wrote to them suggesting that for a few hundred quid (probably not even detectable in the budget for the conference!) they could have one extra iPod and hold a random draw for all those who thought they had already won one. It would not fix things, but it would at least give everyone a chance, and demonstrate that VMware understood the impact they\’d had.

It\’s NOT about \”compensating\”, it\’s about recognising the excitement and then disappointment that people will have experienced.

To my amazement, VMware not only agreed, but said they\’d give me an iPod to say thanks for the idea. I don\’t often get the chance to praise big companies, but I am happy to do so here.

But, I stress, even if they\’d not got a second for me, I\’d still have written this post

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: RE: Suggestion, was: Re: Congratulations, You are a VMworld Survey Prize Winner


Thank you for the suggestion.

Since you came up with this suggestion, we will provide you with one.

Please come by meeting room xx in the Bella Center to receive your iPod.


Name removed

Subject: Suggestion, was: Re: Congratulations, You are a VMworld Survey Prize Winner

How about you put an iPod Touch into a draw for all the people who got the email?

Cost you a few hundred quid/dollars/euros and everyone who thought they had one, would at least have had a bite at one.

Not trying to be troublesome, just making a suggestion to overcome the loss of goodwill and the major disappointment felt all round. It wasn\’t *inconvenient* it was exciting, and then massively disappointing.

EU HMRC Refund Tech*Ed Uncategorized VAT VMworld

EU VAT reclaims – great news if you do not already know it

Something I really have to share 🙂

For any of you out there who are VAT registered business then you can now much more easily reclaim EU VAT. Now, I’m no tax expert, so please ensure that this meets your situation – I’ll not be liable for what you do with the information (but I’d like 10% of any rebate please!).

When you do and don’t pay EU VAT (perhaps that should read should and shouldn\’t!):
You do: When you travel into the EU for work (say a conference like Microsoft Tech*Ed or VMworld), you end up paying for several things with VAT on them at the local rate (conference fee, hotel etc). HMRC do not repay this money in your VAT return, as this is locally paid VAT. This is because the services or good have been provided in the country of origin, and not the UK.
You don\’t: If you buy goods or services that are provided in the UK from another EU country, then (provided you supply your VAT number at the time of purchase) they should be invoiced to you without VAT on the paperwork (e.g. Microsoft TechNet+ subscription)

Old method of repayment:
Until this year, in order to get the EU paid VAT back you had to submit paperwork to the HMRC equivalent in that country, and generally that was a lot of hard work, and there were firms out there to do it for you (and take 15% or more off the top).  And the paperwork was in the local language.

New method of repayment:
Now, (and the reference document is Refunds of VAT in the European Community for EC and non-EC business ) you can add a “VAT EU Refunds” service to your online HMRC services.

To get this working:
• Logon to your online HMRC VAT services account
• When the list of services shows up, scroll down and look for “VAT EU Refunds”
• Click on apply for service
• You will have to enter the following: your VAT no, date you registered for VAT, postcode, last month of latest VAT return, value of box 5 on that return
• You’ll be told an activation PIN will be sent to you.
• When the PIN arrives, complete the registration.

Other points:
• Claim period is calendar year not tax year.
• Minimum claim is €400 for part of a year, of €50 for the whole or remainder of a year
• You may need to check which claim items are valid for VAT refund (some countries have disallowed items)
• You may need to submit electronic copies of the invoices above certain thresholds (€1000, or €250 for fuel)
• The online forms are in English
• Rebates can be made in £ sterling to your bank account (less charges for the transaction – you’ll need to check)
• You must claim by 30th September of the year after the calendar year for which the claim is being made
• There may be % to apply to claims – you will need to check this out before claiming