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Posted by Lester Madden under Gadgets, General

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If you’re a geek in anyway you’ll probably want to get yourself some tissues before reading this.

In marketing you often get lots of cool goodies, I have boxes of stuff under my desk, behind my desk and piled up at the windows. But once in a while you get some really cool stuff. Consider if you will what is probably the worlds best gadget. Behold the Chumby.

The official description of a chumby is:
Chumby takes your favourite parts of the Internet and delivers them to you in a friendly, always-on, always-fresh format. It’s a window into your Internet life that lives outside your desktop, so content like weather, news, celebrity gossip, podcasts, music, and more has a place to play away from your world of documents and spreadsheets. Just plug in your chumby, connect to your wireless network, and use your computer to create a lineup of favourites from over 1,000 widgets in more than 30 categories, with new ones arriving all the time. Then let your chumby do its thing—streaming everything you like, from sports scores to stock tips, from video clips to interactive games, from photos to trivia

Put simply, imagine  having Facebook, YouTube, and webcams on your alarm clock. Imagine waking up each morning and your clock showing you the status of the underground trains and what the weather is like.

How can you not want one? But before you get your credit card out and place and order, they don’t ship chumby outside the US. I found that out the hard way. We were running a competition and they were the star prize, so you can imagine that I was pretty keen to make sure we actually had them to give away to the winner. What to do?  Well, lets just say we managed to get hold of 20 of them. Meanwhile our competition was going great, needless to say people loved the chumby and fought hard to win and in no time at all we had our 20 winners.

Six of the winners were in China so I sent them out to their new owners. 2 months go by and we finally hear that customs are holding the package as they are forbidden items and cannot be imported. No problem you would imaging, just send them back and I’ll make sure they go to a good home. This turns out to be ‘no problem’ but they want a combined £250 release fee and a £100 postage fee for each item. The original chumby only cost £100. Obviously we are not going to pay that to get them back, so now the unthinkable happens, they get destroyed.

So if you are a gadget loving geek like me, spare a thought for those 6 healthy baby chumby’s that are being put down. I feel like I have put them in a sack and dumped them in a river myself. It’s heart breaking.

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Reader's Comments

  1. Duane Maxwell |

    Very strange that the chumby is forbidden for import into China, when they are, in fact, manufactured in China.

  2. lesterm |

    I asked our post guys, something to do with a licence to export but not import.
    It’s a really shame, the Chumby is fantastic and the thought of them being destroyed is really annoying me, considering where you are from it probably annoys the hell out of you as well.

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