Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Essex_Geezer Novitiate

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    Exclamation Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Several days ago I posted my company details on the Business Link Website, more specifically for the Essex Area. I have since had a call from a company called PPA or Press and Publishing Agency at 1 Water Street, Liverpool. They asked me if I would like to advertise in an Emergency Services Annual Magazine, intimating that it was for the Essex Area. I agreed to look at the publication and upon conformation would think about taking a small 95 advert. Their call also sugested that nothing was due for a few months. I was surprised to get a call today asking me to settle an outstading account of 111.00 even though I have not seen the publication I was told would be sent, artwork or indeed a draft of an advert. All this within 48 hours of having spoken to someone I didn't know.

    Although they have an email address it does not link to a website and after trawling the net I saw postings from some local Liverpool Companies saying they had dealings with them over non-existant Wall Planner advertising. It would seem that this company offers advertising based on Charity or donations to good causes and then simply tries to collect without actually producing anything.

    Does anyone else have any more information or have you been in contact with them? Their payment request has some outlandish terms and conditions printed on the back that clearly break the consumer protection act and unfair contracts act - period.

    If anyone can offer me any help or other such incidents involving this company then please contact me so that I can take them to task over this.

    Thanks all

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    This sounds like the same people who were [problem]ming in south wales last year saying the ads would go on the bedside tv's in hospital - they were investigated by watchdog wales - I will check with my relative eho got ripped off by these tomorrow.


    Consumer Health Forums - where you can discuss any health or relationship matters.
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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder give_me_it_back Novitiate give_me_it_back's Avatar

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Sounds like the bunch who called me (in Scotland) last year. The ads do go in an Emergency Services wall planner thing that goes out free to people - I can't imagine anyone looks at the ads! They have very aggressive sales staff who hear the words "yes - I will pay your exorbitant amount to advertise somewhere no-one will see me" even if those words do not come out of your mouth! You need to be quite strong and tell them NO. They play on your emotions - saying it is for charity/fire services etc. I asked lots of detail about them. [EDIT] Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance.

    Regards

    Julie O'Neill
    SALES
    Julie O'Neill

    Abbey - 547.00 settled in full.
    Second claim: 204 WON.
    Barclaycard - 142.88 incl interest due WON BY DEFAULT as they didn't even bother entering a defence. Barclaycard paid up 184.88.

    MBNA - Concluded 634.31
    Capital One Concluded 148
    Kinda disappointed I've no more banks to go after now...
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  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder Essex_Geezer Novitiate

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    Thumbs up Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Thanks so much guys, I thought it was such a long-shot that anyone would have come across them, I feel a little more assured that I'm not being paranoid!! it can't be best practice to demand payment within 48 hours of discussing the possibility of advertising. I have dispatched my letter to them today but will keep this section updated incase anyone else has a similar problem. Thank you again, just knowing you read and posted here is a great weight off my mind.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder Essex_Geezer Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    My letter to the PPA sent today, it's a bit of a miss-match but I tried to make it sound official, truth is it looks like they go after new advertisers or small businesses whom they think will roll over.



    The Press and Publishing Agency
    4th Floor
    1 Water Street
    Liverpool
    L2 0RD


    Tuesday, 31 October 2006


    REF: CM2 0JY30/10/2006


    Dear Sirs

    Please terminate any further dealings with my company, Alchemy Training Essex Ltd with immediate effect. It has come to my notice that your company has been implicated in requests for money concerning advertising that has not been forthcoming and thereafter demands for payments not due. There is inference of malice and malpractice within such postings within a private forum. While this does not reflect the personal views of Alchemy Training Essex Ltd, it’s Directors or employees at this time, this information is provided to you for your own investigation.

    I would draw your attention to postings on ecademy.com from local Liverpool business directors.

    I must also inform you that the ‘Terms and Conditions’ (herby referred to as terms) breach the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (Commencement No. 1) Order 1987 and Unfair Terms in Contracts With Consumers, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

    Any attempt to enforce such terms will result in an immediate referral to the relevant watchdogs and regulating bodies as prescribed in such acts and may result in action being taken against you.

    Alchemy Training Essex Ltd and it’s Directors now call upon you to remove our details from your systems and to cease processing our company information by any automated means in line with the Data Protection Act 1998, Rights of Data Subjects and Others, 7. –(1) section (d). Any breach of this act will be dealt with in line with the relevant subsections of this act and will result in a complaint to the Information Commissioner being raised.

    You will now cancel all and any outstanding amounts levied by your company against Alchemy Training Essex Ltd, it’s Subsidiaries or Holding Company in relation to alleged monies due for advertising and services. Any attempt to collect on such alleged debt as a result of your non-compliance with this request will be referred for formal representation. Should you attempt to register such debt formally with any Credit Reference Agency or take proceedings against us we will counter such acts and recover costs from you.

    Alchemy Training Essex Ltd reserves the rights to publish details of it’s dealings with you including transcripts of telephone conversations, letters and other data not conforming to the definition of ‘structured data’ within the Data Protection Act. We also retain the right to recharge and levy costs for services such as Special Delivery postage, Company Services and Professional Fees against you in relation to continued communications with your company without such being considered a ‘Penalty’.

    I hereby represent the formal request that no further communication by your company, it’s employees, subsidiaries or representatives be attempted by means of telephone callsicon either to our registered offices or to mobile numbers held by our directors or employees. Any attempt at intimidation will be referred as appropriate to enforcing authorities.

    Yours sincerely


    Marc A Cain – Director Alchemy Training Essex Ltd


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder cadencealex Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    IT IS A [problem] - don't doubt yourself for a second... there are lots of them based in Liverpool and Merseyside - I worked for these companies when I was 16 one summer.

    There IS no calendar/diary.... they trawl yellow pages and phone books switching areas monthly and will even fax over pictures of sick children etc etc... depending on their 'campaign' that month. Fire Brigade/Leukeamia etc etc

    Think about it. How can one A2 Calendar hold hundreds of adverts? I am sure that they send YOU a calendar though in the end.. although I didn't work there long enough to find out.

    MacKenzie Campbell on Water Street is another company doing the same.

    Another one I worked at... went into receivership whilst I was there and we were told to 'leg it' - the culprits are behind bars now.

    In all honesty, don't waste your time replying to them - they have no authority to demand your money.

    The process - a monkey rings you up - chainsmoking at his desk - tells you about the ad and hopes you say 'yes' - then he/she tells you that a 'confirmer' will call you in the next 24 hours.. then they send you something out.. then you pay.. then maybe or maybe you don't get some artwork - which is not seen anywhere other than the office or your home.

    Losers. Ignore them.

    NEXT - sent CCA request - 15/01/09 - not received

    Capital One - sent CCA request - 15/01/09 - received CCA and also offer of 67 which I am not accepting.


    NatWest - sent s.77 letter complaining about default on file 15/01/09 - *WON* Default removed within a fortnight!!

    NEXT - 7/02/09 - sent further letter reminding them of breach of DP

    Cap1 - 7/2/09 - Accept part payment/reminder of default to be removed
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  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder give_me_it_back Novitiate give_me_it_back's Avatar

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Good God! That's awful!!! Thanks for the insight - really interesting

    Abbey - 547.00 settled in full.
    Second claim: 204 WON.
    Barclaycard - 142.88 incl interest due WON BY DEFAULT as they didn't even bother entering a defence. Barclaycard paid up 184.88.

    MBNA - Concluded 634.31
    Capital One Concluded 148
    Kinda disappointed I've no more banks to go after now...
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  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder Black Rat Novitiate Black Rat's Avatar

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Been there about 4 years ago company threatened legal action and made threatening phone callsicon reported them to trading standards calls stopped never heard from them again.


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder Bobs900 Novitiate

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    Exclamation Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware 2009

    Although this thread seems a few years old, these people are again targetting small businesses in the North-West Area. Cold-calling businesses saying they are the "local police" and ask for the manager. In a panic you rush to the phone to be greeted by a very persuasive man saying he spoke to you a few months ago and is confirming the order, then passes you through to one of his colleagues to process the order. If they can't get hold of you they will rarely leave a contact number, but keep ringing back. They may also ask you to pay over the phone then you can save 5/10% - DO NOT PAY. If you challenge them they offer you a better rate or discount.

    You will never receive an advert proof, copy of their terms&conditions or confirmed order in writing....just an invoice. If they ring tell them you want all communication in writing in the future and HANG UP. Its very hard as they know what they are doing, but you must be tough - they will not leave you alone otherwise.

    Its a shame because you want to support local police and the emergency services but the minute you support a legitimite publication you will never hear the end of it.

    Advice from business link - if you receive an invoice, do not reply to it, wait for them to chase you (they will). When they call tell them as you have not received an advert, t&c or any written confirmation then you are treating the invoice as invalid and have spoken to trading standards regarding the matter. I did this today with PARADOX PUBLISHING, and he told me "i'm going to take offence at that as we are a reputable company". I replied "that's up to you, but I can't find any information regarding your company on the website, and having spoken to trading standards they have advised that this is fraudulent" then i hung up. Not heard anything since (previous to this I'd had 4 calls in 2 days from the guy -even though I never confirmed an order). I have also received an invoice from INDIGO MEDIA with a cover letter - 2 lines on a piece of headed paper (no address just a symbol) saying my payment was overdue, please pay. Needless to say trading standards will be getting a call on Monday....

    Please watch out got these people, do not make the same initial mistake I did

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  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder coso22 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Lets just say somebody I know has just took a job working for a telesales company in the north west area they are selling advertising space in a so called fire brigade and police magazine averts 95 smallest all the way up and they will give you a better rate if you ask them do it cheaper they wont give you a phone number and they say nothing is due for a few months then they pass the person on to someone else who does a confirmation call and they persuade them to pay over the phone. They are told to say that the magazine has 50 pages and is going out free to the public 65,000 copies in each county, they wondered if its only got 50 pages how will all these adverts fit in, the businesses they contact are all over the uk not just in the north west I personally think its a [problem] and have told them to confront them about it because the business is based in just a couple of rented offices which anyone can rent. They are told that they can make things up about what charities the money goes to and that they can swear at people down the phone if they dont want it because it is a secure line and they cant get the number, plus if you say your not willing to pay 95 you want the advert for say 60 they will accept that it sounds seriously suspect and i know where this place is. The person in question is not willing to work for them if they are ripping people off because its plain wrong. ANY SUGGESTIONS???????


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder SteamyJ Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    I work at a charity in North Wales and we were recently (around October last year) contacted by a company calling themselves Turner Wilson Associates (and Turner Wilson Media). They said they had spoken to us some months ago about advertising in an emergency services magazine and could we confirm that we wanted our advert to go ahead. They called repeatedly, sometimes five times a day, about this. As we were in our busy period we were unable to act on the issue and had to keep ‘fobbing them off, which seemed to make their calls all the more frequent! We could find no information in the office so our office manager told them to send through a proof and that our adminicon assistant would confirm. Weeks passed by... then we received an email from them (from turnerwilson.net) with nothing attached, and then just the other day they called again asking for confirmation. Exasperated, we told them to send through a proof again and then we'd confirm. What we received was an invoice for 295! I decided to do some digging and the only mention of this company that I found online was here: http://www.advertisingprotection agency.org/Monitoring.htm

    Further digging led me to numerous websites, including this one, about emergency services advertising [problem]s. So, I have e-mailed them (to all given addresses!) stating that they are not to contact us again or I would report them to trading standards. Guess what? Their accounts department is now chasing us for payment of the invoice! They have given various website addresses and e-mail addresses, none of which seem to actually exist. The telephone numbers they provide, when dialed, lead to dead air.

    Has anyone else heard of or had dealings with this company?


  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder ceebee Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Not sure whether it was this company but we have in the past had lots of these calls saying they were from the Ambulance/Police service /Planning Department/Building Control office and many others.A tactic we found useful for getting rid of them was to ask them to put evrything in writing with their names , terms and conditions contact names at the organisations they represent and that are willing to act as references etc etc. not once did they follow it up, and ever since we have not had any more calls


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder Leakie Novitiate Leakie Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Hi alll
    I had one of these companies trying it on with me,
    They said I had agreed to the advertising a couple of months ago,
    I said I could not remember, but may have,
    I insisted on seeing the art work, nothing turned up apart from demands for money,
    In the end I just told them I had gone Bankrupt,
    never heard from them again.

    All the best

    Leakie


  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder jo1lygrngiant Novitiate jo1lygrngiant Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    I've had them all contact me, from various charities too.. As previous posters have commented, I always ask for the proof of the ad, their terms and conditions all in writing.. again not one have they followed up, nor I guess ever will..

    One thing I do know, that is when they claim to post out 10,000 copies to all and sundry, they do actually print off 10,000, post them off to the advertisers, then more then likely, the remainder are thrown into a skip, so in a way, they have fulfilled their obligations.. ( I was told this by my local business link guy a few years back, when I was on their course for starting up my business..)

    be safe JGG


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder SteamyJ Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    We are STILL being targeted by these ****my [problem]mers, now by two further companies - one apparently from Street Beat Magazine where a very nervous young girl from Liverpool feebly demanded payment for an invoice - she had no invoice number, order number or anything else but only a contact name. I explained that I believed it was a [problem] and she whispered 'I'm so sorry' and hung up the phone - oh dear! Poor girl! THEN, five minutes later, a VERY aggressive Scouser called from North Wales Emergency something-or-other demanding payment for an invoice for advertising. I asked him for confirmation etc, etc and told him to fax me proof, he said 'I will then!' in a high pitched voice and slammed the phone down.

    Guess what? No fax!

    This is getting VERY tiresome now. When will it end?


  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder SteamyJ Novitiate

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    Hello again. We're now registered with the Advertising Protection Agency. Turner Wilson calls, we tell them that fact and put the phone down. They become aggressive then fade into nothing. Street Beat has never resurfaced [EDIT].

    So, thus far, the [problem]mers are calling themselves:

    Turner Wilson
    Turner Wilson Associates
    Turner Wilson Media
    Street Beat
    Street Beat Associates
    [EDIT]
    North Wales Emergency Services
    [EDIT]
    (Most seem to be based in Liverpool judging by accents).

    All say that same thing, that they have spoken to (insert name here) and that they need either confirmation of an advert placed with them or payment of an invoice for an advert placed. They are very insistent that an order was placed with them verbally. If you ask for a copy of the advert/invoice, you will either receive nothing or an e-mail/fax/letter of a hastily put together document.

    My advice to anyone else experiencing this is - don't be scared. Whenever you do actually place orders with anyone use a designated person and always use an order number or reference that you’ll recognize and know that if it is not given on request then it’s unlikely you placed the order.

    You don't have to deal with these kinds of calls and you can put the phone down if they persist. Consider registering with the Advertising Protection Agency (they’ve been very helpful and reassuring to us). Don't let the [problem]mers get to you! Don't agree to anything! You know you didn't place an advert with them so stick to your guns! Calmly tell them each time that you didn't place and advert and would they not call again. If they call a lot, tell them they are harassing you and that you will report them to higher authorities if they continue. They'll threaten court action, they’ll get aggressive etc, but they have no grounds and they’re just bullying you for money. Register with the Advertising Protection Agency too!

    Any further developments will be posted. I just hope I’ve been able to help someone else in a similar situation.

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  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder neeny Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    After opening our shop a couple of years ago, I spent the first 6 months answering the phone to [problem]mers! It is something new businesses need to be very careful of.

    I had energy suppliers trying to pawn me, telling me they MUST have my details because the meter wasn't registered and I wouldn't be billed and so would build up the debt to an unmanageable amount (I was already getting monthly bills.)

    I had calls from 'your local childrens' charity' - 'which one?' 'er which one is it that you have been supporting, we represent a few'.

    Then the same voice ringing a few days later 'for cancer research' 'what's the registered charity number there' 'er...I don't have acceess to that information'

    And the above mentioned advertising [problem] - drugs leaflets in schools, hospital tvs, police mailshots blah blah.

    Still, it was a good way of releasing the pent up stress of setting up my own business 6 weeks before recession was announced!


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    These people have been going around for years under one name or another.
    Son got a call from one next thing there is art work - yes actually got art work - 2 year old could have done better. Next thing a 4 page magazine - yes magazine they called it arrived. Someone who had actually paid these lowlife rang and asked us how much had we paid and had we had any calls from the ad. Told them we hadnt paid them anything and wouldnt be he couldnt believe he had been conned. Then the demands and threats started, contacted local TS then contacted the TS in Liverpool. Went through a right fight with the particular company I now cant remember there names. Anyway to cut a long story short they ended up in the Financial Mail and were being taken to court in the end they got their legs chopped off. Within weeks more calls from another company - guess what - same people running it. They never got a penny from us. Anyone gets any calls from an unsolicited company like that tell them go shove themselves.
    DG

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  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder Philip23 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    Tried it on in our school a couple of times. Companies were Manchester based. Headteacher fell for it once, and on the second occasion I suggested it was a [problem], and why would our school want to advertise in Manchester. Needless to say they phoned to ask for payment, to which I replied that a letter was in the post stating we no longer wanted to advertise with them. Whoever I spoke with said "have you sent the letter Recorded Delivery?" - no says I, and why would I - anyway I've just told you and have emailed your company too. Quite put out, even though they were stealing from small children!!!


  20. #20
    Basic Account Holder Really fed-up Novitiate

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    Default Re: Advertising [problem] - Small Companies beware

    More companies to beware of - Manchester & Liverpool area, but plaguing me in Oxford.





    Elite Creative Manchester


    Crime Prevention Campaign, Mindel House, Manchester

    All these claims for alleged adverts allegedly booked I have reported to my bank, to the police, to the Trading Standards Office. There was a woman "from accounts" trying to extort payment for Waldorf & James in Portsmouth. I asked if the call was being recorded, and asked why NOT, when she said no. I asked why she was calling from a mobile phone if she was calling from an office- "we're having trouble with the landlines" HA!
    When I said I had had a sequence of calls like hers, and was referring everything to the police, she got frightened & backed down big-time.

    Also - a call from someone calling himself John Evans said he was from the Charity Commission. He said there were more payments going to be claimed against me (the Commission has "an oversight" of such claims etc) and for 1000 he could have the amoutns of these claims cut by half & make sure no more reached me. I said I couldn't talk to someone on a WITHHELD number. So he called me on a mobile - which is the number I have given to the police. Needless to say, the Charity Commission DO NOT operate in that way - I chatted to them, & they said they had heard of that [problem].

    Beware of ROUGH voices, bad grammar, people you have never heard of using your Christian name etc etc.

    I've been tricked into paying - but 2 of them have paid me back. And I will hunt down the other 3 to the ends of the earth - AND MAKE THEM CRY!!

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