Friday, November 10, 2006

 

Euro Business Guide

Misleading ‘contracts’ sent via Email

When your company starts to get a bad reputation what is the best thing to do, change the name! Or at least spin off a new company with a slightly different name. We first saw the tactic employed by Novachannel AG, where we have had reports of many different names on the mailshots E.g. Camping Guide, Tourist Directory Restaurant Guide, Travel Agency Tourist Directory and Tourist Directory Guide D'Hotels

Next up came the ECG who at the start of this year began mailing new forms under the trading name E.C.G., S.L. the forms had titles such as Industrie En Handel 2006 and Commerce Et Industrie 2006.

Now another guide that has been getting bad press has done it. EU Company Directory has begun sending new forms using the trading name Euro Business Guide See contract (PDF)

This contract is, in our opinion, more misleading than the previous one (which has lead to many disputes). Euro Business Guide are currently sending it via unsolicited email, the emails we have seen originate in Timisoara, Romania, printed versions may also exist.

Analysis of the main misleading elements.
The first thing that meets the eye is the Euro symbol encircled by the stars of the EU, for anyone in a recent Accession Country (Quite possibly reading this in a language other than their mother tongue) this could give the impression that the form has official EEC sanction.

Scan Right and in bold Writing it reads Company Data Control, Hardly an indication that this is an advertising solicitation!

Depending on how you read the document, you will then come across one of 2 bodies of text, let’s give Euro Business Guide the benefit of the doubt and suggest that next you will read.

To update your company pro­file, please print, complete and return this form
(Updating is free of charge). Only sign if you want to place an insertion.


Yes the 'Free of charge' bit is in bold on the form, at least this sentence contains the only indication in the upper part of the document that this purports to be a contract (Only sign if you wish to place an insertion) this is the favoured phrase used by many of the guides featured on stopECG.org. We consider it unacceptably vague; why not state the price here?

Then the block of text on the Left….

Dear Sirs,
We are compiling information for The EURO Business Guide. We wish to be able to inform other companies about your activities and what languages are spoken in your company. In order to list your company in the internet for European businesses, just ­ll in and return the form. Any additional material of your company that can make your pro­le up to date is very welcome. We thank you for your cooperation.

Again, no indication that this purports to be a contract.

But the peach is the bit at the bottom under the word ORDER, We have seen many so-called contracts over the years, never one where the text is as dense as this, printed entirely in capitals the font appears stretched vertically making it almost unreadable without a magnifying glass, in common with most of these contracts the price is written as EURO 965 (A currency symbol is more likely to be spotted than the name as a word)

Go on, read the block of text at 100% magnification and see how quickly you can spot the price! In case you are struggling we transcribed the text below

Finally it should be noted that the email to which this form was attached states:

‘Please print and fill the enclosed document and send it back to:
Euro Business Guide,
P.O. Box 2021,
3500GA UTRECHT,
The Netherlands,
updating is free of charge!

If you want to unsubscribe send an email to
eurobusinessguide@yahoo.com

Within the email there is no mention whatsoever of contracts or costs.

Offer to the director
We wait with interest to see if Euro Business Guide will attempt to enforce this ‘contract’ in the courts and if they do what their arguments will be. Or will they follow the example of the guides they appear to mimic and threaten court action without ever taking it, instead relying on the small percentage of signers who pay up when hassled.

Of course Director, Cornelis Boot, may wish to post a response here. If he would like to defend this document or his companies marketing tactics in general StopECG will gladly publish his comments.

There is advice for people in dispute with EU Company Directory and Euro Business Guide on the stopECG website.

Full Text of the Order Section reads
THE SIGNING OF THIS DOCUMENT REPRESENTS THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS AND THE CONDITIONS STATED IN ‘THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INSERTION’ ON WEB PAGE:
WWW.EUROBUSINESSGUIDE.NET THE SIGNING IS LEGALLY BINDING AND GIVES YOU THE RIGHT OF AN INSERTION ON THE ONLINE DATA BASE OF THE EURO BUSINESS GUIDE, WHICH CAN BE ACCESSED VIA THE INTERNET. AND A CD ROM WITH EUROPEAN BUSINESSES IS GRANTED, ALL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONTRACT CONDITIONS STATED IN ’THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INSERTION’ ON WEB PAGE: WWW.EUROBUSINESSGUIDE.NET. THE VALIDATION TIME OF THE CONTRACT IS THREE YEARS AND STARTS ON THE EIGHTH DAY AFTER SIGNING THE CONTRACT. THE INSERTION IS GRANTED AFTER SIGNING AND RECEIVING THIS DOCUMENT BY THE SERVICE PROVIDER. I HEREBY ORDER A SUBSCRIPTION WITH SERVICE PROVIDER EU BUSINESS SERVICES LTD ‘EURO BUSINESS GUIDE’. I WILL HAVE AN INSERTION TO ITS DATA BASE FOR THREE YEARS. THE PRICE PER YEAR IS EURO 965. THE SUBSCRIPTION WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY EXTENDED EVERY YEAR FOR ANOTHER YEAR, UNLESS SPECIFIC WRITTEN NOTICE IS RECEIVED BY THE SERVICE PROVIDER OR THE SUBSCRIBER TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE SUBSCRIPTION. YOUR DATA WILL BE RECORDED. THE PLACE OF JURISDICTION IN ANY DISPUTE ARISING IS THE SERVICE PROVIDER’S ADDRESS. THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SERVICE PROVIDER AND THE SUBSCRIBER IS GOVERNED BY THE CONDITIONS STATED IN ‘THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INSERTION’ ON WEBPAGE:
WWW.EUROBUSINESSGUIDE.NET

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Comments:
I also got the same contract.
Unfortunatly i did sign and stamp it.
This company is annoying me till 7.4.2007 to pay 965 EUR for ther advertisment.

The currency is in not right form EUR 965.
I am refusing to pay such payment as i though this is free of charge.

They send me 2 reminders ,after second one they agreed to forgive the Late payment fee EUR 96+administration fee EUR 35 )again in wrong currency ).
If there is some else who did the same mistake ,please contact me on NGanna@seznam.cz or skype name Novotna Ganna .
Good Luck
 
I received the email this morning with a PDF contract attached, the 'fine print' of the order said 990 Euros. I checked out the website and they have terms on there which state 'Unless agreed otherwise beforehand by the service provider, the price stated corresponds to the price of one year insertion. The price of the first three years is Euro 2970. In the event of the extension of the contract under the terms defined in the order section, the price of the access for each year shall continue to be that originally stated.'
Thought this may be of interest.
Good luck
Sandra
 
I have the same situation, but I did not sign, it was only stamp. Now I have 2 reminders about payment, i refusal to pay money, because unsigned order has no validity. I have sent official letters to Utrecht and Nevis. What can I do?
Please, advice!

Best regards,

Lucy Nigrovskaya
Tallinn
 
I would to inform you, that i have the same situation, but we did not sign, only stamped like confirmation of information. Now i have two reminders, I have wrote a letters, that unsigned order has no validity. What can I do? Please advice!

Best regards

Lyudmila Nigrovskaya
The secretary
Loigo
info@loigo.ee
 
go to this website http://www.stopecg.org/eu_company_directory.htm , write to all authorities and keep denying to pay. If you have any questions you can email me on ella@jongleurs.com
 
Hello from Bulgaria also!
I have unfortunatelly signed plus stamped the form. I got the reminders, faxes, emails, even today telephone call.
Please, advice how did you manage with these "people".
Miss Neli Nacheva
Gospodinov i sinove LTD
9300 Dobrich, Bulgaria
00359886400430
nelinacheva@gs-bg.com
 
I am the marketing director of a small company, I signed, stamped and sent the letter more, than one year ago. After findig out this was a trick, immediately sent back the whole package, incl. CD and a complaining letter. Since then we had some annoying letters, e-mails, even from some lawyer - but we never paid, never replied. Now I think we will never have more bothering letters and similar. So I reccomend NOT to pay and just keep not responding to them. Regards, Csaba
 
They are now using Waldberg & Hirsch Global Debt Collections Ltd, www.whgcollections.com if this proves to be a real company they may wish to drop this client Euro Biz when they see the amount of MPs amd MEPs in Europe calling for the closure of this company.

Remeber the last lot got there offices raided by the Swizz police and are now being investigated fully for fraud.
 
Guys,
Don't worry!Waldberg&Hirsch is NOT registered dutch company according to the Dutch KvK! Every single thing is a big fraud and every single scrap of paper you receive from them has no validity at all!
Relax and joke with them when you have time to waste!
Regards from Belgrade....Nenad
 
hi my name is elie
i am the director of a company in dubai.I signed and stamped the paper like you and they are sending me mails the last one was from waldberg and hirsch asking for the money but i can assure you that writing an amount of money in numbers without letters is not accepted because u may read it with a point between numbers and the small letters they are using at the end is a kind of trick anyways i hope that we support each other in this similar situation and i am spreading the news in dubai in the arab emirates among the companies i know to pay more attention and i hope we can stop these people from misleading others
good luck
 
Hello everyone,
I can see I`m anotherone in a row. I also signed and stamped. After realizing that was a mistake. I immediately wrote to 'unsubscribe@eucompanydirectory.com' in order to cancel my registration and I sent that bloody CD-ROM back too. So far I have received 2 letters. One was a reminder about payment for EUR 995. So I replied about canceling that registration again. After that I have received another letter stressing the terms and conditions I should be fulfilling.

I`m glad I came across this website where I can get more information about this dirt.

Thanks for you comments

Kamil
izbar@email.cz
 
Hi, my name`s Magdalena and I`m a vice president of a Polish company that has been also cheated by this Euro Business Guide.

Guys, did you finally pay them anything? I am still receiving letters from them saying we can cancel the 2nd and 3rd year, but we should pay 990euro for the first year (plus extra fees for late payment etc.)

Anyways, do you have any idea how to stop this swindle? I just informed some of my friends about the whole process of "ordering insertion" so that they would not make mistake of sending them an "order". Any other ideas?

I feel so bad we all felt into a trap,

good luck!
Magdalena Filaber
Possible Ltd
 
Love the Internet sometimes...Like all the above, received the stupid CD, sent it all back registered post, but then emails/faxes etc, and then this Waldberg/Hirsch letter. I was pretty worried as i thought there may be plenty they could do. But then i googled the solicitors and found you guys! Cheers nice one... I may now toy with them now and again for fun. Also when you actually look at the letter...No reference number / another deadline after the so-called final deadline / Signed by Mr K Van Ruler...! They're having a laugh...
 
EU Business Guide and EU Business Services has been trying to extort money from us for sometimes. They have been using our registered name to promote their so called website without our concent.

We have billed Ramona for using our name to promote their website. They did not pay the bills neither took our name off their scam website.

Currently they owe us EURO 1.8 Million. 300EURO per day until they remove our company from their scam site.

I have been reminding them to pay and billing them and their lawyer for nearly 3 months without a single mail or beep out of them. Wonder where the crooks are now.

I just saw you guys today but my tactic was to go for head on confrontation. My policy is that if you want to remove dirt you get dirty. So I got dirty first to remove the dirt.

I too got the invoice and Debt collector notice. Since then I have been having a field day sending the most abusest mails anyone can send. To both Debt collector and the EU Business guide / services mails.

Most unfortunate that these crooks did not reply.

Rasheed
 
Hi gays, what a relief actually finding this blog. THANKS to his Author.
We are a Bulgarian company. In July 2008, I signed and stamped the order too. After receiving the invoice for the 990 euro we rejected it right away, but up no now we have received the full collection of letters, reminders, final reminders and finally the letter from the Waldberg&Hirsh. I have to admit that it was quite stressing. I have even engaged our layer to search some legal barriers against these imposters.
Now we will send a signal to the authorities in Bulgaria and those in Brussels hoping for a reaction.
Our contact for possible common actions:
Sofia 1000, Bulgaria, 6 Septemvri Str. n.18
Tel. +3592 9889470 Fax. +3592 9889472
dimitrov@metromedia.bg
www.metromedia.bg
Good luck to you All!
Alex Dimitrov
 
Hi everyone,

Thanks for helping out!!! me too, I signed+stamped cos I thought it was free of charge. Now I have involved my lawyers - they say that even if they go to court they have a extraminimal chance of doing something.
Would there be anyone interested in the progress if we happen to go to court?
If yes, let me know and write to indrikis.sipols@gmail.com
Are there any lawyers from previous companies that could provide me with some helpful information?

Yours faithfully,
Indrikis
 
Thank you for the precious information !

I have try to call Mr Van Ruler so many time and he never call me back.

We have sign also the EU Company Directory but without a stamp.
 
Hi to all!
Next unhappy person here who have such kind problem with EBG. i have dressed already two days and even made on my mind million plans how to manage this problem...still no any normal solution. i am assistant of one estonian company and i read only this part which said "or free" and my boss signed also this company data renewing paper....what followed you already know. last letter from them was like warnig that they will turn to court, if our company doesnt pay this ammount. ohh i am so tired of this and i am so sorry about my stupity. i really hope that finilly they will stop bad time.(sorry about my bad english)
Best wishes
Tiiu
 
Hi guys,
unfurtunately I also signed the same contract,but just because I thought it was free of charge.

I still refuse to pay since I feel I've been mislead on purpose.

I think its time that the EU council does something about this matter. If this organisation does not come up with a DECENT document where the FREE INSERTION is written on ONE paper and the ORDER form is on another ,so that things don't get mixed up,thinking you're signing for a FREE copy and infact you're not,they are to be CLOSED DOWN for good.

This document is FAULTY and perhaps it's done on purpose.

I think aswell that this organisation must have the DECENCY to Apologise to the general public because they don't realise the stress they're putting common people through.

One last thing,I wish to Thank my country's MEP 'Dr Simon Busuttil' and 'Ms Abigail Mamo' for their support to the maltese small business ent.
Thanks
 
Hello from the UK,
We have also fallen for the scam. We are contesting it with all we have, but they are persistent! You would have thought that the initial contact "unsolicited email" would be enough for the powers that be in the EU to hit them with at least a heavy fine. Can't believe they ar estill going albeit changing their name on a regular basis.
 
Dear sir,
I am one more victim of EU Company Directory. I signed the contract, I thought it was FREE!. In 4 months I have received 5-6 letters printed on expensive thick yellow paper (like my university diploma). They ask of me €995+99+35. Stop them! Alex Vassiliou / Civil Engineer / Greece. (bxa@otenet.gr)
 
I am from Australia and I too fell for the same scam and since then I have been constantly harassed for payment but believe me they are not getting a red cent.

I have been advised by experienced lawyers that it would cost them a fortune to take us all to court plus they would be required to commence each legal process under each country's legal jurisdiction.

I was also advised that perhaps a legal firm may be interested in some type of "Class Action" for all the victims of this scam in a "No win no fee" claim.

I have been busy writing letters to the government authorities both in Australia and the UK in the hope that we can put these people out of business.
 
I also got the contract and as soon as someone from my team signed it, I resend the same fax asking to cancel.
But since then, they keep pursuing us.
I called the number in spain, but no one spoke spanish, I asked to speak to someone in charge, not possible.
Just received a letter from waldberg & hirsh in holland. Called in holland, spoke dutch, the lady did not understand...same voice as the one from the directory...
ask to speak to the boss...he is on holliday....when does he come back? ...don't know...
DON'T PAY THEM IT A FAKE!
How can we stop them via a collective action?
Pierre-Igor
 
Hi
I received several follow up e-mails from WORLD BUSINESS GUIDE and replied them as following:
You never replied to my e-mail as all you do is SCAM and FRAUD
----------------------------
I found you are SCAMMER , shame on you
http://bohanna.typepad.com/pureplay/2008/12/spanish-business-directory-scam.html
If you continue e-mailing me, then I shall take legal actions serious

http://imseekingbalance.com/world-business-guide-scam/#comments
http://www.mukaumedia.co.uk/world-business-directory-scam-decide/
http://www.dhbolton.com/articles/euro-business-guide-scam.html
http://www.heise.de/ix/foren/S-Spam-von-World-Business-Guide-mit-Kleingedrucktem/forum-48292/msg-16161794/read/latestview/
http://www.mail-archive.com/issues@ru.openoffice.org/msg00456.html
http://markmail.org/message/if2nnhhak4bpgxji
http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=88804

You are not Spanish and you sent me e-mail from Turkey 195.5.168.200 or 194.102.121.156 shame on you
-------
Now they send us letter from Waldberg&Hirsch Global collection and gave us 15 days to pay.
My lawyer in switzerland is waiting to see them approching legaly to put an end to this game
please let us all know what FRAUD is going on ....
Thanks all
Bahman
 
HELLO, I'M ALSO SIGNED AND STAMPED, THEN RECEIVED REMINDER FOR PAYMENT, ON EMAIL I WROTE REQUEST TO PAY IN TWO PARTS AND THEY EASILY AGREED, THANK YOU THAT I FOUND THESE COMMENTS, AND STILL NOT MADE PAYMENT, NOW I WILL NOT MAKE ANY PAYMENTS AND WILL NOT ANSWER THEM, THANK YOU FOR ALL.
 
I appreciate the labor you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.
 
Hi,

As already put forward by many.. Thanks for this blog.

I think we are the fist Indian company here on the blog.

We too have just signed and scanned the documents. The whole write up is faded and will anyway not stand in any court of law. The issue is definitely do not PAY. Also some chaps in UK should take these WBD / waldberg and Hirsh to books for troubling soo much.

Anyways.. if you are reading this and have not paid .. you are in good company of good people whose comments I have really liked.

rajesh gupta / Kiosk Technologies pvt. Limited / Kolkata / India
 
Their tentacles have now reached Africa. I run a small company in Ghana which does business mainly online. We also signed the document thinking it was another free listing website. Initially, we were very worried about all the harassment but after reading about the company online, I've even stopped reading the "final reminders" they keep sending.
They have to be stopped because this is serious fraud. There is no benefit of being listed on their site. They only focus on the money and make no mention of benefits to us.
 
this is unbelievable. ING bank - Amsterdam in the netherlands admitted that dayly money was put on this account. The total amount on this amount on their account reached 2.3 million euro. This is an easy way to become rich! It seems that the police or politicians can not do anything to stop these practices. In any case don't pay anything!! they cant do anything to you.
 
Hi all,

I am from Vietnam. I have the same story. But soon I realize that I was cheated thank to stopecg's information. So far they still send mail to ask for money, but it does not annoy me any more. One thing I wonder is how such a business can exist in EU.

Best wishes,
Do Manh Duc
 
Don't waste time with that!
Just put all letter in the bin!
They can't do anything.
But too Manu peuple panic ans pay.
Pierre-igor
 
Hey, I'm another guy cheated by EBG. I sent this "free of charge" order in september and until today I correspond with a lady signed Roxanne. I also talked by phone with another lady. They push me for paying 995 EUR + administrative costs etc, I already received 2nd reminder for paying them, but I did nothing but corresponding with Roxanne. I have small e-business and I do not have this amount of money to pay. After reading this blog I am finally happy - I found people who are in the same situation like me.
I think we should organize ourselves somehow to kick EBG out of this cheating business.
Thanks to all of You for Your posts here!
Daniel, Poland
 
Now they say they will let Waldberg & Hirsch Global Collections Ltd handle us!

I suggest everyone, DO NOT PAY - NEVER EVER!

Reagrds from sunny Israel

Kfir
 
Daniel, keep on smiling...

The only thing they can do is sending letters...
 
we are based in South Africa and hav e been caught in the same scam. we have received all the reminders and have received a 2nd letter from Waldberg & Hirsch. we can somebody advise what to do/

many thanks
 
Hi i also fell for that scam and have received numerous letters from them including a 2nd letter from Waldberg & Hirsch demanding prompt payment. with additional charges eur995 +late paymenteur99 + admin fee eur35 legal fees eur 300 x2 =eur1729. Now that i know that there are lots like me out there, will continue to ingnore them.

thanks
 
hi all, this is also from Spain who is being harassh from this "Company". Thanks for these sites that help us knowing that we shouldn´t pay this kind of people.
I am refusing to pay such payment as i though this is free of charge.
 
Oh my God, how many of us!!!!!!!!!
Unbelievable how dirty they are!
Have you noticed - they don't have a Family name, only Ms. Christina, Ms Irene, etc.
We did the same mistake, signed and stamped, and we we realized our mistake, we did cancel the order.
Agreement was, that we have to pay the first year, and after that the cancellation will be accepted.
Second year went OK, but now - at the third year they are sending us invoices and reminders, and threats to pay the insertion!
I tried to explain to them by e mail first nicely, then meanly to stop bothering us, but they just wouldn't.
WE ARE NOT GOING TO PAY THEM A CENT!!!!!

Angela
Serbia
 
Hi all!
These cheaters changed their name! I just received an e-mail from them for another free registration!! Just read below:
Ladies and Gentlemen.

In order to have your company inserted in the registry of World Businesses
for 2010/2011 edition, please print, complete and submit the enclosed
form (PDF file) to the following address:

WORLD COMPANY REGISTER
P.O. BOX 3079
3502 GB, UTRECHT
THE NETHERLANDS

email: register@wcr2010now.com
FAX: +31 20 203 1129

Updating is free of charge!

If you are not the intended recipient, please submit an email to
unsubscribe@wcr2010now.com
Your request shall be dealt with accordingly.


And of course order form is exactly the same, with the same misleading small font just above place for signature. Watch out and inform all people about this!!!
 
Today they already called me...and asked to check why the invoice nr XXX is not paid. it exasperated me really. i told them that their acting is non-illegal and asked never ever call me again.

Tallinn, Estonia
 
I am very disappointed to have bad experience from Euro business trick to collect beyond business ethics. I am from India & shocked to note the legal letter from Waldberg & Hirsch Global colection ltd. If embassy in India from Netherland or Indian embassy in Netherland make a note of this & stop this cheating business.
 
Hello,

We are also a company from Bulgaria and had a very bad experience with these "business oriented" company.

We paid two times in 2007 and 2008. After that sent officially e-mail, fax and printed document with 2 months prior announcement that we stop the service.

However they continued with the reminders and invoices pretending that they haven't received our letter, e-mail and fax.

So, whatever they send, JUST DO NOT PAY.

I don't think there is anybody put in a court by EBG:)

Many thanks for this blog!!

Best Regards,

Anton Mihalev
eurodesign bg
amihalev@gmail.com
 
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