Monday, September 22, 2008


Report from Brussels: Lopez Paleaz defends the ECG

As time permits I will write up in more detail the proceedings of the Public workshop of the Petitions Committee in the European Parliament which was held on 11th September 2008.

For now I will concentrate on the presentation and answers of Francisco Lopez Palaez, who, flanked by his lawyer, spoke on behalf of the European City Guide (ECG). Mr Lopez Paleaz has fronted the ECG pretty much from the outset, and has steered the company though it’s unsuccessful legal defence in Barcelona and subsequent move to Valencia. He came to Brussels to speak at his own request. While I utterly oppose the business practices of Mr Lopez Paleaz, credit where it’s due for coming into the lions den to defend himself.

When asked to speak he immediately set about criticising StopECG, me, and Michael Plümpe (Who has to managed a German language website critical of the guides).

I had signed his form but never paid, and am apparently an anti-system activist pedalling defamation and insults, the website ties his company in with unconnected companies and even separate scams, while Plumpe associated with a known Paedophile. (These are all claims made on the German defamation site used by Ludenbach guides to attack those who criticize them.)

His clients are professionals, he gets requests to sign up and satisfied return customers. At one stage he held aloft the disputed form, pointing out that it required a signature, that the terms are on the back and that the price is in black. He stated that the form complies with the law (If not he would be punished) and that the client defence was free to the customer.

He stated that the ECG mails 6 and a half million forms per annum, 32 million in the last 6 years (This figure is far higher than I had estimated). He stated (To some mirth) that he complies with the law and has never been found guilty. He also caused amusement with his claim that he could not speak for the other guides (Common ownership of many of these guides being a proven fact)

Simon Busuttil MEP, who will soon author a report on the Petition asked
1) Why the form never mentions that it is an advertisement but the first letter sent to people who signed it does use the word?
2) Why the ECG had moved to Valencia?
3) Was the ECG found Guilty in Belgium?

Lopez Paleaz Replied
1) The form has the word ORDER in bold
2) Moved to Valencia because it was an up and coming town, (Admiral's Cup, Formula One, business friendly), No mention of his company’s conviction for misleading advertising in Barcelona!
3) The Rulings against the ECG are not firm rulings (Because the Brussles conviction is under Appeal) Later Mr. Lopez Paleaz’s own Lawyer would have to qualify this point because the Barcelona conviction is now confirmed with all appeal processes exhausted.

When asked why the ECG has such a poor relationship with its customers
Lopez Paleaz replied that the complaints were fuelled by the websites rather than genuine grievance.

Later the ECG’s lawyer would state that his client was not a crook, had traded in Spain (Barcelona and Valencia both being under Spanish Law) for over 10 years and had 46 employees. He said that the use of high pressure collection tactics and claims of imminent legal action did not constitute threats as the courts exist to resolve disputes.

Then came perhaps the most remarkable claim of the session, that the Majority of the ECG’s clients were satisfied.

In response I did not see it necessary to answer the personal attacks; however I did state one thing and I will repeat it here. I did indeed sign the ECG’s form and then refuse to pay, and if Mr. Lopez Paleaz believes I am in the wrong he should take me to court and sue me for breach of contract. In fact I want him to do this because I firmly believe that I could prove to the judge that the form I signed was misleading, was contrived with the intent to deceive me (Fraud) and is not a legally binding contract.

Regarding the claim that the Majority of the ECG’s customers are satisfied I have decided to institute the Lopez Paleaz Challenge, help me to find this silent majority! If you would like to assist in this please email me

Labels: , , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?