Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Intercable Verlag AG and Premium recovery AG in Liquidation

Today it has become apparent that the above companies are being wound up, such news is not formally announced but the status of these companies has changed in the Swiss company registers.

You can see the status of Intercable Verlag here and Premium Recovery Here

Although the page is in German you can see the names of the directors scored out and the Liquidators appointed at the end of the list. Some of the names associated with Intercable are men who have been involved with the scam guide industry for many years, but none of them has been around as long as the company itself. Below is a brief obituary for these 2 companies.

Intercable Verlag was the oldest guide in the group, it can be traced back as far as 30 years to the genesis if the scam guide industry in Hamburg. This liquidation will ring loud in the ears of Mienolf Ludenbach for it was back in Hamburg that he worked for Intercable and quite possibly there that he learned the trade he would in time turn into a global industry.

Years later he would buy the company that had once employed him and would move the base of operations to Switzerland. For many years Intercable continued to use the original method of sending salespeople to target companies these salespeople would dupe persons into signing contracts that they believed related to a free listing. The arrival of many former soviet bloc countries in the EU provided the perfect opportunity for Intercable, trick forms were mailed in huge numbers with wording that made it easy for recipients to confuse them with an offer relating to a Swiss fund to assist companies in the new EU member states. Add to that the fact that the forms were mailed in English and many recipients were bamboozled into signing. The Swiss Government was forced to issue at least one warning about this trick.

Not surprisingly when people were invoiced for their listings in Intercable's near worthless directory they refused to pay. Many banded together to expose the scam. In spite of all this Intercable then went to court to enforce the disputed contracts, not as the contracts stated, under Swiss law but in the counties where their victims lived. As the original contracts had been mailed in English Intercable conveniently provided translations to the courts with all the misleading aspects of the contract layout removed, the outcome was that they won some cases and were able to use these to bludgeon other victims into paying. Whereas most of the guides persuade less than 20% of their victims to actually pay Intercable was getting close to 100%.

After StopECG broke the news of the police raids last month it became a major story in the 2 worst affected nations, (the Czech Republic and Sovakia). On some Czech News bulletins it was the top story of the day! Video 1 Video 2

Alas Intercable has sold the disputed contracts and there have been some new attempts to enforce them; more on this tomorrow.

Premium Recovery was a newcomer, Established to take over the business formerly managed by Ovag international AG it appears that the sole purpose of the Premium Recovery was to terrorise victims of several scam guides into paying. Masquerading as a international Debt Collection agency it employed mainly foreign staff to harass guide victims in their own language. Staff were offered substantial bonuses for bringing in disputed debts and a no-holes-barred culture appeared to exist in how far they could go to intimidate people. As far as we know Premium Recovery never took anyone who refused to pay to court they but almost always threatened legal action, often looking up the names of local courthouses on the Internet and then naming them in letters and faxes.

In the pressure cooker atmosphere of Premiums offices it was not unusual for staff to become threatening and abusive on the phone. Few will rue the demise Premium Recovery!

At the same time as Premium Recovery was established a similar Debt collection outfit, Gravis Inkasso was set up in Austria. Gravis has not been subject to the law enforcement activities in Switzerland but it does appear to have ceased all activity related to the scam guides. Indeed at present it appears that the guides of the Ludenbach stable are without a debt collection company, this may not last. Expect the surviving guides get themselves a new company soon, I would predict that any such company will probably appear in a Latin speaking nation such as Spain or Portugal or perhaps South America.

Labels: , , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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