THE Independent Garage Association has issued a warning about an online business directories scam doing the rounds.
It says there are many ‘listings’ website offers that all follow the same basic pattern: there’s a low introductory deal, pages and pages of ‘terms and conditions’ tying people in to a ‘roll-over’ contract and much higher charges in the second year.
The association, which is the largest and most prominent representative body in the independent garage sector, says it has now been contacted by members about a variation in the practice. Although the details vary slightly between cases, the principle is the same.
Garages receive a call from a directory listing website demanding payment for a contract’s second year. However, it probably won’t have dealt with the company before and won’t have signed a contract with it.
The payment that is demanded will be quite small – £100 to £300 – and, having uploaded a listing for the garage, the scammers will often indicate it to try to convince the garage that it has done business with them.
If payment isn’t made, they then become more and more aggressive, calling numerous times and threatening action in the county court.
The IGA is urging members to call its helpline on 0845 305 4230 if they have experienced this and the RMI legal team will step in.
Posed picture by Lauren Hurley/PA Archive/PA Images
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