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    • Headsupp5510
    • By Headsupp5510 10th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
    • 3Posts
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    Headsupp5510
    pretending to be something your not Is this legal?
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
    pretending to be something your not Is this legal? 10th Oct 17 at 11:54 AM
    I am currently looking to have some work done on my garage so yesterday I rang a few of the larger national companies to get some quotes as well a couple of smaller local businesses (because they are usually a little cheaper) to get a good comparison.

    The weird thing is, when I rang one of the smaller companies the phone was answered by the exact same person who answered from one of the larger companies and when I mentioned that I had just spoken to her she paused for a minute and then made a joke about how all advisors sound the same. At first I thought it was just me, but it was bugging me all last night so I did a little digging and it turns out not only is it exactly the same company with the same directors, addresses etc but they have other pretend companies which also claim to be local family businesses across the country....

    Can a company claim to be a local family business when they aren't and who do I report this to?
Page 1
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 10th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 234 Thanks
    ssparks2003
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    If they are registered at companies house and are filing accounts etc how can they be pretend companies?
    • Headsupp5510
    • By Headsupp5510 10th Oct 17, 12:44 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Headsupp5510
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:44 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:44 PM
    They arent individually registered, it's all bit confusing really which is why I posed the original question. All the "pretend" companies come under a different company name altogether kinda like a parent company but they do all claim to be local family businesses when obviously they are not. Its kinda like an orange claiming to be an apple.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 10th Oct 17, 12:53 PM
    • 5,243 Posts
    • 4,889 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:53 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:53 PM
    ...but they have other pretend companies which also claim to be local family businesses across the country....

    Can a company claim to be a local family business when they aren't and who do I report this to?
    Originally posted by Headsupp5510
    If they're saying something misleading in their advertising, you can report the to the Advertising Standards Authority.

    However, are you sure that you understand the type of business that you were talking to...

    I suspect you may have been talking to a call centre / agency who will pass your details to a building company to follow up - and the building companies they pass details to may be local family businesses.

    ....all advisors sound the same.
    Originally posted by Headsupp5510
    ... 'advisor' sounds more like a call centre job title, than a building firm job title.
    Last edited by eddddy; 10-10-2017 at 12:56 PM.
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 10th Oct 17, 12:54 PM
    • 3,210 Posts
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    Fosterdog
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:54 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 12:54 PM
    They arent individually registered, it's all bit confusing really which is why I posed the original question. All the "pretend" companies come under a different company name altogether kinda like a parent company but they do all claim to be local family businesses when obviously they are not. Its kinda like an orange claiming to be an apple.
    Originally posted by Headsupp5510
    Is it more a case of a big national company who subcontracts to local firms?
    • Headsupp5510
    • By Headsupp5510 10th Oct 17, 1:22 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    Headsupp5510
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 1:22 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 1:22 PM
    To be honest I don't know, it could be either of those... Nothing is simple anymore, I miss the days where you just picked up your local directory and a scruffy work man came round with a pad and pencil and ummmm'd and arrr'd for 10 minutes.

    This is the local firm I rang northwalesrefurbs.com

    On the bottom of the site it says they area trading style of Garage Refurbishments (UK) Ltd

    When you type that into google Garage Refurbishments (UK) Ltd address of Unit 33 Dawley Trading Estate, Stallings Lane, Kingswinford, DY6 7AP it shows 4 or 5 pages of 15 plus different companies across the country with different names and logos but with identical, text, images and reviews and all claiming to be local family businesses.

    Where it becomes a bit dodgy is when you go to companies house and look at Garage Refurbishments (UK) Ltd, the Officers/Directors have a different registered address than the business (Gail House, Hudcar Lane, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 6EX) and when you type that in to google it brings up the national company VSF Garage Repairs which I spoke to just 20 minutes before of which the same people are directors.

    I think I will follow eddddy's advice and speak to the Advertising Standards Authority and see what they say but I would like to thank all of you for your responses, it's really been bugging me for the last 24 hours, it's like the song you can never remember the name of.
    • bris
    • By bris 10th Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    • 6,918 Posts
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    bris
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    It's basically a broker for local firms.


    I'e if you google for a locksmith you will find hundreds of ads that are for "in your area" but are routed though call centres. A lot of those are all the same company who contract local firms to do the job, they get a fee for introducing you.
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 10th Oct 17, 1:49 PM
    • 871 Posts
    • 574 Thanks
    dj1471
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 1:49 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 1:49 PM
    This is very common. Larger companies will have lots of trading names to cover each region to give the impression that they're a local company.

    Arguably it's not misleading because they cover the area in question, they are also required by law to provide their registered name and address in all correspondence so customers should be able to easily tell where they are based.

    I agree it's misleading but I suspect it's OK from a legal perspective.
    • Sicard
    • By Sicard 11th Oct 17, 8:34 AM
    • 665 Posts
    • 584 Thanks
    Sicard
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:34 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:34 AM
    If they are registered at companies house and are filing accounts etc how can they be pretend companies?
    Originally posted by ssparks2003

    I think the OP meant they are pretending to be something they're not.
    A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
    Baltasar Gracian
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 11th Oct 17, 1:31 PM
    • 1,787 Posts
    • 1,692 Thanks
    steampowered
    When you say they claim to be "local family businesses", how do they claim this?

    For the ASA to be interested there would need to be something specific they are advertising which is untrue.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 11th Oct 17, 3:27 PM
    • 9,719 Posts
    • 7,752 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    There is a possibility the businesses are a form of franchise
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 11th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    • 121 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    There is a possibility the businesses are a form of franchise
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Yea, that's what I was thinking! A bit like Whetherspoons (though I don't think that's a franchise?)....

    They name their pubs all differently, and some even give off the impression that it is your local pub, but in reality ringing the customer service number will probably route you to one centralised call center.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 11th Oct 17, 8:55 PM
    • 11,378 Posts
    • 8,551 Thanks
    unholyangel
    When you say they claim to be "local family businesses", how do they claim this?

    For the ASA to be interested there would need to be something specific they are advertising which is untrue.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    It appears the website OP referenced in their earlier post has been taken down since the OP posted it.

    I checked it at the time OP posted it and they certainly were prominently claiming to be a "local family run company". The cynic in me would guess they've taken the site down on the back of OP's complaint or perhaps their thread here.


    Oh well, heres the link to the cached webpage
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
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