Friday, December 09, 2011

RJ Swift Consultants Ltd : A warning

On 24th October 2011 I agreed a deal with RJ Swift Consultants Ltd
Registration Number: 7618470

I would pay £500 for 53,000 email contacts of NW businesses, and to help me to verify the data, Jeanette Mccambridge @JenMcCambridge their enthusiastic saleswoman said “we will run and manage 3 x email campaigns to the NW data (approx 17,000 per send) and after you have done all 3 campaigns we will give you the full file of 53,000 contacts to keep. We will create the HTML free of charge per campaign and send you full reports from our analytical software.”

It sounded like a great deal.

I paid £500 that evening by internet banking.

A week or so later when there had been no progress, I contacted and spoke to John Murphy at the firm who told me that they had had to sack the young man they were hoping would develop the campaigns for me, as he had been caught selling data to competitors. John assured me that he would be hiring someone else as a matter of urgency. Mark then contacted me in early November saying he was the new starter, and we began to work together on a campaign which was to promote some marketing training I was delivering in Liverpool.

On 8th November however, when work seemed to have stopped again, I wrote to him (at his private email address) and he replied saying “I have left this company now as I was not completely happy with their business practices.”

At this point, on the grounds that they no longer had my confidence, I wrote to the company asking for a refund. I directed my correspondence to Jeanette the saleswoman and copied in John Murphy the manager, neither responded. I wrote several times more to no avail.

I then wrote to Rebecca Jane Clark, the director, at the email address which is advertised on the firm’s website, telling her that I was contacting the people who featured in the testimonials in the marketing materials that Jeanette had initially sent me about their offer. I said I was going to talk to them about the level of service they received from the firm and the level of service I was receiving.

That unsurprisingly triggered a phone call from Jeanette saying that a cheque would be put in the post forthwith. She also asked me about the conversations I was having with "their customers". A second phone call a week later apologised for the lack of cheque but promised it was still in hand. It is today 9th December 2011 and having still received no refund,  I have submitted a claim online in the Small Claims Court.
The invoice/order form for the firm shows that they are registered at 31a Station Road, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear NE26 2QZ They also advertise themselves at operating at 4 Boyd Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, NE2 1AP (in Jeanette’s email footer) and on the website for RJ Swift Consultants Ltd.

I assume they are closely related to the company Swift Mailing 7227070 who claim to be located at 1 Boyd Street, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE2 1AP

They are both registered at the same address in Station Road, Whitley Bay. The director for Swift Mailing is Thomas Brian Murphy. I don’t know whether he is related to John Murphy whose email address appears on this website and who I have spoken to on matters relating to RJ Swift Consultants.


Anonymous said...

Oh God - that sounds awful!! I guess the old saying is true - if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn't!!

Wishing you luck for the small claims court - hope it goes in your favour.

Anonymous said...

hello, I was just about to sign up with this company when I read your blog. Thanks! Do you have any update?

Louise Baldock said...

The court wrote to me saying they were giving Swifts until December 31st to pay me, then would be taking it forward.

I am still waiting for my money, presumably the court will now do its thing. I may call them tomorrow to see how they are getting on.

I worry the firm may go bust before paying me. I cannot think they can be doing very well if they cannot manage a simple refund for a product not delivered.

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise,

I was just reading your blog after suffering a similar expperience with RJ Swift Consultants.
I paid them £500 for a database which they delivered. They then took another £500 out of my account without my approval. I am still trying to get this back from them - I guess I'll have to take them to court to get it. Anyone else considering using this "company" - BEWARE.
Chris Jones

Louise Baldock said...

Thanks Chris
I have now lodged a CCJ against them, and cautioned their testimonial/referees about allowing their names to be used in future. I am now looking at the next stage, how do I use the CCJ to get my money back. It has only cost me £35 to lodge, so I definitely recommend it. Give it a go, it is very simple and easy paperwork. You can email me for advice if you like. I am louise dot baldock at blueyonder dot co dot uk

Louise Baldock said...

My friend and colleague Sue Fallace at Clear Collections ran a credit check for me this morning. There are now two CCJs lodged against the firm with a Striking Out order having been issued at Companies House last week. I think it is time for a big twitter campaign to see if I can get my money back by naming and shaming

Anonymous said...

I have also been conned out of £1,000. It's no point issuing a court summons, they are a Ltd company and have ceased trading, therefore they can just walk away from the debt.
However, they did take some money fraudulently without my permission from my card and I will be contacting the police about this. I hav ea few freinds who are going to accompany me to newcastle shortly. My bank seems to think I should get my money back, if not from the company, then from their bank.
I will keep you posted. Anyone had any luck form the court?

Andrew Johnson said...

I have had the same problems...I paid £1800 to Swift for a 12 month campaign. The first month went out OK but then the problems started. When I spoke to someone (sounds like the same chap who told you about the staff and police involvement etc)I started to have major concerns (I had asked him if I could speak to Jeanette and he told me she was on maternity leave! When I conratulated Jeanette she thought I was joking!)
To date I have received 5 months of a campaign and am still owed 7 months - this works out at £1050.
There telephone number is now dead and they are not replying to emails.
Is there anything I can do or would I be throwing good money after bad?

Anonymous said...

The address is an accountant called Paul Barnard ( tel 0191 251 2513) He says that he doesn't know who John Murphy is and was just asked to set up teo companies for them. I said that you must have a signature. He said he didn't. That is a lie. He said he never met them and doesn't know their address. Again another lie as they would have had to give their address to set the company up. I asked him if they gave him a chequ for setting the companies up. he said ' I don't know@
What does that tell me about Paul Barnard? I have told the Northumberland Police and he will be getting a visit soon. I am using a tracing service to find out where Murphy lives and a few of us will be going to see him and ask nicely for my money back

Louise Baldock said...

Having asked further questions about the Striking Off order, I understand that they have entered voluntary liquidation.

And my CCJ is not enforceable at £500, if it wss more like £1000 then I could have sent the bailiffs in.

Rebecca Jane Clark is the main director of this firm, I think Mr Murphy snr must be a sleeping partner.

Good luck getting your money back and if you do get a private address I can get in touch with, so much the better.

I will look into Paul Barnard in case he needs reporting to the ICAEW

Thanks guys

Anonymous said...

Found this definition on the web...

Voluntary liquidation

Voluntary liquidation occurs when the members of the company resolve to voluntarily wind-up the affairs of the company and dissolve. Voluntary liquidation begins when the company passes the resolution, and the company will generally cease to carry on business at that time (if it has not done so already). If the company is solvent, and the members have made a statutory declaration of solvency, the liquidation will proceed as a members' voluntary winding-up. In such case, the general meeting will appoint the liquidator(s). If not, the liquidation will proceed as a creditor's voluntary winding-up, and a meeting of creditors will be called, to which the directors must report on the company's affairs. Where a voluntary liquidation proceeds by way of creditor's voluntary liquidation, a liquidation committee may be appointed.

Where a voluntary winding-up of a company has begun, a compulsory liquidation order is still possible, but the petitioning contributory would need to satisfy the court that a voluntary liquidation would prejudice the contributories.

In addition, the term liquidation is sometimes used when a company wishes to divest itself of some of its assets. This is used, for instance, when a retail establishment wishes to close stores. They will sell to a company that specializes in store liquidation instead of attempting to run a store closure sale themselves.

[edit] Misconduct
Main articles: Fraudulent trading, Undervalue transaction, Unfair preference and Wrongful trading.
The liquidator will normally have a duty to ascertain whether any misconduct has been conducted by those in control of the company which has caused prejudice to the general body of creditors. In some legal systems, in appropriate cases, the liquidator may be able to bring an action against errant directors or shadow directors for either wrongful trading or fraudulent trading.

The liquidator may also have to determine whether any payments made by the company or transactions entered into may be voidable as a transaction at an undervalue or an unfair preference.

Does anybody know who the liquidators are so we can lodge a claim and to assist with any investigation into fraudulent practices?

Louise Baldock said...

Sorry I may have mislead you there, I didnt really understand it myself. They have not gone for the voluntary liquidation option so there is no liquidator. They have applied to be voluntarily struck off at Companies House. We can object - and I already have started that process, but I am not quite sure what it requires. I have had some initial emails with Companies House. I will let you know when I get the guidance from them, which is tomorrow probably.
Cheers, Louise

Anonymous said...

They ( RJ Swift Consultnats and Swift mailing) have still got their web sites up. I understand under the companies act, they are not allowed to do this, the sites must be taken down.

Anonymous said...

To oppose the striking off, please e mail
with all your information. I have sent all my stuff now, but the more that oppose it, the better chance we have of getting it stopped.

Louise Baldock said...

I have written opposing the strike off but got a response asking me what I was doing to collect my debt. I have written back saying I have a CCJ lodged against them and can they tell me what more they need me to do or say. They promised me an answer by tomorrow. I know they know about the CCJ already as it is on their own website, so I am not sure what more they need from me.

I also wrote in opposition to the striking off of Smart Mailing which is the same people, who have made this application at the same time, check out their website. I dont have a CCJ against them so Companies House might not let that stand, but I thought it was best to try to stop both in case they try to transfer debts between the two.

If you think the websites should be taken down, write to Companies House at the email above and ask them about it...we should certainly try to stop other businesses from throwing their money at these businesses.

Best wishes


PS I am sure they are reading all this, hello all of you, we are not giving up our money easily!

Anonymous said...

I have got the local Police coming to see me tomorrow ( Friday). I have now collated quite a bit of information about them and their various addresses and ex landlords.
I will keep posting up here, although I don't want to give them too much info as I want to surprise them :-)

Anonymous said...

John Murphy was also a director of Bowden Publishing Ltd - struck off in feb 2011. Not a very good director or businessman is he?

Patrick said...

Aftewr speaking to Paul Barnard and telling the police may want to speak to him, Swift have now changed their address on their web site to:
4 Boyd Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear

The company who owns these buildings are:
Karnheath Ltd
Tel: 0191 261 5222

Mick said...

Strike off now suspended until June.

I have a crime reference number with the Northumbria Police. Any further evidence, let me know and you can add to it using this number.
This is now gaining momentum Murphy, the net is closing.