Firms warned over directory

Michael Rye with his scam letters and invoices from the European City Guide
Michael Rye with his scam letters and invoices from the European City Guide

A BUSINESSMAN hit by a marketing ploy that lands businesses with bills for hundreds of pounds is warning other firms they could be next.

Michael Rye, who runs MNR Plumbing and Heating in Wheatley, Halifax, is receiving letters demanding nearly £2,000 from the European City Guide after signing up by mistake.

“If I’ve got these letters then there must be other people in Calderdale who will get them,” he said.

He first received a letter at the beginning of 2010 asking if he wanted more information about a business directory that he could have his business added to. He says he replied, saying he wanted to find out more, but the next thing he knew he had been signed up – and slapped with a £900 bill.

He has contacted the company trying to tell them he was not signing up but they keep demanding cash. A few months ago, he got another letter billing him for another year’s membership on the directory.

Dave Lodge, from West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said they have complaints about European City Guide dating back to 2004.