MARCH 26, 2009
Underhand, wrong, unfair.
That's us, according to Paul O'Reilly, director of business transfer agents RTA (Business Consultants) Ltd, who slated us in a letter to one of his unhappy clients.
Valda Thorn put her pub on the market with RTA, paying £3,500 in late 2007 after being told it would sell in six months.
But no buyers have viewed the Rose & Crown in Tiptree, Essex, so she asked for a refund and cited a piece we wrote in January about Bolton-based RTA.
O'Reilly replied: "There will be no refund of any monies paid by you."
And he wrote about our earlier coverage: "We are talking here about a 'newspaper' which necessitates having half-naked women on page 3 to effect sales" - which shows how much he knows about the Mirror.
O'Reilly also told Valda that RTA had taken us to the Press Complaints Commission, complaining of harassment and invasion of privacy, and was looking forward to "when we prove that the Daily Mirror has been wrong".
Might be a while yet, because the PCC has rejected RTA's complaint about us.
And we've tested O'Reilly's high opinion of his company by calling at random 10 firms for sale on the RTA website.
Hill & Dale outdoor clothing, Halifax Time with RTA: Two years three months. Number of viewings by potential buyers: Two. Owner Andrew Brennand says: "Wish I'd never bothered. I want my £785 back."
Bridesmaids and Butterflies, Manchester Time with RTA: Five months. Viewings: None. Johanna Browne: "I paid around £500. It's hard to tell if it's them or if there's just no one who's interested."
Lizard Engineering, Helston, Cornwall Time with RTA: Six months. Viewings: None. Nigel Pryor: "They came here, took more than a grand off me and I've heard nothing more." Cross Keys pub, Pocklington, York Time with RTA: Nine months. Viewings: None.
Steve Vaughan: "I paid around £800. Just after I wrote to cancel the contract they said they had four interested buyers but none turned up." Poachers Pets & Aquatics, Warrington, Cheshire Time with RTA: 19 months. Viewings: None.
Sandra Ormsom: "I can't remember the fee but when I tried to take the business off the market they threatened to charge me £500, so I've just left it with them." T Miles bookseller, London Time with RTA: Two years. Viewings: Six.
Brian Cross: "I paid £600 plus VAT. None of the viewings resulted in any offers." Executive Choice Windows, Crewe Time with RTA: Six months. Viewings: None.
Adrian Jardine: "They didn't even say in ads that three years of the lease are already paid. I feel like I've paid around £900 for rubbish." Capital Kitchens & Bathrooms, Grantham, Lincs Time with RTA: One year. Viewings: None.
Bob Duncan: "The contract ended six months ago so I don't know why they're still listing us. I paid £400 plus VAT." Blackpool Ladder Centre Time with RTA: One year. Viewings: None.
Steve Turner: "I'm very angry, I hear nothing from them." Bown Roofing, Birmingham Time with RTA: Eight to 10 years. Viewings: None. Colin Bown: "I've given up on the £1,500 or so I paid. Once they called to say a buyer was interested, but didn't even book an appointment."