We’re draconian admits manager of RTA business sales firm

We're draconian admits
manager of RTA business sales firm


JUNE 29, 2011

We've already had a few run-ins with Paul O'Reilly, boss of
what claims be Europe's largest privately owned business sales
agency, and now things have turned particularly nasty.

O'Reilly wrote to one unhappy customer who'd seen our stories
to tell him: "What you are unaware of is that the Daily
Mirror printed downright lies which were proven by us and the
Press Complaints -Commission made them print a retraction."

The PCC did no such thing - it did ask for a clarification
of one possible ambiguity of a previous piece of ours which
we did.

We're not surprised to hear O'Reilly making such a claim, judging
by the way his firm RTA (Business Consultants) Limited treats
his clients. The latest batch of complaints we've received includes
one from Peter Bracewell, who put his Glasgow pottery firm on
the market through RTA.

After three months and no enquiries he asked for the contract
to be torn up - and was presented with a demand for £47,360,
then a summons.

The case was thrown out when RTA didn't turn up in court.

David Darling, who owns a printers in Bournemouth, says he
got a £6,000 bill "as their fee for not being able
to sell the business".

"Seething" Clare Brookes, of Beetledrive, a specialist
wedding firm that rents white VW Beetles, told us she's had
a demand for £10,800, but: "You would not find us
on their website even if you were looking for what we do as
a business."

John Griffiths put his fitness firm in Basildon, Essex, on
the market with RTA two years ago. "I heard nothing for
the entire time and when I told them I had sold it via another
contact they demanded £5,000 commission."

In Brighton, Jessica Rosenthal asked RTA to sell her bridal
shop, but the business closed, unsold, in 2008. She heard no
more until getting a £600 bill this year, plus a letter
insisting: "We have -undertaken our best efforts for you".

Then there's the Bolton butcher's shop with an annual income
of about £30,000 that RTA valued at £450,000 so,
funnily enough, it hasn't sold.

O'Reilly says that every issue put through their complaints
procedure is "satisfactorily resolved".

"Unfortunately some people choose not to follow the procedure
or attempt any form of resolution.

"Sadly many do not do so because they are empowered by
what they read in the press and more specifically on the Daily
Mirror's blog.

"If your blogs are empowering people to renege on legitimate
contracts then this is wrong and you are inadvertently doing
more harm than good."

When we met RTA manager Ceri Edwards he made an extraordinary
admission about those "legitimate" contracts, describing
them as "draconian" and "heavily weighted in
RTA's favour".

Something you can show the court if RTA sue for what you consider
to be unfair fees. A judge may read it with interest.