The Welbeck Group, a London-based financial services and wealth management company, owed us some money.
If the Welbeck Group owe you money, here are steps you could take to get it back.
Bear in mind, this will take a rather long time and a good deal of patience.
1. Call the Welbeck Group offices almost daily for approx 6 month to ask for the money.
2. Enlist a third party to make calls for you when your calls are ignored.
3. Obtain the direct line of the office manager
4. Call her and threaten to go public with the appalling behaviour of the Welbeck Group.
5. Go to the Welbeck offices and demand the money back.
6. On not receiving the full amount owed, start a blog (or you can buy this one)
7. Wait a year or so until Welbeck get in touch with you about removing the blog.
8. Refuse to remove the blog when Welbeck refuse to admit they owe the money.
9. Get a solicitor when Welbeck send nasty legal letters threatening to sue you for defamation.
10. Hang on to the solicitor until Welbeck start ignoring you again.
10.b Pay the solicitor, becoming further out of pocket thanks to the Welbeck Group
11. Get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman.
12. Find out that Welbeck scheme you’d invested in hadn’t been regulated by the FSA, rendering the FO useless.
13. Go online and get the forms to start Small Claims proceedings.
14. Send an email to the Welbeck Group troubleshooter asking if they would like to try to settle the matter one last time before going through the Small Claims Court.
15. Get ignored by Welbeck again.
16. Spend a good month or so to and fro-ing with the Small Claims Court.
17. Get your claim for the money sent off to Welbeck.
18. Wait one week.
19. Get a nice signed letter- ‘Yours sincerely, G Knight’
20. Cash the cheque.
‘Dear Ms *********,
Further to proceedings that we have now received, you are aware that our records do not show that you are entitled to the sum claimed or any other sum. However, entirely without prejudice and to conclude the matter we enclose cheque in the sum of £2307.25.’
Thanks Mr Knight, so terribly kind to give us money you don’t actually owe.
How very Welbeckian to the end.
Blog still open.
This is an old post that I removed just in case Prospero and Lloyd Walker eventually fulfilled their promises.
They have now gone in to liqudiation.
If you have had anything to do with Propsero BMV, this post might interest you.
It was originally posted in around December time.
Sit back for a story of incompetence, mismanagement, squatters, human feces and untruths told on the phone, and via email.
Prospero are a London-based company that help you buy properties and then manage them for you.
The managing director, is a former employee of the Welbeck Group, a man called Lloyd walker
Well, thanks to Prospero’s excellent property ‘management’ skills, the house they managed for my partner is now uninhabitable.
There is what seems to be human shit all over the floors.
There are syringes and foils from drug use scattered throughout the house.
The front door has been kicked in.
The kitchen windows smashed.
The boiler has been stolen.
The carpet will need to be totally replaced.
The back garden is so full of rubbish that we have been quoted almost 900 pounds for the removal of 2 to 3 tons of rubbish.
Wow! Prospero are like, TOTALLY GIFTED in the property management department.
Prospero’s recommended managing agent, a man called Adam Parkin, whose phone no longer rings, failed to get a tenant references or credit checks on the tenant.
For the last 6 months, as the house fell gradually further into disprepair, Prospero employees lied about what was happening with the repair of the property.
And how do I know they lied?
Because after months of frustration and futile promises, I phoned the insurance company handling the claim for damages, the company Prospero were supposedly dealing with on MP‘s behalf.
‘We’ve put the claim on the back burner’, they said, ‘because we’ve been waiting for a quote for repairs since June,’
And this was in JANUARY of this year.
At this stage you might ask why MP hadn’t done something about this herself?
Well, because she has months and months of printed emails in which Prospero and its employees promised they were taking care of things; that the reason they hadn’t been able to start work on repairs to the house were issues that lay with the insurance company.
And to be fair, one takes on someone to manage a property so one doesn’t have to do it one’s self.
As of a week ago I had a late night phone message from Prospero promising that the house would be boarded up, that the rubbish would be removed.
But now we have threatening letters from the Doncaster council because the neighbours have been complaining of the smell.
Prospero have ‘managed’ this property it into what the rubbish removal company called ‘probably the most disgusting job we have ever come across’.
Needless to say, the squatters who had moved in weren’t chipping in for the rent so MP has had ZERO rent for almost a year.
Naturally enough, my last three weeks of emails and phone calls to Prospero have gone largely ignored.
Oh, actually, I had an email from a Prospero employee on Tuesday morning saying she was sorry she hadn’t been able to get a repair quote from a contractor, or manage to have the rubbish removed.
This was three weeks after her phone call promising that she would have the house boarded and the rubbish removed the following day.
Here’s one of Prospero’s emails-
I am really sorry I have been trying my best to resolve this issue and chasing our contractor but unfortunately can’t control what is happening.
I am spoken to Lynn who is going to our leads office tomorrow so she can pick up the keys and we will arrange to send them to you.
I am still awaiting to hear back for the quotes again its out of my hands and I am really disappointed we have not been able to resolve this for you sooner.
I will be in touch tomorrow.”
Maybe Prospero ought to give me a job.
I managed both of those tasks in about an hour and a half online.
And I’m an ARTIST.
I draw pictures all day long.
I don’t call myself a property manager.
And neither should anyone from Prospero.
More to come on Lloyd Walker and Propsero….stay tuned.
The Welbeck Group were dishonest in their dealings with my partner and bullying in their tactics with me.’
That’s what I told a friend yesterday when he asked why I put up another blog about the Welbeck.
‘…..and,’ I added, ‘I am now a few thousand quid in debt from solicitors fees from the Welbeck Group’s idle threat to sue me. I’d like people to know what kind of company they are’
When I told my step-son, a journalist and blogger, about the deactivation of my original blog about the Welbeck Group (welbeckwealth.wordpress.com), he worriedly wrote that he’d have to be careful about what he wrote in the future lest wordpress.com deactivate his blog.
Though you do have to be careful what you write lest you score a ‘deactivation’, I’d be more careful about what I call the blog.
If you’re writing a naming and shaming style blog, as I am, don’t name it anything to do with the name-and-shamee.
And then get some facts on defamtion conerning online publishing.
And here’s something from the Guardian.
Interestingly it states that Lord Lester’s bill require a company to show it had financial losses before sueing.
I’d be interested to know if we had caused them any financial harm.
Wouldn’t seem only fair as they had caused us financial harm.
Tit for tat, and all that.
Eye for an eye?
The Welbeck Group blog deactivation story- This is the wordpress Terms of Service I breached- “your blog is not named in a manner that misleads your readers into thinking that you are another person or company. For example, your blog’s URL or name is not the name of a person other than yourself or company other than your own; and…”
And this is was the result-
‘Termination. Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.’
I did some Googling yesterday about other bloggers who’d had their blogs deactivated for breaching the wordrpress.com Terms of Service.
Several had been deactivated mistakenly, such as this one.
However, mine hadn’t been deleted mistakenly.
I went through the rest of my blogs after the deactivation of my original Welbeck Group blog.
I had kept a back up blog with the word Welbeck in the title, so I deleted that one.
I named this blog very carefuly.
TheWelbeck Group, or Welbeck Wealth Group, blog I kept has been deactivated by wordpress.com for having breached their terms of service.
I HAD technically breached them, but not intentionally.
I had never pretended that my blog had anything to do with the Welbeck Group itself, it had simply been written about the Welbeck Group and my experience with them.
After contacting wordpress very nice boy called Andrew emailed me and suggested I start another blog and move the content there.
So I did.
I also bought the domain name thewelbeckgroupandme.com and linked it to this site.
I had thought about leaving the whole sorry Welbeck Group saga behind me, but the Welbeck Group left me further in debt by having to defend myself from their defamation suit threat, so I’ve kept blogging to act not only as a warning to others, but for anyone who is threatened with a defamation suit.
You don’t have to panic at the delivery of the first letter.
You don’t have to be bullied by a company with more money and a bigger legal team than you.
You can get a good solicitor or defend yourself and here’s some information on what you do if someone threatens you.
On Monday we posted forms off to the Small Claims Court to try to recover the money the Welbeck Group still owe.
After we were told by the Financial Ombudsman that the property scheme the Welbeck Group had operated was not regulated by the FSA, and therefore the FO couldn’t help us, we decided to take the Small Claims route.
It’s quite a process filling out the small claims form.
Amusingly, C made a mistake the first time filling it out online, making herself the defendent and the claimaint.
A few days later saying she received a letter from the Small Claims Court stating she was making a claim against herself.
This made us laugh.
I wonder if there’ll be giggles at Welbeck HQ when they get their letter.
On a brighter note, this blog comes up 2nd or 3rd in Google searches for Welbeck Group and Welbeck Wealth.
Oh, and below there’s a short film entitled 3 Tips for Successful Complaining.
None of these tips would have worked with Welbeck as they WOULDN’T take our calls.
What DID work was going to their office to demand a cheque.
Oh, but hang on.
That effort only a 1/4 worked, because they should have given me a BIGGGGGGGEEEERRRRR cheque.
Here’s the link for the interview, all about new media and defamation law.
My stepson, a journalist and blogger, mentions the saga, though without naming names.
It’s an interesting interview if you’re a consumer thinking about ‘outing’ a company that has given you appalling customer service or dodgy products.
Businesses now have to realise that their reputation is open to review all over the internet.
I started this online campaign as a last resort, after Welbeck had ignored, for months and months, phone calls and emails about the refund of £8000 to my partner.
When I finally got their office manager on the phone (an ‘insider’ kindly slipped me her personal extension), I promised her I would ‘slate your company all over the internet’ if I didn’t get the full refund.
I didn’t get the full refund, and thus this blog exists.
We are now attempting to get the money back via small claims.
That won’t cover the costs of paying for a solicitor we engaged after the Welbeck Group threatened to sue us for defamation.
If you’re a blogger afraid of law suit my advice is don’t write anything that isn’t true and if you find yourself on the receiving end of a legal threat, get a good solicitor.
In June this year, with approximately 3000 hits on the blog, the Welbeck Group mistakenly thought they could bully me into removing it with their threat of legal action.
3 months later the hit count is 17,329.
I don’t know how many hits that is a week, I’m not very good with numbers.
And perhaps nor are the Welbeck Group because they couldn’t get their figures straight on the amount they owed my partner.
So, Sunday I emailed The Welbeck Group Troubleshooter (yes, Welbeck have someone employed especially to shoot trouble), because after the Financial Ombudsman said they couldn’t help us (something to do with the property scheme Welbeck were running being unregulated oby the FSA) I wanted to ask whether Welbeck might like to pay back the money they still owe my partner before we started the small claims procedure.*
Well, let’s put it this way – Welbeck excel at ignoring us.
I’ve just ordered Small Claims Procedure-A Practical Guide by Patricia Pearl.
I don’t know much about law stuff, but I’m sure I’ll have fun learning.
Oh and the image, it’s a badge I made for one of the followers of this blog.
I crossed out the rude word in case there are children in the room.
*And I also emailed Watchdog and the Guardian consumer complaints guy.
depending on your browser)
I must be getting good at blogging, particularly blogging on this blog, because I’ve managed to get it to number one in Google.
That means, dear viewers, that if someone cold-called by the Welbeck group cranks up their PC and Googles ‘Welbeck Group’ the first thing they see, top of the page (depending on your broswer) is ‘WELBECK GROUP, I WANT MY MONEY BACK’.
That must be considerably off-putting for potential customers.
In fact I’d equate it with Googling Mc’Donalds and the first listing you see is ‘McDonalds, your Big Mac gave me diarrhea’ or ‘Toyota, once I get out of hospital I want a new set of brakes’.
Here are some more search engine terms and where they come in the listings-
Welbeck Group Reviews- Number 1
Welbeck cold calling- Number 2, 3 and 7 and beyond
Welbeck Wealth reviews-Number 2 and 3
and the best yet, if you Google Greg Knight Welbeck, the MD, the Head Honcho, the man who IGNORED my phone calls, emails and written lettrs, then this blog is number one.
On a forum where this blog is being discussed, one poster asks if the author of this blog wants their money back or someone’s ‘head on a stick’.
Not a head on a stick, just the money back.
Just a cheque in the mail.
Just a slip of paper with some figures writ on it and, of course, Welbeck’s name and my name on it.
Just the money the Welbeck Group contractually OWE me.
However, the cheque hasn’t come.
Will an envelope bearing the Welbeck logo ever drop through my slot?
All I can think is that Welbeck must believe that bad publicity is better than no publicity.