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This could be yet another scam to take your money

Our correspondent writes ...

I would like to warn people who might use Scot-Ads Advertising Newspaper (Loot) when trying to sell their car. It's not that there is a problem placing an advert in Loot, it's what it leads to.

I placed an advert to sell my car but only received one genuine call about the vehicle. However, I was contacted by two other companies who said they would sell my car for me at a small price and that they would sell it with no problems as they had people ready to buy. The cost for this service would be 9.95 but you actually had to pay 79.95 up front and would get 70 back when car was sold.

I was pestered with these calls around eight times a day and in the end I got fed-up with it. So I convinced myself that if I did it they would stop calling me. I went ahead and used their services only to find out that they were fraudsters.

The name of the company I was diddled by is:

Database Marketing Services
t/a MotorShopUK
Premier House
112 Station Road
Edgware HAB 7BJ
Tel: 0870 26 77 121

I don't know if you can help me, and others who might get trapped, but I want something done about this. So who do I contact?

Editorial Comment:

The pricing structure alone should ring alarm bells because this company is effectively borrowing your money until they sell your car ... if they ever do!

Your vehicle is only advertised on their website - www.motorshopuk.com - and if they do happen to sell your car they claim to give the buyer a FREE 3-month warranty and one year's breakdown cover with "one of the UK's main recovery services".

What!!? All this for 9.95 (after they've refunded your 70)? A likely tale! The breakdown cover alone would cost more than that. But as they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Our research showed that the website was first registered in 2006 and is owned by someone called Pani Christofi, who lives in Barnet. Further searches for Pani Christofi revealed nothing relevant but Database Marketing Services Limited is apparently a small marketing company with modest returns based in north London.

Strangely, the copyright shown on the foot of each page apparently belongs to motorshopuk.co.uk yet this domain is not owned by anybody and is still available.

We would be interested in information from any other visitors who have experience of MotorShop UK.


Visitors' Comments

Michael Barrs, Newcastle Under Lyme writes:

Hi There,

I've just been ripped off by these criminals. I fell for the sale and gave them my credit card, they have taken 99 from my account and won't refund my money. I've contacted them and they said at first it would take 7 days and now they've said it will take 14 days. Criminals they are and they should be locked up.

I there a law that protects me as a consumer where I can order them to pay back my money?


Editorial Comment:

Best bet is to contact Trading Standards.


Irene Mills, Coventry writes:

I have been ripped off by this company too. I was sucked into the scam. They told me they had someone who was interested in my car and that someone would ring me by the end of the day. Nobody rang.

I tried to cancel the agreement but no one got back to me. Today I received a letter informing me that the company would not be refunding my money as they had kept to the written script. They did not of course.


Peter, Dingwall writes:

I had a call from these folk today (April 2009) again after a ScotAds advert. Wanted me to pay 99 up front. Pretty hard sell. Caller's phone 020 8238 5010.


Watto, Derbyshire writes:

Having recently advertised two cars for sale - my daughter's and mine - I was contacted by three different companies all claiming to "have buyers waiting" and wanting to come the same same day to give me the full asking price. All they asked in return was a small fee ranging from 79.00 to 99.00 that was refundable upon completion of the sale.

Before making a decision I made some checks with Google and found a number of sites, including this one, where people had been ripped off in the past. The next time someone called me from one of these companies I quoted what I had read from other people's experience of them and I was put through to a "manager" who became very abusive when I told him I was going to report him to Trading Standards.

I agree with all the others here - these companies should be banned!


Ian White, Rugeley writes:

I have been ripped of by these people as I have received no calls for my vehicle. Never again! They should be stopped.


Oliver Goldring, Manchester writes:

I was contacted two days ago (5th May 2009) and stupidly paid 79.95 to them.

Have since received no calls "within the hour" that they promised and they are refusing to refund me.


Joanne, Hull writes:

My husband received a call from someone claiming to be from Motorshop UK stating that he was offering him a refund as the OFT have got involved. He wanted his credit card details to refund the money. My husband was suspicious so he said 'he didn't have them with him' and 'can he call back tonight.'

The man called back and I said that my husband was not in but I knew all about it. I asked him what he wanted and he said my husband obviously hasn't told me the story. I said, 'Yes he has but I wanted more information so I could check it out with the OFT tomorrow.' He said I was being very cocky and would put it down that I had refused the refund. I said I was not refusing it but he must understand that I would not give our bank details to someone we did not know who had rung us out of the blue.

He then got very defensive and said it was up to me if we didn't want the refund and would not be ringing me again. I asked for his name and number and he said all I needed to know was that his name was Michael. He also gave me the number of the company on the website.

OBVIOUSLY A SCAM!!!! Has anyone else had a similar call?


Peter Rhodes, Penzance writes:

Don't ever part with any money. These are all scams.

If so many people "locally" are interested in your car, how come you have not heard from any of them direct? Surely at least one or two would be curious enough to inspect a few vehicles even whilst waiting for approval of their so-called loan? Unfortunately there are many youngsters who badly need a job, any job. The scammers are their unscrupulous bosses who train them to read from pre-prepared scripts and use their naivety(?) to try and part you from your cash.


Caroline Hilton, Manchester writes:

I have been contacted by this company this morning (26 May 2009) after placing my car advertisement with the Manchester Evening News. Motorshop uk have also told me that they have a buyer waiting for my car and can get someone round to look at it straight away. I was going to go ahead with it and give them my card details but after reading all the negative feedback on this site, I don't think I will.


Editorial Comment:

Let's hope we've helped you to hang on to your hard-earned cash.


Jamie, Glasgow writes:

These guys are scam artists.

The only way they can make it legal is when they ask if you are happy for the service to start immediately. That way you revoke your right to cancel. If they have not stated this (which they did not in my case) then you have a right to cancel, however, they don't record the sales calls!!

So it's my word against their word. No way of getting the money back, and no way to cancel. The only reason I am writing this is to warn anyone else that may have dealings with this company - DON'T!!


Catriona Pyle, Edinburgh writes:

We were conned into this. My partner had been receiving numerous phone calls from this company promising buyers waiting to see our car, and the usual patter. Kind of wary about this but he was talked into parting with money in the hope that the car would be sold within a short period of time. Absolutely nothing!

Got in contact with the company and they advised a refund would be given within 7 days, then 14 days. Absolutely disgusted with the situation. They should be sent to jail! Managed to get a name of the person who I last spoke to on phone but doubt this will do any good if issue a threatening letter. I have even threatened them with legal proceedings if no response by end of this week as I work for lawyers. Watch this space!!!!!!!!!!


Joanne, Harrow writes:

I WENT WITH MOTORSHOPUK AND I WAS VERY PLEASED. THEY SOLD MY CAR WITHIN 7 DAYS AND I GOT MY MONEY BACK. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM ESPECIALLY WITH THEIR EXCELLENT SERVICE!!!


Editorial Comment:

We're not sure this is a genuine response as the writer supplied a false email address. When we receive a comment singing praises when all others are derogatory, it tends to have originated from someone related to the named company.


Julie, Herts writes:

Yep I'm sorry to say I fell into the scammers' trap and was promised the same as everyone else and guess what? I've had no calls. If we all keep reporting them to trading standards surely they must be able to something. DON'T USE MOTORSHOP UK.


Peter Stevens, Nottingham writes:

I was called by these muppets this afternoon. Having already had scam phone calls about my car, I just hung up on them. The phone rang again and when I answered the same kid called me a prick. Then he rang back again and threw another load of insults at me. It's shameful how low the human condition can get. These people really are total scum.


Editorial Comment:

I guess you got a bad loser on the line there, Peter. Or perhaps he was just describing himself.


Sharon Vargas, Cardiff writes:

I was also ripped off buy these people to the sum of 99.49 in May 09 as I had my car advertised in AdTrader. I contacted Trading Standards after hearing about the scam on Radio 2. They investigated and informed me that their offices had been raided and closed down in March 2009, but they must have started up again!

THE GOOD NEWS - I was informed to contact my card issuer (Alliance & Leicester) and ask for my money back via the CHARGEBACK SERVICE. They sent me a form to complete and I received a FULL refund yesterday.


Paul Allen, Northumberland writes:

This is exactly what happened to me after placing an add in my local paper to sell my car!

I was contact by one of their sales representative (Maria or Mary) on Friday 26th June regarding the sale of my vehicle. She asked if I would like to use Motor Shop UK to enhance my potential for a quick sale.

Initially I was reluctant to use them as it would be an additional 79.95 registration fee and the guarantees being made by the sales representative appeared Too Good to Be True.

During the initial telephone call I was informed that they would supply suitable buyers with finance and that there would be no problems selling my car as there was already 10 suitable buyers on their company database looking for the type of car I was selling. Also not to worry about the registration fee as this would be reimbursed on completion of the sale.

With this information I therefore decided to sign up ..

After reading the terms and condition which arrived days later it stated that this payment will only be reimbursed (minus a small admin charge) if finance was arranged by Motorshop UK. At no point was this disclosed during the sales call.

I called to enquire why I had not received a single call regarding my vehicle and also the misleading information, were I was promptly transferred to a sales team leader who abrasively informed me that Motor Shop was not responsible for vehicles NOT selling and if I had any complaints to put it in writing.

The sales techniques used by MotorShop UK are not only misleading but are being used to extract registration fees on the assumption that a sale is guaranteed.

How are they allowed to get away with it??


Editorial Comment:

They are allowed to get away with it because they are criminals and the police are not interested in crime.


J O'Malley, Leeds writes:

Done up like a kipper. Never thought I would be daft enough to fall for this "obvious" scam. I think they are running two outfits ... unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the other one, but they usually telephone on the same day. I found out very early on about the previous one by going online but unfortunately these sounded genuine and therefore relieved me of 49.95.

I know what goes around comes around so I am happy in the knowledge that although I may not be aware of what befalls these creeps, something will somewhere, sometime.


David Ryland, Wimbourne writes:

This lot are just conmen. They have a very persuasive approach. I am normally very good at picking out scams but they conned me out of 49-95. Their approach is to tell you they have buyers queuing up to buy your car. Don't believe them. They take your money and run. Anyone caught out should contact BBC Watchdog and let them know.


Anon, Leicester writes:

18th July 2009

In case you didn't know, there are two other companies like Motorshop owned by the same people. There's one company in Leicester called MotorplaceUK and another called Motormarket based in Coventry.

I worked for them since May. In our training we were told that we definitely have buyers for all the sellers we called. The whole thing seemed a bit too good to be true, we were advised by our manager that the so-called customer services could deal with any complaints. They pay us cash in hand every Friday.

We went into work today and were told by our manager that all of the companies were getting seized by the police, therefore we are out of a job as all three companies got shut down and that they can't pay us our wages today. All of the companies' accounts have been seized and they don't know when they can pay us. They owe us all about four hundred pounds.

If any of you guys have registered with them, now's the chance to get your money back and make this company close down for good. Let the owners be behind bars where they belong!


Anon, Leicester writes:

This company is a complete farce! I can't believe it, to be honest, that people are getting away which such things in this day and age. I mean people haven't even got a place to go to once their money has been taken, we are in 2009?

Yes ok they may have been shut down but guaranteed there will be another opening, same service, under a different name. Imagine how much money the owners of this business have and they cant even pay their staff??

I mean do they really want to do a longer sentence or pay out a lot more that necessary by not paying their staff for God's sake ... the ones they trained to do this whole thing???!!! I hope they get what they deserve, corrupting the vulnerable!


Dave Young, Fleetwood writes:

BEEN TRYING TO SELL MY STATIC CARAVAN WITH MOTORSHOP. PAID NEARLY 1OO POUNDS - NOT HEARD FROM THEM. JUST LOGGED ON TO ALL THE LETTERS......


Anita Hall, London writes:

Total arthur-daley's!!! The problem is, I sold my BMW 325 for one grand less due to the delay tactics of Motorshop telling me they had buyers and harassing my mobile daily to get the sale. Reluctantly I caved in because my father died and I needed to sell my car to attend his funeral abroad. I am fuming. I now know that their Edgware office was closed down by Police in May this year, but the stench of these cowboys is still in the air, so they must be rogue-trading under some new outfit somewhere. If the Watchdogs are listening then I say skin 'em, lynch 'em and feed them to pigs, the SWINES!!


Richard Black, Co. Armagh writes:

I had these people phone me to sell my caravan. They told me they had someone for my caravan and I would get a call within a few days. That was 3 months ago. It cost me 99 (GBP) but I got no call - never heard from them since. They just stole our money!


G Rice, Dundee writes:

For those people that paid by credit card you should be able to contact your provider and claim the monies back - as you do have some degree of protection with a credit card company - if you have paid by your ordinary debit card you have little protection - ok contact trading standards - but do go back to your credit card company - if you have any problems contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau -  Other thing you can do is go to go Companies House and if they have registered or the Director has registered and they try to open another company then difficulties may arise for them.


Michelle, Hove writes:

Another one bites the dust. 70.99 down the drain. They only got me as they said they were affiliated with M&S on their website and on the phone. I have since let M&S fraud people know.... Also gone to trading standards and then if nothing will speak to my Panorama/Watchdog contacts.


Phyl Pearson, Preston writes:

I too have had experience of Motorshop uk. In June 2007 I had my Fiesta advertised for sale when I received a call from them saying that they had buyers waiting for Fiestas. I was asked if I could be in all day the following day and they would send people around. I also was asked for 75 which I paid. But of course nobody appeared and no phone calls. I sold the car myself but didn't tell them - a year later my car was still on their site!! What a rip off.


Paul, Sheffield writes:

i bought i car few weeks ago off auto trader from a private person. The seller made me sign a contract (drafted by himself) stating - the car to be sold as seen. After having the car inspected by a licensed mechanic, it has become apparent that the car is not safe to drive. What shall i do? can i claim reckless endangerment?


Editorial Comment:

You really need to speak to a solicitor about this. You could also try the CAB and Trading Standards


Dj Wilkie writes:

let me tell you a tail. car insurance no claims protection. What a joke, you may pay for your no claims protection when you have a joint insurance as a named driver, but what they don't tell you that it only covers you for two years. we tick all the right boxes paid the money and when it was time to have my own insurance and asked for my no claims bonus certificate guess what? they told me it's only covered for two years, and because i didn't renew within the two years they told me i have too start all over again. i was paying 245 fully comp now I've got to pay 3019.46 they know you need insurance and they can charge whatever they like. what chances do you have to get your own no claims bonus back (nil) shame on Swinton shame on RAC shame on all companies shame on you the only one that has helped me is DIRECT LINE but we will see they gave me not a bad price as long as i do at least two years cover with them, they will give me two years no claims bonus. let you what happens when it's due in Dec.


Alan Carter of Humbie writes:

Hi, this happened to me only hours ago!! 16/10/2012 . Stupidly, I think I've been duped along the same lines as others here. 99 to sell my car, money back if sold to a buyer through their finance co. Ha.. I bet.? Sounded very professional on the phone. Think I'll be calling my credit card co. to try and get a refund from what I now see as a fraudulent operation.
This lot are called onlinevehicleservices .co.uk . Sound just like the other so-called businesses selling cars on our behalf....not?! So lets hope I get my money back and nobody else falls for this, like me.



"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill


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