Totally DIY exhibitors are being targeted by a Mexican-based company publishing the Expo Guide.
Mailings received over the past few weeks invite exhibitors to update their "free listings" in the Expo Guide - but the small print reveals that completing and signing the form constitutes an irrevocable order for three years' advertising at Euro 1,181 a year - a total outlay at current exchange rates of at least £3,000 - and which is automatically self-perpetuating annually thereafter.
The approach closely resembles that of the Austrian-based Construct Data Verlag, publisher of the Fair Guide, which has attracted widespread criticism from UK exhibition organisers in recent years.
Construct Data signed an agreement in the Austrian courts in February 2008 that it would cease mailing its contracts from Austria. The first mailings from the Expo Guide in Mexico appeared only a few months later; but as far as DIY Week knows this is the first time Totally DIY exhibitors have been targeted. "It's a scam," said a Totally DIY spokesman.
19/04/2012 11:59:00Expo GuideBy Jay Hubbard
It's not just Timber Expo, it's all exhibitions including Grand Designs, EcoBuild, The National Homebuilding & Renovation Show - plus no doubt every other exhibition outside of this industry.
12/03/2011 15:22:00Nobody's EVER been taken to court... By Sam Deeks
.. I've been blogging about this for some time (my post referred to by Liisa http://www.mukaumedia.co.uk/expoguide-scam-decide-yawn/) - in ALL my research, there is no evidence of ANYONE EVER being take to ANY court ANYWHERE. Simple reason, it's a nasty scam.
It was designed to make them enough money by enough scared, ashamed people paying. All they have to do is mail out the forms, send letters and make phone calls - and between 3 - 5% of people pay.
I had contact with an informant inside 'ICAA' the fake debt collection front they operate from Cyprus - he told me that of 10,000 accounts they 'processed' in 6 months, 3% paid. That makes 300 people at 1,000 each - 300,000 just from THAT batch.
Highly profitable, you'll agree?
08/10/2010 19:31:00Expo-Guide ConBy Ben Moore
We exhibit at the HK Lighting Fair every year and I was sent a letter with the incorrect details. I corrected them and signed thinking it was related to the HK Fair as it is the same corporate colours. I knew it was a scam after the 1st invoice and have sent several emails telling them to jog on. I found this website very helpful: http://www.energygrid.com/watchdog/2008/11-expoguide.html I today received a legal letter from them and I just followed the advise on this sight and copied there letter. Thanks whoever posted it! and I pity all the people who have fallen for it! Makes me sick bunch of SCUM bags......
21/07/2010 15:40:00EXPO GUIDEBy fred multon
do these people actually produce a guide and distribute it. I can`t find it. If it doesn`t exist or isn`t distributed sufficiently widely any payments due to them could genuinely be witheld anyway.
also we must question why or how have so many people signed up believing it to be a free service (myself included)
15/07/2010 23:57:00Expo guide=scamBy Liisa
Read this: http://www.mukaumedia.co.uk/expoguide-scam-decide-yawn/
and DON T PAY THEM - JUST IGNORE!!!
15/07/2010 23:53:00By Liisa
I m also a victim since june 2009. I ve got reminders and they will take me to court and so on....!!!
Dont t worry and DON T PAY!!!! They can do nothing and they are operating all over the world! Just ignore them! I signed in april 2009 and I will never pay a penny to those idiots!!!
So don t write to them, don t pay and don t worry!!!
12/07/2010 05:28:00Expo guide scamBy Mark
I signed t o thinking it was free. After the first invoice i sent a letter saying that the form was signed in error and that we dont want any of their services. They'll sent a letter Back saying that the signature is a legally binding contract and we have to pay. I sent another letter saying That their company is fradulant and that I will not be intimidated and that I will never pay them cent. Since then I get invoices plus interest. Nobody has called me yet but I think they will soon. I'm not afraid. Don't even use the word contract in your dealings with them. That gives it credibility. Just refer to it as the scam form. Stay strong. Don't let them push you around.
17/03/2010 09:03:00They belong behind BarsBy Constantinos Anthis
They belong behind Bars.
I wander why the police do not take any action.
However, do not pay anything, ignore them, they cannot do anything no matter how small your business is.
Imagine them at court demanding the money.
Next thing that will happen is they will be exposed and this is something they do not want.
DO NOT ANSWER, DO NOT PAY.
06/03/2010 22:13:00Re: www.expo-guide.comBy elan
We participated at Ambiente Fair, Germany in 2007, and subsequent to that have been receiving correspondence from www.expo-guide.com. I received another update form in 2009 and in October, I decided to fill it out, thinking that it was just to update our details for Ambiente.I was totally unaware that there were going to be any charges, and so I signed the form and posted it off. In January I recieved an invoice, which was a total surprise. Since I am an honest person, I felt I should contact them and I informed them that I thought it was to update details for Ambiente Show directory and that I was unaware of any charges. They have replied to me, and in a second email to them I informed them again that I was not aware of any charges when I signed the form and that I could not afford to pay the amount of $1571 per year. They replied with an offer to either give me a discount of 30% or reduce term to 2 years at $1571 per year. I replied that I would take this into consideration and get back to them. I also asked without committing myself, whether they would consider reducing contract term further. To which they have agreed, if I pay the amount by a certain date. After reading through a number of internet articles, I now see that this is a scam, and intend to ignore them.
16/02/2010 15:50:00Expo Guide ScamBy SAm Mahdavi
I have been getting invoices from them for 1670.00 USD. We have never even send them anything. HAven't paid them yet and made a call. A weird guy picked up the phone and said we have to pay!
27/01/2010 17:36:00Legal AdviceBy Juliet
I'm a victim of this scam,and am based in the UK. I have sought legal advice about the threatening letters that I'm getting. This is advice that the solicitor gave me:
Write a brief letter to inform Expo Guide that you have taken legal advice, realse that it's a scam, and that you will ignore all futur correspondence, phone calls etc. Refuse to talk to anyone on the phone who is acting for Expo Guide, and bin all letters that they send you. don't let them intimidate you- they can't do anything.
Hope this reassures anyone who is worried.
20/01/2010 08:46:00Expo Guide ScamBy Neil Gow
All the letters inviting me to join over the last couple of years to the Expo Guide and others have included a post paid envelope. I put all their leaflets in the envelope along with as much other untraceable junk mail as I can find and post it back to them. That costs them money and me only a little time.
19/01/2010 16:38:00complete scamBy Anne Prunty
I am glad to see Expo Guide are a complete scam. I must have spent a year fighting them off. I got legal letters etc but I never paid them a penny thank God.They are very nasty and very threatening.I now just received today request today from INTERNET REGISTER IRELAND. exactly the same set up. I recognised the form as the same as Expo- guide. They are just despicable.
10/12/2009 13:11:00Expo Guide LettersBy Clive
They are sending the letters out for other exhibitions. I have one linked to The Publican Live Exhibition. London. No doubt there are other exhibition lists that have been obtained.
10/12/2009 08:45:00expo guideBy Exhibitor
I have just received an e mail asking for payment. This is the 3rd communication they have sent me. I have no intentions of paying them. I have warned them that any other form of communication from them will be recorded & passed onto the office of fair trading.
15/11/2009 12:06:00Expo-Guide mexico guide scamBy Amit from India
Expo-guide is just a scam.
Never, never and never ever pay them. Their letters are just for threatening. They cannot do anything. First, they will send invoice.......
then payment reminders........
then overdue payment reminders........
then threat for legal action.......
then letter from bogus legal deptt.....
then letter for out of court setttlement...
then someone from your country in your language may call u for legal threat and recovery.......
so please dont worry and fight them back....
26/10/2009 08:14:00Expo GuideBy Ravi Inder from INDIA
i just recieved a letter that i have due amount of USD 1607.42
some of my friends who are also making machines recieved but we never know which company is this
08/10/2009 17:56:00Guide ScamBy Maria
Perhaps some show organizers are selling lists but these scammers for the most part are simply going onto conference websites and seeking the exhibitor lists taking information from there and contacting the exhibitors. I know this is how they got me. It would be quite easy to do, as most show sites list exhibitors and company contact information as part of the sponsorship.
What I would love for the organizers to do, however, is to go further than just "alerting" exhibitors. They should try to take legal action against Expo-Guide as they have more resources than we small businesses do.
If they all did this, those scammers would not last!
08/10/2009 11:36:00Guide ScamBy Neil
So, event organisers confirm this to be a scam well, if thats the case Brintex etc, stop selling them the details of everyone who visits your shows. Event organisers are as guilty as the scammers for making a quick buck by selling your details. If they really wanted to help they could include a do not pass on my details box on all exhibion registration forms
08/10/2009 03:08:00Well Known Scam!!By Maria
They got me too recently....I have read up on this a lot, joined victim groups on facebook and yahoo, and learned quite a bit about their operation. They are crooks and low life people who would not survive a minute on a courtroom floor....so don't worry, don't pay them anything, and ignore their calls and invoices.
I know for a fact that my "letter" did not have the small print but the copy they sent me (with my invoice) was blatantly copied and pasted to look like the text was included. I also received no "cover letter" that they professed was sent to me with the form explaining their advertising program. They are liars and the only reason they continue to exist is because they scare small businesses into paying them. If no one pays them, they have NO operation. Don't pay them!
I personally have alerted their website hosting company, the FTC, econsumer.gov, and the convention organizer who they used to get to me. I won't stop until they are taken down. I have also contacted several media sources.
Please, if you are a victim, contact your local authority and also submit to econsumer.gov - an international watchdog. The more they get, the more they will put into investigating these crooks and taking them down.
18/09/2009 10:25:00don't worryBy shitallover expo guide
For god sake don't worry, throw all letters and the rest in the bin where they belong, Nothing they can do as they "business model" is totally fraudulent and wouldn't stand a minute in any court of law, JUST IGNORE THE CROOKS.
20/08/2009 06:07:00By Ruri
I never submit a signed form and yet received an invoice demanding USD 1,571.
05/08/2009 03:41:00Expo-guideBy A. Fragkis
I have just received a letter form these guys. Promptly bin-filed it.
16/07/2009 20:28:00Expo-GuideBy Bewers
I too have signed the form and received an invoice for 1,181 which I thought was a FREE listing, not a paid listing. I would have appreciated the fee printed in BIG LETTERS on a letter. I am worried as I am only an amateur woman with hardly any work as payment is due on 25th July 2009. I have read the details online on what I should do but as far as I can see just ignore ignore and ignore....does that sound a good bet????
14/07/2009 12:06:00Expo GuideBy James Murray, show director, Brintex
A dedicated website has been set up to deal with this issue http://www.stopecg.org/expo-guide.htm. We still believe that Expo Guide have never successfully enforced a contract through the courts and I would point anyone affected to take a look at the site and in particular the section that refers to withholding payment. I am aware that they adopt an agressive debt collection strategy, which can be very upsetting for those companies caught up in this and I completely sympathise with anyone that is affected. The Association of Event Organisers is doing what it can to deal with this problem but, up until now, has been unable to stop their contemptible activities.
14/07/2009 09:57:00Expo GuideBy Carina Evans
My Assistant took it upon herself to sign our company into the Expo Guide agreement. We are getting nasty demands which i have no choice but to ignore, where is this going to lead me, we are a small company and something like this could ruin us, it is very worrying, Please contact me at email@example.com if you can help or advise me in this situation, past experience would be amazingly helpful, Carina
26/06/2009 14:42:00Guide ScamBy Jon Layton
Now targeting GLEE exhibitors so beware!
25/06/2009 11:51:00GUIDE SCAMBy ANTHONY OLIVER
The other guide to look out for is The European City Guide based in Spain at about 1000 euros per year.
I would be interested to know if anyone has actually paid to be in one of these guides or been taken to Court for non payment.
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