Small business scams

Scams aren’t limited to consumers - small businesses are targetted too.
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As part of being a small business, receiving calls and tests from companies saying they can ‘boost’ your business is par for the course. You simply have to do the analysis and decide if you’re interested. It’s usually a ’no’ from me because I am offering a service which most agencies can’t cater for. Also, I don’t want to have to inflate my prices to cover their significant charges.

I had one call this week which I nearly fell for. A sales rep from Sky Blue Education, based in Oswestry, was very convincing and knowledgeable. He told me they ran a procurement portal for schools and had 160 schools listed in my area. They said they would add me to their register and offers from schools for installs and maintenance would follow. They would keep me on the books for an initial twelve months.

Education and non-profit are close to my heart, so I quickly checked their website while on the call and said I was interested. We went through all the details and then he announced he wanted a payment of £550 + VAT (i.e. £660) to include me in their list. Just like that - no documentation, links to web-site or contractual details. We ended the call pleasantly and he said he would email me all the details. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t.

I did a bit more research and found many people calling them a scam. In my opinion, if this is not a scam then it’s very ‘sharp practice’. Here’s some links to reviews about them. It seems they’re contacting people in a range of professions and trades, from counsellors to waste disposal. Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window

It seems this company has been operating under various names. I feel for the other companies with similar names such as BlueSky Education, Blue Sky Education and Travel, and SkyBlue Education. They could easily be adversely affected by this company.

Thinking about it later, I don’t think Sky Blue Education would lead to any significant opportunity. I doubt schools have that many air-con installations, and those that exist are probably have a service contract (if not, do feel free to contact me!). It will be the same for most other services as well.

I won’t include a website link because they don’t deserve the internet traffic. You can always Google their name and ‘Oswestry’ to find them.

What I learnt from this is: Just take a phone number and tell them you’ll call back after you have checked them out.

Rant over!