The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Hilton Smythe — scam artists
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
We were unfortunate enough to cross paths with Gareth Smythe of Hilton Smythe (he is also director of several other companies) in October of 2011.
He gave us his sales spiel and convinced us to sign up to sell our business, he even offered to reduced their percentage fee and contract terms in order to secure for them the opportunity to sell our business valued by them at close to £1m.
From day one we were hounded by a Liam (another director at Hilton Smythe), we got calls from him on a daily basis asking for every detail you can imagine on the company at one stage they even wanted photographs of vehicles that were used in the business!
Only after the few weeks on the market they began putting pressure on us to reduce the asking price, within a few months we were told the business was not going to fetch anywhere near their valuation and we should consider offers at least £250k short of the asking price.
After failing to sell the business in 8 months, they sent us an invoice for £24k totally out of the blue, claiming we were in breach of their terms and conditions in particular "fails to produce any information that we deem necessary to assist in the sale of the business"
We had in fact supplied over 40 financial documents relating to the company, including full accounts for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Gareth and Liam then kept calling asking for immediate payment or threats to take us to court, when we refused to pay the invoice, they tried to negotiate an out of court settlement asking for £10k +VAT.
We stuck to our guns and refused to pay them anything, they then began court proceedings. All the initial court filling and correspondences with our solicitor were done by Gareth himself (our solicitor even commented, he looks like he has done this many times before). Once they realised we were not backing down and were prepared to see them in court, they again tried to negotiate an out of court settlement, but we refused to make any deals with them.
They have now been forced to get legal representation, we are looking forward to seeing them in court in the next few weeks and hopefully the judge will see through these con artists and a hefty legal bill will deter them from doing this to other businesses in the future.
I welcome any information regarding anyone may have with regards these scammers.
I confirm that my complaint has been resolved to my satisfaction by Hilton Smythe and the comments previously made by me are hereby withdrawn in their entirety.