EXCLUSIVE: 'Grants company' accused of 'ripping off' small companies
Following a recent report into accusations made against a company claiming to offer discounted marketing services partly funded by government grants, BusinessZone.co.uk has received evidence from entrepreneurs who claim they've handed over money but haven't received the services offered.
In September, we reported how BBBO Grants was accused of charging small companies to access governnment funding. The Department for Business says it has no links to public sector funding organisations.
The company claims the government funding relates to an old service which has since been discontinued but claims it can still connect applicants with 30 partner agencies offering marketing services worth up to £5,000. The interested small businesses need to pay around £500 because the majority of the cost is funded by the agencies looking for small business clients.
One of the partner companies was named as Bluetech Media. The company has denied any wrongdoing.
But since our first report, BusinessZone.co.uk has been contacted by two business owners who claim they've sent payment to Bluetech Media but have not received what they've paid for.
One entrepreneur said: "I have paid £507 and have [sic] lots of emails from BBO and Bluetech media but I have not received anything. Have I been ripped off?
"Also I cannot get hold of BBO [sic] no website or anything and email return. Bluetech now do not return emails or answer phones."
Another business owner said: "I was contacted by the BBBO Grants scheme, applied and was accepted for a grant. I was directed to Vluetechmedia who were very helpful and over the course of a few conversations, I accepted an SEO package. I have paid £385.00 for their services over the next two years.