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Issue Date:- 26 May 2008


RNID is calling on football fans in Merseyside looking for an alternative Saturday activity to put on their running shoes and make a dash for one of the charity’s guaranteed Great North Run places.

The world’s biggest half marathon takes place on Sunday 5 October 2008. The charity’s places are available on a 1st-come, 1st-served basis to prospective fundraisers who pay a £38 registration fee and raise a minimum of £300.

Caroline Jupe, RNID Events & Community Fundraising Manager, says:- “With the English football season ending, why not sign up for RNID’s Great North Run team and make it your summer goal to get fit and change the world for the UK’s nine million deaf and hard of hearing people?”

Money raised by fundraisers pounding the 13-mile route from Newcastle to South Shields will help fund RNID projects and services that improve the everyday lives of deaf and hard of hearing people.

For more information about joining RNID’s team, contact Caroline Jupe on telephone / textphone 0845 634 0687 (local rate) or email

Final call for debt recovery company

A Birkenhead-based company which made a number of misrepresentations to induce clients to sign up for a commercial debt recovery service has been wound up in the High Court following an investigation by Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) of the Insolvency Service.

Initial Credit Support Limited recruited client businesses by way of telesales cold-calling, with each client paying an advance fee of up to £750 for the service as well as a commission on any debts successfully recovered. In persuading clients to sign up the company claimed a success rate of close to 100% in debt recovery when, in reality, it was only able to recover around 15% of client debts; it wrongfully stated that charges paid for the service by clients would be recovered from debtors when there was no basis for doing so; it wrongfully stated that individual directors would be pursued for corporate debts; and the company represented that it would refund fees paid by clients if it was unable to recover debts, when no such refund policy was operated.

Having solicited business on the basis of these misrepresentations, Initial Credit Support Limited then retained and used as working capital the monies it collected on behalf of its clients instead of paying these over. The inadequate nature of the company's accounting records meant that the true position could not be established, but the company had received an income of at least £362,000 and had made payments to clients totalling just £90,000.

In making the winding up order the Court held that Initial Credit Support Limited had misled and acted against the interests of clients and had used client funds in an inappropriate manner.


ROGUE traders who dupe, pressurize and cheat the public will have nowhere to hide now as the biggest shake-up to consumer law in decades gives council trading standards teams tough new powers.

LACORS, which coordinates council trading standards work across the UK, is warning scam artists, cowboy builders and doorstep criminals that loopholes in the law which they have exploited in the past are now closed for good.  The Consumer Protection Regulations, which replace many existing consumer protection laws as a result of a Europe-wide shake up in trading practices, will apply to businesses trading directly with consumers, from hoteliers and builders to retailers and 2nd hand car dealers, and will for the 1st time establish a catch-all duty for businesses not to trade unfairly. The CPRs will also specifically ban 31 types of unfair sales practices outright, including:-

* Bogus ‘closing down’ sales

* Prize draw scams

* Offering bogus free gifts

* Displaying false accreditations (such as wrongly claiming to be a CORGI-registered plumber)

Practices that mislead the consumer will also be against the law, such as false claims about a product’s effectiveness or failing to reveal to a customer that a contract has to run for a minimum period.

The new legislation will also make it against the law for aggressive practices to be used. These include the hard, pressurized selling tactics adopted by some doorstep traders who force customers to pay cash immediately for home repairs or traders who insist on giving customers a lift to the bank to withdraw money.

Businesses who do not comply with the new laws face a range of penalties from a written warning to, in the worst cases, criminal prosecution. Depending on the severity of the offence, these penalties could include fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Cllr Geoffrey Theobald OBE, chairman of LACORS, said:- “Councils are committed to putting local people first and will use every tool in their arsenal to catch the rogue traders, cowboy builders and doorstep sellers who prey on the vulnerable and the elderly.

This shake-up represents the biggest change to consumer protection laws in decades and gives councils new powers to crack down on unfair and illegal tactics.

All consumers have the right to be treated fairly whether shopping on the high street, at home, through a catalogue or online.

These new regulations will help people feel safer and more secure when making a purchase and make it much tougher for the small minority of rogue traders who operate dishonestly.”

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