World Business Directory: scam or not? You decide (we’ll help you)

Is the World Business Directory a scam? Depends on whether you feel £980 a year to advertise in its ‘directory’ is good value for your money or not.

It’s one of many ‘misleading contract’ con-tricks that continue to pull in millions of dollars annually around the world.

In case you think these people are credible or have any real case against you, it’s worth reading this 2009 letter from MEP Sarah Ludford. That should begin to reassure you.

The World Business Directory email comes with an attached pdf that you’re invited to fill in for your ‘free listing’.

Boxes at the bottom of the form invite your signature & co. stamp – reinforced by the words “please fill in the form completely” in bold.

One small sentence tells you only to sign the form if you want to place an ‘insertion’ – a deliberately uncommon word.

A dense pile of even smaller print tells you that signing the form constitutes a contract to place an ‘insertion’ at £980 per year – minimum period 3 years.

It’s up to you to decide whether you think this is a cynical fraud or not.

This might help you decide. I know where I stand and so do people of many other countries where this occurs (word for word). Click the thumbnail (left) for a detailed look at their form -and a spanish one for comparison.

This also might help you: a letter from MEP Sarah Ludford to one World Business Directory victim.  You might also like to see the letter that same victim then sent to the so-called ‘collections agency’ operating on behalf of WBD.  Nice one, Mary.

One thing’s for sure, if you rush ahead and sign and return this form thinking you’re going to get a Google-boost from this free directory listing, be prepared: you’ll end up with on of these (right)

What gets me is that Barclays Bank are happy to take the money. Nasty.

Here’s another variant of this scam offer.

[Update] Now operating out of Utrecht, Netherlands [Update]

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World Business Directory: don’t sign the form

Don’t sign the World Business Directory form unless you want to lose £2940

This nasty piece of work arrived in my inbox today.

It appears to offer you the chance to ‘update’ your data for free on a business directory.

However, the small print says quite clearly:

THE SIGNING OF THIS DOCUMENT REPRESENTS THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING……THE VALIDATION TIME OF THE CONTRACT IS THREE YEARS….I HEREBY ORDER A SUBSCRIPTION….THE PRICE PER YEAR IS GBP 980.

You might want to ask yourself – what possible benefit could this company give you that’s worth £2940?  A quick Google on the company name ‘EU Business Services Ltd’ leads to this informative site.

Still, these people would say, you were warned. And they would be right. After all, it does say ‘only sign if you want to place an insertion’. Mind you, it also says “please fill in the form completely” in bold in an attempt to get you to sign.

Those who know me know how much I dislike online directories at the best of times. With a bit of luck this post will zip to the top of Google for anyone wondering about this so-called directory – and maybe stop one or two people falling for this cynical piece of work.