A retailer wishing to be known as Mrs J from Norfolk wrote to say: “In December 2011 we received a postcard with our details on it, asking us to check them, sign and post back so they could update their records.”

As I’ve written many times before, the teeny-weeny fine print makes it difficult to suss that you are, unfortunately, placing an advert.

In February 2012 she got the bill. She faxed back to cancel and got an email saying too late. The hassle wore on for 18 months.

“They have now taken to phoning us and stating it is in the hands of a debt collector and have done us the favour of dropping it to the cost of one issue at a cost of approximately £650. Industry & Commerce state that if it goes to court it will be heard in a Spanish court of law and I would have to get a Spanish lawyer.”

She was worried sick and thinking about paying up just to get them off her back.

I think, I hope, I have bucked her up enough to face the pressure. This ECG has no jurisdiction in the UK. I’ve never known them to be able to take anyone to court. The Spanish courts have closed them down a few times themselves.

The OFT sent out a warning about ECG 10 years ago, so what I find most annoying is the lack of support Mrs J got after approaching Citizens Advice (Consumer Direct) and her local trading standards officers. They should be aware of these shysters.