In the August 22 issue, writing about buying and selling businesses, I urged retailers to check the professional qualifications of the people they might consult. Nothing wrong with that advice, but one of the examples I used is woefully out of date. Please note that the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers no longer exists per se. It was merged with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) some time ago. So, if you come across anyone claiming to be a Fellow of the former, then you will know they are dodgy. RICS, on the other hand, are letters you do want to see. I am indebted to Ken Batty (FRICS), a business rates specialist in Preston, Lancashire, for the clarification. And while, obliquely, on the subject of rates, not only are the cowboys active again but some of them seem to be operating out of call centres abroad. John Maxwell Jones, from Burgess Stores in Goudhurst, Kent, whom I featured in the last issue with another warning about the European City Guide publishers, rang this time to alert people about the official-sounding British Business Survey. That’s who the caller said he was on a suspiciously echoey phone line. He asked John which council he paid his rates to and John responded by asking where in the world he was calling from. India was the answer.