Back in 2010 I wrote about a couple who had been taken to court by business transfer agents RTA. The couple won. Nothing unusual in that. Between 2006 and 2013 I regularly reported on retailers’ barneys with RTA, many of them ending up as clashes in court. The Daily Mirror also regularly reported on RTA’s antics, and claimed that its initials stood for ‘Road Traffic Accident’.

The stories typically involved retailers putting their businesses on the market with RTA, seeing no action, getting no enquiries, but then getting demands for thousands along with court orders.

What surprised me was that RTA is still up to its old tricks. In March David Fall commented on my 2010 story saying: “I am also a victim of RTA Business Consultancies. I was told on 23 March 2013 that they would sell my business for £100K.”

David says that after paying £600 plus VAT he didn’t get a single phone call, or email, from them regarding any prospective buyers.

He continues: “I have today (10 March 2016) received a letter from RTA dated 19 January 2016, asking me to sign a further agreement and stating they require £5,400 for this new agreement. I am also being sued by RTA for a payment of £900 incl. VAT – what they call a withdrawal fee.”

(I suppose if it takes them two months to post a letter no one should be surprised at how long it takes them to sell businesses.)

David noticed that he never received any VAT invoices and that no VAT number appeared on the proposed new agreement.

I advised David as best I could and a couple of weeks ago emailed to see what he had decided to do.

Here’s his response: “I told RTA that they can get stuffed. After that they sent me a letter saying that they would take me to court. I asked them for proof of the work that they said they had done on my behalf. They could not provide me with any, so I said to them I will see you in court. Not heard anything since.”

I expect the court would have been very interested in that lack of VAT number. HMRC would be, too.

For anyone else in a similar situation I suggest visiting www.cebta.org.uk/. Cebta stands for Campaign for Ethics for Business Transfer Agents. The site was built and contributed to by clients of RTA.