I was approached over 6 months ago to sell my restaurant business through a company called Phoenix Business Agents based in Oxfordshire. A representative came out and valued my business for sale. He told me that there would be an up front fee for marketing the business and then a one off fee of 5, 000 to pay from the sale of the business. He valued my business at 100, 000 and it was to be on the market for 6 months. At no point was I told of any cancellation fee for removing the property from Phoenix.
After 2 months I had had no interest in the business and had received little or no information from Phoenix with regard to any viewing etc..
Phoenix told me there was plenty of interest in the restaurant but they would only contact me if someone wanted a viewing. Still nothing. On calling and hounding Phoenix, I told them I no longer wanted to sell the business through them because I didn't feel they were doing a good enough job, they informed me they thought the business had been over valued and I should therefore reduce the asking price by 20, 000 to 80, 000 which I did.
In the 6 months it was on the market I had two viewings. I ended up having all correspondance with the potential buyers personally as it became apparent despite daily phone calls to Phoenix nothing was moving. In fact both the potential buyers chose to contact me directly as they were getting little joy through contacting Phoenix direct.
By late November it became apparent Phoenix were not going to sell the business for me, and after finding out my agent had gone on holiday for a month leaving no one at the office dealing with my property, I told Phoenix I wanted to leave. I was advised to tell them in writing and the policy would be cancelled, at no point was I told of any cancellation fee.
It was to my horror that the very next day I received a bill for 3, 000 plus VAT! I then received constant phone calls from Phoenix (ironic considering the lack of calls whilst the business was for sale) demanding the fee was paid in full or I would be taken to court. I explained I couldn't pay this fee as I didn't have the money, and Phoenix allowed me to pay half the fee that day and the other half a month later.
Sadly I agreed and paid half the fee. I then discovered that many people had experienced the same treatment from Phoenix, and there had actually been a programme on television called "Rip off Britain" all about Phoenix and there fees, which tantamount to roberry!
I've been advised not to pay them a penny more, and they are threatening to take me to court. I think there must be many more people in the same situation as me BEWARE OF PHOENIX BUSINESS AGENTS