Did pressured desperate search engine company Eniro tried to force sales on some uninterested buyers of its services? Now Swedish police called in!


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Friday, 26 August 2011
Struggling search engine company, Eniro seem to be devising a new strategy – that by selling its services to organisations by force. Such a case has led to the company being reported to the police, accused of attempted fraudulent sales.

According to the Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter, the company is accused of sending a bill to a school in Stockholm for services the school never bought. After repeated attempts to complain about the bill purported to be for advertising services, provided by the search company Eniro, Martin Wallen, got tired and is now reporting the matter to he police.

“Eniro sent an invoice for services we never ordered. They have refused to help us resolve the issue and now they have threatened to push the matter to the debt collection services” says Martin Wallen, chairman of the board at the secondary school in question in Stockholm, to the paper.

“I saw no other way than to report the company to the police for attempted fraud,” he told the paper.

Before the summer the Rector of the small private high school in Solna, near Stockholm, had a phone call from a salesperson at Eniro who wanted to sell an advertising service to her.
The headmaster was not interested but still went on and told the seller to send her more information about the business. She said specifically to Eniro seller that she would contact them if the school decides to buy the advertising package.

In consultation with the school principal, she decided that it was not worth it for the school to advertise with Eniro since the business was still so small. As a result she never replied to the  vendor's e-mail.

Ten days later the school received an invoice for Skr9, 975 plus VAT. The headmaster contacted the seller to sort out the misunderstanding, but he pointed out that the agreement was binding and made reference to Eniro's policy.

The invoice was challenged in writing. In a letter responding back, Eniro this time said that there has been somewhat unclear, with the order and that the contract is valid even though the headmaster never accepted the ads.

The school refused to pay and for that reason after the summer holidays came, a reminder of bill came and a threat of debt collection if the invoice is not paid.
“I called  Eniro several times and was only shouted at and no one wanted to accept responsibility. I have spent at least two full working days to make phone calls and argue,” he says.
Finally he got hold of one of the managers at Eniro who promised to investigate the matter and to get back to him.
“He promised to come back several times but did not. Every time I called, he wanted more time to review the matter. Eventually he sent me to one other person - who has not called up. Then Martin Wallen go so ‘pissed’  and had to  notified the issue to the police.

Martin Wallen is not the only company having pproblems with Eniro.  A Local news paper earlier in the summer published several examples of entrepreneurs whom Eniro demanded money for advertising services they never ordered from Eniro.

The police already seem to have been aware of the problems with desperate Eniro and others. Detective Stephen Bernstr�m of the fraud squad in southern Stockholm police is one of those who are far from being foreign to the problem.
“We see this type of invoices every week even if the invoices do not come from just Eniro,” he says.
And this type of crime is hard to solve because it often the words against words.
“As I see it in this case, there is no binding agreement. Then, the case operated under civil law,” said Stefan Bernstr�m.
The approach is to sue the company in court.
Eniro has been living with intense pressure after having had lots of financial losses in the past years. It business model is now that pushy sales people should take over and make it possible to turn the reddish boost back t black and they are  to do what it takes. One of them is to make it look like they have sole advertisement when they have not.
Could this be damaging to the company such that many customers may flee? Wait and see.
By Team

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