The Famous Peacock Inn, Edinburgh
The man behind the online enterprise was US citizen Brian Conley. The year-old serial businessman, who operated nCrowd from an iconic building called Sunsphere in Knoxville, Tennessee, is also facing legal action by small business owners who claim to have lost money in the US. Only recently Conley was pictured smiling and sipping drinks with his wife in sunny Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico, while his customers counted their losses — some of which run into thousands of pounds — at home and across the pond.
In the UK, owners of small companies including pubs, hotels, restaurants and beauty salons were approached by nCrowd to offer discounts to customers in a supposed win-win move designed to help the website, small businesses and customers alike. Merchants honouring these deals say they started to lose out when nCrowd failed to reimburse money paid by customers. Many shoppers buying discount goods never received their items.
The company ceased trading late last year and officially folded in mid-December.
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Shortly afterwards a letter from the liquidator responsible for winding up nCrowd sent to creditors warned that 'no refunds will be issued by the company and nor will any orders made now be fulfilled'. A statement from Conley shows money was funnelled from the UK website to help keep the US version afloat.
In legal documents filed in the US defending Conley's handling of the business, it says: New identity: Now the nCrowd website has reappeared — this time run by Mighty Deals Ltd. Since the demise of nCrowd, it has reappeared online, selling anything from cut-price smartphones to spa days. The website is no longer in the hands of Conley but is a trading name of Mighty Deals Limited, demonstrating how easily website names can be sold on. But people ordering from their computers are given only basic information. According to records kept by Companies House, Mighty Deals' accounts are up-to-date and it has two British-based directors.
But it is not immediately obvious from looking at the new nCrowd website who it belongs to, unless visitors click on the terms and conditions in the smallprint at the foot of the webpage. Customers should be aware that the website does not list any contact numbers should any problems arise with their orders. Shoppers with queries about anything from returns to missing deliveries must set up an account and sign in, or send questions via the website rather than using an email address.
Mighty Deals boss Mike Rowe says: We have ambition to grow and therefore want to provide a good level of customer service — we don't want customers to find it hard to contact us. Consumer experts say research is key to a good experience when shopping online. Websites such as Trustpilot and TripAdvisor are a good starting point, listing details of other customer experiences. Online operations run by high street brands are likely to exercise higher standards and provide easier routes of redress if something goes wrong.
But anyone buying through a lesser known entity should check for visible contact numbers and email addresses, as well as clear explanations of how it deals with deliveries, returns and complaints before parting with any money. Steve Nowottny, of consumer website MoneySavingExpert, says: He adds: Read the terms and conditions of buying through a website and consider paying with a credit card. Customers who do this have added protection — because if goods or services are not delivered and the website does not respond to refund requests, or if it goes bust, the credit card company should pay back the money.
Nowottny adds: In this scenario shoppers have 14 days to tell the company and 14 further days to send back an item.
Check also for a padlock sign and 'https' when the website address is typed in, which indicates a payment is secure. Aidan and Sian Bailey's order from a discount catalogue website failed to arrive, but so did the refund they consequently asked for in an online experience they describe as 'frustrating'.
It never turned up so they cancelled the order — but were left waiting until the New Year for a refund, which only landed in their account after several calls to a helpline, dozens of emails and complaining via social media. Aidan, 45, who works as an operations director for a tax and financial planning company, says: Funds were eventually returned to our bank account early this month though by this time, I was also seeking a letter of apology and compensation for wasted time and frustration. Aidan adds: Being ignored after 20 emails only served to anger and frustrate us.
A spokesman for 24Studio said: Following communication with Aidan and Sian they have accepted compensation, which has been sent to them. Additional reporting: Dan Andrews in Tennessee. This calculator will show you just how long it's going to take you to clear your credit card balance if you don't wake up, face reality, stop paying the bare minimum and start clearing this punitive form of debt. One woman reveals how she makes thousands by renting out her vehicles Would you eat salmon skin crisps?
Motorway exits you don't want to miss! The debt solution marketed as a life hack on social media: Record numbers open IVAs - but what are they and can you really write off your debts? British firm recreates the iconic car, with a zero-emissions top speed of 80mph Do you know what to do when you see this sign on the motorway? It has closed without notifying all those including myself who had a booking. This will have an effect on the image if it ever gets a new owner.
We have eaten in the Peacock Inn several times in the past and been pleased with the selection and quality of the food. We booked for lunch for 4 people today and arrived after driving 35 miles to find that the restaurant was closed. Like the previous reviewer we have turned up today the 20th of January for our meal booked for midday to find the restaurant closed with a sign on the door saying it will reopen on the 19th January! These people have obviously no intention in Flights Holiday Rentals Restaurants Things to do.
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Deals website nCrowd goes bust owing shoppers money but then reappears under new ownership
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English See what travellers are saying:. Filter English. Updating list Reviewed 10 July via mobile Great food! Date of visit: August June Reviewed 2 April Lunch. December
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