Business is booming.

TONY HETHERINGTON: Advanced Pets serving up dog's breakfast

Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail’s chief investigator on Sunday, battling the reader’s corners, revealing the truth behind closed doors and gaining victories for those who haven’t made money. Read below how to contact him.

In the doghouse: Advanced Pets does not give his address and key details on his website

In the doghouse: Advanced Pets does not give his address and key details on his website

Ms EE writes: I have ordered and paid for pet food from Advanced Pets in Gloucester but have not received anything. Emails were not answered and the phone was answered by an outside company advising that the lines were busy.

The company asks for details and says someone will contact you, but no one ever does. The company issues invoices without contact details.

Trustpilot’s review website has several people suggesting that positive reviews are fake. Luckily I was able to request a refund from my credit card.

Tony Hetherington replies: The invoice you received from Advanced Pets is a mess. It charges VAT without showing a VAT number, and the closest to an address is a very small letter that reads ‘Advanced Pets – United Kingdom’. Trustpilot shows many detailed complaints, with 66 percent of reviewers rating the company as bad, while oddly 27 percent say it’s excellent. And they say she got a 20 percent discount if she submitted a five-star review.

Advanced Pets is a website based company, but the website is just as bad as the service. Some of the terms and conditions refer to the US. Others refer to the laws of the United Kingdom, which in itself is confusing, as business terms for companies in England normally say they are governed by the laws of England and Wales, as Scotland and Northern Ireland can be different.

Even the usual privacy statement is absurd. It refers to ‘Advanced Pets doing business like Advanced Pets’, but since there is no such registered company, it is legally meaningless. Some of the company’s terms of sale contain blanks that were never filled in, and there’s an entire section devoted to California state law.

Who in California is most likely to order dog biscuits or chew toys from thousands of miles away in Gloucester?

At the heart of all this is a very fundamental offense. Customers have a legal right to know who they are dealing with.

The details of limited liability companies can be viewed for free in Companies House records, but Advanced Pets is not a limited liability company.

Anyone who conducts business under a name other than his own must disclose his full name and address where: can be contacted and where legal documents can be served. This information is not on the Advanced Pets website or on invoices, but I can tell you that the man behind it is Aaron Price.

When I asked him why there were so many complaints, he said: ‘Since the opening of our website, we have gone from 10 to 15 orders per day to 100 to 150 orders, which our infrastructure was not fully prepared for.

“Personally, I’m still shocked by the sheer volume of orders we’re getting.”

And he added: ‘One issue you certainly won’t mention in your report is that we are currently offering families around our Gloucestershire area completely free monthly dog ​​or cat medication or pet food to support low-income families. ‘

Price did not comment on his company’s terms and conditions or his failure to provide customers with the information required by law, but he did tell me that his address is 37 Naunton Road, Gloucester GL4 4RD. If his name and address do not appear on his website and invoices soon, I trust that officials from Trading Standards in Gloucester will intervene.

Meanwhile, dissatisfied customers now know who to contact and where.

IRS won’t let me use my online account

AC writes: I am registered to use the Revenue & Customs online service through the Government Gateway scheme to manage my personal tax account.

But I found myself locked out because I hadn’t used it for three years.

Trying to renew my registration has proved impossible due to questions about my identity.

AC is registered to use the Revenue & Customs online service through the Government Gateway scheme

AC is registered to use the Revenue & Customs online service through the Government Gateway scheme

AC is registered to use the Revenue & Customs online service through the Government Gateway scheme

Tony Hetherington replies: Part of the process of renewing your registration involved providing information about your passport and creditworthiness. You are sure that you answered the questions accurately and honestly, but the system rejected you, claiming that certain information you provided was incorrect.

You contacted the tax authorities, but the officials were unwilling to help you. As they pointed out, if they told you the “correct” answers, they could have easily helped someone impersonate you.

I asked the IRS headquarters staff what to do, and they suggested asking for help. But when I looked at the instructions, it said, “Make sure your personal information and address are up to date in your personal tax bill or else phone security may fail.”

Since your problem was that you were denied access to your tax account, how could you make sure the details were up to date?

Fortunately, the officials managed to move the goalposts. One told me, ‘Customers can now use GB driver’s licenses as one of the two forms of identification required to verify their identity on the Government Gateway.’

Strangely enough, until a few weeks ago, only Northern Irish driving licenses were accepted.

You have now been called by the Tax Authorities and have successfully guided you through the renewal process.

Debtor got wrong door

Mrs SM writes: I am 80 years old, widow and living at the same address since 2013.

I am sending you a letter which I have received from Moorcroft Debt Recovery Ltd, with my address but someone else’s name, demanding £1,013.

I’m afraid my address will get bad credit, and I’m really afraid Moorcroft will send recovery agents to my door.

Ms. SM is concerned that her address is getting bad credit, and is really afraid that recovery agents will show up at her door

Ms. SM is concerned that her address is getting bad credit, and is really concerned that there are recovery agents on her doorstep

Ms. SM is concerned that her address is getting bad credit, and is really concerned that there are recovery agents on her doorstep

Tony Hetherington replies: You told me that you and your husband, who you lost in 2018, always paid your bills on time, so let me start by reassuring you that your creditworthiness is safe, as debt administration is linked to individuals and not just their addresses. .

That said, it took me less than ten minutes to track down the person Moorcroft was targeted. I am not identifying her today as she may have no idea there is a claim against her and she may not be a debtor at all. I just want to say that she lives near you, although her name is nothing like yours.

I asked Moorcroft if this was all a mistake – or had the other woman allegedly used your address to get credit?

The answer is that it was an error by an outside company tracking debtors for Moorcroft, and your address has now been cleared from the records. Moorcroft apologizes for the distress and inconvenience, and you will be paid £100 to make up for this.

If you believe you have been the victim of financial misconduct please write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email tony.hetherington@mailonsunday.co.uk. Due to the large number of questions, no personal answers can be given. Only send copies of original documents, which unfortunately cannot be returned.

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