Feeds

DTI petitions to wind up £100 PC business

Trading Standards acts to stop PC Help

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

Lancashire company Smartalk Ltd is facing a compulsory winding up order from the DTI over its £100 PC giveaway scheme.

The DTI petitioned the High Court on Friday for the action, and the Official Receiver has been appointed as provisional liquidators. This will put a stop to the PC Help, too-good-to-be-true, scheme the company started running earlier this year.

The idea was to flog a 500MHz Intel Celery PC for £50 plus £50 P&P. Punters had to answer mind-numbing market research questions every month for two years. If at the end of this time they wanted to keep the PC, it would cost another £50 - while forgetting to fill in one of the monthly forms would cost up to the full 'value' of the £600 PC.

The company reckoned to have 250,000 of the machines to give out to UK households. It would make its cash by selling the research results.

Back in June The Reg reported on this offer, noting the small print and the fact that the offer seemed too good to be true. And we weren't the only ones - Lancashire Trading Standards was also suspicious and had started investigating the company two months earlier.

It had "always failed to obtain any information as to the source of additional monies to fund the
purchase of the computers being supplied or evidence to show that significant money could be obtained from the sale of the 'questionnaire' information.

"It has been our serious concern that the supply of a limited number of computers has simply been funded by the flow of new participants into Smartalk's scheme," according to a statement from Lancashire County Council seen by The Register.

Anyone having sent money to the company can call the Official Receiver on 0207 637 6425.

Visitors to the PC Help site are currently being directed to www.info4pc.com which, according to the site is the new trading name for PC Help. It is offering PCs for £150.

The site describes info4pc as a global business with offices in Australia, Canada, Norway, and the US. A photo of the global HQ in Leyland, Lancashire, shows a nice-looking Porsche in the car park. ®

Related Stories

Get a £600 PC for £100... not quite
DTI denies Boo probe

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.