The Student Property Shop has their domain name forcibly removed

If you remember a certain Leeds based letting agent named Providence Properties, who featured on many websites a few years ago and on BBC Watchdog, you may remember that they disappeared almost over night and new company sprang up in their place. Where Providence Properties once sat, The Student Property Shop rose like a phoenix from the flames.

The Student Property Shop

For legal reasons of course I should point out that I’m not in any way suggesting that Providence Properties and The Student Property Shop are connected, they just have the same premises, the same staff, the same vehicles and their websites are (or were) on the same server. No connection whatsoever.

The Student Property Shop was also the subject of a student demo a while back, over fees that weren’t being returned.

Anyhow, things have taken a new twist once again; you see, the real Student Property Shop (website are absolutely nothing to do with the Leeds outfit ran by the Zamans. The owners of Student Property Shop were keen to distance themselves from the whole sordid affair years ago when they emailed me to point out the distinction, and now they’ve emailed me again… this time with some very good, and very funny, news.

You see, if you register a domain name that encroaches on someone else’s trademark or company, you can have ownership of that domain challenged – and Student Property Shop (the good guys) reported The Student Property Shop to Nominet, the body that governs .uk domains, and they have upheld the complaint. As a result the Leeds letting agent The Student Property Shop has had their domain name forcibly removed and given to the real Student Property Shop.

This means their website no longer works, their email no longer works and they can’t be found on Google. Freakin’ hilarious!

The email from the real Student Property Shop stated:

Following our complaint to Nominet (the industry regulator controlling the registration of .uk domains), the ownership of the domain name, has been transferred to us.

Nominet’s ‘Dispute Resolution Service’ commissioned a report from an independent legal expert, who concluded that “an Abusive Registration” took place by the previous owner of the domain name, who would be taking “unfair advantage” of our rights to the ‘Student Property Shop’ name; the recommendation was to the transfer the domain to us on 19th August 2011 to protect our trade mark.

Of course, Providence Properties lost their domain name a while back so the whole Internet can see just what has happened during the course of this story. That’s two domain names that have been lost by companies at the same premises in Leeds. I wonder what they’ll do next?

Home Delivery Network Complaints Department

HDNL, or YODEL as they’re now know, have been added as one of the founder companies to a new complaints website, The Complaints Department. This site has just launched, so is a bit sparse in content right now, but with listings such as Home Delivery Network it’s only a matter of time before the website is brimming with complaints from dissatisfied customers of the incompetent delivery company.

Who knows, perhaps even some of the HDNL drivers will get over there and mouth of as well? We can only hope.

Be sure to leave your opinions on HDNL over at their own page on the Complaints Department website.

Recruitment Consultants won’t leave me alone

The last few weeks I have been receiving numerous calls each and every day from recruitment consultants. I made the mistake of updating my CV on one website, just because it was out of date, and now I’m getting recruitment sharks swimming around me as though I’m clinging to a piece of driftwood while haemorrhaging blood from my leg.

Now I don’t mind so much the odd recruitment consultant calling me as I know they’re only doing their jobs and trying to fill positions – but seriously, some of them haven’t even looked at my CV before calling – if the jobs they’re suggesting are anything to go by. I’ve been asked about positions ranging from an SEO manager in Dublin (interesting, for sure) to a developer role in Bristol – even though I’m not a developer. I’ve been asked about entry level developer positions… I’m 34 (for a few more days at least) and have worked in Internet marketing for the last 11 years!

I’m half expecting to get calls from bakery recruitment or transport recruitment agencies, such is the irrelevance of some of the calls I have been getting.

What makes matters even worse is how some of these recruitment consultants handle being told that I’m not interested. Some of them are fine, and say sorry and wish me a nice day. This is good. Some of them argue, saying that they’ve seen my CV and think the role they have would be very suitable, even though they have already been told I’m not interested.

Some of them, however, decide that the best, and quickest, option is to just hang up on me, which is unacceptable. As anyone who knows me, or reads this website regularly, will testify I am known for remembering infractions such as this and, suffice to say, StuckOn won’t be using recruitment agencies where its staff have behaved in this way.

A little tip there for recruitment consultants; when you phone someone about a job it’s best you’re not rude to them when they say they’re not interested because, just maybe, they could be responsible for recruitment where they are now… setting fire to those bridges isn’t a good idea.

As a side note, I have even been called by BD Recruitment in the last two weeks. I told them to Google BD Recruitment and then never phone me again. A read of this post will explain why.

Stupid Business Plans in The Apprentice Final

If anyone watched the final of The Apprentice a few weeks ago I’m sure you felt just as I did as the candidates went into the final task, revealing their ‘business plans’ for Lord Sugar to choose from. Just how bad were each and every one of those business plans?

Jim, who was without question an excellent salesman, wanted to piggy-back off the back of Lord Sugar’s reputation and even suggested his business idea be ‘non-profit’ – something that the dour cockney Sugar almost choked on his water when he heard. That idea was blown out of the water straight away.

Susan MaSusan Ma, who is very young you know, in case she didn’t mention it, wanted the £250,000 to set up a range of natural beauty products and compete with some of the biggest players in the game overnight. Lord Sugar of course instantly put her straight by pointing out that £250,000 isn’t going to get you very far in the cosmetics industry and, no matter how much passion and belief you have in your products, you can’t compete with the cosmetics giants on a shoestring budget like that.

Helen had an off-the-wall idea of a concierge service for the busy career men and women of London – those people who were too busy to book their own dentist appointments and thus would need to call someone else to make the appointment for them. Despite having no contacts and no experience in this industry, she thought it was a winner; Lord Sugar did not.

This left Tom who, despite being a great guy and a clearly talented inventor, had come up with a business plan that angered Lord Sugar because of its reliance on the service industry, whereas the gruff cockney is a ‘products man’. Lord Sugar tore into every business plan that was presented, leaving me thinking that he was regretting this new format for the show of investing in an idea rather than just employing someone.

Luckily for Lord Sugar, Tom was a proven inventor and had sold products before – so he went with him, although you got the feeling that his business plan would be binned on day one and his old products would be returned to.

I’m sure for the next series of The Apprentice that, should they persist with this investment prize, that the business plans will be vetted before hand – or Lord Sugar will at least have been appraised of them before filming begins so he knows not to get rid of someone with a genuinely good idea in favour of someone with a crazy, off-the-wall notion such as running a concierge service or competing in the natural beauty products industry against multi million pound companies.