Issues with Serviced Office overcharging?

Closed Thread
  1. #1

    Issues with Serviced Office overcharging?

    Has anyone else had any issues with <snip> overcharging?

    When we signed up with them for serviced office space, the salesperson verbally told us that they "want to make it as easy as possible for us to run our business so we provide 0060 IDD service at cost." Should have got that in writing! Alas, the only document that we have from them mentions "Standard Telecommunication Rates" and nothing else is mentioned in our T&C.

    Our first month IDD bill comes out to HKD15,000!! Get this - they're charging (per minute):

    HKD 3 - USA
    HKD 5 - Australia
    HKD 5 - Singapore
    HKD 6 - U.K.
    HKD 6 - Japan
    HKD 8 - Malaysia
    HKD 10 - China
    HKD 12 - India

    I felt like I was back in the 80's!

    For comparison, most HK businesses signed up to 0060 pay:

    HKD 0.25 - USA
    HKD 0.29 - U.K.
    HKD 0.29 - Singapore
    HKD 0.29 - Japan
    HKD 0.29 - Australia
    HKD 0.25 - China

    Doesn't sound like "at cost" nor "standard telecommunication rates" to me. We immediately switched to another IDD provider. Our 2nd month IDD bill for the same amount of calls came out to just HKD 600... and the quality was better!

    The sad thing is, we didn't have to use <snip>'s IDD service since we had the option to use other IDD providers (thru calling cards etc. - more hassle but worth the savings). We only used TEC's IDD for the first month only because they misled us on the rates.

    We disputed the IDD amount in writing and paid the rent and all other fees in full. They responded by threatening us with eviction and immediate suspension of our telephone and internet service which would severely disrupt our business. All because they charged us exorbitant rates on one month's worth of disputed IDD charges. So we were essentially forced to pay this disputed amount if we didn't want our business operations to be disrupted.

    Obviously, we feel cheated by the initial deception and then the subsequent bullying tactics used to collect the $$ and a stubborn unwillingness to compromise. Their reason was that they had to "meet their margins." Don't we all?!

    Has anyone else had a similar experience with <snip>? Are these heavy-handed, strong-arm tactics common?


    Last edited by KnowItAll; 25-10-2007 at 12:43 PM. Reason: lets leave the outing to your solicitor and theirs

  2. #2

    <snip> - Predatory Business Practices

    Also, potential customers beware: if you have a growing company and are planning to use a serviced office, make sure you get the rental rates in advance for different numbers of people.

    We started off small and have been adding staff. On average, <snip> has been requesting a 40% to 80% increase on the rent each time we add one person! And this is just within the first 2-3 months!

    We originally signed a 6 month lease so are required to stay that long. But once they have you locked into a contract, they have no qualms about significantly increasing the rent each time you scale up.

    Just some of the predatory business practices that you have to be aware of when using <snip>.

    Last edited by KnowItAll; 25-10-2007 at 12:44 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Ok .. from your nickname and history - you've obviously signed up to just slam this serviced office.

    Unfortunately the issues you bring up, are best dealt with by a lawyer and not on a public forum.

    You run a business .. they run a business and GeoExpat is probably not the place to argue a one sided story.

    Why not complain to the consumer council to begin with?

  4. #4

    Thanks for the suggestion and we will probably follow up with the Consumer Council.

    I would be more than happy to forward this to the serviced office i am using and make this a 2-sided story...

  5. #5

    YES - always obtain their IDD rates in advance!