Excell Communications Update
A look into what went wrong with Excel and a response from the former MD Mr Stuart Box.
On the 6th of December Excell Communications was placed into administration by Begbies Traynor after the company ran out of money, leaving up to £1.3 million owed to customers. The Midlands based mobile dealer used to offer low cost tariffs and services by offering cash-back or redemption deals which is common within the industry. Basically the customer would sign up to a £30 a month tariff and the dealer would give a cash back of £125.00 which would effectively reduce the monthly cost to £25.00 (24 months x £5). This way the dealer can “undercut” the network’s advertised price meaning the customer gets a better deal, the network gets a subscriber and the dealer gets a returning customer, everyone wins. This business model is very common among dealers and Excell had successfully used it for many years prior to its collapse.
18 months prior to the collapse of Excell Stuart Box (former MD) had taken a leave of absence for personal reasons, during this time the company was run by Richard Taylor and the existing management team. However when Stuart decided he needed to leave the business there were complications between the distributor and existing management team. These complications left the company in financial hardship and as we all know these financial difficulties eventually driving the company into administration. Although no longer part of the business, Stuart still contributed financially towards the business out of his own pocket, yet no amount of funding was going to save this sinking ship. This contribution was born out of loyalty to those staff, including many family members still working within the business who had worked for Stuart for a number of years. Stuart was of the firm opinion that common sense would prevail and that trading relationships would resume. This contribution was supplied as loan to the new owner of the business. Unfortunately, trading relationships were not resumed between the Distributor and the new owner leaving Stuart as a large creditor of Excell.
Stuart also ran another two businesses (B2BMobile & Wolves Mobile) which had been trading independently since 2006 which were not part of Excell and removed all association from the failing Excell business. This might have looked like Stuart was bailing out yet this was not the case, these businesses were completely separate entities and was well within his rights to protect his current business interests however the damage was already done. Interestingly Stuart had no access to the administrators reports as he was no longer part of Excell and could not have guessed the trouble the business was in.
Orange decided to take the decision to issue a “do not deal” notice to all companies involved or previously linked to Excell (including B2BMobile). I have to point out that it isn’t just Stuart’s companies who have been hit with this condemnation from the Orange, premier telesales now owned by Richard Taylor, and all its associated companies have also taken a fall for their part in the Excell collapse.
As you are probably aware I have taken this mission rather personally and published various stories that were removed from the internet regarding this. However as I pointed out at the beginning of this post I had a slight legal hiccup regarding some of the comments I had made and through this I got an opportunity to speak to Stuart Box personally. I have offered him the opportunity to set the record straight regarding the whole Excell saga. The post will appear completely unedited and exactly as he wrote it, I will however put full moderation on the comments, this is to prevent a flame war starting, as was the case on various other sites.
On the subject of flaming, this post does not mean I am siding with anyone, had any involvement or condone what happened. I just believe everyone has a right to an unbiased platform to tell their side of the story.
A note worth adding at this point is that as of 18:48 on 15th April 2011 premierphoneshop.co.uk is offline, by the looks of things all files have been removed from the domain directories, however BKMobile and PremierTelesales are still live.
Excell Communications (Shropshire) Limited administration notice
10 January 2011
As you may be aware, Excell Communications (Shropshire) was placed into Administration on 6 December 2010.
Any amounts owed to customers will form part of an unsecured claim in the Administration proceedings. Indications are that there are insufficient funds to make any payments to customers under any cash back agreements or transfer fees from previous airtime providers and any monies owed to you will be lost.
If you have not already done so, please log your details, including any amounts owed to you, via our website link to Excellcommunications@begbies-traynor.com.
Queries regarding your ongoing contracts should be directed to your airtime operator.
Begbies Traynor is unable to answer any individual queries and telephone calls will not be taken. All enquiries in writing please but given the number of customers affected, it may be some time before we are able to respond.
Stuart has given us a statement which we have published in full below in a completely unedited format. Please note that due to this statement coming directly from Stuart, no correspondence will be entered into regarding this.
In the past few months numerous bloggers have made inaccurate claims against me in connection with this matter and when I have sought to have them removed, the incorrect accusations re - appear via different means of social media which has caused great distress to me and my family.
I have agreed to give this final statement purely on the basis of trying to get some facts across so that readers are not left to rely on rumour, speculation and inaccurate reporting of my involvement.
In all honesty, I haven’t known how to fight back against these allegations, believing publishers were bound by libel laws which mean the claims had to be taken down.
This has been a huge source of stress not only for me but for my family, who were at the heart of the reason why I left Excell and had not been playing an active part in the business for a year and a half prior to my departure from the company.
It was reported I sold the company “just weeks” before it went into administration. It would be reasonable to surmise from that, that there was a degree of expectation of anticipated financial difficulties on the horizon. This could not be further from the truth. There is no connection between me leaving Excell and my former company going into administration. I left following an 18 month sabbatical due to personal reasons following the birth of my son and an illness in the family.
When any company goes under it is a difficult time. When that company is one that you have built up from scratch, working with close family and friends, the toll of distress on those involved can be heartbreaking.
Adding to this nightmare is the inaccurate and in some cases very damaging accusations made against me and my current company. In recent months both me and my family have been the subjects of personal abuse and unfounded accusations from online commentators and local speculation. I hope that my setting out some of the facts here goes some way to helping people understand the nightmare myself and my family are now enduring.
I have every sympathy for those owed money and I myself are a larger creditor of Excell because, in a bid to save Excell and even though I had by that time left the company, I have also signed a number of personal guarantees that have also resulted in substantial financial claims being made against me.
Due to the very nature of this and the complications surrounding the administration of the business, I do not wish to make any further comments relating to Excell and would welcome the opportunity for me and my family to move on .