NBO – National Business Online

The folks at National Business Online (NBO) have just rubbed me up the wrong way – completely!

They rang my husband 4 times this morning insisting that he urgently renew his advertising contract with them. He was busy and got annoyed by the 4 calls and caught my attention.

If he had paid to advertise with this company in the past it is reasonable that he would have OK’d it with me first, after all I know about these things 🙂 and I know I wouldn’t have OK’d it.

So, I rang NBO and got an answerphone and then finally Sonia rang me back and helped me find our ad – under

Home :: Building & Maintenance :: Building Repair & Maintenance :: Property Consultants :: NZ

which seems a little odd given that that isn’t what he does. Even odder is the listing

NBO Listing

The listing itself rings major alarm bells – we would never have approved it

  • Andrew King Ltd is not a currently registered company, and has never been registered to us
  • Po should be PO
  • The suburb name is spelt wrong
  • Andrew would have listed one of his websites rather than gone for a text only listing. The link that is shown refers back to the directory.

Not good on such a short listing…

I asked Sonia for a copy of the original invoice and she said it would take a couple of weeks but that she’d get it for me. An easy out or will she deliver?

So, I did some digging and found
Company: 1219939 NATIONAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY LIMITED

with one director, a Kaur Singh PRITAM
Address: 1/73 Wintere Rd, Papatoetoe, Auckland

and this company had been incorporated on 18-JUN-2002 and struck off on 19-MAR-2004
That’s just over a year ago. So my husband must have been one of the first customers if he bought advertising from the new company and it’s up for renewal today: 30-MAR-2005

I used the Domainz lookup for NBO.co.nz and found the owner is now Shallandra Singh of the same address. The email address given is for nbd.co.nz but that domain is currently available so they may come unstuck when the time comes to renew the domain.

I then went to Google.

I’ll keep watching these guys and I’ll let you know if they come up squeaky clean or not.

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Sarah King Written by:

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226 Comments

  1. January 27, 2009

    Fax came in from NBO this morning. We never agreed to anything, ever, with these guys.
    They are scam artist and to lazy to find a job. I rang there office and surprise surprise there was an answerphone. I gave them an earfull and told them in not so polite words what my thoughts were.
    Maybe they should be send back to India and i could get on with what i do best.

  2. shirls
    January 28, 2009

    two call’s yesterday+one fax,third call this a;m,same thing caller’s name steve,i have already told these people well over a year ago now,that i had never listed with them and thought it sounded like a scam and would intend to take this further if they kept harrassing us,never heard any more until yesterday,so went on line and found this great site,i have noticed the price hike though,this invoice-total cost-$150.00+gst+30 word description FREE. duration-2year listing,plus an extra 3 months free if you sign and fax back asap….you’d think they’d give up by now…….

  3. Larissa
    February 2, 2009

    I would have to agree, with all the bad things about these companies. I use to work there and it sucked big time they promise to give contracts after a 2 week trial and never received a contract. Some people had worked there for 2 years without a contract. Sonia was always putting people out of work. I was there for 2-3 months till i need to look after my mum who needed 2 buldging disc replacements in her neck. Sonia didnt beleive me and said i wouldnt get my holiday pay. This was discussed in front of other collegues. She is just a shameless no good lady. When i was there the hits been read out was from the script they gave out. The telesales people, always found NBO to be out of the ordinary with categories of supossebly previous customers, saying that they had never advertised with NBO. The reply given to customers was that the company use to be called Nationa Business Directory and they must have had a free listing as 20,000 free listings were advertised.

    DO NOT TRUST THESE COMPANIES!!!!

  4. February 4, 2009

    It appears that another directory has popped up using the same IP address as nbo & searcha. It is called New Zealand Business Online http://www.nzbo.co.nz, and looks like a rehash of the original nbo website.

  5. A Reader
    February 6, 2009

    NBO called several times attempting to coerce me into “renewing” a listing we never made. I told them to stop. They continued to call.

    What they don’t know is that my husband is a tax investigator with the IRD, after having been a policeman for 17 years. (He reached the rank of Detective Sergeant.)

    At the next staff briefing, my husband will be recommending an in-depth review of NBO’s tax records, as well as their employees.

  6. February 9, 2009

    Hi
    Just had another Invoice, I have contacted the commerce commission now twice about these guys and still havnt had a responce from them. If we want these guys stoped then if everyone on this blog emailed the commerce commission they would have to do something about them. Surly there has to be a law regarding harrassment. Thanks to every one who has taken the time to write on this blog.
    Lets put these bastards out of business.

  7. random
    March 4, 2009

    I know what all of you people are going through!!! i use to work for these people i was there afew months “ringing” up everybody people like yourselves, anyways i left because the manager sonia would always threaten everybody if we didnt get a certain amount of sales (people renewing their listings) then she would fire us the place is a big scam, all the listings on that website were all put on there FOR FREE and then they would get us to call up all the companys and say that their listings are going to expire etc and to renew them so many people were sucked into this and i feel really bad for working there and doing it all hence the reason why i left!!!! so many people are wasting “$96” for a further 2 years listing because hardly anybody knows it even exists!!! when people say you have had so many hits on your listing its rubbish we get told to make it up to convince you to renew !!! so everybody BEWARE !!! i want to bring these people down !!! the boss is an indian bloke hes an asshole too!!! and as for sonia shes just a bitch!! threatened to fire so many people, somebody would be there a day and they wouldnt be back the next day cause they would of been fired!!! its pathetic!

  8. March 19, 2009

    Good show people! Citizen policing is SO important. This is so nice to see.

  9. Kerry
    March 23, 2009

    Consider this:
    No one need pay an invoice that is not presented with a “True” bill signed under full comercial liability in blue ink.
    A copy of a contract is not valid unless someone can produce an origonal signed in blue ink, this is known as good consideration.
    Demand to see the origonal contract signed in blue ink as well as a true bill that anyone at NBO is willing to sign under thier own full commercial liability, otherwise you cannot honestly administrate thier account.
    Scams have holes and commercial law protects us by allowing us to discharge accounts\contracts by failiure to produce good consideration (No origional). Anyone seen thier origional contract on thier mortgage?? is there one?? if there is no origional is there any liability??

  10. Kerry
    March 23, 2009

    Another thing. An element of the scam is the details they list are most often wrong because they would be legally liable for listing your business without your consent, thats why the details are wrong because they are not listing your business at all! it just looks like they are this is part of the deception.

    Under the Crimes Act 1961 there is cause for liability.
    sec 240 Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception
    sec 242 False statement by promoter, etc
    sec 260 False accounting

    there is more help in the Contractual Remedies Act 1979 sec 7

    Expressly my own opinion, not to be taken as legal advice.

  11. Garry
    March 24, 2009

    Here we go again – WATCH OUT FOR NZLOOK
    I just took the call from a young lady who launched into an unpracticed script explaining the benefits of renewing our listing.
    The traditional lines, “you have had a free listing for 2 years..” “we referred 200 people to you last year” The problem was that the business she called about has not been used for 3 years. When asked I was given the name Sonia as the owner and 48 Emily Place as the address.
    All of Sonia’s denials are a lie. Do not advertise or list with these scammers..

  12. Eli
    May 26, 2009

    Would this be the same as NZ Business Directory? We just got the same line from them – have been listed for 2yrs…bla bla bla…

  13. leanne
    May 27, 2009

    I have also received a call from NZBO calming that i have a paid listing with them in the past and want me to pay $150 for another 2 years, I have never paid for a listing with them and have never heard of them until yesterday, I have done some research and found that they are the same company that is running NBO. which is a bunch of scammers!! Please beware and stay away from NZBO and NBO.

  14. Grant
    June 3, 2009

    this wanker rang me friday, I told him it was a scam. he insisted that we had all these hits and would not listen when I said we ask all callers how they found us and that our website stats did not list his search engine. now he has sent a fax to our other business asking for $150

  15. Roger
    June 7, 2009

    I did get taken in by NBO when we first opened our business. Signed up for two years and then one year later got an invoice sent to sign up for another 2 years. they didn’t get away with that one. Then last week I get a phone call from NZLook, and alarm bells rang straight away. “Our listing was about to expire and we could sign up for 2 years for $150” (I think). When I said I had never heard of them and had never listed even for free on their site, they got a bit agitated and when I asked for information to be sent about the site, I was told there was a deadline to meet. I responded to that and was hung up on.

  16. June 7, 2009

    Hi Roger

    This is extremely disappointing news. Sonia Klair who runs NZ Look has instigated legal action against me for raising queries about NZ Look over on 5nz.com. She claims to running a legitimate business – yet your post shows that NZ Look is no different to NBO and associated sites. What a surprise!

  17. Peter M
    June 9, 2009

    Just to let you know I used to work for NBO in management. 3 of us were fired last Friday. Here is some information I thought you might find interesting,

    NBO the company owned by Shallandra Singh who also runs many property businesses overseas, including Australia, New York, Canada and Mumbai India. Mainly hotels and serviced apartments. Two years of working in Management I only met Shallandra 2 or 3 times as he mostly resides between New York and Sydney and also stays in New Zealand from time to time.

    The way we were sacked from NBO was totally unfair and unjust as we had served his company with all our loyalty and hard work. But in the end it came down to him always having complete control over everybody who works there.

    It is all about him being rich and powerful and thinking he owns everyone. Now that I am not working there I can tell you that his lawyers until recently advised him to take these negative blogs seriously.

    He has hired 2 prominent NZ law firms to deals with your blogs. It seems they have found good grounds to take you to court. Defamation, loss of income, misleading & unfair practice is all on the table.

    It is believed that a six month investigation against you has been going on and letters will be served to you anytime now. One of the reasons why the company did not take any action against you up till now was that they wanted to make sure that the company had concrete evidence against you. They are going to link all your and your husbands business activities of any kind in order to make you pay the maximum price. Without saying anything that might put me in the heat, all I can say is that if only you were more careful about what you wrote. eg, not putting company logo’s, his photo and saying it is a scam operation especially when the Commerce Commission had cleared his company from any wrong doing etc. Also his Australian company ABOL.com.au saying it is a scam operation when there is no proof it actually is. It seems like you have made this decision yourself.

    These are just some of the mistakes from you that the lawyers have found to be misleading and unfair.

    The idea behind the investigation was to make you pay financially and unless it was going to be a substantial amount no action was to be taken until enough evidence was gathered. I know that financially Shallandra can afford to do whatever he wants as he makes millions from his other businesses overseas. The directory it seemed has been a business which was treated with the least of importance as it was never a business that made any thing close to what he makes overseas through his hotels and apartments etc. It seemed to us as if it was more of a sideline business. I guess the directory could have been a success as well if only he would have listened to others as well, except always himself.

    Some of the things you mentioned in your earlier comments were actually quite helpful and if the company could have only listened I remember clearly that some within the company had asked Shallandra to talk to you and see how we could resolve these issues and do things which would have ultimately benefitted both the company and its advertisers, but Shallandra rejected any idea about talking to anyone and said she is a nobody and that the company one day will drain its enemies financially.

    I hope you have kept evidence of all comments that are appearing on your blogs because that’s one of the issues which has been under investigation. They will try to prove that some of those comments have been fabricated by you. They are targeting each and every comment that are up there trying to find loop holes etc.

    I also suggest that you find a good law firm to defend what’s coming up against you as Shallandra is going to spend whatever it takes to target you financially. Simply because he can afford to. I guess it is not about what is true or false, right or wrong, it is going to be about having good solid lawyers to deal with these issues. A good law firm can always make good look bad or vice versa, and prove it for or against someone.

    I only wish I could say what I really think of Shallandra but been very careful not to put myself under scrutiny. I don’t disagree with what you are doing but whether I agree or not it has now become a matter of how you went about it. If only you had been a little bit more careful and taken some prior legal advice things would have been a lot easier for you to defend yourself.

    One thing Shallandra did right for himself was that for the first time in his life he listened to his lawyers who told him that no action was to be taken against you (Sarah King) in a hurry and to give more time for you to make more mistakes so that when action was to be finally taken they would have enough concrete evidence against you in court, which now they believe they have.

    Recent comments to 5nz which states Shallandra says… are also going to be questioned, quite simply because why would Shallandra put any comment with his name on it. This will go against the legitimacy of the comments that are up there etc.

    Other comments like Shallandra owns NZBO or Searcha are going to be questioned as well. His lawyers mentioned that it seems like even though you set out to do good you ended up making many mistakes because if you study 5nz.com and itamer blogs it now screams of defamation, misleading and unfair practice against someone etc. Openly saying or suggesting someone is a scammer without it being proven in court. It now seems as if it is a deliberate act on your behalf, even though it may not have been meant that way.

    Also mentioning that some of the other several blogs done by the company were a spam which may be true but saying it without any evidence also goes against you.

    I hope the information I am supplying will be helpful for you and I don’t believe I have said anything that either goes against the company, myself or anyone else, I wish you all the best.

  18. thevikingguy
    October 14, 2009

    Be sure to check out http://www.nzbol.co.nz and run the whois on it.. yup they are back I got billed, invoice is dated 30/09/2009. I wonder if they are gst registered maybe IRD should start digging as it seems no other govt dept is keen to go digging or don’t they know how.

  19. russo
    October 14, 2009

    Thought I had shaken these Scammers a year ago, but their back, got a proforma invoice in the post this time NZ Business Online. Companies Office says new company, same old director, Mr Singh. Its the same scam, unauthorised listings, send an invoice for renewal $98.00 + GST.
    Beware, If you get an invoice don’t pay it, you wont have previously signed up for anything. I would suggest take it to the Police and complain about a proforma invoicing scam.

  20. 1234321
    January 8, 2010

    Has NBO been shut down as yet? I worked for them for 2 weeks a few years ago in the auckland cbd office and left because i realised it was a scam. not before securing a few ‘sales’ though. i feel really bad about it but i was only 16 or so at the time! will be happy to find out if/when they will close/be closed down!! i apologise to anybody who i convinced to ‘renew’ their bogus listing!!

  21. December 7, 2010

    Yes December 2011 and NBO are still operating, was almost duped into renewing with them again this year and my husband asked me to check them out further and found the trail…! I was originally sent the invoice for advertising and did not actually sign up with them (now I know they create a list including your business without your permission then send out bogus invoices). Have they not been prosecuted yet??? It took me years to and my husband questioning to wise up to them.

  22. Tim
    June 8, 2011

    I have also had a number of phone calls periodically from ‘The Online Business Directory’ claiming that “in the last 8 days my listing has expired” and that they are offering me renewal of the listing for only $99 as opposed to usual $400. I run the company single handedly so am very aware of what advertising I have committed to and they are not one of them. When questioned, the caller gets VERY pushy and insists that I have only minutes to fax back a signed confirmation or they will cancel my listing. Each time I tell them to please leave me alone and sure enough, within a few months I get another call. Would love to know how to get these guys dealt to legally but have no idea how!
    But in short, please also be aware of ‘The Online Business Directory’

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