The ArgusWorld Cup heartache for Sussex fans (From The Argus)

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World Cup heartache for Sussex fans

England fans have had their World Cup dreams shattered after the company that arranged their trip to South Africa mysteriously collapsed.

Police are investigating a complaint against Brighton-based BYT (UK) Limited after a supporter contacted them to say he and four friends shelled out more than £3,000 for a two-week trip to watch the qualification stages in June.

Mark Ashton said he became concerned when the company was unable to provide any invoices for their flights and accommodation.

Their worst fears came true when the party received an email saying it was from company director Deborah Confalone, which read: “Due to unforseen circumstances BYT UK is going into liquidation and the matter is currently in the hands of our Accountants.

“Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

Another England fan left heartbroken by the collapse was a reader of The Argus who won our competition to win a World Cup trip that we had arranged in good faith with BYT.

Meanwhile, further investigation by The Argus has raised several questions about the company's activities.

According to Companies House, BYT was set up by Deborah Angela Parsonage and Pietro Confalone who both live in Worthing, in March.

Its registered office is given as 22 Brighton Square but when The Argus visited yesterday it emerged that the address has been home to an unconnected property company since 2001.

A woman based there said she had never heard of BYT.

There is also no record on Companies House of BYT going into liquidation or administration.

The company's sophisticated website – www.bytworldcup2010.com – was still running last night and offering World Cup tickets and packages.

BYT claims to belong to ATOL, the consumer body that protect holidaymaker's rights in case of bankruptcy.

However, when The Argus followed up the ATOL number published on the website it gave the details of LSR Sports Limited, a travel company based in Epsom, Surrey.

Once again they said they had no knowledge of BYT, with a spokesman saying: “This is completely news to us.”

According to LSR Sports, FIFA only uses five official travel companies: Thomas Cook Sport, Thomson Sport (UK) Ltd, Keith Prowse, BAC Sport Ltd and Emirates Tours UK.

Occasionally these organisations deal with third parties such as LSR to arrange packages but there is no evidence on BYT's website of an official arrangement with FIFA.

Mr Ashton, who paid £3,150 to BYT through online payment provider Paypal, doubts he or his friends will ever see the money again.

He said: “We are all now devastated that those dreams have been shattered. Personally I paid over 45 days ago so will not get my money back from Paypal due to their rules.”

The Argus travelled to the Worthing homes of both Ms Parsonage and Mr Confalone, who are listed as the only directors of BYT, but no one answered at either address.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police confirmed BYT was under investigation.

She said: “Sussex Police are to investigate a web-based company following complaints from several members of the public who bought tickets for the FIFA World Cup from them.

“The company has been offering tickets for the football world cup in June, however it appears it has recently ceased trading and is unable to supply the tickets.”

Have you lost your World Cup cash? Let us know at news@theargus.co.uk or phone 01273 544545.

Comments (18)

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11:39am Fri 21 May 10

Tye says...

It may not help the poor people in this case - but - ALWAYS PAY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD, you may have the cash, you may think credit cards are debt but honestly choose a card that is either money back or gives you some sort of ponts or goodies at a favourite shop and pay the card off every month in full.

This means that you have the security of knowing IF the firm goes bust you will get your money back - so many times we see the story - paid for my honeymoon, paid for a new bed, for a sick child,paid for a dream holiday, paid for a once in a lifetime
use a credit card - you'll be foolish not to!
It may not help the poor people in this case - but - ALWAYS PAY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD, you may have the cash, you may think credit cards are debt but honestly choose a card that is either money back or gives you some sort of ponts or goodies at a favourite shop and pay the card off every month in full. This means that you have the security of knowing IF the firm goes bust you will get your money back - so many times we see the story - paid for my honeymoon, paid for a new bed, for a sick child,paid for a dream holiday, paid for a once in a lifetime use a credit card - you'll be foolish not to! Tye
  • Score: 0

11:47am Fri 21 May 10

ultiali says...

So the Argus organised a competition with this company and failed to check out that it was all above board. Sounds like the right thing to do would be to find and pay for another package for the compeition winner.
So the Argus organised a competition with this company and failed to check out that it was all above board. Sounds like the right thing to do would be to find and pay for another package for the compeition winner. ultiali
  • Score: 0

11:57am Fri 21 May 10

Spanners says...

As Directors of this company their address are public knowledge. In the public interest they are
Mr Confalone at 38, Browning Road,
Worthing,
Worthing,
West Sussex.
BN11 4NR

and Ms Parsonage at

24, Oval Waye
Ferring,
Worthing
West Sussex
BN12 5RA
As Directors of this company their address are public knowledge. In the public interest they are Mr Confalone at 38, Browning Road, Worthing, Worthing, West Sussex. BN11 4NR and Ms Parsonage at 24, Oval Waye Ferring, Worthing West Sussex BN12 5RA Spanners
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Fri 21 May 10

kumquat says...

Spanners wrote:
As Directors of this company their address are public knowledge. In the public interest they are Mr Confalone at 38, Browning Road, Worthing, Worthing, West Sussex. BN11 4NR and Ms Parsonage at 24, Oval Waye Ferring, Worthing West Sussex BN12 5RA
Not much use if it isn't their real address. Since the company address wasn't doubt these are.
[quote][p][bold]Spanners[/bold] wrote: As Directors of this company their address are public knowledge. In the public interest they are Mr Confalone at 38, Browning Road, Worthing, Worthing, West Sussex. BN11 4NR and Ms Parsonage at 24, Oval Waye Ferring, Worthing West Sussex BN12 5RA[/p][/quote]Not much use if it isn't their real address. Since the company address wasn't doubt these are. kumquat
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Fri 21 May 10

Spanners says...

maybe it is, maybe it is not. Suggest an Argus reporter gets out there and finds out for us. Even if they have gone there might be a trail to follow.....
maybe it is, maybe it is not. Suggest an Argus reporter gets out there and finds out for us. Even if they have gone there might be a trail to follow..... Spanners
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Fri 21 May 10

Spanners says...

maybe it is, maybe it is not. Suggest an Argus reporter gets out there and finds out for us. Even if they have gone there might be a trail to follow.....
maybe it is, maybe it is not. Suggest an Argus reporter gets out there and finds out for us. Even if they have gone there might be a trail to follow..... Spanners
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Fri 21 May 10

Betty Blue says...

I would never use a small independant company when booking a holiday or any such event.
About 5 years ago my partner and I along with two other friends booked a holiday in Australia for six weeks. Because my partner is mean we booked with a small holiday company because it was £250 cheaper than Thomas Cooks. We returned to the UK two weeks before our friends. The day after we returned home the company went into liquidation. We were ok, but our friends were stranded. It took them three weeks to arrange a flight home and cost them a great deal of money. I would never ever book again with a small company, if Thomas Cook charged £500 more, for peace of mind I would travel with them. Even if the company is registered with ATOL it makes no difference. Please do careful and book with a large company for your own peace of mind and security.
I would never use a small independant company when booking a holiday or any such event. About 5 years ago my partner and I along with two other friends booked a holiday in Australia for six weeks. Because my partner is mean we booked with a small holiday company because it was £250 cheaper than Thomas Cooks. We returned to the UK two weeks before our friends. The day after we returned home the company went into liquidation. We were ok, but our friends were stranded. It took them three weeks to arrange a flight home and cost them a great deal of money. I would never ever book again with a small company, if Thomas Cook charged £500 more, for peace of mind I would travel with them. Even if the company is registered with ATOL it makes no difference. Please do careful and book with a large company for your own peace of mind and security. Betty Blue
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Fri 21 May 10

Tammy Flugh says...

Tye wrote:
It may not help the poor people in this case - but - ALWAYS PAY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD, you may have the cash, you may think credit cards are debt but honestly choose a card that is either money back or gives you some sort of ponts or goodies at a favourite shop and pay the card off every month in full.

This means that you have the security of knowing IF the firm goes bust you will get your money back - so many times we see the story - paid for my honeymoon, paid for a new bed, for a sick child,paid for a dream holiday, paid for a once in a lifetime
use a credit card - you'll be foolish not to!
The only payment option on the website is "Visa, AMEX and Master Card (Through PayPal ONLY) . " So this is an alleged business with no credit card merchant facility.
It is a free website only set up on 14th Feb 2010, although it suggests otherwise - "Bookings which are cancelled after December 31st 2009, are subject to a 100% cancellation fee"
This has the feel of a scam, not a failed business.
[quote][p][bold]Tye[/bold] wrote: It may not help the poor people in this case - but - ALWAYS PAY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD, you may have the cash, you may think credit cards are debt but honestly choose a card that is either money back or gives you some sort of ponts or goodies at a favourite shop and pay the card off every month in full. This means that you have the security of knowing IF the firm goes bust you will get your money back - so many times we see the story - paid for my honeymoon, paid for a new bed, for a sick child,paid for a dream holiday, paid for a once in a lifetime use a credit card - you'll be foolish not to![/p][/quote]The only payment option on the website is "Visa, AMEX and Master Card (Through PayPal ONLY) . " So this is an alleged business with no credit card merchant facility. It is a free website only set up on 14th Feb 2010, although it suggests otherwise - "Bookings which are cancelled after December 31st 2009, are subject to a 100% cancellation fee" This has the feel of a scam, not a failed business. Tammy Flugh
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Fri 21 May 10

yorkie44 says...

This sounds like another con trick like the Mear's Christmas event, but more sophisticated.

This company obviously never existed so the Argus cannot say that it "mysteriously collapsed".
This sounds like another con trick like the Mear's Christmas event, but more sophisticated. This company obviously never existed so the Argus cannot say that it "mysteriously collapsed". yorkie44
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Fri 21 May 10

yaddab says...

Registered in SA

Registrant:
BYT World Cup 2010
PO Box 1315
Meyerton, Gauteng 1960
South Africa

Domain Name: BYTWORLDCUP2010.COM

Created on: 15-Feb-10
Expires on: 15-Feb-11
Last Updated on: 15-Feb-10

Administrative Contact:
Rooney, Jacqui
Shumba Marketing
PO Box 1315
Meyerton, Gauteng 1960
South Africa
27163623950 Fax -- +27163624561

Technical Contact:
Rooney, Jacqui
Shumba Marketing
PO Box 1315
Meyerton, Gauteng 1960
South Africa
27163623950 Fax -- +27163624561

Domain servers in listed order:
NS1.FATCOW.COM
NS2.FATCOW.COM
Registered in SA Registrant: BYT World Cup 2010 PO Box 1315 Meyerton, Gauteng 1960 South Africa Domain Name: BYTWORLDCUP2010.COM Created on: 15-Feb-10 Expires on: 15-Feb-11 Last Updated on: 15-Feb-10 Administrative Contact: Rooney, Jacqui Shumba Marketing PO Box 1315 Meyerton, Gauteng 1960 South Africa 27163623950 Fax -- +27163624561 Technical Contact: Rooney, Jacqui Shumba Marketing PO Box 1315 Meyerton, Gauteng 1960 South Africa 27163623950 Fax -- +27163624561 Domain servers in listed order: NS1.FATCOW.COM NS2.FATCOW.COM yaddab
  • Score: 0

6:28am Sat 22 May 10

hove9 says...

Given a few readers have managed to unearth this company's lack of substance so easily, how can the Argus say it entered into this with good faith? Did it do any due diligence? The Argus must realise that if it chooses a partner for a competition it effectively legitimises that company for the readers. Poor performance.
Given a few readers have managed to unearth this company's lack of substance so easily, how can the Argus say it entered into this with good faith? Did it do any due diligence? The Argus must realise that if it chooses a partner for a competition it effectively legitimises that company for the readers. Poor performance. hove9
  • Score: 0

9:01am Sat 22 May 10

Tye says...

I hought paypal was justa safer interweb ay of paying by credit card?

I must read the article one day ;-) one thread says its a scam and people lose gtheir money - the other blaming the argus for using them in a competition
(do you pay in a "competition"?)
I hought paypal was justa safer interweb ay of paying by credit card? I must read the article one day ;-) one thread says its a scam and people lose gtheir money - the other blaming the argus for using them in a competition (do you pay in a "competition"?) Tye
  • Score: 0

10:34am Sat 22 May 10

Tammy Flugh says...

Tye wrote:
I hought paypal was justa safer interweb ay of paying by credit card?

I must read the article one day ;-) one thread says its a scam and people lose gtheir money - the other blaming the argus for using them in a competition
(do you pay in a "competition"?)
Paypal is for paying people who don't have the facilities for taking credit cards directly. A travel agent as big as BYT claimed to be would certainly accept credit cards.
I'm active in the scamfighting field, and this is only one of the red flags raised by the website.
I am surprised that The Argus fell victim to this scam.
[quote][p][bold]Tye[/bold] wrote: I hought paypal was justa safer interweb ay of paying by credit card? I must read the article one day ;-) one thread says its a scam and people lose gtheir money - the other blaming the argus for using them in a competition (do you pay in a "competition"?)[/p][/quote]Paypal is for paying people who don't have the facilities for taking credit cards directly. A travel agent as big as BYT claimed to be would certainly accept credit cards. I'm active in the scamfighting field, and this is only one of the red flags raised by the website. I am surprised that The Argus fell victim to this scam. Tammy Flugh
  • Score: 0

12:28am Sun 23 May 10

greegster says...

England's not gonna' win the world cup anyway,so this is a blessing in disguise for these supporters!But seriously,the "scamsters"behind this probably think they're sophisticated criminals,but they are no more than common thieves.
England's not gonna' win the world cup anyway,so this is a blessing in disguise for these supporters!But seriously,the "scamsters"behind this probably think they're sophisticated criminals,but they are no more than common thieves. greegster
  • Score: 0

12:40am Sun 23 May 10

Britt Read says...

Mr Confalone at 38, Browning Road,
Worthing,
Worthing,
West Sussex.
BN11 4NR

and Ms Parsonage at

24, Oval Waye
Ferring,
Worthing
West Sussex
BN12 5RA

Debbie is Pietro's wife....
Not difficult to find also look for Thomas Parsonage.....Come on! pay a visit!
Mr Confalone at 38, Browning Road, Worthing, Worthing, West Sussex. BN11 4NR and Ms Parsonage at 24, Oval Waye Ferring, Worthing West Sussex BN12 5RA Debbie is Pietro's wife.... Not difficult to find also look for Thomas Parsonage.....Come on! pay a visit! Britt Read
  • Score: 0

12:46am Sun 23 May 10

Britt Read says...

Thomas P Confalone........use facebook....you only have to find one of them to get the details of the others...
Thomas P Confalone........use facebook....you only have to find one of them to get the details of the others... Britt Read
  • Score: 0

8:08am Mon 24 May 10

goneral says...

I feel sorry for the competition winners as it seems The Argus has treated them very shabbily. After the disappointment of not winning a luxury holiday you would think The Argus would at least shell out for a dinner and a bunch of flowers.
I feel sorry for the competition winners as it seems The Argus has treated them very shabbily. After the disappointment of not winning a luxury holiday you would think The Argus would at least shell out for a dinner and a bunch of flowers. goneral
  • Score: 0

10:04am Mon 24 May 10

Tammy Flugh says...

I see the website www.bytworldcup2010.
com has finally been shut down.
I see the website www.bytworldcup2010. com has finally been shut down. Tammy Flugh
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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