A1 Communications: Why so many registered companies in one building?

29
Found 28th Sep 2013
I was looking at a potential deal on phones.co.uk and noticed something strange about their address.

Contract House,
Turnpike Business Park,
Alfreton,
Derbyshire.
DE55 7AD

This address seems to house a huge number of mobile phone sales companies, any suggestions as to what's going on?

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29 Comments

Original Poster

Which is the same address for:
buymobiles.net
buymobiles.net/inf…/12?id=12
affordablemobiles.co.uk
http://www.affordablemobiles.co.uk/contact_us.html
gomobile.co.uk
http://www.gomobile.co.uk/contact_us.html
bestbuymobileslimited
http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/best-buy-mobiles-limited-derby
monthlyphonecontracts
http://directory.thesun.co.uk/16741266
mobile news
http://www.mobile-news.co.uk/contact-us/
intomobilephones.co.uk
http://www.intomobilephones.co.uk/contacts/
mobileshop.com
http://www.mobileshop.com/customerservice/contact.php
metrophone.co.uk
https://www.metrofone.co.uk/help-and-support/contact
buymobilephones.net
directory.thesun.co.uk/100…836

Just to name a few....

Banned

Same company operating under different names?

Original Poster

D_G

Same company operating under different names?



It would seem to be, but why? Affordablemobiles, buymobiles.net and gomobile are all in there so it's not exactly a small scale operation!

No different to the Hut Group operating Zavvi, Hut, Iwoot, myprotein, and all the others that they own. Sports Dirct own may brands too and they all operate from the same address, Its called business
Edited by: "simplyjimbo" 28th Sep 2013

Original Poster

simplyjimbo

No different to the Hut Group operating Zavvi, Hut, Iwoot, myprotein, and … No different to the Hut Group operating Zavvi, Hut, Iwoot, myprotein, and all the others that they own. Sports Dirct own may brands too and they all operate from the same address, Its called business



I'm not criticising them, just wondering what the idea behind it is.

I suspect that if one company failed and went into liquidation, it would not affect the others.

This is just a heads up for ppl I guess, but it does help if a disgruntled customer, badly treated, say's he's never going to do business with one then unwittingly buys from the same company under a different name

Original Poster

Predikuesi

I suspect that if one company failed and went into liquidation, it would … I suspect that if one company failed and went into liquidation, it would not affect the others.


Joey Bloggsy

This is just a heads up for ppl I guess, but it does help if a … This is just a heads up for ppl I guess, but it does help if a disgruntled customer, badly treated, say's he's never going to do business with one then unwittingly buys from the same company under a different name



Both of these seem like negative reasons for this business tactic :P

Anyone like to suggest something positive for a potential customer?

They can undercut themselves with offers?

littlewoods..isme..very..woolworths..additionsdirect..

Predikuesi

I suspect that if one company failed and went into liquidation, it would … I suspect that if one company failed and went into liquidation, it would not affect the others.

Joey Bloggsy

This is just a heads up for ppl I guess, but it does help if a … This is just a heads up for ppl I guess, but it does help if a disgruntled customer, badly treated, say's he's never going to do business with one then unwittingly buys from the same company under a different name



Why would you think them having the same address would be beneficial to the customer? Shouldn't really effect the customer, just be easier/cheaper in some way for the company

Original Poster

Joey Bloggsy

They can undercut themselves with offers?



I guess the prices are drastically different, so maybe it's a good thing? Just wondering if a 12 month warranty would be any good when you can't be sure the company will have the same name when you go looking for them

Original Poster

sancho1983

Why would you think them having the same address would be beneficial to … Why would you think them having the same address would be beneficial to the customer? Shouldn't really effect the customer, just be easier/cheaper in some way for the company


My only concern would be if a company opens for a few months, and then shuts a few month later to avoid legal obligations. I wonder if the parent company is still liable?

A1A car wash?

Have an A1 day!

Obvious ... lower operating costs.

Original Poster

TUSSFC

Obvious ... lower operating costs.



How is having multiple websites/contact numbers etc lowering operating costs sorry?

I'd agree if it was a number of individual companies coming together under one roof, but this would appear to be one company opening smaller companies under it's own roof.
Edited by: "jaybear88" 28th Sep 2013

jaybear88

How is having multiple websites/contact numbers etc lowering operating … How is having multiple websites/contact numbers etc lowering operating costs sorry?



It isn't. There are multiple companies operating under the "umbrella" of one group.
If they are all based in the same office = lower operating costs than running 5/6 offices.

The reasons for running multiple companies vary ... different USPs, buyouts, etc.

Banned

sancho1983

Why would you think them having the same address would be beneficial to … Why would you think them having the same address would be beneficial to the customer? Shouldn't really effect the customer, just be easier/cheaper in some way for the company



sancho, I'm disappointed in that little grammar booby

and from you

Original Poster

TUSSFC

It isn't. There are multiple companies operating under the "umbrella" of … It isn't. There are multiple companies operating under the "umbrella" of one group.If they are all based in the same office = lower operating costs than running 5/6 offices.The reasons for running multiple companies vary ... different USPs, buyouts, etc.



Fair enough, it's just that they all seem to reference A1 Communications and it's founding member so I started to think they were all owned by the same company. Any idea if the umbrella company is liable to standover warranties/disputes etc should one of the smaller branches disappear?

I'd doubt it, but I'm not expert.

Original Poster

dcx_badass

Mobiles.co.uk is owned by carphone warehouse, are all the others as well?



Today is not a good day for me (mistake wise). I meant to say phones.co.uk in the title, my bad.

I'm a postie and I deliver to two accountants. Each one has at least 40 different companies registered at their address so, maybe, the address is of an accountant?

Original Poster

watchcote

I'm a postie and I deliver to two accountants. Each one has at least 40 … I'm a postie and I deliver to two accountants. Each one has at least 40 different companies registered at their address so, maybe, the address is of an accountant?



I'd never have considered that! But it appears that this is the address that the company is actually registered to.

Yes, as I said, it is normal to register your company address as that of your accountant.

It does actually look like its their trading address, so multi company occupation of premises, most probably owned by one man. Sneaky!!

watchcote

It does actually look like its their trading address, so multi company … It does actually look like its their trading address, so multi company occupation of premises, most probably owned by one man. Sneaky!!


It's not sneaky just good business sense for reasons already posted.
Our registered address is our accountants office same as over 100 others too.

Often because the owners have bought out smaller companies and have decided to retain the original brand to keep the customer base. Each company may have different target markets, marketing strategies and pricing structures. Hbos did it with Sheila's wheels, kept a separate name to target women drivers.

As juhu69 - keeping existing customers, having different target market, etc, are just some of the reasons. Carphone Warehouse owns e2save.com and mobiles.co.uk and while some offers are similar, the costs are clearly different than for CW which has many stores around the country.

Only time I'd consider it 'dodgy' to find lots of firms at one address (and even then it's not always for fraud) would be if a firm uses one of the many "Post Box" firms. If you use the 'Shopping' facility on Google search, you might find one firm listing a product at 30% less than the majority of other sites/ firms. I always check what address (if any) is given on the website, and then where the domain is registered.

You might see things like the following:

xxxxxx Ltd Suite 180 34 Buckingham Palace Road Belgravia London SW1W 0RH Tel: 07787 xxxxx
xxxxxx Ltd. Suite 199, 34 Buckingham Palace Road, Belgravia, London, SW1W 0RH
xxxxxx Skips, 34 Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster, London, SW1W 0RH
CONSULTING LIMITED - SUITE 53, 34 BUCKINGHAM PALACE ROAD, BELGRAVIA, LONDON, SW1W 0RH

Obviously some firms will have legitimate reasons for using a service to get their post, and a few might have their office there in the building (check it on Streetview). However, some online sites might be less than honest and a "Mail Box" address would certainly ring an alarm bell for me, in there being no physical address for Trading Standards to visit to see the business owner/ staff.


Edited by: "webnet" 3rd Oct 2013

I'm sure they should maximise the potential and tell their customers 'have an A1 day'.
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