Rochdale Business Link has been attacked for its decision to offer IT services and training to companies in the Rochdale area.
Michael Hoggart, MD of Mikacom Computer Systems, complained to Rochdale Chamber of Commerce and to Business Link after he received details of a full range of IT services being offered by the agency.
?Their Web site says they offer free advice without the sales pitch. How can this be true when small business advisers carry a document outlining the services on offer and a breakdown of prices?? he said.
He claimed dealers cannot compete with Business Link because it is in a position to undercut on price. ?Because of the way it is funded, it can offer lower prices than anyone else. We perceive the actions of Business Link in this manner to be unethical and are a conflict of interest with its perceived function.?
Parveen Anwar, Rochdale Business Link corporate services manager, said the matter was being looked into. She asserted that the official complaints procedure would provide sufficient redress. ?As a result of this complaint, we will produce strict policy guidelines to prevent future misunderstandings,? she said.
Mikacom?s complaints have met with a degree of sympathy from Rochdale Chamber of Commerce. Graham Adamson, CEO of the chamber, said: ?Government subsidies mean Business Link is able to offer these services at a lower price. There is some feeling of genuine dissatisfaction here, but I can?t see Business Link wanting to turn their back on a source of income. Perhaps Mikacom is making a mountain out of a molehill.?
A Department of Trade & Industry representative said Business Links are able to develop the services they offer as they see fit, but should avoid conflict with the local business community. ?Their broad remit is to grow the market for advising small businesses and to work with the private sector to create a network of help and support.?
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business