Manchester-based Tycoon Media Limited, which claimed to offer a hotel listings service, has been wound up by the High Court for misleading customers and failing to provide services to clients.
The winding up on 9 January, follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
The investigation found that the company, trading under the names Seek & Sleep and Seek & Dine, charged customers a monthly fee of between £29.99+VAT and £49.99+VAT to list their hotel or bed and breakfast business on its online booking agency. The company falsely claimed to offer a money-back refund guarantee of the monthly fee if the client did not get at least one booking per month. No such refunds appear to have been made.
The Insolvency Service investigation also found many other examples of misconduct by the company including failing to provide the pre-paid service, taking unauthorised payments from clients, failing to make good on refunds due to clients, failing to maintain adequate accounting records and trading whilst insolvent.
Clients who provided information to the investigators stated they did not receive any bookings nor a refund of the monthly fee paid.
Alex Deane, an investigation supervisor with the Insolvency Service, said: "This company operated with flagrant disregard for the general rules of running a business and failed to co-operate fully with the investigation. The company consistently failed to provide the services it offered, purporting to be the 'UK's fastest growing accommodation portal', when in fact its customer base was minimal and remained as such throughout its trading period.
"Those responsible for such companies should be aware that the Insolvency Service can and will take firm action against companies which operate in this manner and put them out of service.
Tycoon Media Limited was incorporated on 6 January 2011. The registered office is Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5AN, although the company has not been resident at this address since February 2013. The sole director is Anthony John Tomlinson. The petition to wind-up TML was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 7 November 2014. The company was wound-up on 9 January 2015.