In a letter to customers, Andrew Granger, the boss of now defunct saleroom The Auction Company Broadway, has spoken of his “deep regret and sorrow” at its closure.
But consignors are concerned about money and
items owed after the Worcestershire firm was closed down at the
start of the year with immediate effect, and trading standards are
investigating ten complaints.
Consignors who have contacted ATG say they
found the premises empty when they visited.
One said: "I entered a late Victorian
Norwich Clock into a sale held at their Broadway saleroom on
December 9, 2012. With a reserve of £500, the item sold for £580,
confirmed by sale notice dated December 10, 2012. I visited the
saleroom on January 16 not having received payment, due after 28
days. The premises were locked and empty."
The consignor arrived home to find the
letter from Mr Granger advising him of the status of the company:
"insolvent, cannot pay its bills, and cannot continue to trade". It
said the director "wishes to dissolve the company but if creditors
object the company will have to go into liquidation and as there
are no funds to pay for a voluntary liquidation the creditors will
have to petition the courts at their own cost".
Mr Granger's letter stated: "I am deeply
sorry that this has happened and deeply regret not being able to
settle outstanding accounts. We have all worked extremely hard to
prevent this eventuality - I myself have put all my personal assets
into trying to keep the company afloat; I now do not have a house,
a car, a business or any means of income."
It added: "I can only hope that those of you
who might be in similar positions and those of you who are in more
fortunate positions can understand my deep regret and sorrow."
A spokesman for Worcestershire Trading
Standards said: "We are aware of the trader and the owner Andrew
Granger. We have received ten complaints - nine from consumers and
one from a local business who supplied the last catalogue.
"The consumer complaints relate to the fact
that the consumer put in goods for auction in October and November
2012 - mainly antique furniture and jewellery - and did not receive
the money for the goods once they were sold. A few have submitted
goods for sale that were not sold but have not been returned.
"The premises are empty and the owners (the
Design Centre) are now refurbishing it for it to be re-let. Mr
Granger has sent out a standard letter saying he has ceased trading
and has no assets. He will not be paying any outstanding monies and
has no plans to put the company into liquidation.
"This service is investigating the complaints and is in liaison
with West Mercia Police."