In 2014 I received a SPAM email from an Elizabeth […]
Continue Reading Web Consultancy Review
So glad I found this review as I was going to invest heavily in a new project and had received the same email as above from Elizabeth Mulligan. I did a cursory Google search on herself and the company and found swathes of information.
: https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/local-news/shamed-lawyer-sent-to-jail-3810208A shamed solicitor who fleeced her Teesside firm of almost £10,000 to pay off student debts is now behind bars.Elizabeth Handley had a student overdraft of £15,000 and owed another £8,000 on credit cards when she milked the accounts of Freers Solicitors in Baker Street, Middlesbrough.Last night, Handley, 30, of Turnpike Road, Sedgefield, started a three-month prison sentence.Handley, who had total debts of £23,000, practised under her maiden name, Liza Mulligan, and was earning £30,000 a year when she was arrested last February 16.Paul Bryan, a partner in Freer, said: “As far as I am concerned, this was a case of dishonesty, deception and greed. But I would like to stress that no client’s money went missing. She stole from the firm.”Handley, who admitted four thefts and four counts of false accounting, had her case transferred from Teesside to Durham for sentencing because she was a familiar figure in court at Teesside, instructing barristers on behalf of clients in criminal trials.Robin Denny, defending, described the situation as “a classic case of somebody in deep difficulty trying to rob Peter to pay Paul”.Judge Tony Lancaster told Handley, who has been struck off as a solicitor, that he had no choice but to jail her. He said: “Your profession demands high standards of professionalism and probity, which you have failed to keep.”
A shamed solicitor who fleeced her Teesside firm of almost £10,000 to pay off student debts is now behind bars.
Elizabeth Handley had a student overdraft of £15,000 and owed another £8,000 on credit cards when she milked the accounts of Freers Solicitors in Baker Street, Middlesbrough.
Last night, Handley, 30, of Turnpike Road, Sedgefield, started a three-month prison sentence.
Handley, who had total debts of £23,000, practised under her maiden name, Liza Mulligan, and was earning £30,000 a year when she was arrested last February 16.
Paul Bryan, a partner in Freer, said: “As far as I am concerned, this was a case of dishonesty, deception and greed. But I would like to stress that no client’s money went missing. She stole from the firm.”
Handley, who admitted four thefts and four counts of false accounting, had her case transferred from Teesside to Durham for sentencing because she was a familiar figure in court at Teesside, instructing barristers on behalf of clients in criminal trials.
Robin Denny, defending, described the situation as “a classic case of somebody in deep difficulty trying to rob Peter to pay Paul”.
Judge Tony Lancaster told Handley, who has been struck off as a solicitor, that he had no choice but to jail her. He said: “Your profession demands high standards of professionalism and probity, which you have failed to keep.”
Keep your money safe and with a company with morals
Elizabeth Mulligan: A shamed solicitor who fleeced her Teesside firm of almost £10,000
At least Stephen Hall replied to you…..
I used Web Consultancy Group Ltd ( not to be confused with any other company of a similar name or address ) to develop a new web site for my company. It has turned out OK due to the efforts of a guy who left Web Consultancy when the project was nearly complete.
After that, I had to deal with Mark Waller and things started to go bad. They did not do work that I paid for, and due to an administrative error on our side, we paid a couple of invoices twice ( which they would not refund ).
I also tried speaking with their accounts department ( someone called Elizabeth…. ) but she was plain rude on the ‘phone. In total, we lost over £ 1,000 which is not insignificant, and a real loss – much worse than the inconvenience of spam e-mail ( which I received in the first place ).
I have e-mailed Stephen Hall ( in very reasonable tones ) about this, but received no reply.
Maybe I should post a negative review somewhere ? I am really not tech-savvy, but if I am not to get my money back, I feel like giving it a go.
Bad Experience with Web Consultancy Group Ltd
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Web Consultancy Group.
If you want to I’d start with share your experience of Web Consultancy Group with others Google Reviews.
Search Google for “Web Consultancy Group Ltd” and on the right you should see some information about the Web Consultancy Group Ltd business like the screenshot below.
Update: The above Google search no longer finds the relevant Google listing, search for “Web Consultancy – Web Design Middlesbrough & North East” instead finds the same Google listing, but with slightly different details. I know it’s the same Google listing because I added a review and it’s still live.
Web Consultancy Group Google Reviews
Click the Google Reviews link and you can share your Web Consultancy Group Review.
Web Design Review
I took a look at your website design (found via your comments email address). I won’t share your website here since you didn’t add it to your comment.
Can see Web Consultancy Group built the site, when viewing HTML source (in a browser “Right Click” near some text, select “View Page Source”), near the bottom is this code:
<div class="copy-right"> <!-- <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.webconsultancy.co.uk" title="Web Design">Web Design</a> By Web Consultancy</p> --> </div> <!-- end copy-right -->
That’s a text link from every webpage on the site linking to the Web Consultancy domain home page.
It’s been commented out so it’s not an SEO issue now (someone commented it out recently), but I can see via the WayBack Machine (http://archive.org/web/ shows old versions of a site) sometime between May 2017 and September 2017 the current WordPress theme was uploaded to the site and at that time the above link was live (looks like it was live from September 2017 to March 2018).
It’s REALLY annoying when web developers do this (did they have your permission to pilfer your SEO link benefit?) as it passes important SEO benefit to their website damaging the SEO of your website!
Google frowns on this black hat SEO practice, if you agreed to this backlink as part of the deal it should have been nofollow so Google ignores it in it’s ranking algorithm.
Since the link is commented out it’s no longer an SEO issue for you.
When that link was live in September 2017 to March 2018 it was helping the Web Consultancy website rank in Google for the phrase “Web Design” and any related searches. You in effect paid them to help them gain more Google traffic, they should have paid you: some home page links can cost over £1,000 a year to rent.
Looks like they add this to many of their clients sites, search Google for
“Web Design By Web Consultancy”
Including the speech marks.
Your site is still listed because you commented out the link above a couple of weeks ago and Google hasn’t reindexed/reranked your site without the link yet.
I see sites with pretty much the same WordPress design your site uses like:
: https://bluecooling.co.uk/ : https://www.microdex.co.uk/ – Google lists this one as “This site may be hacked.” : https://interfacecontracts.com/ : https://oxforddentalcentre.co.uk/ : https://www.elementconsultants.co.uk/
The web design is basic, nothing special about it, you could have got something like this done on a place like Fivers for as little as $5 (people will install WordPress and a theme for $5!).
It’s pretty much a WordPress theme with a few associated plugins and a handful of webpages (about, contact…) and images: half a days work for someone who knows what they are doing.
If you paid £1,000 for that I’m in the wrong business (SEO consulting)!
When running these sites (and yours) through Google’s Lighthouse Audits Tool they show a lot of problems.
The page speed results are terrible, your site took over 20 seconds to load, some took over 30 seconds! There’s no performance SEO features at all, your site isn’t even secure (https) which will cause you problems with Google later this year.
They are running a vulnerable version of Jquery: running the risk of the site being hacked.
The image slider (the big images at the top) aren’t even fully mobile responsive: I reviewed a site recently which runs the same slider plugin (Slider Revolution Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin) and it’s not a plugin I’d use.
Hmm, did they buy you a license for the Slider Revolution Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin?
Basically if I owned any of these websites, I’d delete them and start again, they are pants!
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you rely on your site for business it’s not ideal. If it’s just there because you feel you need a website and all your business is generated via other marketing channels, it’s not such a big deal.
Review of Web Consultancy Group Web Design
Thank you so much for your detailed response. As ever with anything to do with the internet, I am overwhelmed by what you say.
I switched hosting from Web Consultancy to our ISP because of the problems I had with Web Consultancy, and it was at that time that I had the link to them removed from the site ( very recently ), which ties in with what you say. I believe that Web Consultancy left us a leaving present because small details had been changed ( like our telephone number ) but i spotted that quickly and got it changed back. The whole issue of Web Consultancy putting their name on our site was never discussed but initially I was not unhappy with this arrangement – because I did not understand the implications.
Our website is more an internet presence for the benefit of existing and potential clients rather than driving new business to us – we have a difficult product / service to market. There was no discussion with Web Consultancy about a license for the “slider”, so I don’t know how we stand with this. I will discuss the security issue that you mention with our ISP. I do want to add more content to the site but your comments make me wonder whether it’s safe to use the existing one, or to start again.
Once again, thank you for enlightening me. I’ll give Web Consultancy one last chance to make amends ( refund our money ). After that doesn’t happen, I will post a Google review.
Web Consultancy Group Ltd
I checked the Google cache (cache dated March 13th) of your About US page and see your telephone number was wrong, had a 94 instead of 92 in two locations!
Are you saying Web Consultancy Group Ltd modified the telephone number just before you switched hosting from them?
If so that’s really shady for a web design company! That’s website sabotage, Wow!!!
Have you considered the small claims court for the over paid invoice to Web Consultancy Group Ltd? If they don’t pay you back find other sites discussing their business and do what you’ve done here, make a comment: there’s lots of webpages with Web Consultancy Group Ltd reviews.
When I wrote “Basically if I owned any of these websites, I’d delete them and start again, they are pants!” that’s from the perspective of a web developer who has worked on websites for almost 20 years, not the site is dangerous per se and needs deleting.
There’s the old version of Jquery running which might mean the site is vulnerable to hacking (a LOT of sites use out of date vulnerable versions of Jquery, most don’t get hacked), but that should be an easy 5 minute fix by either removing or updating Jquery.
I don’t offer web design services, (only offer SEO services which wouldn’t be of any use to your business, low ROI) but if I did offer web design I’d start again.
The site isn’t even running on https (no SSL certificate) which should have been sorted when they installed WordPress etc…, today you can even get free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt which only takes an hour to convert a large site from http to https, Web Consultancy Group should have by default offered this since they were hosting the domain on their servers!
You only have 7 pages indexed in Google, to see what’s indexed search Google with the next line, replacing my https://seo-gold.com/ domain with yours.
That’s a Google site search, lists every webpage Google has indexed. For my SEO Gold domain there’s 370 webpages indexed, in comparison your domain there’s 7 webpages. This means there’s a few hundred possible webpages on my site which could generate Google traffic, yours has 7.
Home Page Contact Us About Us Products Accreditations / Certifications / Declarations An untitled PDF file (related to Accreditations / Certifications / Declarations) A Sitemap
There’s two more PDF files Google hasn’t indexed.
This is as basic as a business website gets: as a business you exist online.
From an SEO perspective there’s only two webpages with potential traffic value, home page and the products page and neither are search engine optimized for anything (they won’t gain much Google traffic).
This is from MY perspective as an SEO consultant looking to pull in lots of traffic, not your perspective.
Since you aren’t looking to build a larger website to attract search engine visitors which convert to customers the site is more like a static brochure or online business card for new and current customers just in case they look you up online.
For that sort of thing the site is OK and only needs relatively minor fixes like updating Jquery and adding some images to support the content for branding purposes.
Since you have a fully working version of WordPress installed (WordPress is awesome) and it’s really easy to modify/create new content. I would suggest either you or a staff member takes control of the site content creation/modification and learn the basics of using WordPress (it’s easy).
Take your “About Us” page. As a starting point it’s OK, but it doesn’t sell your brand etc… Says you’ve been active since 1983 and have “worked with many of the world’s leading engineering companies”, but doesn’t list any: if you’ve worked with leading companies that suggests you are trusted in the industry. Brag about it, who have you worked with, what did you make them, why are you awesome???
If a new contact checked out that page from your business card or an advert would that information be enough to persuade them to pick up the phone to work with you?
Add a few relevant company images, people working on a project etc… it’s easy with WordPress.
Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and on the left Menu click the “Pages” link, here it will list most of your current content available to edit. Find the “About Us” page and click the “Edit” link to give access to the About Us pages content. Modify the text content to convert a lead to pick up the phone.
Add an image or two which supports your brand directly into the About Us content. To do this select the location in the content where you want an image and click the “Add Media” button to upload an image.
There’s loads of WordPress video tutorials about this, it is not difficult to create/modify content with WordPress.
If it were me with your approach and low level of web skills I’d be creating a WordPress Post (on the left menu click “Posts” > “Add New” – try it, if it goes wrong you can delete it easily) for every new project you are working on.
Take lots of photos (use the best), do a lot of name dropping, show how busy you are, show how great your product/service is mostly in images or even short 30 seconds to 1 minute videos (upload to YouTube and embed in WordPress: it’s easy to do).
Simple articles saying you are building something for company X which will be used for ABC with images showing progress and why your product was the best choice for the project is something which makes a business more accessible online and should increase conversion as your potential clients check you out online and see who you are.
Try to say something nice about who you are building the product for and link to their website. They will be happy to see the positive feedback and free online promotion and will be more likely to use you again.
Based on what you’ve said your goal should be to convert those who hit the site to pick up the phone and it doesn’t do that right now.
Good luck with Web Consultancy Group Ltd, that web design company really does suck!
Web Design Company Sabotaging Website Content!
Thanks once again for your really insightful comments. Some day I will get properly organized and get our site motoring – I do have some bigger targets than Stephen Hall who need pulling down a peg. Long stories accumulated over decades, but others have seriously fleeced us. I digress.
Yes, our telephone number and postcode were changed at some point and as Web Consultancy were the only people who could have done anything, it must have been them. I have screenshot from a while back showing correct information, I did not have access to passwords for the site, and I wouldn’t have a clue what to do anyway. I was told that I would receive WordPress tutorial by Web Consultancy, but that never happened either. So those little changes can only have been done by them. But we have the site hosted elsewhere now, password changed and should be out of their reach in case of further mischief.
I am going to get the various security issues sorted as per your ( considerable ) help, thanks again. We cannot refer to many of our customers / projects because of the advanced technology that we employ to solve problems – we are under NDA’s that stop us even referring to many of our customers ! But they need to protect their advantage, hence some of the vagueness on our site. Never the less, I am sure that we can do something – we do work on some really interesting stuff. I did get the site launched before I had finished ( our old site was truly appalling ) and I do intend to add lots of pictures, as you suggest.
One day, I will be in touch David, when I need good SEO applying to our site. I feel confident that you will keep me on the straight and narrow.
Cheers for now, Mark.
More Web Consultancy Group Ltd review shenannigans.
I am afraid I may be somewhat late to this, but it’s better late than never considering this is the only impartial website that appears high in the search rankings when you search “dlh web consultancy middlesbrough”.
I speak as someone with dealings with Web Consultancy and with intimate knowledge of the office environment.
Firstly, let me say this, so if nobody reads anything else in this admittedly long-winded comment, this at least shows: Anybody who receives spam e-mails from this terrible company, do not contact them. Do not listen. Do not believe the lies they spout. Report the spam to the ICO (https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/nuisance-calls-and-messages/spam-emails/) . Remember: Companies cannot and should not send you spam emails without your permission. Make this clear when you write to the ICO if you receive an email from them. Any attempts to unsubscribe will be ignored.
With that out of the way:
To put it quite plain and simple, as if I need to, this is a company with a gigantic ego and the thinnest skin you can imagine. A company who feel the need to deploy a suspicious amount of damage control yet don’t attempt to mend their reputation. A company with so many red flags hanging over them that you would be forgiven for thinking they are the central headquarters of a local Communist chapter. A company with an exceptional amount of shady dealings.
They absolutely do not remove anyone from their mailing lists. They brag about this in their office, specifically Mark Waller (More on this individual later), and will constantly harass people.
This may be the reason for numerous address changes. If one looks at the Companies House page for DLH Web Consultancy LTD, or simply Web Consultancy Ltd, you will notice an array of address changes. My only guess is that they get caught spamming people, the authorities take notice and they quickly up sticks and move.
They are also notorious for review bombing. Look at their Google business page. Something strange? Notice how a lot of positive reviews have very similar syntax and structure. Notice also how any negative review is met with a long-winded, quite targeted, rant at the reviewer in question. I find it funny that they targeted this website with a defamation claim.
I beg you, read through the Google reviews, find one with a single star and read the owner’s reply. The reviewers targeted by Stephen Hall, He Of The Thin Skin, should suit up with their own defamation claims too.
You will see this anywhere that somebody has left a negative review or written a blog about their shady business.
Read names across any positive review as well. You will find patterns. You will find very similar names. Quite simply, they are gaming the system. Not illegal, obviously, but anybody who can do five seconds of searching will see that this is not a company to trust.
Their websites are exceptionally poor. Sadly, I have seen a few companies who have fallen for Mark Waller’s sales pitch. The websites are basic garbage in WordPress that anybody with access to Google could knock up in the space of ten minutes. One needs only review the PageSpeed analysis of any website claiming to be designed by Web Consultancy to see how haphazardly they work.
I see a lot of references to the proven criminal Elizabeth Mulligan (Defamation infers a false statement. There is no defamation: Elizabeth Mulligan is a criminal, a shamed solicitor who stole close to £10,000 from her previous job.) but Mark Waller is the main source of the sales pitch these days. He is of low character, a sociopathic and fairly toxic individual.
Should anybody have dealings with Mr. Waller, simply tell him to go away, that you have no interest in the waste of space that is Dirty Oil (If you want to know why to call him that, visit https://shitarsefifty.livejournal.com/1007.html. I learned this from a close friend of mine who once worked there. I find it amusing.)
Mr. Stephen Hall is the kingpin behind this mess. A trust fund kid funded by Daddy’s money, Hall is the reason why Web Consultancy is the lone nugget of waste that won’t flush down the bowl. Hall’s father was fairly high up in local government, and has been known to pull a few strings here and there. At one point, in August 2015, an eviction notice was served to the company by Redcar and Cleveland Council for not paying.
Needless to say, the date for eviction passed and nothing else was said or done. Because Stephen Hall greased a few palms and ran to dear old Daddy.
Stephen Hall spends his existence mostly smoking weed in the office, writing responses to reviews and letting everybody else do the work. I have also seen him give an illicit substance to an apprentice. When not doing this, he is also threatening people on Facebook, as seen above in one of your comments. This is because, as I have put, Stephen Hall is a child trapped in the body of a man. A scared child dependant on Father to save him. And when nobody can save him, the child is backed into a corner and responds in that most primal of instincts: To scream and shout.
There is but one caveat to this entire tale: Some good people have worked for Web Consultancy. I can assure you, however, that they quickly move on to better things when they find out that the dysfunctional business that regularly finds itself short of money and having to exploit financial loopholes to file for bankruptcy and start a new company under a similar name..simply isn’t worth working for.
Indeed, they do exploit a lot of loopholes in financial regulations. Some legally (but morally dubious, as is obvious) some…not so legally. Indeed, any government official wishing to add a notch to their belt should investigate Stephen Hall and Web Consultancy. In their spaghetti junction of financial submissions and dealings, one would quickly spot numerous discrepancies. One would also do quite well in tracing the finances and dealings of Web Consultancy to a number of offshoot companies, such as Adwords Company and Indica Web Design. I imagine Mr. Hall and company would be sentenced for quite some time if their financial irregularities came to light.
If you can’t publish this comment, I understand. This is a vile, disgusting company that is willing to do everything but put in actual hard work to fix its reputation. It will exploit Google’s algorithms and review bomb before doing any hard graft. I want to put a bullet in the gun of somebody who wants to research and take on this company, not give THEM ammunition to take down a site that speaks the utmost truth about this horrible company that refuses to die.
David, keep this site up, and keep up the good work. Don’t bow to these disgusting vermin.
May the Gods smile on you.
Web Consultancy Group Ltd Shady Business Practices Review
Moderator legal note: Although the owner of Web Consultancy Group Ltd: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07924238 (Stephen Hall) has another registered business called Visibility Group Ltd: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08887771/ with similar web services etc, same business address, legally they are NOT the same business. They are separate limited businesses legally.I made the error a few years back of saying DLH Web Consultancy Ltd (owned by Stephen Hall, now closed) was the same business as Web Consultancy Group Ltd (owned by Stephen Hall) and it allowed Stephen Hall to make a successful Google defamation claim, see: How I Fell Foul of a Google Defamation Claim.Had I not added this note to your comment Stephen Hall could again make a defamation claim and have this comment and any other pages on the site showing the comment removed from Google!In layman terms you are sort of right, but legally you are wrong. They didn’t change their name, Stephen Hall has two similar businesses and could in the future close one of them like he did with DLH Web Consultancy Ltd.
Moderator legal note: Although the owner of Web Consultancy Group Ltd: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07924238 (Stephen Hall) has another registered business called Visibility Group Ltd: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08887771/ with similar web services etc, same business address, legally they are NOT the same business. They are separate limited businesses legally.
I made the error a few years back of saying DLH Web Consultancy Ltd (owned by Stephen Hall, now closed) was the same business as Web Consultancy Group Ltd (owned by Stephen Hall) and it allowed Stephen Hall to make a successful Google defamation claim, see: How I Fell Foul of a Google Defamation Claim.
Had I not added this note to your comment Stephen Hall could again make a defamation claim and have this comment and any other pages on the site showing the comment removed from Google!
In layman terms you are sort of right, but legally you are wrong. They didn’t change their name, Stephen Hall has two similar businesses and could in the future close one of them like he did with DLH Web Consultancy Ltd.
As an addendum to my comment, Web Consultancy have, once more, changed their identity (see moderator legal note above). They are now going under Visibility Group Ltd. Add this to the pile of their other monikers.
As I inferred in my original comment, I can only assume that this is to further exploit certain financial loopholes, and legal loopholes as well. (Too many complaints to the ICO about cold-calling? Well, i’ll just start this new company and hassle more unwary people..) You can see that none other than Stephen Hall is registered as the director at https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/08887771-visibility-group-ltd.
Perhaps more interesting is the Barbara Kahan noted as the resigned director. This name is probably already familiar but you can otherwise read more on why this is interesting at https://medium.com/@jdowsett/russian-dolls-the-biggest-scandal-never-reported-f8f62a8f66d7
You can also see that, despite this recent name change (see moderator legal note above), they have 4 positive reviews, including some familiar names.
Cockroaches are always notoriously difficult to exterminate, and I feel these insects won’t be eradicated for a good while yet unfortunately. All people can do is be warned of Stephen Hall’s uncouth business practices to starve the beast of money and maybe, hopefully, kill it for good.
Web Consultancy Group Ltd & Visibility Group Ltd are Owned by Stephen Hall
Wow Mr. Wednesday. Just wow. That explains so much. Thank you.