The notorious print farmer Neill Malcolm Stuart John is back in business offering his services as The Book and Catalogue Printer after being roundly condemned by previous customers as ‘fraudulent’. Harry Mottram reports.
Despite the letterhead of The Book and Catalogue Printer he uses as his base for his business operation the website www.thebestprinter.co.uk and even having the slight handicap of having no printing presses and living in Barry in Wales he lists his address at Canary Wharf in London implying he is a major player in the industry.
He tells customers that his is “a bona fide and legitimate organisation which is irrefutable” and goes on to claim he prints hundreds of jobs every month. Delivery times are three to five weeks but somewhat in contradiction reminds clients in his terms and conditions that: “in the event of supplier failure. The Seller has a 20 week window to fulfil an order before agreeing to terminate the contract with the customer.”
Alarmingly his claims are in complete contrast to the scores of complaints sent to Print Monthly with more arriving every day. Exasperated former customers complain of late or no delivery, no ISBN numbers being printed on books, little or no communication after they have paid up front, and legal threats when they complain.
Remarkably he states: “The Best Printer are a London based Printing Company who have exclusive arrangements with the largest partners in the UK and Europe. Our annual spend with them is significant enough to afford us an unparalleled level of service from them with the added bonus of dealing with a UK firm. We specialize in jobs with lots of pages and lots of finishing. We are highly competitive at medium runs of 500 – 5000 copies. Our staff have over 20 years of experience within the industry and are here to hold your hand throughout the entire process. We take your artwork, troubleshoot it for problems, offer to fix any errors that may impair the job, proof, print and deliver your job to your door quickly and seamlessly.”
An open letter signed by more than 50 of his ex-customers has been circulated to the media, the trade press, the BBC, the police and trading standards calling for action to stop him. So far all attempts have failed.
Ian Carrott of ICSM the print credit intelligence group who specialise in keeping their members in the know about fraud, bad debts and late payers says it beggars belief that Neill Malcolm Stuart John is able to get away with daylight robbery. He has consistently warned of paying money up front from an unknown supplier and to contact those purporting to give testimonials as they can be fictitious.
One printer who wished to remain anonymous told this publication that: “I’m amazed nobody has been round to sort him out.” It is a sentiment shared by many who have contacted Print Monthly.