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SERVICED OFFICES: Friend or Foe?

 

 

***BREAKING NEWS***

SERVICED OFFICES: Friend or Foe?

 

 

 

 

The first Serviced Office company was incorporated in the UK in 1966 as Omni Offices Limited. The original business model was one of flexible opportunity for the small to medium sized enterprise sector (SME).

However, historical evidence in Singapore suggests that original symbiotic comfort that serviced offices could potentially provide has turned rather parasitic into a, ‘David vs Goliath’ attack on our SME. Our research has shown that Serviced Offices may have turned from helping hand to a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Your Voice Asia, has been receiving constantly increasing numbers of complaints and requests for help against three companies:

ServCorp Serviced Offices: we will revisit some of our own clients and follow up on complaints and publish them for you all to see.

Regus: without a doubt Regus serviced offices hold the worst reputation of any serviced company on the planet, if you simply, ‘Google”   name. We will talk to new business owners just moving in to Regus and review their opinions on customer service and fair treatment.

UbSuite (AKA) CityHub: We are receiving a number of complaints about this organisation in the last two years both in Vietnam and Singapore. Interestingly, we have been approached for advice and help from one company that is about to enter litigation after UbSuite turned their back on their client and failed to provide a service as promised causing such a loss to this particular company they almost faced bankruptcy. WATCH THIS SPACE for constant updates on this case.

Email Andrea Soh – Investigative reporter: investigation@yourvoice.asia If you have information regarding Serviced Offices. Particularly if you are a either a staff or you are a business that in your opinion have been treated exceptionally well or particularly terrible.






3 Comments to SERVICED OFFICES: Friend or Foe?

  1. john1965 says:

    Tell People You Know: DO NOT WORK FOR REGUS

    I worked at Regus APAC regional office based in Hong Kong (2012-2015).

    Please tell anybody you know:

    1. do no reply to their recruiting ad

    2. do no interview at this company

    3. do not consider/or accept any of their job offer

    Reasons:

    1. Discrimination – people of different skin color has different offer, although they claim to be fair to everyone. I worked for 15 months before having a 3% salary increase. The other woman who joined 2 weeks later (of different skin color of course), had a 15% increase after 3-month probation; announced pregnancy after 2 months joining the company, before going on 9-month maternity leave, and upon return receiving a full-year bonus. How do I know? Because I worked at the HR dept.

    2. Do not respect their staff (junior level in particular and in terms of money and benefits). They don’t offer year-end double pay (we call it 13th month salary in Hong Kong), but kind of discretionary bonus, equivalent to a certain percentage of your annual salary. The % ranged from 10% to 30% depending on position and seniority. Looks not bad, but that’s no guarantee at all. In 2014, they paid 79% flat from CEO to CSR, i.e. if $100 is your 10% bonus, you receive $79 only. Listen, the senior people are receiving millions of dollars of bonus, a 21% cut will mean nothing. But for junior people like a CSR, they didn’t receive anything close to a double pay, not even half. The Regus rule of fairness is – someone who makes $10,000 contributes $21, someone whole makes $100 a month also contributes $21. Fair enough!

    3. Shoot the messengers. The APAC CFO has the right to fire anyone in the region (except the CEO). There is a saying of “Don’t shoot the messenger”. Unfortunately, this CFO does. How do I know? Because I worked in the HR.

    4. The CEO vs HK$50. In Hong Kong, there is a tradition of giving red packets on the first working day after Chinese New Year. It’s a cultural thing, nothing to do with performance, behaviour…etc, just a tradition that every employer will give their employees a red packet to wish them good luck and Regus set the amount to be $50. Everyone will receive a red packet with their name written on it and have $50 cash inside. It happened in CNY 2015. We asked the CEO to distribute on behalf of Regus. Everyone received theirs, but not me and it was 3 weeks after CNY already. I asked the CEO’s secretary three times, and he passed by the last time when we were on the topic, he said ‘because you don’t behave’ and don’t deserve one’. If the CEO decided not to give me the $50 red packet, then where should that $50 gone? Should be returned to the company, right? That didn’t happen. How did I know? Because I worked at HR and was the red-packet project manager. I checked with my boss (HR Director), he also didn’t receive that returned red packet with my name on it. So where had that $50 gone?

    If you want more reasons, feel free to leave a reply and I’ll provide more.

    • Aussydave says:

      Terrible experience with Regus in Melbourne, Australia

      Cannot agree more with all the bad reviews. They do not care about you or your business. The only thing they care about is how to get more money out of your pocket. With their terrific telephone answering services, we have lost so many potential customers. And now we have to stuck with them for another year because they automatically renew my contract and refuse to cancel it.

  2. Blogger2319 says:

    A California judge on Thursday trimmed a class action accusing Regus Management Group LLC of failing to disclose numerous fees when advertising its office properties, finding that the fine print of the company’s agreements divulge the potential for such fees.
    Judge Samuel Conti slashed allegations of fraud, concealment, and intentional and negligent misrepresentation against Regus, which bills itself as the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace, after determining that the Luxembourg-based real estate company revealed the possibility of additional charges beyond the monthly rate in its office agreement, albeit in very small print.

    “Defendants argue that they disclosed that additional fees would be charged [and] point to various disclosures in the terms and conditions,” Judge Conti noted. “Plaintiffs do not seriously respond to this argument, except to suggest that defendants’ disclosures were not conspicuous enough because they were made in five-point font or in the fine print. However, plaintiffs cite no authority suggesting what size font defendants were required to use or that a disclosure in an agreement must be conspicuous to be effective.”

    The suit, originally filed in California state court in May by Circle Click Media LLC, accuses Regus of deceiving customers into believing all terms and conditions for its office space rentals are disclosed in a simple one-page document, despite subsequently charging numerous additional fees for office restoration, kitchen amenities, nonuse of telephone services and a “wear and tear” fee.

    Circle Click decided to rent office space from Regus in April 2012, signing an agreement that put its total first-month payment at $2,461, according to the complaint. Instead, the company faced 15 additional unauthorized charges from Regus, which used Circle Click’s security deposit as leverage to force payment, according to the suit.

    The complaint accuses Regus of negligent and intentional misrepresentation, concealment/suppression, and violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law, as well as New York State Business Law violations on behalf of a New York class.

    In addition to stripping fraud, concealment and misrepresentation claims from the suit on Thursday, Judge Conti trimmed allegations related to false advertising after finding that the only advertisement cited in the complaint was posted seven years before the plaintiffs executed their agreement.

    He also noted that many of the other advertising claims relied on in the complaint amounted to to nonactionable puffery since they are vague and highly subjective.

    Judge Conti also dismissed the New York business law claims after determining that the statute requires plaintiffs to allege conduct that is consumer-oriented, while Regus’s office space rental practices are targeted at businesses rather than consumers.

    While Circle Click will have an opportunity to amend its complaint to correct the deficiencies with respect to the false advertising, fraud, concealment and misrepresentation claims, the New York business law claims were dismissed with prejudice, according to the ruling.

    In repleading its case, Judge Conti urged Circle Click to allege specifically what was not disclosed or misrepresented in its agreements with Regus and “do more than merely list advertisements that defendants have broadcast in the last decade.”

    Regus says it leases space in 550 cities around the world, serving 800,000 customers, ranging from large corporations to small businesses.

    Attorneys for the parties were not immediately available for comment Friday.

    Circle Click is represented by Joseph Allen Garofolo and Kelly A. Weekes of Garofolo Law Group PC and by Ali Ari Aalaei and Bo Zeng of Ari Law PC.

    Regus is represented by K. Lee Marshall, Meryl Macklin and Daniel Thomas Rockey of Bryan Cave LLP.

    The case is Circle Click Media LLC v. Regus Management Group LLC et al., case number 3:12-cv-04000, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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