TWO companies who say they were lured into signing up to a European guide are facing demands to pay hundreds of pounds for advertising they do not want.

Debbie Ross and Jan Wynne-Jones run two of more than 150 businesses in Warrington that are featured on European City Guide’s website.

And it isn’t just small businesses in the town that have been hit – thousands more across Europe have signed up, including branches of global brands like Pizza Hut.

Now the pair are appealing for others who have signed up to the guide and are unhappy with the service to contact them to launch a joint campaign.

They both say they have received unsolicited letters from the guide, which is based in Valencia, that looked like a questionnaire.

And they both clain they could not see anything on the form indicating they would have to pay any money for providing their company details.

Mrs Ross, who owns Thelwall Post office, said: “You fill it in and the next thing you hear is ‘will you send 987 Euros because you are now on our European City Guide’. What that is nobody knows.”

Since then she and Mrs Wynne-Jones, co-owner of Learning Links in Penketh, have received reminder letters asking them to pay up.

After writing to ask them to cancel the advert Mrs Wynne-Jones was sent a letter from European City Guides saying: “You are endorsing the order conditions by signing and dating the order form on 04/08/08 rendering the contract legally valid and enforceable.”

So far both businesses have refused to pay any money but other people have.

On the Eurpoean City Guide’s website St Wilfrid’s Church is listed, but the Rev Malcolm Kelly says it should not be listed anymore.

He continued: “We were led to believe that it was a Yellow Pages in Europe providing a free service to churches so I submitted to it.

“A little while later I got a demand for hundreds of pounds of money. I had to get a solicitor in to sort it out.”

Since his solicitor has written to the company, he has not received any more letters.

Roger Mapleson, from Warrington Trading Standards, warned: “Be very circumspect about dealing with any unsolicited offers to support your business, particularly with advertising and really think carefully before dealing with someone outside of the UK.

“We would like to hear from anyone if they have been contacted in this way or have paid out money or are being sued.”

Businesses can contact trading standards on 0845 404 0506.

If you are unhappy with the service from European City Guide and would like to help their campaign contact Mrs Ross on 07876 204083 or Mrs Wynne-Jones on 07976 627114.