Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd

A letter from the Fair Trading Commission was hand delivered to me today, dated 14th November 2007.

Including in its contents the letter stated:

‘The Commission met with Mr. John Payne, Director of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited to determine the relationship between Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd and Opera Telecom Limited of the UK’. ‘The Commission learnt that Mr Corbett of Telecom TV UK (we think this means Opera Telecom UK) developed a programme which he intended to bring to Barbados but subsequently decided not to do so. He, however, assisted with the stetting up of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd and his name was cited as a director of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd’. ‘The Commission has received a “Certified True Copy” of a document entitled “Notice of Director or Notice of Change of Directors” dated Nov 1, 2007 showing that Mr. Gary J. Corbett was removed as a director of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd on October 17, 2007′.

‘With respect to Opera Telecom’s UK’s name being flashed on the screen during television advertisements, please note that the Commission obtained a copy of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited’s advertisements which were previously aired on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation. The advertisements stated that the prizes for the competition were supplied by Opera Telecom’. The Commission was informed that the aforementioned statement was a mistake carried forward from an earlier test promotion and that Opera Telecom UK has never provided the prizes for local competitions. The Commission informed Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited that if Opera Telecom UK is not associated with the company, then its name should be removed and replaced with Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited. Mr Payne agreed to do accordingly’.

‘On Friday, October 5th 2007, a concerned consumer informed the Commission that the telephone numbers given by the operator of Barbados Lucky Number(s) for winners to contact the operator of the competition and claim their prizes was not operational. The Commission reviewed the advertisement for Barbados Lucky Number(s) which was displayed in the October 5, 2007 Weekend Nation and sought to contact the operators of the competition using the number stated in the newspaper. It was confirmed that the contact number was not in working order. The Commission contacted Mr. John Payne Director and Ms Joanne Nugent of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited with respect to the matter’.

‘The Commission requested Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited to immediately carry out the following actions:

  • Ensure that its contact number for winners of Barbados Lucky Number (s) is operational
  • Be more transparency and publicize the winners of its competition in the media
  • Clearly state in its advertisement that Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited is the operator of the competition

The Commission can now confirm that the contact number for winners is operational. Additionally, Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited has confirmed that the names of the winners of its competition will be published in the media. The said company also provided the Commission with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of its competition winners. The Commission telephoned those persons identified on the list as winners to confirm that they were authentic. Additionally, Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited will be identified as the operator of the competition.

Our telephone enquiries revealed that the winners were bona fide winners of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited competition and that they had received their prizes’.

The letter ends with ‘Please be assured that we will continue to monitor businesses to ensure that they comply with the Act’.

Adrian Loveridge

16 November 2007

PS: I personally have not seen the winners names advertised, so I have asked the Fair Trading Commission to advise when and where these notices appeared. My thanks for the Fair Trading Commission for their work in helping to resolve this situation!


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33 thoughts on “Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd

  1. Adrian on behalf of the BU family we say thanks for your follow through on this issue. If more of our citizens would exercise their civic duty with 50% of the diligence which you do then our democracy would be alive and well.

    Does this communication not represent a reversal from the first correspondence you received? Forgive us if we are a little skeptical but the responses seem a little too ‘rehearsed’ for our blood.

  2. The following follow-up note was sent to the Fair Trading Commission by Adrian L:

    Personal attention of
    Judy Maynard
    Officer-in-Charge, Consumer Protection Division

    Fair Trading Commission

    re: Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited
    No: 3/12/4 (648)

    Very many thanks for your detailed response to my email 29th September 2007.

    You mentioned that the ‘names of the winners of its competition will be published in the media’.

    And that you had contacted and confirmed persons identified on the list as winners.

    In the interests of transparency, when are where will this list be published?

    Only ONE ‘winning’ number was given in both the TV and print ‘ads’, so did the ‘winners’ all chose the same ‘winning’ number?

    I look forward to your clarification.

    Best Regards

    Adrian Loveridge
    16 November 2007

  3. David.. Thank you for the Thank You.

    I believe that there was overwhelming evidence that there were links between Opera Telecom UK and Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited and it was silly for their represent, Joanne Nugent to initially deny it.

    I still have doubts about the whole scenario and it is a company that seems to make lots of ‘mistakes’.

    I have been following the Barbados Lucky Numbers ‘ads’ very closely and they have ONLY ever listed one ‘winning’ number, so I am a little
    puzzled by the FTC’s mention of ‘winners’.

    If there were ‘winners’ did they all select the same ‘winning’ number?

    I will update when I get a follow-up answer to the second query.

  4. Pingback: » BU on Lucky Numbers - What We Found Keltruth Corp.: News Blog of Keltruth Corp. - Miami, Florida, USA.

  5. Great work, Adrian. I am still a little puzzled – if the telephone number was not operational before, how were the reputed winners able to contact Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd.?

  6. From my perspective if the allegations against this Opera company is correct it has long gone past the responsibility of the Fair Trading agency and should be by now being investigated by the police for possible illegal activity.

    This sort of thing could not go on in an overseas jurisdiction without proper investigation. But here again is but yet another example of the flagrant abuses companies can get away with in Bim and it seems that were it not for a few using this Blog mainstream Barbados and the Government could care less.

  7. Thank You Kathy…

    After first seeing the ‘as’ on CBC TV , I tried the 1 800 number literally hundreds of times over a week long period. and I even asked Cable and Wireless to see if they could reach it
    I could not get a ringing tone.

    I too, still find it very puzzling, as the ‘ad’ is in today’s Nation with the SAME ‘winning’ number.

    IF there have been several ‘winners’, have they all been able to win on the same number?

    The company should be made to print the list of winners.

  8. Its not over until they publish the names and addresses of the winners.

    How could winners call if the number was not working?

    I hope these winners are not related to the people doing the voice overs.

    I support the call for a police investigation.

  9. Just another case of fraud being carried out on the peaceful citizens of this nation, allowed to do so by dishonest untrustworthy politicians.

  10. David, since the Fair Trading Commision start the ball rolling, can you ask them to get the information of winners as requested by Adrian. Hearing the FTC admission that contact was made to all the bona fide winners, it would be prudent without any legal repercussion to publish these names.

    On Friday October 5, 2007, you said a concerned consumer stated the advertised number was not working, which was confirmed by an official of the company. In the November 14, 2007 received letter it states “The Commission can now confirm that the contact number for winners is operational”.

    What you did not state is the company confirmation what happened with this phone between the period October 5, 2007 and November 14, 2007 and the winners during this same period? This would assist we the commenters in excepting or denying the questionable happening with this operation. Remember, once you collect money and people are of the believe that a reward will be in the offing; and yet, the vital ingredience is questionable, that is deemed FRAUD, plain and simple. We await your findings.

    Good work Adrian.

  11. Just another case of fraud being carried out on the peaceful citizens of this nation, allowed to do so by dishonest untrustworthy politicians.
    Is there a link to any politician? Let us know, but don’t create doubts in the people’s mind.

  12. I had also asked the Fair Trading Commission to look into the Caribbean Phone Idol competition which is also operated by Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd and as the KELTRUTH website mentions runs in Trinidad and Jamaica under seperate registered OPERA companies.
    In the FTC letter dated 14th November 2007 it assured me that they had requested Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited to modify the terms of the competition and that the company had provided the Commission with details of the amended terms.

    After just visiting the Caribbean Phone Idol website, there still seems a number of grey areas, ie:

    ‘Promotion entries must be made by 21st February’ but does not mention a year.

    There are no contact details contained on the website, address or telephone number even though it states ‘you can write to Opera Interactive’.

    These cannot be acceptable conditions by the FTC and I cannot see the justification in stating:

    ‘Please note that Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited has provided the Commission with details of the amended terms and conditions for its Caribbean Phone Idol’s contract. These terms are now in compliance with the Act.’

  13. It would seem to me the the FTC is simply making itself look good and putting the matter to rest witout having to do anything meaningful at all.
    When have any of you seen a gov’t department respond or react to anything in the time frame these clowns have supposely reacted in ?
    This is nothing more than an exercise in PR work carried out by FTC .

  14. …and minus the main information with down-time by the said Opera Interactive (Barbados) Limited from October 5 to November 14, along with the names of persons that won.

  15. Kathleen Davis,

    Popular opinion in Barbados has it that both you and your mother Marjorie Knox suffer from mental illness brought about by the financial reverses and emotional stress following poor business decisions made regarding Kingsland.

    The contents of your Keltruth website and blog support such opinion.

    You would not be the first people to go stark raving mad in the aftermath of such a massive financial loss.

    Life’s dealings can be harsh… some kill themselves. Have you ever considered suicide? It would certainly end your misery once and for all. It might be a better option than exposing yourself to public ridicule for the rest of your days.

    It must be tough for you and your mother spending every waking moment living with the shame and disgrace of being living losers and laughing-stocks of the business community in Barbados.

    Didn’t you pick a good name for whoever you are………….quote from Wikipeadia below, seems quite apt to me….

    is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality.” Stedman’s Medical Dictionary defines psychosis as “a severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning.”[1]

    People experiencing a psychotic episode may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs (e.g., grandiose or paranoid delusions), and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of their behaviour, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living.

    A wide variety of nervous system stressors, both organic and functional, can cause a psychotic reaction. This has led to the belief that psychosis is the ‘fever’ of mental illness—a serious but nonspecific indicator.[2][3]

    However, most people have unusual and reality-distorting experiences at some point in their lives, without being impaired or even distressed by these experiences. For example, many people have experienced visions of some kind, and some have even found inspiration or religious revelation in them.[4] As a result, it has been argued that psychosis is not fundamentally separate from normal consciousness, but rather, is on a continuum with normal consciousness.[5] In this view, people who are clinically found to be psychotic, may simply be having particularly intense or distressing experiences (see schizotypy).

  17. Adrian, you said that:

    “There are no contact details contained on the website, address or telephone number even though it states ‘you can write to Opera Interactive’.”

    I also checked the website and could find no contact information. How then can someone enter the competition? Has this been advertised on television or in the newspaper and was a telephone number given to enter the competition?

  18. Brutus…

    I personally have not seen the ‘ads’ on local tv..Caribbean Phone Idol – Terms and Conditions – Barbados
    Section 6 – c

    ‘A panel of judges selected from the supporting TV, Radio and Print groups will select the final 10 best singers and 10 worst singers’.

  19. Adrian,

    Perhaps some of us will need to actually enter these competitions so that we can have a more solid basis to make complaints and demand further information and explanations. I say this in all seriousness. The price of a few dollars will be worth it in terms of protecting others.

    Re the Barbados Lucky Numbers, I agree that the names of the winners should be published. I do not think however that this will satisfy your concerns, because how do we then verify that these winners are authentic?

    There really ought to be independent verification of the winners (eg. by a firm of Chartered Accountants), as is the practice with some of the other local games of chance.

    I do not believe this should be mandatory; but the public should simply avoid those contests and competitions which do not have independent verification of winners or are otherwise lacking.

  20. Adrian Loveridge,
    you may wish to dig a little deeper.
    ‘The Commission has received a “Certified True Copy” of a document entitled “Notice of Director or Notice of Change of Directors” dated Nov 1, 2007 showing that Mr. Gary J. Corbett was removed as a director of Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd on October 17, 2007′.

    His “removal” was part of the Opera Telecom rebranding.
    March 29, 2007
    Gary Corbett, founder of Opera Telecom, becomes Chairman of OITG. Shane Leahy, formerly Managing Director of Opera Telecom Ireland, has been appointed CEO of OITG.

    Re: Caribbean Phone Idol.
    Whois Record
    Tistis Ltd
    Nicosia Street
    Kastoros Street
    Cyprus, Cyprus NONE

    Administrative Contact:
    Rogers, Dan
    3 Brindley Place
    Birmingham, West Midlands B1 2JB
    +44.08081313131 Fax: +44.08718720217

    Technical Contact:
    Rogers, Dan
    3 Brindley Place
    Birmingham, West Midlands B1 2JB
    +44.08081313131 Fax: +44.08718720217

    Opera Telecom
    Address 3 Brindley Place, Birmingham
    B1 2JB
    Other office locations

  21. UK Lesson…

    Very many thanks for the information.
    Digging deeper is very difficult on Barbados. For instance the Corporate and Intellectual Affairs Office, which holds company details, has not updated its website since 13 April 2007.

    No address or contact telephone number is shown on the Caribbean Phone Idol Terms and Condition section of their website and I have not yet been able to find out any other details locally of Whois Record and TisTis Ltd.

    With a registered office in Nicosia, Cyprus what legal redress would a competition entrant living in Barbados have, if any?

    I would be very grateful for any further information that I could supply our local Fair Trade Commission with.

    Opera Telecom or Opera Interactive representatives here have lied from the very beginning to questions we have posed.

  22. whois
    Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
    Record last updated on 02-Feb-2007.
    Record expires on 30-Jan-2008.
    Record created on 30-Jan-2007.

    6. To take part you call the service and you are asked to select a song from menu of 10 chosen tracks. You will then be prompted to leave a recording of yourself singing along to the backing track of your choice.

    Once you have left a recording you will get a unique reference number. This can then be entered into the Caribbean Phone Idol competition.

    A panel of judges selected from the supporting TV, Radio and Print groups will select the final 10 best singers and the 10 worst singers.

    The 10 finalists will then be put to a public vote and the winner will be announced on TV.

    The above comment was posted to http://www.the-scream.co.uk. Adrian it would be useful to find out if the media has some arrangment with Opera based on the above. If they do it might explain the ‘in bed’ approach. The above comment was posted regarding the Caribbean Idol show.

  23. David…

    All I can find out is the the competiton is been run in three seperate Caribbean countries by the following registered companies:

    Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd
    Opera Interactive (Jamaica) Ltd
    Opera Interactive (Trinidad) Ltd

    On their website they show the competition ends 21 February, but NO year and No contact details
    even though they invite you to write in.

  24. Fined ‘TWENTY times in the past two years for a string of cons’ The Sun can reveal.

    ‘Meanwhile boss Gary Corbett, 46 has raked in a GBPounds 75 million personal fortune since launching the firm (Opera Interactive) seven years ago’.

    ‘Balding Corbett has a GBPounds 1 million mansion in Winsford, Cheshire’.
    ‘He also owns a GBPounds 1.5 million property in a posh Birmingham suburb’.

  25. Yet another 9 days rolls by and the Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd BARBADOS LUCKY NUMBERS ‘ads’ are appearing with the same ‘winning’ number.

    Has ANYONE seen a list of the ‘winners that have been authenticated by the Fair Trading Commission?

  26. Pingback: Fair Trading Commission (FTC) Refuses To Deliver On Promise About Opera Interactive (Barbados) Ltd «

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