A WODONGA towing service business is considering its legal options after a namesake appeared in the latest Yellow Pages phone book.
Grealy Motors and Towing’s owners are flabbergasted by the appearance of an ad for “Grealy’s Towing and Salvage” under their own ad.
“We own Grealy Motors and Towing in Wodonga and we’ve been here for 40-odd years,” administration manager Laura Grealy said.
“We rang on the weekend and asked ‘can we speak to Mr Grealy?’ and they said ‘he’s not actually in at the moment, but I can help you with any towing”.
Ms Grealy said they had contacted Yellow Pages, who said they would need to deal with it themselves because the man had registered Grealy’s Towing and Salvage on his ABN.
“He also has about five names to his ABN,” she said.
Ms Grealy said they would be talking to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission about the registration of the business name, as well as seeking legal advice.
“I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery,” she said.
“It tells me we’re doing a good job because he’s intimidated enough to use our name for his business.
“It’s disheartening that we’ve spent so long in this town building up a reputation to have someone come in and manipulate that. It’s really upsetting.”
Ms Grealy said any legal action could involve an investigation into the use of common law that protects the goodwill and reputation of the Grealy business name.
“There’s a law called the passing off law, which essentially means you can’t confuse a consumer by using a similar name to make them believe that’s who you are,” she said.
Ms Grealy said they had worked out who was behind the other Grealy business “and it’s definitely been done with the intent of confusing people”.
“It’s not a Grealy at all but just another local competitor who has put an ad in the phone book,” she said.
“But if we can get the word out and say ‘hey that’s not us’ — that’s what is most important to us at the moment,” she said
Ms Grealy said they had put what happened on their Facebook page.
“There’s been a lot of support and it’s been shared 431 times,” she said.
The Border Mail attempted to get comment from Grealy’s Towing and Salvage by calling the mobile phone number in the Yellow Pages advertisement.
The man who answered the call said the owner was not available as he was away on holidays.
When asked for the owner’s name, the man abruptly ended the call.