“The whole experience was a waste of time,” says Parmar. “We completed all this due diligence for the BBC. They knew we were a sound business with a proven track record. But they want train wreck TV, so all of that goes out the window when the editors are making the final cut.” Parmar was pitching his firm, The 3G Dating Agency, a mobile-based dating site and chat platform. The company has recently signed a deal with retail giant Phones4u, which puts £30 of credit and a membership to the site with every mobile phone sold to a target demographic. However, Peter Jones pooh-poohed the partnership, saying, "You’re not going to make any money". “Peter Jones is an old school telecoms businessman,” says Parmar. "He thinks you have to link up with the mobile operators in order to have a chance at breaking into the market. But that’s simply not true with our service because it works regardless of the network you have. Infact we’ve got a better chance of reaching customers by working with a retailer that sells mobiles from all of the networks.” One by one, all the Dragons declared themselves out because of Peter Jones’ comments. “That’s why you don’t actually see any of them saying, ‘I’m out’,” he continues. “Because each of them mentions him, and his comments were both false, and possibly libellous.” Jones is known for his grumpy, brusque manner in the Den. But is he throwing his weight around a bit too much? Are the days of Dragons’ Den being a useful investment opportunity for small business over?
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