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Thread: Who to complain to?

  1. #1

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    Default Who to complain to?

    Happy new year everyone!

    Are we about to regain some form of normality in the coming months? Or does the virus have a nasty surprise up its sleeve? The scientists seem to think that we are now well over the worst and things should now mellow out, so fingers crossed that things continue to improve. Bookings are coming in anyway, slowly but surely.

    So, a question again folks. We have been having a fair amount of trouble with a particular entertainment agency and I won't mention any names. There have been all manner of issues including technical problems (web related bugs) and a total change in search criteria which has effectively rendered our entry into the bottom of the search lists, if it has even appeared at all! These are just two of the main points. I'm stunned by the number of issues we've experienced, so much so that a seven page letter was posted to the company concerned and a request for a full refund was made. The replies we had were insulting, pointing the finger at us when it was most certainly their fault.

    I won't go into more detail, but we want to take things further and need to know who to write to. Would it be the Financial Ombudsman? I suspect that these are not the body we should be contacting when it comes to entertainment agencies. Is there a more dedicated type of watchdog organisation for this?

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Web Guru Marc J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centre Stage Discos View Post
    I won't go into more detail, but we want to take things further and need to know who to write to. Would it be the Financial Ombudsman? I suspect that these are not the body we should be contacting when it comes to entertainment agencies. Is there a more dedicated type of watchdog organisation for this?
    It definitely wouldn't be the Financial Ombudsman.

    Trading Standards, perhaps.

    If you paid by credit card, and you have concrete proof they are in breach of contract, make a section 75 claim under the consumer credit act.

  3. #3

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    This seems odd. Why is an entertainment agency providing a website for you?

    Credit/Debit card claim would be a good starting point. Small claims if that fails (but remember that all the Small Claims court will do is decide who is at fault and what action should be taken to remediate that, it won't get you your money back).

    Julian
    http://www.bristoldiscohire.co.uk - Quality Disco and Equipment hire for Bristol & Bath
    Weddings, Birthday Parties, Kids Parties, School Disco's and more
    https://julianburr.co.uk - Wedding, Family, Portrait and Product Photography

  4. #4
    Web Guru Marc J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Jules View Post
    This seems odd. Why is an entertainment agency providing a website for you?
    I'm pretty sure it's a listings / directory site.

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Jules View Post
    Credit/Debit card claim would be a good starting point. Small claims if that fails (but remember that all the Small Claims court will do is decide who is at fault and what action should be taken to remediate that, it won't get you your money back).
    Forgot small claims court. Another good suggestion.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centre Stage Discos View Post
    I won't go into more detail, but we want to take things further and need to know who to write to. Would it be the Financial Ombudsman? I suspect that these are not the body we should be contacting when it comes to entertainment agencies. Is there a more dedicated type of watchdog organisation for this?
    It's a business contract, so you'd need to take legal action yourself.

    Be aware that if they are a big name, then they will fight you at the small claims court.

    Unless we are talking many thousands of pounds, I would suggest you would be throwing good money after bad.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc J View Post
    I'm pretty sure it's a listings / directory site.
    That makes more sense now. If it's yell.com, you could join one of the many class action lawsuits being pursued against them, but forget about trying to get anything out of them by yourself.

    If it's the smaller listing sites that cost sub 200/year, it's not worth it.

    Julian
    http://www.bristoldiscohire.co.uk - Quality Disco and Equipment hire for Bristol & Bath
    Weddings, Birthday Parties, Kids Parties, School Disco's and more
    https://julianburr.co.uk - Wedding, Family, Portrait and Product Photography

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the help and suggestions.

    It's a relatively new entertainment agency. There's no doubt that their system has knocked us to the bottom of the various search criteria they use. Plus their web interface is so flaky it's unusable. As an example, you enter a disco time from 19:00 to 23:00, press "Save" and it changes to something ridiculous like 08:00 to 15:00. Our base disco price is 349, yet it comes up at 90 on their site. I've complained about this and several other things several times but nothing is ever done. We had the disco service under "wedding DJ", then noticed that this particular search criteria was removed from their system. They have since returned it, but we noticed that our stats PLUMMETED to values of "0" when they had been almost 2000 for a few weeks. It's also been a case of one rule for one, another for another. We have been refused a number of requests where other companies have been granted permission for exactly the same thing.

    Yes, I could go on! But I'd better not. There's an entire catalogue of disasters with this lot.

    What really annoyed us was that their replies blamed us for not understanding their system when it was very clearly their system which was at fault. They tried to blind us with technical marketing terms which mean absolutely nothing to us older uns. Whether they actually mean anything was irrelevant. "Results" was what we needed, not "Conversions", whatever they are. They seem to mean different things on different sites, although we get the general idea. It's just nonsense. We shouldn't need to concern ourselves with all this.

    I know these agency sites are a gamble, but this one really has failed us in a number of ways.

    We had an actual customer enquiry from this site this morning. Funny that. I can verify that it was genuine as the same enquiry came to us from another site too. Yet even so, the actual correspondence didn't materialise on their "Shortlist" page. Yet another bug in their hopeless system.

    I am not wet behind the ears when it comes to complaining. I took a large electrical retailer to the small claims court a few years ago ... and won my case hands down. However, this bunch are a different kettle of fish. Yes, the small claims court might be the way to go, but it's messy. If we do actually gain a booking or two from them, then we would consider that a result and probably leave things as they are. They have already offered us another six months membership without charge. What to do? We certainly won't be renewing with them. We have since found a far better site which is already delivering results in the form of actual bookings.

    Thanks again all.

  8. #8

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    Accept it as a sunk cost.

    You could spend so much time and money (and emotional energy) chasing this, and still end up with getting nothing back.

    Take up their 6 month offer, and make it clear that it's their chance to prove to you their website can work for you.

  9. #9

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    I think you are right. This will probably be the way forward, but I'll be on to them at every stage if things don't improve.

    Cheers all!

  10. #10

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    Well, I've had enough of this agency and I feel it is becoming my duty to warn people about them. After updating some photos on our listing with this site, the entire listing was deleted! The photos were of far better quality and showed the equipment in a better light and also had shots of the media controller, the mixer, etc., which is exactly what they asked for.

    To say I am disgusted with this company is an understatement. Let's just say, they are not TOP of the POPs with us anymore and should be avoided.

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