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Thread: Who to complain to?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centre Stage Discos View Post
    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.
    LOL, glad I didn't buy their premium listing then. I've fallen out with them a number of times as they keep pushing me to sync a calendar with theirs. I get so few leads from them it's not worth my while.

    What reason did they give for deleting the listing?

    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

  2. #12

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    May 2021
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    "The content in our listing was not of the standard they required." or words to that effect.

    Funny thing is, the photos we uploaded recently were of a far better standard and higher resolution than the ones we already had on there.

    Their calendar is a joke. Add the times and the system randomly changes them. You could enter 20:00 to 01:00, as an example, then you save this and the system will have altered them to something like 07:00 to 15:00. I kid you not.

    The calendar syncing does work ... sometimes.

    Problem is, you change the search criteria from "Entertainment" to "Music" and our listing doesn't appear at all. There aren't any categories for "Disco" or "Wedding DJ" like there used to be. They make these changes and we just watch our stats plummet. They have even changed our listing themselves without telling us, adding their own spelling errors and truncating sentences. Total waste of time. You speak to someone and everything is our fault.

    Today, I spoke to a girl who was clearly not having a good day. Either that or she didn't want to speak to me. (I have remained polite at all times.) She assured me that our listing would be back online today. Hmm. It's still off!

    We've already been told that we're not entitled to any refund. Really? Their attitude absolutely stinks.

  3. #13

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    I think they are having a laugh now. I changed the heading of our listing so it included "Centre Stage Discos" in the title, only to find that they changed this to "Centre Stage DJs".

  4. #14

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    OK, at risk of going on about this, just one more post on the matter.

    After submitting further high resolution, high quality, bright and cheerful photographs to Poptop, they have rejected them yet again, so we no longer have a presence on their site.

    I can add that the same photos have all been welcomed at two other agencies we use. I actually spoke to one of the team at Add To Event and mentioned the fact that I was a little concerned about the quality of some of our photos (until such times that we might be able to take some better ones) and she said that they were more than acceptable and better than many. OK, I accept that some of our photos are not the best, mostly because they were taken from video stills, but we have paid for a service with Poptop, subscribing to their GOLD membership, and are getting NOTHING back. Not even a presence. I think that's known as "money for nothing". Oh, and we are not entitled to a refund. Well, thank you! NO fear, we have been given an extra six months membership free. Ah, one problems, we don't have any decent photographs.

    Getting photographs is not easy these days. ALL the discos we have done recently specified that we should not take photos of the proceedings. We even thought about just taking a couple of candid shots while nobody was looking, regardless, but that's not how we like to work and it's for good reason.

    So, if we are to have a listing with Poptop, we now have to try to find photographs from elsewhere. That's right, elsewhere! I am speechless that I am even going to write the next part of this sentence, but If anybody has any old photos (of high quality of course!!!) that they might like to send us, (Am I really asking this?) then we would be extremely grateful. Otherwise, we have wasted a lot of money. To say we are fuming is an understatement, but I suppose worse things happen at sea.

    Quite annoyed!

  5. #15

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    Based on your original question, and in light of what has unfolded subsequently, I think this is worth pursuing.

    I suggest initially writing a letter (as in printed and posted) to them, explaining your dissatisfaction, not only through the lack of enquiries generated, but more importantly that they haven't even provided you with the service you have paid for through their continual delisting of your profile.

    I would suggest that you then request a full refund of monies paid, and set a timeline of 14 days for monies to be returned (provide bank details and address for cheque to be sent to within the letter).

    When you hear nothing back, after 21 days, send a follow up letter, as a reminder of the original letter, and make it clear that if the refund is not provided, further action will be taken. Again, give them 14 days to resolve the matter.

    After a further 21 days, send a "Letter before action". In this letter, refer to the two previous letters that were sent and that the matter remains unresolved. Make it clear that if the money isn't returned within 14 days, you'll take further action:

    "If I do not receive a satisfactory response from you within 14 days of the date of this letter, I intend to issue proceedings against you in the county court without further notice. This may increase your liability for costs."

    After a further 21 days, start court proceedings: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money

    Don't forget to include the cost of court action within the claim at that point.

    Typically, starting court proceedings results in the money being refunded. But you need to have gone through the above process to be able to start court proceedings.

    Keep letters show, to the point, and with a clear outline of how you want the matter resolved, and keep an emotion etc out of the letter. Only focus on areas where there has been a clear breach of contract (ie, what was promised to you).

  6. #16

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    May 2021
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    Hello rth.

    Thanks for your message. We think that it's almost a given now that we go down this route.

    Between my last message and yours, Poptop sent an apologetic letter to their suppliers detailing another issue they are having at the moment, which is resulting in Shortlists and Booking Confirmations not reaching the suppliers. It seems to be one thing after another!

    Now, I am not trying to slander Poptop at all, just to state the facts exactly as they are, but you really do wonder if it's best warn others so they don't suffer the same barriers. This is not to say that many of their suppliers are not finding Poptop to be giving an excellent service. I know one disco who feels that they have proven to be invaluable. Opinions and experiences will differ.

    We're probably going to try to have one last attempt to get some different photos to them, but after this, it's almost guaranteed that we will take this to small claims court.

    Thanks again rth.

  7. #17

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    It's interesting that they're specifically picking on your photos. There are a few things to bear in mind here as, from memory, they have some clear guidelines about what is and isn't acceptable, I.e. Photos must be your own and depict your show, they should not be stock photos and you must either be photos you took or you should have permission to use them from the person who took them (as they will be the copyright holder). This is pretty standard stuff.

    Screenshots from videos aren't likely to be great to be honest. I have a standard line in my booking contracts that states that I will take still photos and videos for use on my website, social media and 3rd party websites during the course of any booking. I let people opt out, but I've only had a few ask me not to use photos in the last few years so I'm surprised that you're not being allowed to use them.

    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

  8. #18

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    It's also interesting that these very same photos had already been approved and our listing was accepted and had been live for some time.

    As for the stock images, I see several well-known stock images of discos in the listings. I can only guess that they deem it OK for some providers to use these as they must have seen them so many times before.

    Another ruling is that you can't provide multiple listings of the same disco, i.e. a budget package, a larger package and a "SUPER PLUS EXTRA PRO package" (you get the idea) as it was the same service and these packages should be detailed in a single listing. Yet there are several discos doing this, even with the same photos for each service, which is STRICTLY not allowed.

    We tried to list a dedicated retro service of 70s music, etc. and with different lighting, but it wasn't possible for us, yet others are allowed to do this.

    We wanted to have a separate listing for new year's eve so we could show a different price, as others had, I'll let you guess the outcome of that one.

    Fine, if they are trying to standardise services, but people like us are being punished for it. Shouldn't their be a moratorium on this at the very least and not an instant ban?

    They threaten to drop you lower in the listings if you don't comply with their rules, syncing your calendar to theirs is a big thing with them, but we weren't able to do this to begin with due to technical issues with their site. I know another disco who had the same problem. Poptop couldn't even rectify this with us live over the phone. But how come is it THEIR right to PUNISH you for things like this?

    We understand the need for certain standards, but a line needs to be drawn and one which is more favourable fort he supplier/provider.

    Anyway, I may be able to dig out some other photos, but this will be their very last chance.
    Last edited by Centre Stage Discos; 21-01-2022 at 12:22 PM.

  9. #19

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    I know they have systems to apply different pricing for NYE and other key dates and they expect you to use them, rather than creating another service line. Likewise, if your 70s package can't be provided at the same time as your regular disco, then it is the same service and should be listed as an add on to your existing service or an option (especially if it carries a premium fee).

    As to how/why others have got away with it...? I can't answer that, but it's not a reason to expect that you'll be allowed to as well. There's probably something in the terms that says listings have to conform to the rules and, if the listings don't, they have no obligation to refund so you may find that you have a weak legal case too (unless a judge decides the clause is unfair).

    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

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Jules View Post
    I know they have systems to apply different pricing for NYE and other key dates and they expect you to use them, rather than creating another service line. Likewise, if your 70s package can't be provided at the same time as your regular disco, then it is the same service and should be listed as an add on to your existing service or an option (especially if it carries a premium fee).
    Julian
    Ah, but they didn't. They only added that facility very recently. There was no option to do this until the beginning of December as I remember, or certainly late November.

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Jules View Post
    As to how/why others have got away with it...? I can't answer that, but it's not a reason to expect that you'll be allowed to as well. There's probably something in the terms that says listings have to conform to the rules and, if the listings don't, they have no obligation to refund so you may find that you have a weak legal case too (unless a judge decides the clause is unfair).Julian

    Absolutely. But their attitude doesn't help matters. However, As of an hour ago, they have allowed some of our photos. There's still a few more which they did not receive and which we hope will be approved soon. Fingers crossed.

    There's no doubt they could have done much better. As my friend says, they are an agency (marketplace, or whatever you want to call them) and a 'service' which constantly have to be watched as they are always changing their rules. Rules which have made us invisible at times. We adapt keywords in our listing to second-guess what the general public might use for their own search criteria and then we will appear without any problem. Then that search criteria is changed without warning and we disappear again. That's not exactly helpful.

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