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  1. Hello, I wonder if anyone could help. I'm sure you've all heard of the Makeover Photo shoot con in London and seen them on Watchdog recently. I entered to win a free makeover by magazine this year and was called and told I had won. I was told I could bring up to 5 people and we would experience a celebrity style makeover with top London make-up artists and hair stylists, drinks throughout and an elite photo shoot followed by dinner in a London restaurant for us all. Naturally I was over the moon as I have never won anything before. I invited my friend and because we live 2.5 hours away from London we decided to bring our husbands for company/safety and to stay overnight in London, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to have the meal as we would need to catch a train home that evening and would be too late. They took a £120 deposit from me which they assured me would be returned and was redeemable against photos. What they didn't tell me was that the purchase of photos was mandatory and that the minimum cost would set me back £400. Had I known this I wouldn't have gone because I just don't have that kind of money. Anyway, off we went to London blissfully unaware that it was a complete con. We arrived and had a speedy and shoddy makeover by a very young just qualified Makeup artist who was also the 'top London Hair stylist'. The drinks served throughout turned out to be 1x orange squash. The photographs were awful! Really cheesy and tacky. When we were shown them we were stifling giggles because they were so terrible and we looked awful. We soon stopped laughing when we were told we needed to buy 11 photographs for £400 otherwise we would have to pay for the makeover and shoot which was worth £800 and would be subject to court action. We asked which part of the experience was the competition prize and were told the free Makeover and shoot was the prize but now we needed to buy the extortionate dis-proportionate pictures- or else! After it got heated we had to get up and leave without the return of my £120 deposit and with no evening meal as promised. We were absolutely starving, thirsty and shattered form all the travelling and waiting around. I'm sure if our husbands were not with us it could have turned nasty and I have seen that for some women it has, with locked doors and physically being held against their will till they paid. The long and short of it is that myself and my friend and our husbands are out of pocket because of them. We paid for train tickets, accommodation, an evening meal, tube tickets and refreshments plus our husbands lost holiday time from work in booking the time off to accompany us. We have lost over £700 being involved in this [problem] (including the deposit) and I have opened a court claim online against them in an attempt for reimbursement of our expenses. I opened the claim on 24th May, it was issued on 27th May and deemed served on 1st June. The Makeover company issued an acknowledgement of service right at the eleventh hour on Sunday 15th June and as at 1st July there was no defence listed as being received and I had nothing more in the post so I requested judgement on 1st July. I have logged in today to MCOL and it says that judgement has been refused. Why could this be please? I thought I had followed the correct timeframes and done everything by the book and there is no defence so why have they refused to grant judgement? In addition the makeover company have been calling my mobile leaving messages asking me to call them but I want everything kept in writing as evidence since this is now a legal matter and I will have no proof of anything they say to me. The way I understand it is that I am not obliged to speak to them over the telephone. I am sure if they genuinely wanted to negotiate with me and make an offer to resolve this it would be done by the book in writing. Going by the fact that they operate a business ripping people off, you can understand I don't wish to speak to these people on the telephone. How do I proceed with this now? I thought the timeframe for their defence had elapsed and with no defence should it not be judgement by default? They've had plenty of time to put their side across but haven't bothered yet. I don't see what defence they have to be fair, what they do is daylight robbery! In the meantime I'm an extra £60 down trying to get justice not just for the return of the expenses these jerks cost us but also to help stop them doing what they're doing to vulnerable girls and women. Please could somebody advise? Thanks guys x
  2. I found a thread on here relating to issues with this company from 2012, however as there is nothing more recent then I thought I would start an additional thread. Unluckily I was also spoofed by these people, and my partner and I ended up paying £450 in total for photographs we didn't want, and are now in dispute. I wondered if anyone else had any more recent dealing with these people. So far our communication with them has gone as follows: After having to pay £450 for photographs, and being informed we would be charged £800 other wise we emailed them to request a refund for the £200 as we thought having read over the T&Cs that they might have us on the having to buy 5 photos for £50, but we were informed on the day that we could only buy the cheapest which was a CD for £450. Received the following response after insisting they speak to us via email rather than on the telephone: Dear Ruth, As you know management we have been trying to contact many times via the telephone for a brief report f rom you and once logged then the company could have efficiently reviewed the circumstances. You ultimately request a refund of £200.00 for the purchase of your artwork. Unfortunately we have to decline your request. There a variety of reasons for this. To confirm, you applied for a competition we held for a professional makeover and photo shoot session valued at £399.00 per person which was completed on 18/10/13. There was specific terms as there are with any promotion / competition attached to it. I n regards to this, Makeover London requires a small deposit of £50.00 per person to ensure arrival. This deposit is made fully redeemable at the end of the session meaning you put it towards an artwork package which you did. The reason why in this occasion we are unable to process a refund is you have purchased the images on a copyrighted CD hence the reason why both parties sign a legally binding agreement which clearly states it cannot be refunded and cannot be cancelled. You knew this before you signed it and before she paid using a chip and pin. As you know the copyrighted images on a CD is the most luxurious format the studio offers a customer as it allows a customer to back up the images on a computer, copy it, create their own frames, prints, portfolios and promotional uses hence the reason it cannot be returned. This also was explained on the day. You cannot return a copyrighted CD as you have ability to copy it and back it up before you return it. You entered your chip and pin entry into our card system voluntarily, you chose the images your self you wanted to purchase, you signed legally binding contract yourself with a member of Makeover London with specific Terms and Conditions stating it cannot be be cancelled and is non refundable and finally you took the copyrighted disc home with you at the end of the session meaning you probably have already made use of the images. Because of this, Makeover Studios have considered this case as remorse buying where you regret the purchase but it cannot be returned or refunded because of the format you made the purchase on. No one can force you to make a purchase Mrs. ....... What you should have done was to leave it, not sign any contract / agreement, not chose and pay for the product / service you do not want and discuss it with customer service the following day to go over options. These are the reasons we cannot process a refund and we do sincerely apologies i f you thought the service was not up to your expectation. As compensation, purely because you have been booked under a promotion, we are able to offer to release 3 extra pieces of artwork valued at £300 on a fully copyrighted disc format. These will however be random as the studio does not keep the artwork but a backup copy is always sent to the legal department as evidence the service has been completed. We will have to have it redelivered to the studio and you would need to come back to the studio at some point to pick and choose your chosen artwork. (please note you selected images will come in a raw format with no editing) We look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards, Mark Responded yesterday as follows: Dear Mark, Thank you for sending me a reponse to my enquiry. I am unsure when you have tried to contact me many times via the telephone. I received one voicemail from your staff, but since then have only recieved your email. I am afraid that although your response addresses the request for the refund due to the art work it fails to answer a number of issues we raised relating to the competition, the package, the artwork and the day itself. I feel that the failure to address these issues in themselves undermines the reasons given for not providing a refund. Firstly I would like to address the point you raised regarding the purchase of the copyright CD with images. The purchase of this CD was at the end of the day. After having waited for an hour to view the photographs my partner and I were taken to a room where we were quickly shown the photographs. We were then informed that we had to purchase a minimum of 5 photos (which is stated in the terms and conditions relating to the promotion) and that the £100 deposit paid prior to the day was reedemable against this purchase. However, as I raised in my earlier email, rather than the photographs being priced at £50 each (as stated on the website) we were informed that we were only allowed to purchase in sets, the cheapest set being 5 on a CD. T his was not stated in the terms and conditions. We were then informed that failure to do so would result in our being charged £399 each, a total of £798. At this point my partner and I requested that the sales representative leave the room so that we could discuss our options. The main reason for this being the adjustment of the price that we had expected for the photographs. T he sales representative left the room for a maximum of 5 minutes. Whilst my partner and I were still discussing the options available to us the sales representative returned to the room. My partner requested that we be given further time to discuss b ut we were ignored and informed that we were required to make a decision at this time as there were other clients waiting. We were then told once again, that failure to purchase the photographs in a set would result in the approximately £800 being due. Due to the pressure and the prevention of discussion we therefore opted for the cheapest version of the photographs that we could: 5 on a CD for £450 (minus the £100 deposit). I therefore agree that we did purchase the CD, but this was a result of the threatening behaviour of the sales representative, the surprise at the price increase, a nd the threat of being forced to pay approximately £800. The situation on 18th October involved us being forced into a position where we either otped to pay for the CD or were charged almost double this. I therefore dispute the claim that the choice was made freely, or that we were able to make an informed decision. In addition to this, your response fails to answer why the website advertises the cheapest photographs as being £50 each, and yet we were informed on the day that we were unable to purchase 5 photos at £50 each. I would also like to note that the single photographs for £50 each were advertised at the studio itself, we were informed that we were not allowed to purchase them as competition winners. I would be grateful if you would clarify whether we should have been able to purchase the photographs at this price; and if so why the sales representative gave us incorrect information leading to an additional £200 payment. Or if the cheapest photographs available to us were those on the CD, why the terms and conditions did not state that we were not allowed to purchase the photographs at £50 each. Your response mentions that you suspect our complaint and request for refund is due to buyer's remorse. However, considering that the day lasted until approximately 3.30pm and we sent the email to Briana at 5.02pm this does not logically follow; we sent the email as quickly as possible once leaving the studio. In addition to this you mention that we would be unable to receive a refund due to the nature of the purchase i.e. a copyright CD. Both myself and my partner have not made any copies of the CD or the images. We would both be happy to sign a legal document to this effect if necessary. Secondly, your response fails to address all the concerns raised in my original email. Most specifically that relating to the fact that the package advertised, and that which the deposit was paid for did not meet expectations. As noted in my original email, although I received make-up and hair-styling, my partner did not. Additionally, we were told to leave the studio for over an hour and offered no refreshments. Both of these are included in the advertised package, and we failed to receive them. In conclusion: The prize advertised and the prize the deposit was paid for in good faith was not what was received on the day. This in itself could be considered false advertising, especially as it led to a binding contract with the studio in regards to the purchase of artwork. The CD purchased was done so whilst under duress, and therefore the purchase of the photographs and the decision to do so was not a free choice. This in itself makes the contract contestable. As stated earlier in this email both myself and my partner are happy to sign a waiver stating we have not and will not use those photographs. The information given on the website states that prices of photographs begin at £50 each. There is nothing in the terms and conditions on the website that state we would not be able to purchase 5 photographs at £50 each. So we need clarity as to why the sales representative stated otherwise. Based on the above, we continue to request a refund for £200. If you are unable to fulfil this request we will be taking the issue to a Small Claim's Court, and informing the Office of Trading Standards. I look forward to your response. Obviously going to see what they say next, but doubt they'll give in. So.... any advice on taking this to small claims?
  3. Good evening to all. My 17 year old daughter has been foolishly duped into giving her bank card details to one of these makeover / photo session studios today and was hoping to get some advice on how to deal with the matter. It started with her being approached recently in the high street by a young lady who took her contact info and said that she would be entered into a competition for a free makeover, photo session and complimentary picture. She subsequently received a call today from a guy to announce that she was one of the lucky winners and he proceeded to take her card details for the purpose of securing a deposit against the possibility of her not turning up on the day, although the deposit would be fully refunded 7-14 days after the session. She then started to become concerned over his pushy attitude and said that she wasn't sure if she wanted to go ahead with it and he became even more stroppy and said that she would lose her money if she cancelled it, he then hung up on her. She finally decided to fill us in on the whole situation, so I called the bank and they confirmed that a card payment had already been processed to the company in the sum of £70.00 and they were unable to reverse it as it was still going through authorisation (which seemed a bit odd), so we would have to wait for it to show up on the statement and then they could try and recover the payment. My Mrs telephoned the studio and briefly spoke to what sounded like one of the "phonejacker" brigade and he also got stroppy and hung up. Meanwhile the studio emailed my daughter the booking confirmation which also outlines their terms and conditions. I would have thought that some sort of consumer protection regulations might apply here. Isn't there a requirement to have a cooling off period? Can they retain a deposit from a 17 year old? I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could advise on where she stands with this situation. Thanks
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