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Passport on line Application be very careful

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My son had to apply for his first adult passport and decided to do it online.

 

After using the Google search engine he logged onto what he thought was the official passport website.

 

He filled it it in and paid the fee of £62.50.

 

3 weeks later he got the form back there were issues with the form and they wanted the fee.

 

After contacting the passport office we were told that it does happen all the time and these websites are not official.

 

So now my son has now to finish the form return it and now pay a further fee of £72.50.

 

It was his mistake and unfortunately I do not think he will be the only one.

 

Lesson learned but he doesn't have the £72.50 to now pay the fee for the passport.

 

I googled problems with companies who charge for an online application service and found an article in the Guardian by Miles Bignal

who also got stung by thinking he had filled in an official form.

 

We are gutted for my son who innocently thought he was doing the right thing,

the form is identical to the official form.

 

This post is to warn everyone just to make sure they don't make the mistake we have !!:sad::sad:

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How was the initial fee paid? If by debit/credit card you may be able to do a Chargeback to get the £62.50 back.

 

I recall seeing something on TV last week that there's an almost identical [problem] going on with Driving License websites. The websites basically charge you a fee to fill in the form for you, by using the information you put into their own form. It's almost money for nothing really. Unfortunately these websites pay a bit for advertising, so they show up as the top result in Google as Ads.

 

I just googled "Passport Application" myself, of the first three results (all in the Ads box) one of them is for the Post Office, the other two are for these [problem] websites.

 

My advice for anyone who is applying for a passport but is a little unsure on the form is to pop to the Post Office. I believe they only charge £4 (though it might have increased, this was a few years ago when I did it) to check your form is correct and send it off for you, which is actually more than these websites charging £40-70 do, since they don't even check the information, just copy and paste it from one form to another.

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Thanks Maxxpower we have had an email from the company today and this is what they say "Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear that you are not happy with my response.

 

I'm very sorry but as we have completed our service which we clearly state upon our website you would not normally be offered any sort of refund, however we are willing to offer you a 50% refund as a gesture of goodwill, if you wish to contest the payment with your bank that you have mentioned then I'm afraid we will defend our position with vigour.

 

Should you wish to accept our offer please provide the full name and address you would like the cheque made payable to.

 

Whilst I realise that this is not the response you were hoping for, I hope I have cleared matters up further for you, if you do wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

 

Yes we have contacted the Nat West bank relating the charge and they have more or less said that it can't be done because he agreed to pay. Its a lesson learned and we shall be going to the post office.

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Can you please expose the website? I'll then do a "whois" search and ISP search and we'll take it from there.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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   Domain name:
      passport-uk.co.uk

  Registrant:
      IQ Channels Ltd

  Registrant type:
      Unknown

  Registrant's address:
      111 Buckingham Palace Road
      Victoria
      SW1W 0SR
      United Kingdom

  Registrar:
      Fasthosts Internet Ltd [Tag = FAST
      URL: http://www.fasthosts.co.uk

 

To be fair in their website they say:

Our services are not in any way affiliated with any authorised Government body including HM Passport Office . We provide a reviewing and submitting service for all UK passport applications charging a minimal processing fee. You can apply autonomously to HM Passport Office , avoiding costs for processing, by logging on to their authorised website. Please read our Terms and Conditions before using our website and services.

 

IQ Channels Ltd is registered to collect personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of United Kingdom Passport Application Services.

ICO notification number: Z3604031. Incorporated in England and Wales, Company number: 07699328.

Registered Address: IQ Channels, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, London, SW1W 0SR, United Kingdom.

 

This doesn't excuse them.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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Looking at their website, this part in particular stood out to me,

 

Your application will not be checked. You will incur HM Passport Office fees.

 

It's 'Option 3' on the front page. To me, that implies that if I use the Passport Office service I'll be charged a fee that using the passport-uk site wont charge me. They are quite clearly implying that using their service may avoid certain fees.

 

It also doesn't make it at all clear that their own fee does not include the actual cost of the passport. Infact nowhere on the front page does it specify that additional fees will be payable for the passport itself over and above the administration fee.

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Hi

I was under the impression that the site disclaimer should be in a prominent position (although I could be totally wrong)

 

Having their disclaimer at the foot of the page, to me, is hiding the fact that they are not 'official'

 

The option 3 gives the applicant the option of linking direct to the official site but by the way it is worded, it would appear that they are saying that HMPO would not check the application? Misleading? Possibly

 

Also the fact that they charge the same fee as HMPO would make a novice think that was the official fee.


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Companies House Webchek servce confirms the address above is the registered address for the company. Checking the address its a Regus office so probably only on a short term let (perhaps even weeks)

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go get you money back by a chargeback all of you

 

they CANNOT STOP IT.

 

dx


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Why did he not use the official .gov.uk web site. Okay, you cannot pay for your passport via the website but they send you a print of the application along with all the information you require. You sign the paperwork and return with the other required documents to the processing office. You can also select the Passport Office that you wish to attend for your initial interview

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Hi Because like many others have made the same mistake je mistook the site for being the genuine one. If you type in passport it is the first page you see. I got involved half way through and I thought it was the official website. He is 19 and thought it was a correct page. I am 47 and I didn't know the difference. The page has been set up to replicate the official page, this is why they have mislead people into believing what they are completing is a official site. We are a whole lot wiser now.

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This is a common [problem] and is also used for driving licences and euro health cards, if you google something the top redults are coloured slightly yellow background abd these are ads paid to be at the top, the official gov.uk sites will be listed below.

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For once, the Mail on Sunday actually printed a story worth reading.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/guides/article-2519839/Online-sting-charges-1-000-service-FREE.html

 

..and they didnt blame immigrants !


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Unfortunately I was caught with the same [problem] earlier this month unfortunately there appears to be very little anyone can do to recoup their loss it’s time the Government stepped up to the plate and took some serious action!

Action Fraud, ASA, and Trading Standards and the Banks simply don’t want to know. As a last resort I have sent the following to my MP.

 

If someone was to knock at my door and show me an official looking ID from the “Water Company”, and I allowed him into the house and was subsequently robbed would a crime have been committed?

Geoffrey Laffoley-Lane was fined £175,000 back in 2009 when he was operating Plaza Telecom a premium rate phone [problem]. He is currently ripping people off (operating IQ Channels LTD who are trading as passport-uk. and estavisas.org).

The Advertising Standards Authority adjudicated on both trading companies on the 4th and 18th December 2013 and all the complaints were upheld. Why has this LOW LIFE been able to get away with these [problem]s for so long?

IQ Channels latest accounts: - Net Worth £3,047,671, Cash £315,340, Assets £405,463, Liabilities £357,792.

When a company can accumulate a Net Worth of over Three Million Pounds in such a short timescale (2011 - 2012) some sort of crime must have been committed. Perhaps a “Distraction Burglary” of my Bank Account!

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depends how you paid

 

there is redress

 

dx


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

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As far as I know, these sites are legal, although of course very dubious. They operate similar rip offs for the EHC1 card, passports, driving licences and no doubt others.

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