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cossie

Misleading Information in Council Booklet ?

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Hi Guys, I'll apologies in advance if this is in the wrong forum, I couldn't find any that maybe relevant to this post.

 

I have been to my local registrar office to book my wedding and was given a guidance booklet containing details for planning the wedding. We were led to believe that we could book the wedding on the Saturday morning, costing £100, whereas if it was booked in the afternoon, it would cost £260.

 

This would be a great saving and the £160 could be used towards the wedding buffet.

 

Unfortunately, when we gave notice yesterday and finalised all the details, we were informed that the information provided in the guide was incorrect, and it is now £260 for a Saturday (all day)

 

I'm not impressed because we have planned the wedding around the marriage fees information.

 

Do we have grounds to submit a complaint and could anyone give us advice on how to word the complaint correctly :decision:

 

Many thanks,

Gaz.

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Yes, you do have grounds for a complaint but let me warn you that it will grind on.

 

Local authorities do not appreciate scrutiny and their natural instinct is to protect themselves against the people they serve.

You should certainly complain - but as far as your wedding is concerned, you had better make plans for the more expensive option and hope that you can get some compensation later.

There is no contract issue here so so far as I can see you have no basis for suing.

All you can do is to cause trouble.

 

I would send and FOI request asking how long that booklet has been published, when did the rules change and how many complaints have they received about it - and also how many people did they then permit to have their weddings at the old rate.

I would begin a complaint to the Local Authority Ombudsman. Local authorities especially don't like this.

I would contact all of your local press - get the number of the news editor and give them the story. This is the kind of thing they lobe.

 

As for the form of words, you have expressed it very well in your first post.

Use that as the basis for your letters and your complaint and let us know how it goes.

 

Which LA?


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Hi cossie

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint, mark it as such, explain what's happened (wedding booklet), how they have let you down (mis-information that's messed up your wedding budget) and what you want them to do (honor the £100 price). Send it to the Councils complaints department with a photocopy of the booklet. Send it Recorded Delivery. On the letter you could also write, 'CC: Advertising Standards Authority'. It means you've sent a copy to the ASA.

 

Once you've complained to the council if your still not happy, lodge a complaint with the LGO,

 

http://www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint/

 

If you wish to complain to the ASA:-

 

http://www.asa.org.uk/Consumers.aspx

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Thanks for the info guys, I have just noticed this paragraph on the last page, not sure where i stand now :???:

 

'...Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication,

Cumbria County Council, and the Cumbria Registration Service,

cannot accept any responsibility for any inaccuracies nor guarantee

or endorse any of the services advertised...'

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Hi cossie

 

So it's in the booklet, but you were also verbally told the same, is that correct?

 

Thanks for the info guys, I have just noticed this paragraph on the last page, not sure where i stand now :???:

 

'...Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication,

Cumbria County Council, and the Cumbria Registration Service,

cannot accept any responsibility for any inaccuracies nor guarantee

or endorse any of the services advertised...'

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Hi rebel11,

 

When we originally went to book the wedding, we were passed the booklet and mentioned we would go for the morning ceremony as it would be £175 cheaper.

 

We were told yesterday "this is the old guide, the new ones haven't been published yet"

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Hi cossie

 

I would carry on with the complaint, If they knew that the information was wrong, then they should have removed the booklets. Writing the prices down doesn't take that long, they could have used a council stamp next to the prices.

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Complaint sent to Cumbria County Council along with a FOI request. Thanks a lot for the info guys, I will let you know the outcome :-)

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Here's the first reply guys,

 

'...Further to your email about your ceremony fees. I am sorry you feel you have been miss quoted regarding your ceremony fee, however it does show in our Brochure a list of published fee. From April 2012 to April 2013 it was £100.00 for saturday a.m. and £275.00 for saturday p.m. also from 1st April 2013 to 31/03/2014 the fees were £250.00 all day saturday and these do appear in our current brochure. The new published fee for 2014 as ratified by the Council for 01/04/2014 are £260.00 all day Saturday so I am unsure where you have had £100.00 quoted as that went out of date on 31/03/2013...'

 

We were given the 2012 to 2013 brochure and to our knowledge it was up to date, it wasn't until we gave notice we were informed that the prices had changed. They still have the old brochures, we were told the new ones have not been supplied yet. I haven't replied to this email yet guys, I'll wait for your excellent input. :ear:

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Update from the last post, as you can see from the Cumbria.gov.uk website, the leaflet is still available as of today's date. You may also have noted that the email sent from Cumbria Council states the Brochure went out of date on 31/03/2013, yet the aforementioned Brochure was uploaded to the website on 21/08/2013 :???:

 

Links on post below

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Here's the reply to the FOI request, I'm thinking maybe I should have worded it a little better :!:

 

Dear Mr

 

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - Disclosure

 

 

The council has completed its search relating to your request for information about marriage fees, which we received on 11 April 2014.

 

 

The council information within the definition of your request.

 

 

 

 

Question 1

How long has the booklet been published?

Answer 1

The guide has now been published for some 12+ years

 

 

Question 2

When did the marriage fees information change?

Answer 2

The fees within the Registration Service, as with all fees within other parts of the local authority, are reviewed each year as part of the budget planning process within the local authority. All fees and charges go through a formal process of review, including checking that they are appropriate and legal, prior to formal ratification by members of the council/Cabinet.

 

 

Question 3

Have you received any complaints regarding the marriage fees information and if so, how many?

Answer 3

None

 

 

Question 4

How many people have had their weddings on a Saturday am at the published price of £100?

Answer 4

As your request has not stated a specific time period/year or office/location in Cumbria we have assumed that you require information for the period 2012/13. The 2013/14 fee was £250 for a wedding on a Saturday regardless of the time of day, but prior to that (i.e. 2012/13) the fees were £100 for a Saturday AM and £275 for a Saturday PM. In 2012/13 (when it was last £100 for a Saturday AM wedding) there were a total of 173 weddings in Cumbria on a Saturday AM at £100. In 2013/14 there was no £100 fee attached to a Saturday AM wedding, and all were at the published fee of £250 for any Saturday wedding regardless of the time of day. (NB: Years are stated as financial years 1st April to 31st March)

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Hi cossie

 

With the information they have provided in their emails, you've found inaccuracies . You need to point out where you've been misled and the fact that they are still doing it in their emails.

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How is this reply guys, not too harsh is it :rant:

Thank you for your speedy response.

I am aware of the published fee's in the Brochure of which we have 2 copies in our possession, which to our knowledge at the time were up to date, given to ourselves by the registrar office in Barrow in Furness. Unfortunately, as we are now aware the information published in these brochures (2012 - 2013) are out of date, giving rise to misleading information.

We do not have access to any new brochures and were not informed of any new brochures when we phoned Kendal to book the wedding.

I have a feeling that I am still being misled as you state in your email, '...unsure where you have had £100.00 quoted as that went out of date on 31/03/2013...'

Yet, if you access the Cumbria County Council website http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/elibrary/BrowserNET/default.asp (see attached image GovSite.jpg ), you will notice that the brochure that is supposedly out of date, was uploaded to the website on 21/08/2013 and is still available for viewing as of today's date.

Therefore, are you stating that a brochure that was 144 days out of date was still uploaded to the website ?

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Hi Cossie,

 

Instead of challenging them in the last para about why they uploaded out-of-date info to the website, I would be inclined to say something like, "I was clearly misinformed about the prices and you should provide the service I require for the cost I was originally informed of."

 

:-)

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Hi Cossie

 

Something else I have picked up on is the new fee of £260 is also totally different to what they are advertising on Cumbria County Councils website look at this link:

 

http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/registrationservice/marriages/costs.asp


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False alarm guys, my apologies. We have been back to the Registrar Office and they have explained the fees in more detail. They admit it could be confusing with having 2 fee columns and will amend the brochure. Does anyone else find it confusing :???:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]50239[/ATTACH]

 

I thank you all for your time and input :oops:

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