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Taking Makeover con firm to court to get moneyback etc- advice needed

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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

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Please will you post the claim form.

What other correspondence have you entered into with them about this?

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Hello & thanks for responding.

Yes that's correct, they were on Watchdog recently.



I'm not very good with technical stuff so I will try & get my husband to help me get the claim for on here.



Thanks :-)

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Thank you. If you want us to helpful then you will need to get familiar with the "technical stuff". Otherwise it will double the work for us.

Also, you haven't answered the question about other correspondence

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Ok, sorry about that.

No there was no additional correspondence.

I did send them a letter before opening the court case explaining why I was unhappy giving them notice of my intentions with Court action and the opportunity to resolve it with me first but they ignored it.

Ok, I've attached the claim particulars in text form. Hope this is what you needed to see.

Thank you.

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You are not at all obliged to speak to them on the telephone. On the other hand it would be a very good idea to set up a call recorder and then to speak them and see what they say whilst you record it. You don't need to give any warnings.


I'm a bit stumped as to why you haven't been able to enter judgement – and I can only imagine it is because they have filed a defence. I think that as soon as possible you need to call the court and find out if this is the case and get hold of a copy of the defence.


Then please post it up here. Please can I say to you that the advice we give here is completely free. It is often worth hundreds or much more of pounds. The only thing we expect from you in return is to have the technology to deal with it all and to make life easier for ourselves and to you. Please get a scanner. You can get an excellent one from PC World for less than 50 quid. It will last you an awful long time and it will make all of our lives much easier. We won't be to deal with the kind of images of the defence that you will be putting up if they are at all like the image of your claim form.

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you need to redact and convert any documents into PDF format

for them to be displayed properly here


not picture file as above

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hi Guys,

Back with an update.

A little delayed due to the time it took to get hold of the Court by phone.



Basically they've said that the reason judgement was rejected is because Makeover London have issued a part Admission and that this is on the way to me via post.



So just waiting to get this now and then to work out where to go from there really.






Elm x

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The request a judgment on the admitted part of the claim. Let's see their defence to understand what to do about that.


If they admit any money, then put in the bailiffs as soon as you get your judgment for the sum.


Deal with the rest separately.

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I see you have the answer as to why Judgement was refused.


I'm a bit concerned that I dont believe that you can issue a claim yourself and try and claim money for your sister and friends, etc. I believe that they should of been added as co-applicants, but perhaps this doesnt matter and the compamy will offer a sum to you all.


I believe that you have a strong chance of getting the £120 back but not the other claimed losses, these are consequential losses and I dont really believe the company would be liable especially not £700 !, you would be under a duty to minimise your losses and therefore the train fare is about the only extra costs, for example you would of have to eat/buy food that evening anyway irrespective of whether you went to London or not.


But lets see what they offer, if I was them, I'd offer your £120 back and perhaps a bit more or less (they did offer you SOME services after all).

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Yes I guess we'll have to see with regards to the expenses of the other parties involved if this claim will cover everybody, fair point.

I just put it in my name because it was me that won the competition and dealt with ML.



With regards to the travel, all four of us travelled from Norwich to London by train and were promised a restaurant evening meal for all of us which we didn't want to miss so we booked accommodation in central London (which was pricier being London) but it avoided the need to rush off to make the last train after the meal.



Had the day been what we were promised we would have paid for that accommodation out of our own pockets but my argument is that had we known that it was mandatory we purchase photographs at several hundreds of pounds we would have identified that it was a 'swizz' and not accepted or found ourselves in London at great expense.

ML kept that information very well under wraps to get us there and trap us.

There was no 'prize' and what they did was clear mis-selling resulting in us spending money we otherwise would not have spent.

I see what you mean about us having to eat anyway, you're right, but we would have eaten at home, not in Central London because if the day hadn't been mis-sold to us as a 'free prize' we wouldn't have been there.



Obviously we didn't get the evening meal that was promised and I have since found out this evening meal was only a voucher to get free entry into a restaurant/bar where more money had to be spent- again more mis-selling.



When I invited my guests to come I sold them the same information that ML sold me, that they would only have to initially fund their travel (M.L said the travel costs would be reimbursed by them afterwards but were not), any refreshments while travelling and then the hotel room which they would have to foot themselves.



They thought they were getting the complimentary evening meal but as the meal didn't exist we had to eat in Central London (again expensive) and the cost had to be put on credit cards because it was unexpected and nobody had any extra cash. The whole experience was embarrassing and physically and mentally exhausting.



The £700 consists of the £120 deposit, return train tickets for 4, tube tickets for 4 and the evening meal for 4 which was just a basic meal, no bottles of wine and only 1 drink each. We didn't include all the extras such as the £30 car parking fee at the train station, the holiday our husband's lost in taking time off work to accompany us in this farce or the extra refreshments we had as we considered this unreasonable.



I agree with you, I'm not sure what a judge would make of the expenses. This remains to be seen but it's worth trying to reclaim because none of us are particularly comfortable with money and we incurred expenses as a result of their deliberate mis-selling and fraud.

The way I see it is that ML should foot the bill, we'll see.



Thanks guys x

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