In wedding season – wedding services fraud warning

Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning consumers to beware of fraudulent wedding related service providers. Whilst most traders operating on the High St. or online are perfectly genuine, there are some traders who are operating fraudulently. They are more likely to operate solely online and are unlikely to have a long track record, instead appearing suddenly and disappearing almost as quickly! They are also more likely to offer their services at lower than average prices, to draw consumers in.
Consumers can protect themselves by:
Paying by Credit Card. This will provide you with protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, for purchases above £100 and below £30,000 so if the companies goes in to liquidation or simply disappears before the Big Day, you can claim a refund from your Credit Card company.
Ensuring you obtain a physical address and contact details for the vendor and verify this information. A mobile phone number, email address or Facebook page is not enough! Should you experience any problems, you will then be able to make a complaint to Trading Standards or consider pursuing via the Small Claims Court.
Ensuring you obtain a contract before paying money for services. Make certain you fully read and understand what you are signing and note the terms of cancellation.
Considering purchasing Wedding Insurance – policies vary in cover and can be purchased up to two years in advance. They can protect you from events that would not be covered under the Consumer Credit Act.
Carrying out research on each vendor to ensure you are dealing with a bona fide person or company. Explore the internet for reviews and ratings and ask the vendor to provide details of past clients you can speak to. You should do this even if using companies recommended by a trustworthy friend or source.
Checking your wedding photographer. Beware of websites using fake images. Look for inconsistencies in style; meet the photographer in person and ask to view sample albums. If you like an image from a wedding, ask to view the photographs taken of the whole event so you can see the overall quality.
Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is!
Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
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