BBC’s Rip-Off Britain airs complaints about UKbride

UKbride Rip-Off Britain
By Lisa James
12/01/2024
Home » BBC’s Rip-Off Britain airs complaints about UKbride

BBC consumer rights show Rip-Off Britain has featured UKbride, the online weddings directory that agents have said is easy to sign up to but hard to get out of.

The programme, aired on Thursday, featured two companies that responded to offers of a free trial of leads from people who are getting married and are looking for weddings suppliers, but were later invoiced for thousands of pounds.

Both companies featured are venues that cater for wedding receptions, but, as Travel Gossip reported last year, travel agents have also complained about UKbride.

One company, Bootle FC, told the show it had signed up for a six-month free trial but the leads that came through weren’t suitable. After 10 weeks, the company decided to cancel but found it ‘far trickier than it should be’ to do so.

Despite emailing, following online instructions to obtain a ‘stop code’ to end the trial, and then telephoning, Bootle FC said its requests went unheeded. Then, in April 2023, the club received an invoice for £2,398 to use the service for the following year.

Bootle FC Trustee Joe Johnson said he phoned UKbride to dispute the invoice and was told: “We will see you in court.”

Rip-Off Britain presenter Julia Somerville said: “These small companies hoped the leads would bring them business but many found them not appropriate or that they didn’t lead to anything.”

In the second instance, the boss of a woodland wedding venue signed up for a six-month free trial and was sent ‘dozens of leads’ but got no reply to his follow ups. Three months later he decided to cancel but was then sent an invoice for £2,398 for the upcoming year.

He refused to pay, so UKbride took the case to court, but its claim was unsuccessful. UKbride’s request to appeal the decision was refused, Rip-Off Britain reported.

UKbride told the programme it has thousands of happy clients, more five-star reviews than its main competitors combined and that a large number of clients have gone on to renew after the end of the trial period.

It said that, in light of the fact there are no guarantees on bookings or enquiries, clients are under no obligation to buy its service if the website and leads are not working for them. It added the cancellation process is simple and straightforward and is outlined clearly in the terms and conditions signed by all clients and that 100% of all free trials are stopped if the client has obtained a stop code before their renewal date.

UKbride said it aims to resolve disputes amicably, and the court money claims process is only ever used as a last resort.

It added its contracts have been written and signed off by two law firms. It also told Rip-Off Britain that its free trial offer was reviewed by Trading Standards, which affirmed the process for obtaining a stop code is clear.

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