Angry customers turn to watchdog for help after photographic print firm shuts (From thisisoxfordshire)
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Angry customers turn to watchdog for help after photographic print firm shuts
AN ADVERTISING regulator has stepped in to tackle complaints about a troubled Oxford business.
Photography print company Blue Amigo of Little Clarendon Street closed its doors in January and angry customers said they had not received orders.
The Oxford Mail has made several unsuccesful attempts to contact owner Firaj Vakil and managing director Julie Cook.
The company’s website and phone lines are not working but the business is recorded as active at Comanies House.
Now the Advertising Standards Authority has said the company had not fulfilled orders placed with it through online deals websites such as Mighty Deals and KGB Deals.
The websites offer users cheap deals on products and services from businesses which have registered.
The ASA has been contacted by several customers frustrated at ordering but not receiving their goods.
Many said they had lost the money for postage, which is paid straight to Blue Amigo and not the deals website.
Spokesman for the ASA Matt Wilson said: “We have resolved a couple of mail order cases involving Money Expert Ltd (trading as Might Deals) that were linked to Blue Amigo.
“One such case which was resolved this month involved a complaint about an ad on MightyDeals, a daily deal site, which promoted exclusively a canvas print from Blue Amigo.
“The complainant placed an order directly with MightyDeals but didn't receive the goods or a refund.
“We looked into this on behalf of the complainant and the advertiser said they would refund them.
“Although the promotion was for a canvas from Blue Amigo the orders weren’t placed directly with them and under our rules the advertiser, in this case MightyDeals, is responsible for making sure the ads it runs adhere to the rules.”
More customers have come forward since the Oxford Mail’s story about the company’s unit closure on Monday and complaints posted about it on its Facebook page.
KGB Deals has a refund policy but does not take responsibility for postage costs, which are paid directly to the companies supplying the goods.
Matthew Siddons, of Nottingham, said: “I bought a canvas from Blue Amigo via KGB Deals in July 2012.
“By October I was a little concerned and did an awful lot of chasing with very little luck, including resending my pictures.
“Eventually after receiving nothing in over six months I went back to KGB and demanded a refund. KGB refunded me but I lost my £8 postage costs that I’d paid directly to Blue Amigo.”
“I was fuming, especially at their complete lack of honesty or communication.”
Ruthie Kempston, of Oxford, said she also ordered prints but lost her postage cash when Blue Amigo failed to send the product.
She said: “They must have made a fortune on the postage costs.”
Thames Valley Police said it had received no reports of fraud related to the business or owners.
Oxfordshire Trading Standards spokesman Richard Webb said it had not received any direct complaints about Blue Amigo. He said anyone worried about a business not fulfilling an order could contact them on 08454 04 05 06.
- If you have been affected by the closure of Blue Amigo or work for the company contact reporter Mark Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01865 425411.