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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71037
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I feel I have been misled into paying the sum of £89.50 to

Customer Question

I feel I have been misled into paying the sum of £89.50 to the website on the assumption that this payment included the cost of supplying a UK passport when, in fact, it just covered the cost of partly completing the passport application form and sending it to my home; I then had to follow through with the application to renew the passport myself.

My misinterpretation of the service was encouraged by the website's design which takes the user away from the true cost of supplying the passport, i.e. £89.50 + £72.50 (the actual cost of the passport).

The cost of £89.50 is high enough to lead to the assumption that the passport cost is included in this price. Also, the website included the statement "We offer a review and submission service for United Kingdom passport application for a small processing fee". Consequently, as £89.50 is not a small fee, I assumed it included the cost of the passport.

I paid for the service with my credit card, but unfortunately the credit card company has not been able to reclaim the cost of the transaction as "I chose to use this website and the service I paid for was provided".

As I feel this site a very misleading and feel I have been cheated of £89.50 I would like to pursue the refund of my money. Please could you advise me how I can follow this through.

Caroline Cassels
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

Come what may, the service was provided so they are entitled to be paid.

There does remain a question over what sum but they seem to have advertised the cost and you accepted it when you agreed.

The only possible misrepresentation argument you have is over the cost of the passport. Clearly they have said nothing untrue so you would have to argue that their comments were misleading. You do have a claim on that basis. It will be difficult to raise. I'm really sorry but I have to be honest with you and tell you that I'm afraid I cannot agree that £89.90 could not be described as a small sum. A 'small sum' is obviously a subjective term but its not a misleading description of an amount under £100. Also, I am sorry but it would be irresponsible of me to tell you that it is guaranteed that a court would accept that it was reasonable to presume that the cost of the passport was included. A passport cost £72.50 so the profit here would only be about £17.00 which would include completion of the forms which just isn't really reflective of the service.

Of course, if they are UK based then you could issue against them at the small claims court and they may settle to avoid the manpower costs.

Similarly if you complain they may offer something.

However, if they dig their heels in and contest the matter I'm afraid there is a risk they could win at court.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.