The Blue Rooms Photographic Studiosmis-selling of a portfolio and package

Eo Sep 30, 2019

I made a formal complaint via e-mail (as was suggested by a manager for the blue rooms) on 2nd september. Since then I have e-mailed him 5 times, phoned him and left messages (4 times) and no response. I originally received a confirmation that you received my complaint on the 9th september and that you will respond in 3 days. That was the last communication. Since then all communication has seized. I have now no alternative but to go this route as nobody from the blue rooms is responding.

I applied for my daughter via a facebook link (uk models) to become a model. On the 7th august I was contacted by uk models new face consultant luke saying that kayleigh's application has been successful and they would like to book her in for a photo shoot. I was asked a few questions by luke. One of the questions was, "do we work full time?" I answered yes and that we are both teachers. I asked him, "if my daughter is successful, when does the modelling/ castings take place?" luke answered "during school holidays and weekend". Purely based on this answer, we decided to go ahead with the photo shoot. Both my husband and I are teachers at private schools and our hours are 8:00-17:00 so we are available over weekends and school holidays. Nowadays all phone calls get recorded so please listen to this phone call, as this is the basis of our claim. The photo shoot took on saturday 10th august at 10:30. About 45min after the photo shoot, we were called in by zane, to view the photos. He informed us that the photo shoot went far better than what they would expect from an 8 year old, especially as this was her first time doing something like this. He then started asking us questions about kayleigh and us. Again one of the questions was, "do we work full time?" I said yes and that luke told us that all modelling/ casting will take place on weekends and school holidays. He said this is right and then went ahead to explain how the whole process will work and showed us the packages we can purchase. He also explained that this is a models cv and how important this will be for kayleigh to start her modelling. He then went ahead and explained the packages available but emphasised how important the portfolio, efolio and z card is for a model and that all models need this to go further. The package we purchased was £1 600 - 10 photos, efolio (kayleigh's own website and z-card), free advice/ information /support for a year or until kayleigh gets signed.

We felt pressurised, as this was a lot of money. We can't leave the premises and discuss this. If we wanted to go ahead, we need to decide rightthen. We decided to take the package based on the advice and information that luke and zane provided.

1. Modelling and casting take place on weekends and school holidays.
2. Kayleigh was very good especially for her age and lack of experience.
3. All models need a portfolio, z-card and efolio as this is like their cv.
4. We need the portfolio to apply to agencies and casting websites.

Then he further explained that there are 2 routes to follow. One is through signing with agencies. If you apply to an agency, they do all the work and find you castings. You need to go on the agency website and fill in an application form. The agency will ask for some photos and this is where you use your portfolio photos you have purchased from uk models (blue rooms). The agency will then sign you or not and normally take around 25% of what you get paid for the job. Second path is through casting websites. This is freelancing, where you need to sign up to their website. All castings get advertised on the website and then you apply for the jobs yourself. You need to be very pro-active and check the website daily. What he did not tell us is that the casting websites all cost money. We told him as we work full time we will use the agency route.

As soon as I started looking at the various agency websites that uk models/ blue rooms recommended I saw we have a huge problem. One of the first things every single website mention is that all modelling/ casting takes place during working hours monday-friday and that you should be able to travel on short notice normally 24 hours. I was furious as I clearly stated on 2 separate occasions we work full time and on 2 separate occasions I was told modelling/ casting is on weekends and school holidays. Secondly nearly all the websites said you don't need professional photos to apply. Thirdly some agencies have their own photographers and you can only use their photographers and this cost more money. These are but a few. I must have looked at around 30 websites and they all say the same. Once again we felt mislead. If we were told that most casting takes place during school time we we would never have signed the contract and not even have attended the photo shoot.

Most agencies also had stipulations or criteria when you send in your own photos
1. Colour
2. Plain back ground

They ask for a headshot and a full length. Uk models did 2 head shots, one in black/white and one not on a plain background. I have only 1 full length; again not on a plain back ground.

As a goodwill gesture I was offered a partial refund of £800. Once I lodged my formal complaint, all communication has stopped.

I was mis-sold a package I cannot use. I was mis-lead to sign a contract. No agency wants to sign kayleigh with the stipulation she can only work holidays or weekend. I have tried. We used all our savings to pay for a portfolio and support that is just lying at home. Never to be used, wasted money. We trusted the advice we were given on 2 separate occasions. And now the manager I have been dealing with doesn't take my phone calls or respond to my e-mails or my complaint. What am I to do?

From bizzykidz website
Please consider below before applying to the agency
Are you available to travel to auditions/jobs during the day, sometimes at short notice? You do 'not' require an expensive portfolio to apply to any agency. Snapshots are fine so beware of companies claiming to 'help' or 'prepare' you for this industry. You do not need a portfolio to apply to any agency!
Please read our blog page:
We receive in excess of 10 calls a day from parents & models who have paid hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds for completely useless portfolios, websites, z-cards etc. Companies who provide such things are not agencies and parents should be aware that any 'reputable' agency will insist on meeting and testing their own models under camera before signing them, regardless of any experience gained in a studio. Any agency that does not want to meet a models and test them should be avoided as clients insist only those 'capable' of the task asked be sent. An agency cannot know an artist well enough to send to a client with confidence unless they have met and assessed them. No agency will allow a child to present their own z-card to their client, nor supply, or use their own website to their clients.

From bruce and brown website
Bruce and brown is currently recruiting children of all ages. Please read the following carefully before applying:
• we only take on babies and children who live in or near london
• castings and shoots can be very last minute so flexibility is vital
• it must be a parent, legal guardian or a registered chaperone taking the child to shoots
• castings take place after school (for school aged children) but shoots take place during school time, you must be happy for your child to miss school for shoots
• bruce and brown is a sole rep agency
• we do not charge any joining fees and we do not require a portfolio

Bonnie and betty website
Please bear in mind that castings are generally very short notice, sometimes the agency is given less than 24hrs notice, and are mainly in central london for the southern division and central manchester for the northern division. Castings for school age children are generally after school, normally between 4-6pm. Castings for children not of school age generally take place during the day.
Shoots will nearly always take place during the day, so for school age children, parents must be happy for their child to miss school as and when. The agency/client will apply for a child performance licence for your child when required. Parents must of course also be available to chaperone their child to castings/shoots.

An e-mail from the blue rooms

Further to your telephone conversation with my colleague, amaan we would like to confirm that we have offered you the following purely as a gesture of goodwill:

• partial refund of £800. Despite this refund, we will also provide you with a disc containing all the images taken on the day of kayleigh's photo shoot for the amount you have paid thus far. However, due to this offer we will de-activate the e-folio website.

We are asking for a full refund on the basis of
• misleading actions and omissions and incorrect information given which lead to
Us signing a contract
• aggressive commercial practices
• the photos sold to us could not be used on several agency websites due to
Them being black/white and not on a plain background
• we were lead to believe a portfolio, efolio and z card is essential to get a model started, like her cv. Agencies don't ask for a portfolio and will do their own photos once the model signs with them.

I have taken advice from citizen's advice. They told me this dispute falls under the consumer protection for unfair trading regulations 2008, misleading information played a significant factor into us entering into a contract.

I would appreciate it if you can look at the circumstances which lead us to sign a contract. I just want this nightmare to end.

Correspondence with "the blue rooms"

1. From:
Subject: kayleigh outram - br498347
Date: 29 august 2019 14:30:02 bst
Cc: "'amaan m'"

Dear eugenie,
Further to your telephone conversation with my colleague, amaan we would like to confirm that we have offered you the following purely as a gesture of goodwill:
• partial refund of £800. Despite this refund, we will also provide you with a disc containing all the images taken on the day of kayleigh's photo shoot for the amount you have paid thus far. However, due to this offer we will de-activate the e-folio website.
Subject to your acceptance, we will process the partial refund of £800 to the same card you used on the day and we will dispatch the images which will then be delivered to you within 5 working days. The e-folio website will then be de-activated.
If you wish to accept our offer, please respond to this email with the following:   "I accept the offer in this email in full and final settlement of all claims or rights of action that I have against the blue rooms (london) limited."

2. From: amaan m
Subject: re: kayleigh outram
Date: 2 september 2019 14:49:33 bst
To: eugenie outram, gary outram
Cc: sihana the bluerooms

Dear eugenie,
Please send any written correspondence to myself, amaan m, the blue rooms (london) ltd, 115 great portland street, london, w1w 6qh.
You can also send it by email to [email protected]
We will make our offer available to you until monday 9 september 2019.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Amaan. M     |     t: 02073236014

3. From: eugenie outram
Subject: kayleigh outram
Date: 6 september 2019 13:28:35 bst
To: gary outram, [email protected]

Dear amaan

I hope you are well.

I am following up regarding our complaint. I sent it via email to your address as suggested on monday but have not heard back from you. 

Thank you for extending your deadline to this coming monday but will you be responding before the deadline? 

As you are aware we are requesting a full refund. We received some advice from citizens advice and trading standards and the first step they suggested is to make a formal complaint in writing and receive your response to our complaint in writing. 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Dear kayleigh,

We have received your letter of complaint which you emailed to me and will aim to respond to the points you raised within three working days (by wednesday 11 september).

We appreciate you would like to resolve this matter, as do we.

We will made our offer available to you until monday 30 september.

Kind regards,

Amaan. M | t: 02073236014

Eugenie outram 19 september 2019 at 15:09
To: amaan m, gary outram
Dear amaan

I hope you are well.

I was hoping there is an update about my complaint. Its been over 2 weeks and I have not heard anything.

Please can you let me know what is happening.

Kind regards
Mrs eugenie outram

The Blue Rooms Photographic Studios
The Blue Rooms Photographic Studios
The Blue Rooms Photographic Studios
The Blue Rooms Photographic Studios
The Blue Rooms Photographic Studios
The Blue Rooms Photographic Studios

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