Well, that was a close call. We are actively working to increase our reach in the Wedding events industry and are at the beginning of a new path along that line. Out of the blue, we got a call from ukbride.co.uk. The site claims to be a very popular platform for brides to be. It certainly looks the part on their website and Facebook groups. So this cold call was trying to get us to sign up immediately over the phone (which we never do) however, the idea was appealing. Greatly reduced marketing rates across three areas of our business over a 50-mile radius from our base to potentially thousands of couples.

What's not to love? Quite a lot as it happens...

A few weeks went by and one missed call, but advertisers always call back, but still had not had time to properly check out this company and I awaited a call anyway... and today was that day. Still interested I was told that I could sign up for a three-month free trial and then carry on at an even greater discount than initially offered, the only cost in doing so would be a £30+v non-refundable fee. Seemed fair enough for the admin time given that if we decided to not continue they would have to pay their staff somehow.

They would then send a contract over for me to read and sign, and boy am I glad I read it.

The first alarm bell was that the contract was 12 A4 pages long of small font legal text. I then decided to search out the actual company, not the trading name ukbride.co.uk. It revealed it was owned by Whitespace Publishers Limited. Digging further found some very questionable business-to-business practices, involving potentially unfair almost impossible-to-cancel contracts and even more alarming a whole Facebook group of over 300 previous customers who had all been tricked into signing these awful contracts, and all been threatened with court/CCJs and so on. The most interesting part of it all is that not yet one has from what we have seen been taken to court. Why is that we wonder?

Unbelievable. Why when it's so easy to build a great reputation on good practice would you instead take this route of threats and intimidation on your customers? Just incredible. Seems the director Julian Wilkinson could do with a lesson in how to run an ethical business.

Needless to say, we did NOT sign that contract, and although a fee of £36 has been paid, that seems a blessing compared to what would most likely have come our way.

So a warning to all our business friends out there. Be VERY careful and always read the small print and read their reviews on Trustpilot and here before signing ANYTHING.

Oh and if you have been burnt and are looking for help the Facebook fightback group you are looking for is here.

This topic may well be revisited and/or expanded upon if any further developments happen. Watch this space.

Minor update 21/02/23

A call was received this morning, asking why the contract had not been signed. It was explained that under no circumstances would it be signed given the business practices ukbride.co.uk undertakes as a direct result of its director!


Update 8/3/23

Whilst more companies are joining the group created to help and support those caught by this scam, we have unexpectedly received a refund of the "non-refundable" fee which was a pleasant surprise. Still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole knowing what we now do, and advise you to again look closely at any reviews before going anywhere near, but it's nice not to be out of pocket at all.

Update 17/7/23

In just over 4 months the Wedding Industry Inequities Facebook group has grown to over 600 members. Each one of these is a small business that has been by their own words "conned/scammed" after falling victim to UKBride. Interestingly the card detailed from the fee we paid (and for clarity, we were refunded) above has now begun to be used to take payments without authorisation from other businesses signed up to UK Bride. In several cases, banks have forced payments back from UKBride who have then sent letters demanding these payments be made.

Seems staff turnover is also very high as well. New adverts are appearing all the time for "Sales Executive" roles within the company. Essentially you have to have no moral compass and be quite happy to 'encourage' businesses to sign up. What's even more interesting is tales are now starting to appear from ex-employees of UKBride all of these can be seen on the Facebook group.

Furthermore, even brides are now being impacted. Many who don't understand or have not fully read the small print on signing up have been bombarded by cold callers trying to sell services they have never requested. It seems the facade is falling away leaving a rather sad truth. This is not a company to get involved with especially if you are a business and won't be of much use to you at all if you are a bride. The case(s) quite literally continue.

Update 28/07/23

In October last year, UKBride issued a claim against Moonacre Weddings, a wedding venue in Dorset for a total of £2,879.53. Today was the hearing and whilst the details have not been shared just yet, UKBride have LOST their case. More details to follow. Oh, and the Facebook fightback group now totals over 700 members, and this article has been viewed over 1000 times.

Update 15/03/24

There has been a lot going on recently with this scam, the directors Julian and Julian and Zoie Wilkinson of Whitespace Publishers Ltd made it onto BBC's Rip Of Britain https://www.travelgossip.co.uk/latestnews/bbcs-rip-off-britain-airs-complaints-about-ukbride/ and page views to this article have skyrocketed as a result, with now over 3000 views.
Apparently life for the these two has now got so awkward (leaked from a member of their own staff within the fightback facebook group) they have put their home up for sale here :https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/145696523#/ Quite an impressive building, funded by the misery they cause small businesses.

Meanwhile with all current claims made to small businesses on hold (pending a test case) they have resorted to taking business to court in other locations and using other dirty tricks. Watch this space...