• Report: #343902

Complaint Review: British Government, British Ambassador To The Philippines Christopher Stacey

Thank You

Read how Ripoff Report saves consumers millions.

  • Submitted: Tue, June 24, 2008
  • Updated: Sun, February 19, 2012

  • Reported By:Manila Other
British Government, British Ambassador To The Philippines Christopher Stacey
Ayala Av., Makati Metro-Manila, Philippines

British Government, British Ambassador To The Philippines Christopher Stacey Fraud, visa application instructions do not represent the reality Metro-Manila Manila

*Author of original report: Lies, damned lies, and bureaucracy

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Manila Visit Visa Application

What's this?
What's this?
What's this?
Is this
Ripoff Report
About you?
Ripoff Report
A business' first
line of defense
on the Internet.
If your business is
willing to make a
commitment to
customer satisfaction
Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation?
Fix it the right way.
Corporate Advocacy Program™

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

Beware of the information sheets that they give out for Filipinos to apply for British visas, because they do not represent the reality of the situation. I am a British national currently living in the Philippines with my wife. When she was still my fiancee we filled in and filed a visa application for her to visit my family in England. It was immediately rejected on the grounds that we had failed to provide documentation to satisfy three requirements. When I objected that nowhere in the information they give out, or on the websites, or at the UK VACS office when the documentation was submitted and my fiancee was questioned, did they ask for this documentation or set out these requirements, their response was basically, "Yes, it doesn't say that, but too bad, you were supposed to guess." And that was that, my application fee remained in their grubby little pockets and they completely refused even to consider the idea that they were in any way to blame. What do you call it when money is taken from you on the basis of incorrect or incomplete information? You call it fraud, but of course, being a government, there is no comeback, they can afford to act so as to amuse themselves and are not answerable to anyone, least of all the public. The information that they give out is a tissue of misrepresentations. Of course, they do provide an appeals and complaints procedure, but this is as farcical as their application procedure. They give you three procedures, implying that these are independent: 1) Complain to the Embassy that you applied to; 2) complain to the head of UK visas in England; 3) write to your local MP. I complained several times to the Embassy. At no point would they show me something in a public place, e.g., information sheet or website, where the 'requirements' that I was said not to comply with were specified. At no point, despite asking them directly several times, would they tell me exactly what these requirements were and what documents were considered to satisfy those requirements. Despite the fact that this effectively makes it impossible for me to know what the requirements are, I am still apparently solely to blame for failing to comply with them. On the contrary, they claim that there is no particular documentation that is required and have the nerve to smugly claim that this is being "flexible"! So, I complained to the head of UK visas. What did he do? He referred it back to the British Embassy in the Philippines!
The very people who I had already complained to and had hoped to bypass by writing to the head of UK visas. So, I wrote to my MP. My MP referred it to the Home Office? And what to the Home Office do? You guessed it -- they referred it back to the head of UK visas! And they have the nerve to make out that these are independent procedures. To call these independent is to indulge in empty verbiage, even an idiot can see that this procedure is entirely circular.
So what is one supposed to do? To use the 'fixers' that they tell you not to use? I am seriously considering doing so when it comes to applying for a spouse visa. Even though I don't want to, what are the alternatives when they won't tell you what to provide? The situation is worse than a lottery. In a lottery you can at least make an informed decision over whether to buy a ticket. But here you seem to be at the mercy of the whims, and quite likely the racist bias, of whoever evauluates the application.

Peredonov
Manila
Philippines

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/24/2008 08:48 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/British-Government-British-Ambassador-To-The-Philippines-Christopher-Stacey/Metro-Manila-/British-Government-British-Ambassador-To-The-Philippines-Christopher-Stacey-Fraud-visa-a-343902. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on British Government, British Ambassador To The Philippines Christopher Stacey

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Search Tips
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?
REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 0Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Lies, damned lies, and bureaucracy

AUTHOR: Peredonov - ()

Okay, let's go through this:

CS: The original report was written in 2008 and the way visas are now dealt with has since changed.   

P: What does this have to do with anything? Or are you admitting that the way visas used to be dealt with is inadequate? In that case you have conceded my point. I am out of pocket either way.

CS: The visa fee paid is for the application to be processed and not for the actual visa so if an application is refused no refund is made.  

P: Granted. But the application should be refused only on grounds that the applicant can reasonably be expected to comply with. If I apply for a passport and fail to send a photo then that is my fault because the application clearly tells you to send a photo. And if I use the checking facility at the Post Office and they tell me that a photo is required but I send the application without one, that is also my fault. If the application does not say this, and the Post Office does not say this either, and yet the passport office keeps my fee, I think that is bad business practice verging on the fraudulent.

This is analogous to the case here. For instance, one of the reasons given for the rejection was that there was no evidence my fiancee and I had personally met. Since we were more or less living together at the time in the Philippines and I went with her when my fiancee submitted her documents, this pissed me off no end. At the very least, the UK VACS who check the documents when they are first submitted might have mentioned it.

And when I ask to be shown where this requirement is written down, or what counts as satisfying it, I get fobbed off with the most vacuous arguments imaginable. How can I be reasonably be expected to comply with requirements that are not written down and you will not tell me what they are even when I ask you? And don't tell me that the UK VACS office is non-governmental -- you employ them so the buck stops with you.

CS: As a visit visa, unlike some other types of visa, is non appealable no appeal can be made as such, however, the three options given by the writer of the complaint would have been open to them.   If they had written to the Embassy then either the ECO or the ECM would have replied.   If the correspondence had come to me for reply then a full review of the application would have been carried out and any additional evidence sent with the letter by the sponsor would have been taken into consideration before I answered the letter.   Likewise if the person had written to their MP or UK Visas then the ECM would have been asked to review the application again and to give a full and complete explanation as to the result of this review.

P: Go and read the article again pal. I did all those things. I appealed the decision but it was turned down on the same grounds as before. I complained to the head of UK visas. What did they do? They sent it to you, the very people I was complaining about. Hardly an unbiased, independent procedure for adjudicating complaints. And you replied in the most vacuous way, implying again that it was my fault for failing to satisfy the requirements despite more or less admitting that they were not in any of the information given out, but that was okay because this information was only "guidelines" and you were trying ot be "flexible." I did write to my MP, who forwarded it to the Home Office, who gave us both a very terse reply saying it was a matter for the head of UK visas, and referred it back to them!

The head of UK visas then gave me a response only marginally less vacuous than the last one. As a complaints procedure this is a joke. I complain to the head of UK visas he refers it back to the embassy, I complain to my MP it gets referred to the head of UK visas! I can't help noticing a certain circularity here. Ultimately I am complaining to the very people I am complaining about. If you try to follow the rules in all good faith and get f***ed, exactly why should people follow the rules? Why shouldn't people stay illegally rather than pay your exorbitant application fees?

On a slightly different matter to illustrate the sheer bureaucratic absurdity of the whole thing, what does the word "authenticate" mean to you? When I looked it up it said "to establish as genuine." When you go abroad you normally end up needing documents to be "authenticated." Are they then established as genuine? Far from it. First of all you have to find a notary to notarize the documents. Does that mean that the document is genuine? No. At best the notary established that you are who you say you are, no more.

You are paying him simply for putting a stamp on your document. Then you have to send it to the FCO. Do they authenticate it? No. At best the FCO authenticates the notary's signature -- they have no more idea whether the document is genuine than the notary. You pay them simply for adding another stamp or piece of paperwork. Then it gets sent to the embassy. Do they authenticate it? No. At best they authenticate the guy at the FCO who authenticated the notary. They are all just "authenticating" each other and at the end of three processes and three sets of fees the actual document is no more likely to be genuine or better established as genuine than it was in the first place.

And they know it, because what you end up with is another document stuck to the front of the others saying "We bear no responsibility for the contents of this document." And they have the nerve to call this "authentication." It just a game invented by bureaucrats for their own amusement and to make money, that does nothing actually useful and makes nobody's lives any better.  

Respond to this report!
What's this?

#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Manila Visit Visa Application

AUTHOR: c.Stacey - (United Kingdom)

The original report was written in 2008 and the way visas are now dealt with has since changed.   The visa fee paid is for the application to be processed and not for the actual visa so if an application is refused no refund is made.   As a visit visa, unlike some other types of visa, is non appealable no appeal can be made as such, however, the three options given by the writer of the complaint would have been open to them.   If they had written to the Embassy then either the ECO or the ECM would have replied.   If the correspondence had come to me for reply then a full review of the application would have been carried out and any additional evidence sent with the letter by the sponsor would have been taken into consideration before I answered the letter.   Likewise if the person had written to their MP or UKVisas then the ECM would have been asked to review the application again and to give a full and complete explanation as to the result of this review.
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.



Ripoff Report Legal Directory