A couple of weeks ago, a good VW Camper friend of mine forwarded me a Facebook link, with a picture of our cream camper (Pushka) being used to advertise someone else’s campervan hire business. I was shocked! On further investigation, I found that our pictures had been posted all over Facebook and other websites to advertise this company’s business. It turned out that they did not even have a cream campervan!!!
We have since had all the pictures removed and made a report to the Trading Standards – but what would have happened if a wedding couple had booked their campervan based on the pictures advertised? They would have been very disappointed when a different campervan arrived, if indeed a campervan turned up at all!
The problem of rogue traders using photos of products and services, taken from other websites is rife – I have spoken to many suppliers in the industry all sharing similar stories, from cake makers to florists. There was a thread posted on Facebook just yesterday by Aisle Be Yours Wedding Services, discussing just this topic.
To avoid unwittingly booking a wedding car with a rogue trader, here are Buttercup Bus’ top ten tips:
- Personal recommendations are always a good starting place when sourcing a wedding supplier
- Do a quick internet search on the supplier to find any customer feedback that may have been posted in forums, blogs etc
- Find out how long the supplier has been trading for and see whether they can provide any customer endorsements
- If looking at a website or poster, ask when the photos on the website were taken – was it 10 years ago, or in a recent picture? Have the vehicles been modified in any way since then?
- Check whether the supplier is the actual owner of the vehicle, or whether they just outsource other people’s vehicles? If they are hiring on behalf of other vehicle owners, you may want some reassurance as to the quality and serviceability of the car.
- Ask to pop round and see the vehicle to ensure that it is like the one advertised. Going to meet the supplier at a wedding fair is also a good option.
- Check what is included with the wedding car. The photos may show the vehicles adorned with decorations and couples drinking champagne in the back – but these may all be optional extras
- Confirm with the supplier that they have the appropriate insurances set up. Wedding car hire requires special insurance that covers the vehicle for such usage.
- Read the terms and conditions of hire carefully before signing – do they have contingency plans should the vehicle of choice not be available on the big day?
- Look for any online social networking that the supplier may participate in such as Twitter or Facebook. This way you can follow them, and confirm that they are active and offering their services in the months leading up to your wedding. Silence from a supplier may be worrying!
Wedding car suppliers are passionate about their vehicles and should be only too pleased to introduce you to their pride and joy – and it is also a great opportunity to build rapport with the driver – who is responsible for your last few moments before arriving at the ceremony to tie the knot.