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Is Double Take Studios A Scam? Complaints, Free Makeover Scams

Updated on December 21, 2012

On this page we are going to look at the issue of the Double Take Studios scam. There are many reviews, complaints and write ups that claim Double Take Studios is just a company that scam people to get there money. So I went along to the company to find out for myself. So is Double Take Studios a scam? Well here we will give you the answers, look at hidden charges, complaints, prices and see how they get money out of people.

Double Take Studios are a company that offer clients a free makeover and photo shoot. Often they ring people up saying they have been recommended by a friend and have won the chance to have a free makeover and photo shoot, paying nothing! But that is not entirely true, many people lose large amounts of money to this company. So is this a scam and how does it all work?

Free Makeover & Photo Shoot

The fact is that if you read the small print and do everything required of you, this is not a scam. You can actually go along on the day and have a nice makeover and a photo shoot and not pay a penny. There is a but though and this is where many of the complaints come from. You must complete everything that is required of you. That means staying for the entire day, having your makeover, photo shoot and then the important bit, the viewing session. The viewing session is basically where you are taken into a little room by a sales person and shown your pictures, then you are given the chance to buy.

The prices for photos are scandalous. The quality is nothing overly special and the effects they add are something that anyone could manage on a simple laptop. The salesmen work on commission, on an average day they will see 8 people or couples and obviously they want you to spend as much as possible. If they are not selling they are not earning, so they will apply a certain amount of pressure to get you to spend your money. However, you can walk away having seen your photos without actually paying a penny.

Double Take Hidden Charges

The idea of a scam actually comes from some of the charges that Double Take Studios apply if you do not fulfil your side of the bargain. When you book your day you are asked to pay a small booking fee, this is only a few pounds. However, they now have your card details on record. If you cancel your booking less that a few weeks in advance they will charge you at least £50. If it’s only a few days before the booking it will be £75. If you do not show up on the day, they will charge you £125 per person! As you can imagine this is where the vast majority of complaints come from. This is all stated in the small print on the letter that you receive with confirmation of your booking.

On the day I was booked in for my free photo shoot with my girlfriend I actually had an open wound on my leg. I was struggling to walk and in some severe pain. I had been told to rest and take it easy. However, we were informed that missing our session would cost us £250 in total. So I had to man up and be brave for the day. However, sometimes there are family emergencies or serious illnesses that can effect any one of us, the fact is though that Double Take Studios will take no excuses, they will take the payment from your card and you will be powerless to stop them as you have entered an agreement saying you will be there on the day.

Another issue is that you have to complete the entire day. You can not have the makeover and the photo shoot and then just leave. You have to complete the full day or you will be charged the ‘no show’ fee. This means even if you have no intention of buying you must sit through the sales pitch and be strong enough not to part with your money.

The fact is that while these charges may seem like a scam, they are fully entitled to charge customers who do not show up. They do take a hard line with people who miss their bookings and in some cases it can be very unfair, but unless you are fully intent on getting there on the day, do not make a booking with Double Take Studios.

So Can It Be Called A Scam?

Another issue is price, this is where my complaint would lie. Double Take state that they own the rights to all your photographs. You must buy the rights to your photos if you wish to use them. So you can’t get a small print, blow it up, put it all over Facebook and give everyone a copy. The company threaten to sue customers who actually do this. So how much does it cost you to buy photos? Well the simple fact is that it is a lot! My girlfriend and I spent £121 and all we got for that was one picture on a CD, one A4 sized print and a bunch of mini photos from our shoot. The fact is that we really bartered with the sales person to get this price, it should have been a great deal more money for what we actually got.

Another side of the so called Double Take Studios scam is the recommend a friend programme. When you are waiting for your pictures you are asked to give as many of your friends’ phone numbers as possible. Then Double Take will contact each friend telling them they have won this free makeover. They are quite persistent and often won’t take no for an answer. So basically you are selling your friends! In return you are given rewards, if you manage to give 110 numbers they will give you £100 off your photos, a voucher for if you return and a bottle of cheap champagne worth £6 at Tesco. Ironically we gave no numbers out, but the sales person who we dealt with said he would put on the form that we had given out the maximum amount, just so he was covered for what he was actually giving us. So I would say give no numbers out, just be cheeky and see what you can get anyway when buying any pictures.

So you can probably see that Double Take Studios is not actually a scam. They do prey on people in some ways, most of their clients are young girls who don’t realise the commitment they are making, thus all the complaints about Double Take Studios. But the fact is that the information is there and the charges are made clear. If you do get involved with this company just be very careful what you agree to and make sure you show up on the say. If you do all this you should steer well clear of the Double Take Studios scam.


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