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Coats of Arms - Con!

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#1
Hi,

Just to let you know that I recieved a very good letter and information from a company, saying that they had full information on my Family Name!

Anyway it said it was free to look at for 30 days (so long as I supplied a payment card!!) - came from USA. Really interested and was looking forward to recieving it!

Well it arrived some 3 weeks later. Quite a substantial package. Inside was a "tatty" folder (I could of made better from supplies at Wilkinsons ;D ), with a picture of my family coat of arms (which isn't- as I have seen others on the internet!), with a resume of my family name and possible origins (which was a load of "bull" spread over a dozen pages. Then there were around 100 pages of names, addresses and telephone numbers of which looked like a collection of my names from the telephone directory!

What a con. The worst comes........
The following weekend I packed it up and sent it back to the states (at my cost!). 3 weeks later it arrived back on my doorstep! What???? I opened expecting to find a letter or something - nothing!
Well I wasn't going to send it back at my own cost.....
So I got on the phone (national rate) and was on for ages. I eventually get to speak with someone. An argument ensued, when I found out that the 30 days was over and that I was being charged the full amount! I explained the date I got it, that it took over 3 weeks to get to me, and that it was a load of Bull, the conversation degraded, with me fuming and the phone flying across the room!

I have tried many times to get a manager of someone in authority. I have sent letters. Nothing! I have spoken to Citizens Advice, who inform me I haven't a leg to stand on, as they are in the USA!

Beware good people, beware :'(
 

admin

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#2
I am so sorry for you!

I know of some other people who have done the same thing and not even realised untill I have had a look at it!

There is unfortunately a small number of "cowboys" out there, as you say, we have to be aware!

Maybe you could contact your "payment card" (visa?) and talk to them?

All the best, 8)
Dave
 
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#3
The same things appen to myself, this company his sending package from Ouest of Montreal city going thru de USA boarder and back to you.....They also use the Phone registration book and mail listing from different post Office Then after you have to pay for B S like you said.

Salutation  André Benson Chateauguay Québec Canada
 

britannia

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#4
Thanks for the warning folks!

I hope Andre and Gerry have not had to pay any money to them! Iin Gerrys case as he said he had to send the goods back at his own cost and ring them!

There's some dodgy people out there! :mad:

Brit
 
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#5
Just for future notice, if you contact the attorney general's office for the state from which the company was operating, or the division of consumer affairs for that state, they'll go to bat for you. Sorry you've been scammed!

Sandi
 

duckweed

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#6
I think this example can serve as a warning generally. Don't reply to unsolicited mail. Be careful who you give your family tree to. Remember to keep more recent details secret (Identity Theft) Many companies offer you a family coat of arms. In my experience they are often bogus. The one I've been given is based on the unproven link of Bullivant to Beaumont so it was really the Beaumont coat of arms. Bullivant was definitely Bullivant before coats of arms were established. There can be several coats of arms for a family as the arms are given to a specific branch unlike in Scotland where there are clan standards as well as the chiefs personal arms.
 

admin

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#7
Duckweed your warning
I think this example can serve as a warning generally. Don't reply to unsolicited mail. Be careful who you give your family tree to.
is spot on.

There are many "cowboy" companies (I could call them worse names!) out there looking for the innocent genealogists, who most of the time are struggling with their own "wanted names - Brick walls" and look for an easy option.

Just for future notice, if you contact the attorney general's office for the state from which the company was operating, or the division of consumer affairs for that state, they'll go to bat for you.
Very good advice Sandie.
Likewise for the UK go to the citizens advice bureau or even report it to the police - AND report it here - we will see what we can do to help!

Be aware - all the best,
Dave
 

duckweed

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#8
Maybe we could make a list of dos and donts that could be sent to all newcomers when they join the site. What do you think? One of my suggestions would be don't accept someone's elses data unless you can verify it from other sources.
 

marie44

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#10
Gerry, please be careful. i'm from the states and that was the biggest con i ever heard in my life. wish i could have talked to you before that happened and i could have saved you some money and aggrivation. over here if it sounds to good to be true it usually is. and the price will be outrageous. House of Names.com. should be a pretty good one and i've never had to pay them a thing. :)

Marie
 

duckweed

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#11
Gerry, please be careful. i'm from the states and that was the biggest con i ever heard in my life. wish i could have talked to you before that happened and i could have saved you some money and aggrivation. over here if it sounds to good to be true it usually is. and the price will be outrageous. House of Names.com. should be a pretty good one and i've never had to pay them a thing. :)

Marie
I don't think House of Names is all that accurate. They don't seem to do any research but quote mainly from one Victorian source. I'm researching my husbands family name Bullivant which the house of names says is a misspelling of Bon Enfant (this stems from this Victorian source) I've done my own research and found it was originally De Bullivant and is in fact stems from a place of origin in France (other similar are Bollivar and Bollivant) If I hadn't done my own research I would have my family joined onto the Beaumonts. Thanks to a French geneology site I managed to find a number of Bullivants in the Loire Valley. My advice is gather information from as many sources as you can and then you will know if a coat of arms is rightly part of your family or not.
 

duckweed

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#13
Hi Julie. No connection with Wales as far as I know. Though I haven't traced all my Prescotts. Mine originate from Prescot and Kirkby near Liverpool. They became boatmen on the Leeds Liverpool canal eventually settling near Wigan. I imagine any Prescotts in Cardiff were either sea farers or came over from Cheshire.
 
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#15
Yes unfortunately there are many bucket shops out there with the common phrase: Is your name here? It probably is...but that doesn't mean that the everyday John Brown has any claim to one of the many differenced Brown coat of arms, which was granted to varied prominent persons in the past. So these companies...not all of them are crooks, I'm certain... make their living through the mystical phrase I mentioned before...the customer goes into an attractive premise & sees the chap open a great book such as Burkes or Reistaps to add backing to the computer selected name, the crest & surname history are printed..& the deal is made! Arms were never granted to familiies, but rather to individuals. Do not go to the College of Arms, or Lord Lyon's Register asking,"whats the coat of arms for my family?" you'll receive polite but sharp no! The only way is to prove an unbroken direct line father to son to someone who has received a grant, or to apply for a completely new grant of arms for yourself. Fundamentally, one doesn't buy a coat of arms...but rather one pays for the privilege of receiving a grant of arms. I'm no expert, but thats how I understand it. Any blazon of arms purchased from a souvenir or bucket shop, must be viewed merely as a souvenir & a general history. Hope this gives some idea. Regards
 
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marie44

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#16
Hi,

Just to let you know that I recieved a very good letter and information from a company, saying that they had full information on my Family Name!

Anyway it said it was free to look at for 30 days (so long as I supplied a payment card!!) - came from USA. Really interested and was looking forward to recieving it!

Well it arrived some 3 weeks later. Quite a substantial package. Inside was a "tatty" folder (I could of made better from supplies at Wilkinsons ;D ), with a picture of my family coat of arms (which isn't- as I have seen others on the internet!), with a resume of my family name and possible origins (which was a load of "bull" spread over a dozen pages. Then there were around 100 pages of names, addresses and telephone numbers of which looked like a collection of my names from the telephone directory!

What a con. The worst comes........
The following weekend I packed it up and sent it back to the states (at my cost!). 3 weeks later it arrived back on my doorstep! What???? I opened expecting to find a letter or something - nothing!
Well I wasn't going to send it back at my own cost.....
So I got on the phone (national rate) and was on for ages. I eventually get to speak with someone. An argument ensued, when I found out that the 30 days was over and that I was being charged the full amount! I explained the date I got it, that it took over 3 weeks to get to me, and that it was a load of Bull, the conversation degraded, with me fuming and the phone flying across the room!

I have tried many times to get a manager of someone in authority. I have sent letters. Nothing! I have spoken to Citizens Advice, who inform me I haven't a leg to stand on, as they are in the USA!

Beware good people, beware :'(
oh Gerry i am so sorry. thats all over over here. the most reliable and thats doubtful is HouseofNames.com and it could cost you something but i just accept whats on the front page and the coat of arms is exactly like one i have already. but the history of the name is like history of the country, how could they go wrong. but each name i put in i do get the proper story.
marie44 usa:)
 
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#18
I am lucky...my great grandmother came from a very well documented family.
Originating in 1035 with "Sir Peter Guant d'O'r". He was known as "The Knight of the Golden Glove"...which is the translation of Gaunt d'Or "Glove of Gold"

His crest was 3 gaunlets argent.....and the crest is shown down the ages with decending branches of the family. Including a brass a plaque in St. Mary's Church at Kintbury..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52219527@N00/3130744530

And a memorial to the family in St Peter's Church in Racton, West Sussex...both show a shield with 3 gaunlets argent.

http://sussexchurchez.blogspot.com/2007/09/st-peter-racton.html

Plus it appears in a number of historical documents in the Welsh and Sussex record offices.
So no mistaking that one....
There are other associated with the family ...but this is the original..
Well worth looking at a large number of sites who claim to know whats what before commiting...and try to find someone who has allready purchased from the site....
We all get stung at somepoint....its life....
 

leefer

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#19
Yep be carefull folks..i once baught 2000 bees online for alot of money......they never turned up so ime not sure if i was stung...or not stung.
Ive NEVER baught anything i havnt seen with my own eyes..Lee.
 

Ladybird1300

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#20
I know this is an old thread, but just remember if you pay for anything on the internet by credit card, in the UK section 75 of your t&c's protects you. It means you inform your card company that you have been scammed and they will recover your money and then reimburse you for your losses. This only works for credit cards, debit cards are not included.
 

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