Grrr.... Don't even get me started! xx
Grrr.... Don't even get me started! xx
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Fab news, Dave and Carole.............................crack open the bubbly!!
Did persons above who appointed the agents who stuffed up engage any of the agents who are recommended on these forums (and others, such as Poms in Oz)?
If not, why not? On what basis did you appoint the agents in question?
If it is agreed that the list of MARA agents is not to be relied upon (to paraphrase Gill's argument), why are intending migrants appointing firms no-one else is recommending?
Happy to hear arguments and to be shot down in flames!
Most people have appointed agents and have embarked on the process before they discover the internet forums. I did not even know what internet forums are or that they exist until a couple of months after I had lodged Mum's application.
Assuming that everybody uses migration agents, I did a Google search and found hundreds of names but I did not know a thing about any of the firms concerned, had never heard of the MARA and even if I had there was every chance that the Register of Agents would have led me straight up the garden path into the arms of a Rent-a-MARN outfit such as Four Corners.
I simply started working my way down the list of names that came up on the Google search. I knew of no other way to find a migration agent.
Had I known that your office is only 5 miles from me I'd have started by phoning Go Matilda. However GM's name did not come up on the first page of Google. Shirley & Sheila did because their firm is called AMA. Unless it is a sponsored link, the names seem to come up in alphabetical order. Shirley answered the phone and I liked her immediately. She was wrong about the "stepchild" question but one of the assertions she made was illogical. I realised that straightaway which led me to investigate the whole thing myself, get it by the scruff of its neck and sort out the "stepchild condundrum" once and for all. Having solved the legal stumbling block with the help of the POPC, I then went back to S&S simply because I have no patience whatsoever with bureaucrats who devise stupid forms, 2/3 of the questions on which are simply intrusive and irrelevant. However that was about 2 months after my original call to the ladies and by then they were snowed under with other work.
I think a lot of people are in the same boat that I was in and only find the forums later on in the process.
Last edited by Gollywobbler; 18-06-2009 at 06:03 AM.
We chose our agent by recommendation. We know they acted successfully and professinally on 3 cases of people we knew. To be honest they were great at the start but once the application went in it was as if something had happened as the whole tone of the emails changed. The mistake was a careless error - we are all human and could make a mistake - our issue was the fact that it was us that found the mistake, they've never apologised and although it has all eventually resolved, we have had to do a lot of chasing. We paid for a service and the service was very poor; further mistakes on the route to rectify things, slow reponses to emails and lack of reassurance.
I guess my point is that many agent s are recommended for doing a good job....but actually the sign of a good agent is not one who doesn't make mistakes, but one who sorts them out quickly, professionally and in a manner to reassure their client. Ours was not able to do that.
I stuffed up and answered twice....don't know how that happened!! like the sound of my own voice perhaps???
Last edited by stufi1997; 18-06-2009 at 05:43 AM. Reason: I'm a dipstick!
We instructed the Migration Bureau before we knew anything about the forums....they have a flash website which came up near the top on google and they have an office in the UK and are also members of MARA, which at the time, in our naivity, we thought was a good grounding for choosing an agent.
Only after finding the forums and talking to other reputable agents who were recommended by others, did we realise that we were being ripped off and that they had no more clue than us!!
I'm very glad that we got the advice that we did from reputable and moral agents......
We did it ourselves in the end
I've only just spotted that you got your visas because I had not been back to this thread for a few days.
YAY! BRILLIANT NEWS!!!!
Interesting - thanks for the comments above. It seems that s/he who pay for Google rankings are the winners ...
I used an agent as well when I applied for my skilled visa back in 2000 (no names mentioned). I was so disenchanted with the service (and the costs) that I started my own business, resolving to look at the process from the perspective of the client - what would s/he want, how would s/he want to be treated, etc.
It was also at a time when the internet was still in its relative infancy. George Lombard was already on the old usenet forums, which (for intending Aussie migrants) evolved into British Expats. A multitude of others have followed, and many have sought to earn a quick buck out of the numbers migrating to Australia.
I think it probably helped that I had already run my own CA practice, and had been an articled clerk at a great firm of CAs in Central London where the partners for whom I worked were very strong ethically. I often wondered why they made the decisions they did - they seemed distinctly uncommercial to a gung ho young accountant. I know better now.
More comments welcomed!