Fraudulent health-care advertising: Bluecrest

A few days ago, my wife was sent this deliberately misleading “appointment”:

It comes with a location and a date, and tells you to go ahead and call them to confirm a time. But there is no appointment: this is merely spam. I wonder how many people fall for this, then find themselves on the hook for a £129 bill for a half-hour appointment that they assumed was free on the NHS?

Who are Bluecrest? It’s not easy to tell. The letter was four pages long (the scan above is only the first page) but only at the bottom of the last of those four pages do they give a website. The letter came with three additional glossy leaflets, and none of those give a web address. It’s like they don’t want you to find out more about them.

This is their site, but I don’t recommend you visit it because among other things it has an auto-playing video on the front page. It doesn’t, from a brief look, seem to say anything about their medical competence or certification. The materials they sent through the post claim two certifications — but as they are from standards bodies (UKNEQAS and BSI) rather than medical bodies, all that tells is that they have procedures and they follow them. (Also: it seems suspicious to me that the first page of Google results for UKNEQAS consists only of their own sites. they seem to be a standards body that no-one has ever heard of.)

But one reputable body has passed opinion on Bluecrest: the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint about their misleading marketing a year ago. Yet here they are, doing essentially the same thing.

And of course there is also this aspect:

So this post is a warning: putting it all together, this is a big AVOID for Bluecrest. If you get one of their letters, bin it before someone falls for their scam.

 

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5 responses to “Fraudulent health-care advertising: Bluecrest

  1. But the free market and competition makes everything better and the invisible magic hand and all that guff. I guess this is what our politicians would like to see all our healthcare reduced to.

    Still, at least we have the illusion of privacy maybe being taken seriously occasionally and anybody who tries it on might be given a stern ticking off.

  2. The video’s first sentence says ‘Are you ready to TAKE CONTROL of your health?’
    The rhetoric of taking control is everywhere.

  3. Sylvia Laurence

    I had an appointment with Bluecrest September 13 at 10.30. As instructed I only drank water after 10.30 the previous evening. When I arrived at the location I was given I was informed that all the appointments had been cancelled. When I called to complain one young man informed me that they had written to me on September 5 and had tried to phone me. I informed him I had not received either a letter or a phone call and that my answer machine is on 24 hours a day, and did he think I would only have had water if I had been told that my appointment had been cancelled. He then put me through to customer services who told me that everything had been cancelled due to bad weather and the ship was not sailing from UK to Jersey. She also told me that she personally had tried to phone me, I told her that my answer machine is on 24 hours a day, she replied that the policy of the company is “they are not allowed to lie to clients”!!
    First, IF they had sent me a letter on September 5, telling me it was due to bad weather…why are they not in the business of weather forecasting, if they knew that the weather would be so bad approximately 8 days before my appointment? SECOND “they are not allowed to lie to clients”. How do I prove that they are lying…by giving them a lie detector test?
    Unfortunately, stupid me, I paid in advance…now I understand why!! Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long for my refund.

  4. Bluecrest are a wonderful company run by wonderful people! Google “Bluecrest High Court” or “Bluecrest Bullshit”. You might be surprised that you may very well end up at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2017/2142.html

  5. Check out http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/medical-data-in-twist-technomed-v.html

    Was there infringement?

    In short – yes. There was clearly copying in the first version as the copyright works were almost identically reproduced including some errors. Although the judge considered that on the evidence the third version had been copied, the level of copying was not sufficient for a finding of infringement [128].

    Flagrancy

    The emails between Bluecrest and Express sealed their fate on flagrancy (see paras 38 and 39, for example). They showed that Bluecrest had been sent the XML format file and asked “let me know how long you think it would take to replicate the XML Format/trace pdf that I sent through”. Some further documents were sent a few weeks later including the Two Hearts Diagram, the Wave Diagram, the Explanatory Materials, and a pdf document containing the Database.

    The attitude that Bluecrest took to the negotiations with Technomed added further fuel to the fire, particularly this choice extract: “I will try to speak to [Mr Hashemi of Technomed] at 8.30ish to give him the impression we are going to agree to his terms, but need time to obtain the guarantees he’s after (being ultra-nice to him and giving him a lot of bullshit) but in the background can we work to make the switch asap?”

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