AEIOU – they’re attitude and lies get more laughable

In a quote given to the Mirror ahead of its story on the dreadful entertainer that AEIOU provided for our little girl’s 5th birthday party – and then refused to give a full refund for… see full story here  – the children’s entertainment agency has lied, distorted the truth, and tried to pass the blame onto us, rather than finally admitting that they could have made a bad situation a whole lot better if they’d been respectful to the fact that a little girl’s 5th birthday party was ruined by them and refunded the full £175 fee.

See my comment in CAPS – the CAPS aren’t me shouting, it’s just the easiest way to bash this post out between running a business and parenting!!

See below quote from AEIOU Parties…

Alex Domingo, regional manager for the AEIOU Parties in London said Luci did not have permission to publish the photos on the internet.

THAT’S BECAUSE I DON’T NEED PERMISSION. THEY ARE MY PHOTOGRAPHS AND I HAVE FULL COPYRIGHT FOR THEM. CHECK YOUR FACTS ALEX.

He said: “Really we wouldn’t like to get into any more discussions with Miss Luci. We spoke to her, we tried to fix everything so that she was happy in the end.

NO YOU DIDN’T ALEX.

YOU MAY HAVE SAID ‘SORRY’ A FEW TIMES, BUT HOLDING ONTO HALF THE FEE AND HIDING BEHIND TERMS & CONDITIONS THAT HADN’T BEEN ISSUED AT TIME OF BOOKING AND DON’T APPEAR ON YOUR WEBSITE, IS NOT TRYING TO FIX ANYTHING. IT’S SIMPLY POCKETING JUST UNDER £90 FOR PROVIDING A SHOCKINGLY AWFUL SERVICE.

“The pictures were not taken with the permission of the entertainer and she is now a little upset about the publication of those pictures.

ANSWER THIS ALEX – IF THESE WERE PICTURES THAT SHOWED HER IN A GOOD LIGHT WOULD YOU STILL BE GRIPING ON ABOUT PERMISSION, OR WOULD YOU BE HAPPY FOR THEM TO BE SHARED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA?

THE ONLY REASON THESE PICTURES ARE ONLINE IS BECAUSE OF AEIOU REFUSING TO GIVE US A FULL REFUND.

“Some of the things that she has said in her blog are not quite nice about her.

THE THINGS SAID IN THE BLOG COMMENT ON THE WAY THE ENTERTAINER LOOKED ONCE ‘DRESSED UP AS ELSA’ AND THE WAY SHE BEHAVED WHILST PROVIDING A SERVICE. NEITHER ELEMENT WAS WORTHY OF ANY POSITIVE COMMENT.

“We have nothing really to say about the party. We’ve already talked about it with her. We don’t really want to get involved any more in all this.”

OF COURSE YOU DON’T. YOU AND YOUR BIG INTERNATIONAL COMPANY WITH OVER 15 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS WOULD RATHER HOLD ONTO OUR £87.50 RATHER THAN DO THE DECENT THING.

QUITE FRANKLY YOU DISGUST ME.

YOU RUINED A LITTLE GIRL’S 5TH BIRTHDAY PARTY AND ALL YOU CAN DO IS COME OUT WITH EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE AND SIT FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELVES THAT THIS SPOTLIGHT HAS BEEN PUT ON YOU.

SHAME ON YOU.

AEIOU Parties Review – Owner leaves comment on review

Comment from Owner of AEIOU Parties Ltd

I have pasted below the comment left by Manuel, the owner of AEIOU Parties Limited, on my original blog post AEIOU Parties Review Awful Experience.

This post contains:

  • My response to Manuel’s comment
  • A comment left by someone who narrowly avoided working for AEIOU
  • Manuel’s comment
  • My email from which Manuel has misquoted me in the post on the AEIOU website

It is amazing the number of other entertainment companies and entertainers, alongside parents, who can see that a full refund and proper apology is the least AEIOU can do after ruining a little girl’s party. But Manuel just can’t seem to get his head around this.

Instead, AEIOU will be posting their version of events over on their website. I am really keen to see what this will say.

Especially as they will apparently be quoting something that I emailed to them in my first email of complaint.

“My little girl and her friends enjoyed the party”

Yes, those words are in that email, but the full sentence was…

“My little girl and her friends enjoyed the party in spite of the entertainment, rather than because of it”.

I have pasted my original email in full below as well.

Manuel has also accused me of trying to profit from this experience by updating the design of this blog and linking within the post to my main parenting blog.

I can assure you, Manuel, that the first thoughts I had as I saw your entertainer ruining our daughter’s party, were not, “ooh I could use this to promote my business.”

With regard to the template update. Anyone who knows WordPress.com will know that this change of template was the result of two clicks of the mouse.

The reason I changed template?

The previous one made it difficult to read all the comments.

I chose to post this story on my personal blog  specifically because this is a personal issue and not a business one.

Posting it on Mums Make Lists, which has page impressions of 200,000+ per month, would have been a far more efficient way for me to ‘make use of this as a business opportunity’.

Manuel, your comment is also the first time I’ve been made aware that the entertainer who showed up wasn’t necessarily the one who was meant to do the job. Why hasn’t that been mentioned before?

Manuel, you clearly feel very hard done by that my original post has caused such a stir. But instead of thinking about yourself, try putting the focus on the real issue here…

I am a mother of a 5 year old daughter who booked an Elsa entertainer from AEIOU in good faith.

When the entertainment ruined the party and left my little girl asking me, “Why didn’t Elsa come to my party?”, and me in tears, I came to you with a complaint and a request for an apology and a full refund.

To date you have not made an outright apology and you have only given me a 50% refund. Which means that AEIOU has pocketed just under £90 for ruining a little girl’s birthday party.

I had no desire to see my daughter’s party ruined after all the effort we put in to making it special for her. Nor did I have any desire to have to spend hour after hour on this issue after the party.

The ideal scenario for me would have been:

  • Book entertainer
  • Entertainer arrives on time and does a good job
  • Everyone’s happy.
  • We get on with our lives with lovely memories of a great party

NOT:

  • Book entertainer
  • Entertainer arrives late with no advanced warning
  • Entertainer does really bad job and looks awful
  • Complain to agency
  • Agency issue a 50% refund and quote their mysterious ‘Terms & Conditions’ as reason for not giving back full fee.
  • I spend hours or my time dealing with this issue

And yes, the way I’ve been treated, does lead me to question whether it will happen to other families. Which is why I felt so strongly about sharing my experience of dealing with AEIOU online.

The original post, AEIOU Parties Review Awful Experience, has also received this comment from an entertainer who says they interviewed to work for you…

“I almost worked for AEIOU, but thankfully left myself after the interview. The interview consisted of playing a party game of your choice with the other applicants, and then The next day I was told I was successful. I was never asked for any references or a CRB/DBS check. They tried to send me to a party, where I would have to “face paint, balloon model, play music games and perform a puppet show for 30 children”. I asked when my training would be, they said I didn’t need any. I told them I couldn’t balloon model and had never painted faces before, they told me “I’d be fine, just wing it”. I was told I would have to organise all the games, equipment, costume and provide the puppet myself, with no help or training from the company. And the real kicker, the party would have cost the host £180, I would have recieved £50 for doing all of the work. AEIOU is simply a scam scheme, with no regard for the children they entertain or the entertainers themselves. The entertainer in this story was probably shoved there last minute with no idea what was going on the day after the first interview like I nearly was. Terrible terrible company”.

Comment from Manuel, owner of AEIOU Parties:

I am the owner of the company that had the problem with luci. First of all i have to say sorry again (as we have done many times to her via mail and phone and 3 different people). Sorry for the things that we did wrong but also for the anger and sadness in Luci. Anyway we dont agree in some of the things that Luci presented here and that many others have imagined or commented, so we are, among other things, preparing a post in our website explaining our full version and explanation of this story as there are many things that were not mentioned by luci or even not known about what happened to the entertainer who was going to attend. I think always is good to listen to both parts and then give opinions. Always with respect, and from our human nature that make us imperfect. Everyone can do mistakes. We did in certain things wrong, we say sorry for those, but we also need to express our part to make people acknowledge all before criticising. One of the main things is that despite somethings i have read and copy pasting luci’s email:

“My little girl and her friends enjoyed the party” by Luci McQuitty Hindmarsh

We have understood what we did wrong so, Luci, your work, as you said, is done. This will never happen again to any other family. Now, as you said you can feel calm about this hole thing. That is what i read although sometimes i felt you didnt want us but to deeply and agressively damage our 15 years and more than 15.000 parties and more than 98% happy customers. That is the absolute truth. We are so sorry that this happened to your party, it will never happen again, and we will explain in oir web how we will do and how all of you can check that is true. So you got your goal, this will not happen again, so if that was your aim, as you repeated here and in social media, after reading our post everything should be right

we feel sad that because of the great relevance of this issue that you also feel surprised, you have taken advantage and redesign your template to make it more appealing, change menus, and even add, move, change.. a couple of follow links with not much reason to your website. If this is about your child, shouldnt make business of it. We feel used. Your main aim was to make us never give a bad service before, not anything else and not those commercial things

Crisis are an opportunity to grow, and this is how we feel this moment. Honestly I have to say thanks for making us more exigent about ourselves and make this work better. This will not make us think anything destructive but we will analyse everything we can improve, everything we should improve, and grow much stronger with much more hard work than before in every field. So thanks and sorry. Shortly we will send you our post so that u can share with all your community with a no follow and maybe all can be better informed reading both parts

thanks to the ones that here or mailing and calling us have brought to us the trust because they know us well, or at least the doubt if they dont know us. We also prepare the post for you. Thanks

(we do as a post because we have talked to Luci a few times abouth this and the situation requires a full explanation to all of you which cannto be made individual)

My original email of complaint to AEIOU

Luci McQuitty Hindmarsh <xxxx@gmail.com>

17 Jan
to Sarah

Hi Sarah

As discussed on the phone, we are really unhappy with the service we received today.

Time

The entertainer arrived at the time she was due to start entertaining and it then took her twenty minutes to get changed and set up, most of which was spent getting changed. During this time we had to keep the children occupied.

Outfit

In short, she looked a total mess. She wore an ill-fitting Elsa dress over her own clothes, which were black. The dress came undone at the back, she had help to do it up, but it came undone again and stayed that way.

The wig was too small and ended up being worn like a badly fitting hat.

She wore no make-up, which given the character of Elsa being super glamorous, really wasn’t good.

The Entertainment

Was patchy and rushed. She’d had no time to prepare or set up properly. When she started the face painting she turned the music off, as it was on her phone and she wanted to use her phone to time the face paint sessions.

Face Painting

I did explain yesterday that as there were more children than expected, it would be best to just do a small something for each child. This had been lost in translation so we had to intervene.

Ultimately, my husband and a friend stepped in, managed to get some music on and entertained the kids with a couple of games.

Balloons

These ended up being made in a rush at the end of the party, whilst all the kids were watching Misty blow the candles out on her cake etc.

Accent

And finally, whilst I understand that you can’t discriminate over who gets given a job, an Elsa with a heavy Spanish accent is not good. I would expect an entertainer to at least try to do an American accent.

Having chatted to the entertainer when I gave her the outstanding balance of the payment, she explained to me that she was late because she was waiting for the dress to come across from another entertainer at the agency.

She explained that she chose to wear the dress over the top of her clothes because the dress was wet with sweat.

So ultimately the agency needs to think about how they manage bookings, because a lot of these issues wouldn’t have arisen if the entertainer had been able to arrive on time and wear a clean outfit.

My little girl and her friends enjoyed the party in spite of the entertainment, rather than because of it.

The adults were all incredulous as to why someone who looked like she’d stumbled out of a rave at 6am was entertaining at a kids party.

I would like a refund on this booking, I am deeply unhappy at how this has panned out. We have been to plenty of kids parties over the last couple of years and seen some great kids entertainers in action. The service we received today was way below parr.

I look forward to hearing back from you with confirmation of a refund.

Yours, Luci

Luci McQuitty Hindmarsh