Sunday, 11 September 2016

What A Snake! ReptoParty - Daniel Barnes - Cancelled on Day of Party!


So we're very clear this review relates to the above named - Daniel Barnes who trades as ReptoParty who's business is registered at a London generic address but operates from the Kent Area (previously East Grinsted area). This was done recently in November. Here is a link to his facebook page so we are clear this is the company I am referring to as have many on the internet.

I am writing this review on behalf of two friends of mine who were let down by this man on the day/night before of their children's party. However, upon simply googling the name into a search engine, we discovered there have been many parents that have been let down. Their anger and frustrations have been hoovered up via social media. I suspect this is a full time job in itself.

Upon, further investigation it transpires that letting down children on the day of the party is common place and whilst we do accept he turns up for parties - there are many that he doesn't - leaving children understandably upset and extremely disappointed.  Not to mention the parents left with a huge amount of stress to sort out.

So, to cut a long story short, my friend pays the full amount (alarm bells ringing yet - not a deposit but the full amount) of approximately £112.50 for a reptile party for her son's 7th birthday. Now the reason she paid the full amount is because he said she would be unable to receive the special offer if she didn't. Beware of the special offers. Maybe it's a special because there isn't a party!

It all seems reasonable - there's a well liked facebook page, pictures etc although funnily enough you can't 'review' on his facebook page. Any good business would want that function would they not? She had also not seen the many negative google reviews attached to his business (since deleted). Again, why would you not want your business listed on google?

Nor did she spot the disgruntled mums on mumsnet in July and August which you can read here and here. There are also reviews on The Sun's website - ALL negative. Some claiming that they didn't receive a refund and another here on Yell. And here's an example of people sharing on facebook. Please take the time to read all these comments. Edit - since writing this blog post he has become prolific at cancellations with a whole range of fantasy excuses and these people aren't getting a refund. If this has happened to you then please report to watchdog, police, trading standards. Here is a link to a West Wickham mums group where the sheer extent of it is quite staggering.

One mother has taken to warning every facebook group he joins and has even designed the picture below. You only have to google his name and/or reptoparty into facebook to see the extent of this.  Edit - he has since made a public apology blaming stress/anxiety. He says he sometimes trebled booked parties - well that would be an understatement. I hope that he will now unblock all the people he blocked and refund them their money. He has removed all negative comments on his facebook page. Oh and he's also used my benefit of the doubt the business grew too fast. No it didn't. You always intended to do this - make a lot of money by booking lots of parties on the same day. How else are you able to cancel everyone on the day - very orgnaised that.

Here's another blogger (http://www.mum-friendly.co.uk/)who was able to cancel before her party was cancelled on the day. She found out (even after his sob story) that he had booked her child's party on the same day and time as another parent. Needless to say she had not confidence that he would turn up. And she still hasn't had a refund. Read about her story here.

Ultimately people paid for a service and they did not get that service. He has admitted this. They are now seeking a refund which many have not received.  If you have had a party booked, cancelled on the day and not received a refund then there is now a support group on facebook. It's intention is to get your money back and report to various organisations along with the police. Click here to join. You will need to prove that you have been let down and not refunded.


I digress - a month or so prior to her son's party, she learns from another friend in the same area, that he cancelled the night before (wow that was an improvement on 6 am on the morning). The friend said he had a plausible explanation - he has an impressive array of excuses although I think he's going to have to come up with some new ones for 2017. Anyhow, he was very sorry and offered a refund. Still sounds okay.

My friend assumes it's a one off and messages via facebook to double check all is okay for her son's birthday. Yes, still okay for the Saturday. On the morning of the party she gets a message to say his partner has gone into early labour - a brief look on social media revels this isn't the case at all. In addition, he was merrily tweeting that night about football and the like.  A whole load of if's and maybe's follow - not totally cancelling but putting the seed of doubt and best you look around for someone else in the mind.  Clever in itself - not a 100% cancel just a do you really want to risk it and putting the ball in the customers court and making them cancel rather than the other way around. Then his 'sister' has taken over the facebook page as now he's at the hospital - seriously this story could give Walter Mitty a run for his money.

The effort involved to fob people wouldn't he be better off just doing the party? Luckily, my friend arranges for another company - the same company the other friend had to use - who sigh and say "oh yes this chap we've had loads that have been cancelled by him." I won't put their name in the same blog post as wouldn't want them to be associated with this one.

They can do the afternoon. She then phones all the guests to come at 3pm rather than 11 am. Due to her insistence to get her money back it is refunded but not before she is blocked on twitter, facebook and of course no phone call.  Hardly the actions of an innocent man?

Now why do this?  Well, I have several theories which are, of course, just my opinions but feel free to add some. Perhaps the business grew too fast and couldn't cope with demand? Perhaps he wakes up in the morning and thinks nah can't be arsed to go further a field.

If people are prepared to give you £112 months before the so called party and you don't refund - well what would you call that? Or if you can't get away with not refunding the 'special offer' (which is too cheap if you think of travelling expenses etc it's not worth his while) and you book 20 parties on one day you have no intention of turning up to - that's a lot of money to sit on. Repeat this over and over and you've got some serious cash flow going on.

As he does turn up to parties and people are naturally, very happy with him you can do this for quite a long time. Do you want to take the risk that you're the no show for your child's party. It is my view, based on the whole host of internet comments, that these cancellations are pre meditated. There are simply just too many of them.

A lot of effort and planning goes into a child's party - the decorations, the invites, the cake, the food, chasing rsvp's. Do you really need the extra hassle of the entertainer not turning up?! But more importantly what reasonable person would want to let down 30 plus children waiting eagerly for reptiles to come a visiting? Only one man can answer that one.

The Birthday Boy's rather wonderful cake that his mother made and who managed to make sure the party went ahead. 

Until next time - which will be quick after my mini break from blogging

This review is an honest and true account - as my readers have come to expect of all products and services reviewed on this blog - of what has happened to 2 friends of mine and is backed up with evidence readily available following the enclosed links and searching on google

43 comments:

  1. This guy is despicable! How can he blatantly let children down? Let all be cross the WI!

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    1. Hi, yes to let children down is quite something - only today on twitter a tweet said he let down 70 + ladies - not even bothered with an excuse for this one.

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  2. He has done that to us today! Sends message at 7.15am and party was at 11am... Managed to get someone else luckily but after inisting on a refund, he has blocked me on facebook. Not gonna let this stand!

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. If you want someone reliable and reachable, try E.S.R.A.S which is the East Sussex Reptile and Amphibian Society. They are known to do shows all over the country for crowds of up to 10,000 children at festivals or small school groups, as you can see on their website

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  3. He has done that to us today! Sends message at 7.15am and party was at 11am... Managed to get someone else luckily but after inisting on a refund, he has blocked me on facebook. Not gonna let this stand!

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    1. I am so sorry to hear this sadly you are not alone even a primary school!! I wish you all the best to get your money back and hope that he is reported to the police. To scam adults is bad enough but children?!! x

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  4. He's done the same to us yesterday, apparently in a car accident. Clearly after reading several posts he's a con artist. Not going to let this stand either - what a disgrace, letting children down on their birthday. My boy was so upset as he'd told all his friends and was so excited.

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    1. Hi Matt - oh my the excuses are quite something aren't they. My friend had his partner was in early labour (she's still very much pregnant) and he was going to the hospital blah blah. he's also had an uncle in hospital. I know totally agree with to scam children you really have to be the lowest of the low. Am so sorry for your little boy x

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    2. Ha, he doesn't even have an uncle

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  5. p.s the one I heard from Caterham he had been kicked by a horse!!!

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  6. I can't believe the extent that his let down has now reached! So many children. He really has no shame. I hope he gets what he deserves and that no more children are disappointed.
    Well done for writing this post, the more people that hear of this con artist the better! 😡

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    1. Thank you - people need to take it up with watchdog etc. I feel so sorry for these children on the day of their parties x

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  7. Hi everyone.. im so so sorry that he has let you all down. My name is phil and I own an animal handling company called jaws n claws,it would seem that repto party are causing grief every where.If i can help in any way please get in contact. I have been getting people contacting me about him for quite a while, please dont judge us all by his standards. Email phil@jawsnclaws.co.uk 07894579944.
    Regards phil

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    1. Hi Philip - thank you so much for the comment and yes it effects the people that are good and genuine who are providing great parties for the little ones. He is given the industry a bad name that's why I didn't want to mention the people who stepped in within the blog post in case anyone got confused. Thankfully people like you have saved the day for lots of children x

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  8. If you want someone reliable and reachable, try E.S.R.A.S which is the East Sussex Reptile and Amphibian Society. They are known to do shows all over the country for crowds of up to 10,000 children at festivals or small school groups, as you can see on the website and facebook page :)

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    1. Thank you for the info - lots of very reputable (excuse the pun!) companies out for sure and many have come to these parent's rescue. I'm sure they're all fed up with Dan Barnes! x

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  9. If you look on West Wickham mums, a lady has gone to police. They recommend anyone had problems with this company,call 101 with reference number (given from lady on West Wickham mums

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    1. Thanks - yes that lady is trying to get everyone that's been let down. I also added the link into this blog post. He's now posting on lots of facebook pages offering his nonn existent parties x

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  10. This was left on my email comments - We were let down by him in March (his dad died). That may have been true, however a friend of mine also had a party cancelled by him but that was in January, and his dad died then too!
    We used Jaws N Claws and he was AMAZING! Such wonderful animals, the kids loved him! It was the best party ever!

    I got my refund from repot party but I chased him for over a week, 10 days I think. What an absolutely vile man he is!

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  11. Hi....Daniel Barnes did the same to me...
    I had a msg the day before my son's party in june saying he has been kicked by a horse and was in hospital so wouldn't be able to do my son's party.
    I was full of sympathy until I dug a bit deeper and found out he is notorious for canceling at the last minute.
    I did however receive a full refund but I had to threaten to take it further if he did not refund.
    I feel that as a business he should have some kind of backup plan should anything go wrong also any legit business would offer a refund straight away instead of fighting it.
    I have been blocked on both his fb page and although I can see his business page I am unable to comment...
    He is systematically going through all his comments and deleting all the negative ones.
    Please if any one is thinking of using this guy...do your research.....

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    1. The horse story is very common I'm afraid. The sympathy element is what stops people initially getting very angry and demanding a refund they give him time. People have had refunds but only after threats of legal action etc. Good advice do your research. People want others to know so it doesn't happen to them x

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  12. This man has done the same to my friend and myself. He cancelled my friends due to a "family death" on the day leaving her to sort something else as she's hired the hall and children where expecting a party! He then tried to cancelled mine the day before our booked party (which luckily I had not paid for as my friend had pre warned me about his scam) with the excuse of his vans breaks where not working!!!I replied to his message and said what a surprise !! Is lucky I haven't paid isn't it! And he preceeded to make me feel bad by replying with how a family death had caused him to cancel so many partys in my village. I am disgusted that anyone coukd do this. To let down children on their Birthdays and blame it on family deaths is just sick . Shameful and I really hope everyone can get refunds and his actions are punished .

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    1. Again deaths are common - I think this has to be the most disturbing set of excuses. I feel so sorry for your friend hiring the hall so many have done that and it's just wrong. There has to be better ways of conning people surely?! It is not a one off it is calculated and planned x Thanks so much for commenting and sharing

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    2. No, no deaths

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  13. He let my 7 yr old grandson down this Saturday. Paid in full and now blocked my daughter. She has set up a site too in Wallington where lots of mums are joining who have been let down. The scumbag

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    1. I know it's the same story, same excuses. Please get your daughter to join the support group. The link is in my blog post which has been added - currently at 45 members with another 25 waiting to join. I hope she gets her money back x

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  14. He let my 7 yr old grandson down this Saturday. Paid in full and now blocked my daughter. She has set up a site too in Wallington where lots of mums are joining who have been let down. The scumbag

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  15. This guy needs investigating! Someone let Watchdog know!

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    1. Yes he certainly does - action fraud has had many complaints so hopefully they will investigate and he can explain himself to them rather and see if his Walter Mitty stories wash with them and in a criminal court! x

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  16. I think they have been contacted - police really need to step in. It's fraud taking thousands spending the money and then doing the odd refund on the back of future bookings but now he is chasing his tail as funnily enough didn't expect a backlash?! Dan you business is stalling because of you no one else. You frequently book parties take the money and then don't show up with organised pre-meditated excuses. Now people are sharing this information. If you have no bookings it is your doing

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  17. Done the same to us. I called him night before just to check if everything is ok and of course it was. In the morning got message that his dad passed away and he won't be able to come. We called him to discuss options but we despised it will be the next to cancel the party. At the end we got redound however he promised to pay for some food and cake as well but it never happened. :(

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    1. wow his dad has dies quite a few times - the more I hear the more I'm convinced he uses people's monies to live off and is able to refund by using the next lot of bookings but now the next lot of bookings are running out based on the fact that he does this to so many people. Glad you got a refund x

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  18. I have been a victim of the same scan also, after attending a animal handling session at the care home were I organise the activities and events, he offered me a discounted rate if I was to book more sessions. Which I did, since then he has provided me with the very same sorry excuses and has now cut off all forms of communications. I am now in the process of claiming the money owed via Trading Standards and also informing Action Fraud to ensure this man is stopped.

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    1. Hi Amy - I was really disturbed to hear your story espeically as the people in your care home are not only elderly but young people with brain damage. That really is the lowest of the low. I wish you all the best with the action and the momentum that people have now got to see that they are refunded or at the very least that this man cannot take anymore of people's hard earned money that they handed over on the promise of a party for their child x

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  19. Try RepTylers - www.reptylers.co.uk instead. I can't recommend them highly enough - I've used them for my son's birthday and three fundraising events so far and they're fab: extremely reliable, brilliant with all audiences (I've seen them in action with 2-7yo, 11-13yo and plenty of adults, including people with learning disabilities; everyone has loved them!), really friendly and helpful and they have some fantastic (and obviously loved and well-cared for) animals. We've been so impressed that we've already booked them for another three events next year!!! And I'm pretty sure they'd never let anyone down without a fairly earth-shattering reason. :-)

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    1. Hi Jodi - so pleased you were able to use one of the many reptuable companies out there! x

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  20. I own and run Reptile Events, a private reptile rescue which takes in unwanted/abandoned snakes and lizards and do educational work with them (including parties) while trying to find them appropriate homes. We have taken on several of Repto Party's events, some at very short notice, and including two on the same dates and time, 75 minutes' drive apart. Luckily we had volunteers available to take these on.

    We operate mainly in the south London/Kent/Surrey borders area. www.reptile-events.co.uk

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    1. Hi Lucas - yes I heard you have come to the rescue on many occasions. It's such a pity that someone like this is still doing business. Keep up the good work! x

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  21. I own and run Reptile Events, a private reptile rescue which takes in unwanted/abandoned snakes and lizards and do educational work with them (including parties) while trying to find them appropriate homes. We have taken on several of Repto Party's events, some at very short notice, and including two on the same dates and time, 75 minutes' drive apart. Luckily we had volunteers available to take these on.

    We operate mainly in the south London/Kent/Surrey borders area. www.reptile-events.co.uk

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  22. So many have been hurt by Dan and Reptoparty/Reptopartyuk and so far he’s been allowed to get away with it and is still taking money for “bookings”. It's really sad that Dan, with a family of his own could operate in this way and continue to keep ruining people's special days.
    For those of you still wanting a reptile experience, Tom’s Talking Reptiles could save your day at the last minute. We realise it's not just the no show from Dan, it's the hall, the cake & the whole theme of the day to add to the disappointment. Have a look at our website, our facebook videos, reviews and photos to book us in with confidence.
    http://www.tomstalkingreptiles.co.uk

    http://www.facebook.com/TomsTalkingReptiles

    It throws salt to the wounds when people defend and still go to Reptoparty despite the evidence, cries from families telling what he has done to them and all the other businesses like ourselves which operate correctly and doing their best to save the day last minute. We don’t want people to think Tom’s Talking Reptiles has any association with Dan or Reptoparty and do not want an overall ban stopping us from performing. We operate as a proper business caring for our pets (most of them rescues), are registered as a business & are fully insured to do what we do. We have a Performing Animal Licence, full Risk Assessments and 100% 5 star Facebook ratings that can all be found with ease on our website: http://www.tomstalkingreptiles.co.uk

    We want to do all we can to stop Dan from ruining special times and from tarnishing our business, and others like us that treat people with the respect, kindness and honesty.

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    1. Hi Barry - thanks so much for your comment - I think you have been able to articulate perfectly the impact this has on the children and their families but to DB it's just been a very easy way to make a lot of money to fund his lifestyle. There are so many good companies like yourselves out there and thankfully lots have been able to save the day. I also 100% agreew with your comment about people still booking despite knowning all of the above. Shame on you. Why would you want this man anywhere near children? Do we not teach our children wrong from right? Thanks again for your comment x

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