In 2015 there has been a significant increase of media coverage for our third party website BritishPassportServices.co.uk, the majority of which can be put down to one man, Mr Jeff Prestridge of the Mail on Sunday. He has dedicated pages of the Mail on Sunday (space worth tens of thousands of pounds if sold as advertising space) and written a number of online articles raising public awareness of 3rd party websites that provide customers with assistance in securing government documents. More on Jeff Prestridge >>>
He was a key figure in the media that helped lead to the main competitors of BritishPassportServices.co.uk being shut down by Trading Standards eCrime Unit in 2014. The websites Passports-UK.co.uk and UK-Passport.net were the two largest competitors of BritishPassportServices.co.uk which, now, thanks in part to Jeff Prestridge are no longer trading. Since then our share of the UK passport market has ballooned significantly.
Who is Jeff Prestridge?
Indeed. For over 20yrs he has been the Financial Editor for the Mail on Sunday. He campaigns strongly to his readers not to use “copycat” websites that help consumers in some occasions secure an earlier appointment then Her Majesty’s Passport Office can offer directly as well as save them time, travel and potentially accommodation expenses from visiting their regional Passport Office in person when renewing their passport.
He champions personal financial education, planning and taking responsibility for your financial future however he does not appear to extend this philosophy to shopping online as he seems to believe (at least in some cases) that the consumers actions are the responsibility of the company they use and that if the buyer is not happy with a service that they have requested and received then they should not have to pay for it and that any attempt for that company to collect on the promised funds is the equivalent of “bullying”. He appears to deem all “copycat” websites as unnecessary middle men. It is not known whether this belief extends to accountants, estate agents, recruitment agencies or financial brokers who all provide “middle men” services.
He has also been the only newspaper reporter to raise awareness of the Privatise 4
Prosperity political party. The previously little known party which stands for more competition, increased privatization of government sectors and discounted services for Mail on Sunday readers. Mr Prestridge is not a supporter of the party nor has he liked it on Facebook. He has however been the reporter who has raised the profile of the party leader Mr Richard Howard more than any other journalist. Such exposure has led to many to ask questions about what the party stands for, who are members and whether they will be standing for elections. One enquiry came from BBC Radio 4. Jeff Prestridge was kind enough to advise his Mail on Sunday readers that the Privatise 4 Prosperity party are in the process of actively seeking new members.
Our favorite Jeff Prestridge quote about BritishPassportServices.co.uk…
Mr Prestridge flattered Mr Richard Howard owner of UK Services & Support Ltd by suggesting that he may have entrepreneurial talent worthy of molding by Sir Alan Sugar.
Jeff Prestridge Mail on Sunday Articles
Due to the ongoing coverage of BritishPassportServices.co.uk provided by Mr Prestridge we decided to conduct consumer research to see if his coverage affected anyone’s decision on whether to use our third party website and whether it would likely affect our ability to maintain our 0.02% share of the British passport market or negatively impact our chances of becoming a finalist in this years Merton’s Best Enterprising Business Award.
Therefore our agents hit the streets of Wimbledon to ask 100 consumers whether the Mail on Sunday coverage would affect their decision when applying for their new British passport. The findings can be found below…
As this research was carried out by our company we can appreciate that some may want to validate its findings and so we made the decision to make all of our research data publicly available for scrutiny from independent adjudicators, the media or anyone else who wishes to see for themselves that the research is authentic and that we are reporting our findings accurately. The raw data can therefore be found here >>>
In summary, the findings shocked us. 88% of consumers where not aware of who Mr Prestridge was and so we considered we were unable to conduct any further research into whether his coverage had any influence on the average consumers decision whether to use our third party website or not until we were able to raise Mr Prestridge’s public profile. Some have speculated that these findings have something to do with the fact that Mr Prestridge’s articles appear beyond page 140 in the Mail on Sunday and so argue that the average consumer could not reasonably expected to move through 140 pages of text to find them.
We are therefore announcing a month long campaign to raise his profile through our website. In one months time (June 19th 2015) we shall conduct fresh research to see if the findings have changed. If the research comes back with similar results then we will be looking to extend the campaign on this website and add it to our network of other passport websites. If the findings are different in the follow up research and we are able to ascertain the public’s opinion then we will be looking to discontinue this campaign. A decision will be made on June 20th 2015.