Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: British Consulate General – 1/5 Stars

British Consulate General
Public Services & Government
2029 Century Park E Ste 1350
Los Angeles, CA 90067

I sometimes associate objects with colors.

But with the British Consulate General, I hear a sound: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

I have been to The British Consulate General to apply/receive a Student Visa stamp on my American passport in 2010. I opted to pay $100 to WORLDBRIDGE SERVICES to schedule an appointment and see someone in person regarding my passport, rather than blindly mail my passport to a place that offers no direct method of interaction, telephone line or email.

Between the application and my actual visit to the British Consulate General was a nightmare. An absolute dive into Dante’s rings of hell! I was eating bitter, chunky eyeball pudding and suffering after a horrifying fall. I was paralyzed and rotting in a roach-infested grate. The worst experience I have ever, ever, ever had! It was so truly bad, it was surreal. Like paying top dollar for rotten food at a restaurant and then the chandelier, tables and chairs collapse and the management blames you for it all.

So, onward to this amazing WORLDBRIDGE SERVICES order form: I went on their website, put my credit card info on their website and clicked on an available appointment time with the British Consulate General. After confirming, the website had failed to load but yet it was somehow able to successfully charge me $100 for an appointment. There was an error message yet a confirmation of payment was sent via email (with a confirmation number) and I thought I was set up with an appointment. I came to Brentwood, and they had no record of me. The security guard in front was irritated that I came and thought I was trying to get upstairs without preparation. Ultimately he went upstairs, and told me they said I had to pay another $100 to schedule another appointment through WORLD BRIDGE SERVICES. Since there is no direct line to ask for a refund, you have to pay to request a refund.

Basically, it was like an amazing sketch comedy if it wasn’t happening to me. The guy on the phone said he couldn’t talk to me, and kept arguing with me about paying the $3/minute rate for a refund. And funny thing is: ONCE YOU PAY TO TALK TO SOMEONE, THEY TELL YOU THEY CANNOT REFUND YOU!! After paying $9, they told me to send a refund request via the contact form and they would get back to me.

When you send the contact form, there is a vague acknowledgement of the receipt for the request. ‘Your request has been received.’ Period. No contact information given nor any information about follow-up. In fact, it took about two weeks for them to get around to giving a refund. I was truly surprised.

After paying a second $100 and getting an official appointment, I went upstairs. There’s a security checkpoint. I walk in, there’s a tiny doctor’s office waiting room with the other people who paid $100 and next to us, I see a ton of envelopes, like hundreds mailed passports lying on a huge messy pile on a folding table. No matter what the circumstances are, I would deal with paying for their craptastic private company to get their stupid visa stamp again. What’s the recourse if someone’s visa is stolen or lost in this huge disorganized pile?

The security guard inside the actual waiting room, a grim old white dude and not British, was condescending, negative, obnoxious, and kept talking and talking. He complained that everyone in the room was texting on their cellphones and then mentioned his grandkids using cellphones all the time and not being in the real world and not chatting with dear granddad. Maybe they’d rather be on their cellphones than deal with your negative attitude, bub.

It took about two hours to get my student visa. I answered the questions they asked when I was at the window and gave them the documents/degrees/photos and waiting for the visa. Receiving the actual stamp that takes up two entire pages of my passport that I can never get back was very insignificant for the work I put into getting there.

Seriously, a private company and a $100 charge to deal with your shenanigans? In these three years that have passed and after living in Britain, I’m most grateful to learn through my time in Britain as an overseas student that actual companies in Britain do not operate like WORLDBRIDGE SERVICES.

Was it worth it? Perhaps. But be damned and less $100 if your order form on the website failed like mine.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 0