The phrase “You cannot be serious!” was made famous by John McEnroe at Wimbledon in 1981 during his first round match against Tom Gullikson. He hurled the immortal words at Edward James, the umpire: “You can’t be serious, man. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! That ball was on the line! Chalk flew up! It was clearly in! You guys are the absolute pits of the world…”. According to The Telegraph in 2011, “his words will never go away. They have featured in pop songs, film dialogue and been spoken by the man himself in car rental adverts”.
Today, they were uttered in the offices of FWL. Shortly before Christmas, we received a letter from a solicitor acting on behalf of one beneficiary in a matter we are administrating. With their letter, they included an invoice which showed a charge of £637 paid to a ‘genealogy research company‘ [name withheld by FWL]. Six hundred and thirty seven pounds?! To prove that the client of said solicitor was the brother of the deceased….!? What the hell?!
We had heard of said company before but were not aware of their work. Our first encounter was not a positive one. The second encounter came today. Again, we are the administrators of a deceased person’s estate. In contacting the City Council who referred the case to the Government Legal Department, we were told that the same ‘genealogy research company’ had been asked to find living relatives of the deceased and failed to find anyone. We await the final accounts on the matter in relation to the charges made in this unsuccessful search….
Some cases are hard to crack but when companies charge such extortionate fees for the simplest of tasks, it really does drag down the reputation of all professional genealogical research outfits. We already undertake tracing work for many solicitors, councils and financial organisations across the globe. If anyone out there regularly uses tracing agents and/or a genealogy research company, please consider getting in touch so we can provide you with a quote. Then, you can compare our quote with the costs you are currently paying. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, I am sure ….