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Medicine Man

VFS Global document upload - Scam or not?

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I have recently applied for a UK visit visa for my wife where part of the process is to upload your supporting documents via the VFS Global website. My question is has anybody successfully uploaded their supporting documentation without having to use the paid upload service? 

I have had the same issue for the last 2 applications whereby the system appears to upload (a progress bar counts 0-100%) then immediately logs you off due to 'user timeout due to inactivity'. There doesn't appear to be any way to check if the documents have uploaded as far as I can see but when attending the interview for biometrics etc the clerk says that so supporting docs are present. Luckily I have hard copies which they then upload for a fee.

My uploads are all PDF format and meet the requirements of <10Mb total size (If >10Mb the upload is refused anyway).

My impression of the VFS software is that it is very poor and maybe deliberate to get you to pay for their premium services or use their upload service. The online support is equally frustrating, all deliberate in my view to get you to pay more. Have other users of the VFS Global website had a similar experience and if so I am thinking of lodging a complaint with UK immigration (however I gather that they are actually making a killing from the subcontracting out of the service to VFS Global)...

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I'm not sure that it's a scam, but customers could be forgiven for thinking that the self upload option is puposefully promlematical to encourage applicants to use the in house service, there doesn't seem to be any meaningful monitoring of the contract by the UKVI though.

 

You say you "gather that they [UKVI] are actually making a killing from the subcontracting out of the service to VFS Global", where did you gather that from and how are they making a killing, they pay VFS for the service, so how are they making a killing?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Medicine Man said:

My question is has anybody successfully uploaded their supporting documentation without having to use the paid upload service? 

Yes, several times

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Yes have used and yes had problems with other stuff. But as for upload docs why bother when you can take them to the interview. And they will do that then for you. Cost a few bhat 

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17 minutes ago, docspinoff said:

Yes have used and yes had problems with other stuff. But as for upload docs why bother when you can take them to the interview. And they will do that then for you. Cost a few bhat 

How much is a few Baht? Will be submitting an application for my wife next month. 

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Think it is 3000 baht. Their web site is a dog.

 

From time to time it will start giving you error messages like "TRY AGAIN LATER". But later never comes. What you need to do is to log out, close your browser, open it again clear all history and cookies and log in again.

 

It is a painful process.

 

Particularly if you need to delete a file. The only option you have is to delete the category and upload all the files again. You must also check whatever you have uploaded to the other categories because files disappear for no reason. The other mistake I made was trying to order everything and keep like with like. I went to a lot of trouble merging pdf files only to have the VFS site slip the odd document into another file. Only merge where it makes sense and dont stress if VFS has other ideas.

Edited by backtofront
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24 minutes ago, backtofront said:

Think it is 3000 baht. Their web site is a dog.

 

From time to time it will start giving you error messages like "TRY AGAIN LATER". But later never comes. What you need to do is to log out, close your browser, open it again clear all history and cookies and log in again.

 

It is a painful process.

 

Particularly if you need to delete a file. The only option you have is to delete the category and upload all the files again. You must also check whatever you have uploaded to the other categories because files disappear for no reason. The other mistake I made was trying to order everything and keep like with like. I went to a lot of trouble merging pdf files only to have the VFS site slip the odd document into another file. Only merge where it makes sense and dont stress if VFS has other ideas.

Sounds like hell. I'll pay them to do it instead. 

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Thanks folks for your replies, just to clarify the current cost for VFS to upload is just below 500 baht but my concern is that you are trusting a clerk to perform this simple task adequately and my experience in Thailand is that this is a risk. The VFS website is a dog, a total shambles that makes applying for a visa much more stressful than it should be. I renewed my UK passport recently when back in the UK and it is done online with the documents being uploaded with no issues a very simple process (no VFS involvement thank God!). The fact that some can upload to VFS might be due to my browser (Chrome) having tracking inhibited but why should I switch off security to use their shoddy website (based in Dubai). 

 

To answer the old git I found an article about the VFS outsourcing in the Guardian:

Nicole Francis, chief executive of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association has stated:

“The lack of transparency in the contractual arrangements between UKVI and the subcontractors were of particular concern. We have been worried the contract between UKVI and the subcontractors may have resulted in UKVI benefiting financially from the subcontractors selling additional services to customers.”

 

Good luck to those who need to use VFS, and beware of the multiple attempts to up-sell services that you don't need.

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10 hours ago, Medicine Man said:

Thanks folks for your replies, just to clarify the current cost for VFS to upload is just below 500 baht but my concern is that you are trusting a clerk to perform this simple task adequately and my experience in Thailand is that this is a risk. The VFS website is a dog, a total shambles that makes applying for a visa much more stressful than it should be. I renewed my UK passport recently when back in the UK and it is done online with the documents being uploaded with no issues a very simple process (no VFS involvement thank God!). The fact that some can upload to VFS might be due to my browser (Chrome) having tracking inhibited but why should I switch off security to use their shoddy website (based in Dubai). 

 

To answer the old git I found an article about the VFS outsourcing in the Guardian:

Nicole Francis, chief executive of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association has stated:

“The lack of transparency in the contractual arrangements between UKVI and the subcontractors were of particular concern. We have been worried the contract between UKVI and the subcontractors may have resulted in UKVI benefiting financially from the subcontractors selling additional services to customers.”

 

Good luck to those who need to use VFS, and beware of the multiple attempts to up-sell services that you don't need.

I have been preparing my wife's visa online but so far have not been on VFS website. I assume I will move to VFS website once I have to make an appointment and upload docs.

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10 hours ago, Medicine Man said:

To answer the old git I found an article about the VFS outsourcing in the Guardian:

Nicole Francis, chief executive of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association has stated:

“The lack of transparency in the contractual arrangements between UKVI and the subcontractors were of particular concern. We have been worried the contract between UKVI and the subcontractors may have resulted in UKVI benefiting financially from the subcontractors selling additional services to customers.”

Yes, I read that but it's the view from an interested party, hardly a factual credible source.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think the lack of a decent service and accountability is a disgrace, but I believe it to to incompetence rather that corruption.

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10 hours ago, GuyFawkes said:

I have recent experience of VFS (Wednesday 29th January) so feel able to comment.

 

 

 

 

GuyFawkes I really feel for you and your experience dealing with VFS, I quite agree about the local representatives, here in Chiang Mai they were very helpful and courteous too. It is shocking that the only way forward for you was to get on a plane to Bangkok and also that you will have to do the same again in the near future.

The VFS website is definitely the issue and is not fit for purpose. I had the same issue regarding the password last year where you get stuck in a loop of continually resetting it and then the system telling you it is wrong. This I found out to be a major bug in that the password needs to be 9 characters or more in length BUT it allows you set set the initial password of 8 characters or less and doesn't tell you when the attempted login subsequently fails! I wasted a lot of time over this and also stressed out because the help is non-existent. I emailed VFS last year about the bug and it looks like this has been totally ignored. 

There appears to be a lot of other frustrated users of this awful service, I'm contemplating the best way forward to get UKVI to take action as they are presently ignoring all the negative feedback..

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At least for Australia, you can lodge an application for online visa and upload directly with Australian Immigration, VFS is only involved in collecting biometrics.

 

To be fair, the US visa service that is not run by VFS is no better in online web  design, not supporting such thngs like / character in address that many in the rest of the world use

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On 1/29/2020 at 4:19 PM, GarryP said:

Sounds like hell. I'll pay them to do it instead. 

Well actually I didn't. I uploaded all my wife's docs and went in for the interview on Monday, 24 Feb. Only 85 Baht for SMS, which my wife agreed to before asking me. 

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