Kingston Council is warning residents to be on the look-out for a website charging disabled people for their Blue Badge application.

‘Blue Badge Online’ requests applicants to provide details of their disability, proof of identification, including address plus a payment for £49.50.

Kingston Council, along with all other London authorities is warning residents to stay away from the website. When searching for the term “Blue Badge” in Google the Blue Badge Online website comes up first. If selected the following message appears:

“Blue Badge Online is not affiliated with any Government agency or Council. This website provides an assistance service only, that costs £49.”

The website has received 58 complaints registered on the national Citizens Advice Consumer Services (CACS) database over the past two years. It is unclear as to what assistance if any is actually provided and there have been some reports that some applications have not progressed further than completion and payment.

The reality is that there is no need for disabled residents to pay any fee when applying for Blue Badges and this can be done for free direct via www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge.

Councillor Andy Johnson-Creek, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards at Kingston Council said:

“I urge residents to stay away from websites such as these which prey on the elderly and vulnerable in our community to part with their money unnecessarily. The easiest and safest way to apply is by going to www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge which can also be accessed via Kingston Council’s website www.kingston.gov.uk. Blue Badge applications should be free and I urge all residents to stay from this misleading website Blue Badge Online.”

Full details about how to apply for a Blue Badge, see apply for Blue Badge parking or call 0844 463 0213.

A £10 administration fee does apply but only where applications have been processed and approved.

If you have used Blue Badge Online please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for help and advice.

12:46, 19 Feb 2016 by Jo Cocup