Monday, 30 November 2015

How I hate...

...con-merchants that take advantage of the elderly.

During the recent gales a passing (???) builder knocked to point out to Mum that her chimney stack was wobbling all over the place. It was moving dangerously so she agreed to have him fix it.

£900 later (apparently should have been £1300 but he gives a discount to pensioners - yeh right).

Despite knowing that it would need to go through the insurance he asked for payment and now Mum has been told that the insurance policy probably won't pay out as the bill has been paid.

But it gets worse...

Mum hasn't been very well (Winter bug) and hasn't been able to get out much so she obviously found this 'pleasant' chap a ready ear for her to chat to. She was telling him about the problem with drainage on her driveway and how the door at the back of her extension wouldn't open.

Next thing we know, he has priced the work - got her to sign for it and made a start after taking a deposit.

Over £8000 for the total job!!!

Mum was then talking about getting him to do other things but we said no, especially as this has wiped out all her savings.

After seeing what has been done so far, I can say he has made a reasonable job of things but it isn't perfect and for what is involved I don't think should have come to more than £4000.

Mum is obviously feeling very weepy about the whole thing and is worried because she now has no savings to fall back on should an emergency arise.

Oh how I hate smooth talking con-merchants.

He is due back Wednesday to finish off the back wall of the extension (which he had already removed and tarped - in these winds - but was still waiting for the door). Mum will not be alone when he calls as both my Sister & I will be present.

The invoice he provided does not breakdown the costings and there is no invoice number (the box has been struck through - obviously not intending to put this work through the books!!!).

The worry is, having seen what still needs to be done to make the building secure we can't go in like a bull in a china shop incase he goes and leaves it as is...

The whole thing is making me feel sick and I can understand why Mum is feeling so upset now that she realises she has been taken for a ride...........................................


Redanne said...

Oh Toni I am so sorry that this has happened to your Mum, she must be devastated, it is all to easy to be taken in like this, especially with the chimney as she would have been worried that more damage would result if it had not been fixed. You should perhaps consider contacting Watchdog, they feature people like this in their Rogue Traders section, who prey on the elderly, if they did feature him, other people might not be similarly conned. Anne xx

Virginia said...

Oh Toni that is dreadful taking advantage of people, I really hope you manage to make some progress - he is obviously an out and out con man praying on the older of our generations!


voodoo vixen said...

Oh Toni, that is awful, just awful. I hope she isn't planning on giving him cash for this work? She should make sure it is a cheque because then there is proof of the payment and he will be liable for tax on it - and there will be evidence later that she actually paid him. Hopefully if you and your sister are there when he comes back you can talk about the final bill and say that you think it a tad high for the work involved. What a shame, your Mum must feel awful now all her savings are used up so she hasn't got anything in case of emergencies. I hope the insurance company does pay for the chimney for her, that would at least be something. :(

Sandra said...

This is truly awful, I wonder if you should maybe contact the police and check he's not done this sort of thing before. Sadly I had lots and lots of dealings like this with my parents. I'd hear the same story from them. "Oh he's such a nice man" or " oh he loves dogs" ... And then suddenly money was gone. Your poor mum must be feeling so vulnerable. Sending love xxx