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Been ripped off and now I feel really stupid.

(28 Posts)
Fluffyduck1 Sun 15-May-16 08:47:59

Not an AIBU, but just posted for a hand holding really. I needed some gardening work doing so I contacted a company that had some really good reviews and some great pictures of work they had done, via Facebook. Man came and I explained what needed doing, some small tree stumps removed, and the garden digging over and made level ready to turf. Not a huge space at all and he quoted £250 and said it would be a day's work. Said that he would rotovate the garden and level it all off and that I may need some topsoil but that would be extra., and they would start at 8 a few days later. That was fine. So they turn up at 10.30 ( having been held up at another job) later in conversation actually said they had slept in and started 'work'. I left them to it. After an hour they knocked and said their chin saw was broken and couldn't remove tree stumps but would still level the garden and work round them. nothing else had been done at all. A bout half an hour later another knock do I have a spade as the van had been broken into at some point that week and all tools stolen so didn't have one. At this point I'm getting a little uneasy but gave them a spade to carry on. I went to see how they were getting on about 12.30 and they said they had nearly finished and wanted paying. Literally all they had done was shovel some soil from on place to another and not actually dug anywhere. Garden not level at all, in fact it really was the same. I refused to pay and eventually had to ask a male neighbour to come and get them to leave after paying £150 so they would go. I'm furious with myself. I'm a stupid stupid woman and they saw me coming didn't they?

OliviaBenson Sun 15-May-16 08:51:35

I think you are being very hard on yourself. Well done for refusing to pay all of the sum. Could you contact trading standards about them and put a review online?

I hope you are ok, it sounds a horrible experience.

araiba Sun 15-May-16 08:52:55

yes, you have been stupid

you gave them £150 for nothing

is this what you wanted to hear?

MintyBojingles Sun 15-May-16 08:53:33

No, they are rouge traders, and it's not your fault they didn't do the work they said they'd do. I wouldn't have given them any money though.

We had some nasty weeds sprayed in the garden last year, they quoted £100 per session and 6 sessions required. First time didn't do much, second time killed everything, then they turned up unannounced for the third time, broke in to our garden and sprayed nothing (all the weeds were dead). We hadn't signed a contract and DH refused to pay them.

MintyBojingles Sun 15-May-16 08:54:39

Should say we payed them for the first two times, but they weren't using the weed killer they said they would any of the times.

Coconutty Sun 15-May-16 08:54:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Birdsgottafly Sun 15-May-16 08:55:45

""I'm a stupid stupid woman and they saw me coming didn't they?""

Don't ever beat yourself up for taking people at face value and them being rip off scumbags.

You need to take the into FB and any other Social Media/advertising they have.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 15-May-16 08:56:42

No, you're not stupid. What a horrible experience. Yes, there will be cries of shouldn't have given them the £150, but it must have been horrible having them there and refusing to go.

Catzpyjamas Sun 15-May-16 08:57:50

You're not stupid - they are ripping people off. Taking money for work that wasn't done is breach of contract. Speak to Citizens Advice on what options you have.

GrumpyOldBag Sun 15-May-16 09:14:29

If you found them on Facebook you should be able to post a negative review on FB to stop other people falling for it too.

LobsterQuadrille Sun 15-May-16 09:16:34

You're not at all stupid. With hindsight - and typing on a keyboard having read the story - it's very easy to think that you could have taken an alternative course of action but, when faced with people in your garden whom you don't trust and want to get rid of quickly, you do what seems easiest. Good for you for getting a neighbour and not paying the full amount. Chalk it up to experience.

How did you find these conmen? Do they have a website? Definitely try to make a complaint. And for the future - use Checkatrade as at least you have a bit of reassurance that others have used tradesmen and that they are reliable.

LobsterQuadrille Sun 15-May-16 09:17:59

Sorry, I didn't read properly. Get onto Facebook and give a review!

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Sun 15-May-16 09:20:58

It's nothing to do with the fact you are a woman.

They saw you coming because you were stupid enough to get from from an ad on bloody Facebook! I could set myself up a page on FB in 30 mins ffs claiming I'm a gardener/ physio/chef etc

BombadierFritz Sun 15-May-16 09:24:14

Make sure you post all about them on facebook

What a load of chancers

Paying them was your only big mistake.

DailyMailAreAFuckingJoke Sun 15-May-16 09:26:07

ItsLikeRain - what an unhelpful post. Anyone could set up a website, or put an ad in the Yellow Pages or Thompson Local ; would that make them more trustworthy? OP saw the reviews and took it in good faith that they would do what they said they would do.

I had major work done to my kitchen earlier this year - all of the tradespeople I used were located and booked via local FB pages. They all did a great job and I am very pleased with it. The OP has been very unlucky. Perhaps you might want to think about how unkind your post sounds?

GrumpyOldBag Sun 15-May-16 09:30:40

I often source tradespeople via recommendations from my local Facebook page and so far have not had any issues.

JuxtapositionRecords Sun 15-May-16 09:36:53

ItsLikeRain - what an unhelpful post. Anyone could set up a website, or put an ad in the Yellow Pages or Thompson Local
Exactly this. Ridiculous to say it's op's fault as she trusted a fb ad. Millions of genuine businesses advertise on there and it's no more or less dodgy than other ways to advertise.

Sorry this happened to you op. I don't think you are stupid at all. Do they have a business address or anything on their fb page? Or a website or anything?

leelu66 Sun 15-May-16 09:48:20


I've just seen your post in another thread about drunk DH. You sound like a twat everywhere you post it seems.

LIZS Sun 15-May-16 09:56:22

Pictures on FB could come from anywhere . Unless you had a specific personal endorsement you were foolish but that doesn't mean you deserved it. Do you have proper contact details for them or are they just a cash in hand operation? Report to trading standards as I doubt you are the only one being threatened and ripped off. I doubt they could ever have done what you asked in one day.

Marynary Sun 15-May-16 10:06:42

You're not stupid. Although I always try to go on recommendations from people I know it sometimes isn't possible and you have to take a risk by using facebook, yellow pages, Thompson local etc. I probably wouldn't have paid them but understand it is easy to feel intimated if there more than one men vs. you. I would write off the £150 and try to make sure that no one else gets ripped off by them by giving bad reviews and reporting to trading standards.

MadSprocker Sun 15-May-16 10:15:13

We made a mistake and employed a friend's partner to do jobs in our garden to give him a chance, and paid a lot more! Try not to beat yourself up. There are some horrible people out there.

EveryoneElsie Sun 15-May-16 10:18:00

Dont try and deal with this yourself, dont email them, dont confront them.
Report them to Trading Standards, let them know exactly how bad it was and that you had to get a male neighbour to help.

Dont feel bad, con men are called that because they con you into trusting them.

DaveCamoron Sun 15-May-16 10:20:34

It's absolutely not your fault, I've been caught out in a similar situation and they only left when I threatened to call the police. Those people are chancers.

theclick Sun 15-May-16 10:21:51

You're not stupid, you are being a little slow by not put a version of that OP on Facebook rather than here! Do that ASAP! wink

CaptainCrunch Sun 15-May-16 10:25:28

it sounds like they were quite intimidating. I think you should speak to the police that you felt they were demanding money with menace.

I don't think you were stupid. It could happen to anyone.

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