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I have been ripped off

(57 Posts)
noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 15:29:35

Basically I gave 500 pounds to our plumber as a deposit for a downstairs loo The toilet was delivered 2 weeks ago the vanity basin wasn't.Every day he had a different excuse not to start but there was a lot going on so I didn't mind He was supposed to start today and didn't show.I rang the shop who supplied the loo to see if I could pick up the basin etc and they had no order for a basin.I planned to get the goods and get someone else to fit them.I rang his mobile endless times and his wife said he was in spain (a lie)and told me to basically f off and said he had done some work here so owed me nothing He has done nothing yet!I am now in a position where I have to tell dp we have lost 500 less the cost of the toilet and have no basin unit either I feel sick tbh but what can I do?

SoupDragon Thu 05-May-05 15:33:18

Write an official sounding letter threatening to take him to the small claims court unless he returns your money.

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 15:40:23

thanks i am in tears can't cope with this atm I really needed the loo done as I have a heart condition and can't do stairs at times Feel like contacting the local paper I am so mad1

SoupDragon Thu 05-May-05 15:42:03

Oh yes! Local paper is good. I was going to suggest it. Write and tell the plumber that's what you're going to do.

mancmum Thu 05-May-05 16:16:35

Sorry to hear this .... you really do need to get this sorted quickly --- my friend at work had something similar done to him... he went to CAB who helped him with the small claims court -- rty that first... secondly, you do need to write to him (and keep copies of letters) to say what you were expecting and what you had paid... go back to shop for copy of invoice... would try contacting local paper but they might not publish for fear of libel but worth telling him that is your plan and copying him the letter... then there is trading standards... is he registered anywhere?

REally feel for you -- b****

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 16:34:27

I am grateful for all your messages but i am so upset can't believe this he has phoned me and told me to f**k off and i better watch myself I cannot believe this i have never known someone turn so nasty i am scared to even go to the shop up the road that is how aggressive he was on the phone to me

bundle Thu 05-May-05 16:41:43

noddy we had something similar to this, where the tradesperson got all aggressive. luckily i was on the phone to our solicitor (asking advice about where i would stand legally if I accepted his shoddy workmanship) and he heard him threatening me, and told me to call the police on my mobile and ask him to leave straight away. we eventually went through the small claims court but this b***d fled the country ffs. i think the papers should be alerted to protect people from w*ers like him. he should be ashamed of himself.

mancmum Thu 05-May-05 16:45:43

he had made a threatening call to you and stolen from you -- time to go to the police -- he should not be allowed to get away with this...

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 16:53:33

The plumbers merchants spoke to him for me and he lied through his teeth to hom He has since rung me again ranting and raving saying his house move is more important than my whim to have a loo downstairs when i already f***g have one upstairs(his words!!)I am shaking tbh I have requested a form from the small claims court and it is in the post

LemonDrizzle Thu 05-May-05 16:55:17

Threaten him with the consumer rights people. Call them first, a guy I know did this to a garage with a surprisingly good outcome

snark Thu 05-May-05 16:55:18

Go and have a chat with CAB, and report him to the Trading Standards people as well.

frogs Thu 05-May-05 16:58:41

Noddyholder, I have to go the small claims court route from time to time to get my money when people don't pay my invoices (I'm self-employed). It's pretty straightforward: you write a formal letter stating your case and saying that if you do not receive payment within fourteen days you will take legal action. Send it recorded delivery so you have proof they've received it. Most people pay at this point.

If that doesn't bring any joy you file a court claim. It's v. easy -- you can do it online. You have to pay a small fee, which is a percentage of the amount you're claiming for -- for a £500 claim the fee would be under £50 I think, and gets added to the amount of your claim, so you get it back if you win. Keep copies of all invoices and correspondence, and make a note of time, date and content of all conversations. If you have any further conversations, consider using a recording device (even a cheap dictaphone) to record it.

I'm happy to help you if you do want to go the Small Claims route, as it's easy when you've done it before and intimidating if you haven't. I can write you a specimen letter, and talk you through the online claim.

If he's actually threatened you, that is a criminal matter and you should go to the police.

CAT me if I can be of any help. You shouldn't feel you've lost the money, as he has no right to it if he hasn't done any work.

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 17:02:19

thanks I am trying to calm down before dp gets home Can't believe he accused me of being a f'ing middle class bird who just fancies a downstairs loo on a whim when I have one upstairs Who does he think he is?

frogs Thu 05-May-05 17:07:41

5{nd when you're ready write him a letter. Like I said, I'm happy to help you with the content if you like.

He's an idiot, there's a lot of it about. Don't take it personally. When I started out I used to get quite offended and upset if people didn't pay me. Now my attitude is: You asked me to do the work, I did the work, now pay me you b*ds. People will try it on if they think they can get away with it. A sensible formal letter containing the words 'Legal Action' tends to sober them up a bit.


frogs Thu 05-May-05 17:08:15

First bit of that went funny, don't know why...

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 17:08:56

thanks frogs I will probably need your help!

assumedname Thu 05-May-05 17:10:30

Did you pay by cheque? If so, you have some proof.

Tinker Thu 05-May-05 17:11:32

Agree with all advice so far.

Put his phone number on here so we can ring him (prob not a good idea...)

Write to Watchdog, kind of thing they love

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 17:14:00

no I gave him cash!I know I can't believe it either so unlike me but there you go.He was quite meek tbh and I have really been shocked by this aggression I know I have no proof but the 2 assistants in the plumbers merchants have spoken to him and they know he has had the money he didn't deny it to them

bundle Thu 05-May-05 17:15:26

or you & yours on Radio 4

assumedname Thu 05-May-05 17:17:29

I hate to say it, but maybe your dh needs to speak to him. Speaking from (bitter) experience, I think women are seen as a soft touch where bad tradesmen are concerned.

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 17:18:10

I would love to put his number on but better not!I could really lay it on thick- transplant patient needing downstairs loo ripped off by local cowboy but am truly scared he will come after me

noddyholder Thu 05-May-05 17:45:43

the local paper has contacted me as I wanted to put an ad next to his saying he was a cowboy They have said obviously not a good idea but they are interested as a news story as they have very close ties with my transplant unit.I don't know what to do Will talk to dp when he gets in

pinkmama Thu 05-May-05 18:12:21

H Noddy, really sorry to hear about this, thats awful. Hope the argus get a good story out of it, he could do with shaming. What a w**r.

I know it may not be the best time, but if ou remember I live basically around the corner, if and when you do want to go ahead witha different plumber I have used a fantastic woman called mamaplumber, and she is lovely, can happily recommend her. let me know if you want the details.

p.s. to cheer you up a bit, looks like the tin drum is going ahead, maybe we could meet for a glass of something when it does!

Tortington Thu 05-May-05 18:15:21

oh noddy this is very rubbish am so sorry this has happened to you. please phone the police.

did you have anything in writing saying he would do the work he has not done?

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