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It’s good to be trusting.

Unfortunately, sometimes our trusting nature results in us getting taken advantage of. That’s what happened to Christine, a client I’ve worked with for many years, who was keen for me to share her story.


Christine’s story


The guttering and soffits on Christine’s house needed replacing. A local roofing company initially quoted £16,000 for the work, then lowered this to £10,000 when Christine queried the price. On refusing to award them the work, the company eventually agreed a price of £5,600.

Despite being given very basic paperwork relating to the work, Christine made detailed notes herself of the work that should have been carried out.

Sometime soon after the work was completed, a friend who was helping Christine with another maintenance job noticed that the previous work had been done very poorly. He took multiple pictures, which clearly showed the rotten wood had not been replaced as agreed and new soffits were fixed to thin air.


The recourse


When Christine explained that she had paid for the work by credit card, her friend encouraged her to call her bank immediately. The bank pursued a claim against the builders and, 12 months later, Christine was fully refunded.

The key lessons learned include:

– Get a detailed quotation to outline exactly what work will be carried out

– Pay by credit card where possible – the protection is hugely beneficial

It is easy to fall victim to dishonest tradespeople. According to National Trading Standards, 85% of victims of doorstep scams are aged 65 and over. Age UK publish guidance on what to do if you think you’ve been scammed, which you may like to read on their website.

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