23 April 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tradesman Demolishes Own Building Work
Member's Desperate Call Against "Rogue Customers" Highlights Disturbing Trend
Checkatrade founder and CEO Kevin Byrne has backed the call for traders to be given legal protection against “rogue customers” after Checkatrade member Nigel Gray was forced to demolish his own building work when a customer repeatedly refused to pay up.
Checkatrade founder and CEO Kevin Byrne has backed the call for traders to be given legal protection against “rogue customers” after Checkatrade member Nigel Gray was forced to demolish his own building work.
Nigel demolished a conservatory and porch that he had built after the customer repeatedly failed to pay him for the finished work. In an interview with ITV Meridian, Nigel said: “There are rogue customers out there and this cannot be happening to small companies like myself. We cannot survive things like this”. He feels that all the current legislation seems to favour the customer against dodgy traders. When his customer refused to pay him, he had little recourse but to undo his own work. This he did with the full support of the local council and the police.
Kevin Byrne identified this as “another example of customers taking advantage of hard-working traders. We receive reports similar to this on a regular basis.”
Kevin recalled an incident in Epsom where a customer refused to pay for a block paved driveway, even though there was nothing wrong with the workmanship. “This particular member tried to do what Nigel did and remove the driveway, but was prevented from doing so because it was on private property. He was told that if he removed the driveway, he ran the risk of being prosecuted for trespass."
"Nigel was incredibly fortunate in a way, because the Shoreham property is owned by the local council and they gave permission for him to enter the property to demolish the work done. He would not have been able to do this on private property.”
However the builder still has to absorb the loss of time he could have been working elsewhere, not to mention many of the materials used in construction.
Checkatrade are currently looking into the legal implications of naming and shaming unreliable customers on their website.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Checkatrade helps combat the UK's rogue trader problem by continuously vetting and monitoring local traders such as builders, plumbers and electricians. The idea was born in 1998 after a tornado hit the small West Sussex town of Selsey. Traders poured in from as far away as Liverpool and Manchester. Unfortunately, some ripped off the inhabitants of the town. Local businessman, Kevin Byrne, realised there was nowhere to check out the traders’ credentials and the company that became Checkatrade was formed.
Since then, Checkatrade has grown to include over 6,300 genuine trade members, growing by an average 120 new members every month, and, via the Royal Mail, distributes 5.9 million directories a year into communities throughout Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Dorset and Berkshire, while the website includes traders from across the UK.
PR / Marketing, Checkatrade
5 - 6 Sherrington Mews, Ellis Square, Selsey, West Sussex, PO20 0FJ