A resident of Sutton cum Lound and a member of the Neighbourhood Watch has reported that they feel conned following dealings earlier this week, 22nd June,with a “local” company.
Our Member visited on line accreditation site Bark.com to find a local gardener. The Company that was recommended by Bark.com was Mick’s Landscaping, our Member opted to use Mick’s Landscaping. Bark.com then contacted Mick’s Landscaping who phoned our Member. “Michael” came along to undertake the work, grass cutting and weeding.
Taking 4 hours to cut grass in the morning Michael who had another man with him, asked to be paid before they went for lunch, he asked for, and was paid £190.00 in cash, £160 for the work plus seemingly as an afterthought, £30 for VAT. Our Member requested a receipt and Michael agreed to email one, he has not.
Michael said he would be back after lunch, he was not. During the morning Michael had put ladders up against the Members property and advised that there was a broken tile that he could fix. He was not asked to check the roof, nor was he given permission to place ladders against the property. Our Member declined the offer to fix the broken tile.
Our Member tried to contact Michael (on his mobile) using a landline number that was used to make contact with him initially, not picked up. Our Member then used a mobile number, not used previously, that call was picked up! Michael said that he had been called away to another job and that he would return. To date he has not.
Our Member has since posted on Bark.com registering dissatisfaction that the work had not been completed and spoke to them, Bark.com offered commiseration.
Our Member used an accreditation site to obtain the contact details of what our Member took to be a bona fide contractor with proven credentials. Rather worryingly the experience suggests that the recommendation, in this case and maybe others, was not justified.
So what might we glean from this? That not all traders recommended by accreditation sites are properly vetted. That it is better to obtain a written quotation prior to agreement being struck that describes the services offered and price to be paid. That payment for small jobs should be made when the customer is satisfied and on completion and preferably by cheque.
Easy to be wise after the event however. We probably all place rather more credence on recommendations made from accreditation sites than we ought to. Might recommendations from friends and relatives be a better bet?
We will be contacting Trading Standards to report our Members experience with this contractor and accreditation site.
Interestingly on the 22nd June a man peddling gardening services made an unsolicited visit to my property (Chair). Offering gardening services and also offering to jet wash our drive, “I’m already working in the area” he said.
Both offers were refused. Coincidence, probably not, be careful!