Cowboy builders


Hi,
A friend of mine hired builders who were working for another friend of his but this friend of mine did not satisfy himself with the quality of work they are doing and hired them to build a porch and fit kitchen just on hearsay. He gave the builders 8000 advance and sent these builders to me to build my porch and toilet.
I also did not see what they have done at my friend's place and thinking that they are reliable and good builders gave them the advance of 3500 against a contract worth 6500.
Then these builders did not appear to be reliable and after digging the foundation of my friend's porch, they left the muck lying around with no skip to take it away.
After the builders left my friend in lurch, then he was worried as to be the genuineness of the builders. My friend visited the Builder's address in Gloucester to talk to the builders why they are delaying his project? Then, the builders brought in some blocks and material for him and that was it.
These builders have put two others known to my friend in the same situation and they have paid the builders sums of 40,000 each.
Hearing all these stories, I became suspicious of the builders and when they sent a team of three on Saturday, 6th August to dig my foundation without any skip to put the dug out material, I told the workers that I do not want a mess in front of my house and they should bring the construction material and the skip before starting the job as the advance was paid against the materials, skip, etc.
They promised to bring in material last Monday/Tuesday 15/16 August but nothing so far and they promised to finish my job within 5 weeks of 27 July.
Now, the builders have disconnected their telephone line that used to have a fax as well and there is no way we can contact them and it seems the address is of a rented house. Mobile phones are not answered. I sent them a Special Delivery Letter on 04 August, 05 demanding my money back but no reply or telephone call.
Now, the facts of the case in a nutshell are:-
The Company is a sole trader and is owned by a person who never visits the sites or signs the contracts but sends workers. The persons representing his company do not have any business cards that they are authorised to sign the contracts and these two representatives are taking money in the name of a private person who claims to be an employee of the company. The signatures of the person signing the contract are also dubious. For example, our cheque was taken in his name on 27 July and presented the very day to be cashed next day from my Abbey National Bank. I did contact this person on his mobile and asked him when would he bring the materials but he made false promises and refused to give his private address saying that he is just an employee of the company/sole trader.
To me the whole thing is a scam and I would like your advise what course of action should I take to recover my money please? How could I find the private address of this private person to sue him for the money please? I have written to the Police of Gloucester but so far I have not heard from them.
This Builder has done no work at my place but in the other cases, he just dug his teeth in to argue his case. Total money involved is around 91,500. The other three being in a deeper waters rang some solicitors in Gloucester for assistance but they claim to be already acting for this Builder.
Trading Standards Officer of Gloucester has been informed for assistance but he says, we should forget about recovering our money. The employees of the Builder who have collected the money already stress that they have not committed any crime and Police cannot touch them.
Rajinder Nijjhar
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SNIP
A salutary lesson and you have my sympathies, but realistically your money is gone and I think you have about as much chance of flying to the moon as you have of getting your money back.
I know it's too late for you now for this time, but for future reference, and for anyone who may be about to fall into the same trap, here's what I would do, indeed what I did years ago when we had the double glazing done.
I wrote to them, stating the price they had told me, and that I accepted the price. I also made clear to them that they would not get more than 10% of the money in advance, and that they would get 80% on completion of the work, and the final 10% after all snagging, cleaning up and removal of materials, waste,equipment etc. This final 10% was paid three weeks after the job was finished because I was not satisfied with a couple of things. I wrote to them explaining that the final sum would be paid after they were put right, and they had no problem with that.
A reputable trader would not have a problem with this sort of arrangement. Anybody who wants the money up front is a con artist. Do you get paid in advance for your work? No? Then why should they?
HTH
Steve
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shazzbat wrote:

Couldn't companies house give the address? Failing that I have UKinfo 10 if you give me his details it may turn something up...
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Hi,
The Company address is there but the sole trader did not cash the cheque but his colleague crook.
I have the details of the Bank where he cashed the cheque but he would not give me the address.
Rajinder

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Couldn't companies house give the address? Failing that I have UKinfo 10 if you give me his details it may turn something up...
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