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beware rogue trader- house removal firm
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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
31-12-2009 12:13 PM

Some friends of mine moved house just before Xmas to the midlands and used a removal firm based in Forest Hill Road. Basically the firm tried to extort money with menaces from my friends by invoking further charges once the goods were collected and refused to deliver the items until this further sum of ?700 was paid. I can't mention the name of the firm here but if anyone wants to pm me I can give further details. The goods were eventually delivered on Xmas Eve, a week after the move and after a worrying time for my friends who have two very young children and whose essentials were in the consignment.

This firm should be avoided at all costs. The owner transpired to be a well known extortionist who is on Lewisham Councils list of rogue traders and despite convictions for same the owner just keeps on trading under different names and adopting the same tactics. I believe there might be a discussion about him on the ED forums. He advises people after collection that a second van is needed after collection hence the extra charge. Somehow a demand for petrol is also issued for around ?150 one way to the Midlands which is also extreme. My friends paid this out of desperation. Another tactic is to demand VAT without a VAT receipt- clearly this man is charging VAT when he doesn't pay it hence hiking the price further- probably a criminal offence. He is apparently in his mid 20's and comes across as very presentable and plausible however he is clearly experienced at ripping off vulnerable people, as my friends were with a house move so close to Xmas and a tight timescale for moving as a result. Clearly the various sanctions issued against him by local trading standards offices aren't going to stop him- yet- so he must be making a fair profit which makes it worth the risk.

My friends involved the police and after making some threats of their own their stuff was delivered safely without extra charge however this was very stressful for them. I suggest that anyone using a removal firm checks them out really thoroughly beforehand but I can provide further info on this particular firm on request.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #2
31-12-2009 06:38 PM

Sounds really nasty and surely a matter for the boys in blue

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councillorsusanwise


Posts: 76
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
04-01-2010 02:31 PM

Sadly, this is becoming a common issue.
Lewisham Council is in the process of prosecuting such a removal firm, and we have issued a removal companies warning which also recommends contacting http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk, or their helpline 08454 040506. For local trader knowledge call Lewisham's Trading Standards team on 0208314 2288.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
04-01-2010 07:48 PM

Susan, this is the same firm Lewisham prosecuted in March 2009 however it doesn't seem to have dampened their enthusiasm! The owner got 200 hours community service.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #5
05-01-2010 05:07 PM

Roz
It beggars belief that the owner would not have got a custodial sentence. Transportation to Van Diemens Land would be to good.
It is not the councils fault but our judges who live in a world of their own

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BarCar


Posts: 292
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
05-01-2010 11:26 PM

I would recommend always choosing a removal firm who is a member of the British Association or Removers - http://www.bar.co.uk/.

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