Drive ends in a sinking feeling

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A COUPLE today warned about the dangers of cold calling tradesmen after they paid £2,000 for their drive to be re-laid only for it to start sinking.

William Cartmell, 72 and his wife Carol, 62, paid for the new drive after they were approached at their home on Holmfield Road, Bispham.

But only two weeks after the job was completed in October, the couple noticed the asphalt had not been laid correctly by Blackpool-based Ground Force Drives.

Mr Cartmell is now unable to park his car on the drive as the uneven surface is scraping the bottom of his car when he moves it.

The 72-year-old said: “I have lived in this house for 22 years and I thought we would treat ourselves.

“They knocked on the door and told me they could do the drive for £2,200 and then he dropped it to £2,000 and did it within five days.”

As the Cartmells realised the extent of the poor work, they contacted the owner of the company and asked him to complete the job properly.

After months of waiting, the builder returned to the home and informed the pensioners he would come back at a later date to repair the surface – but the couple are still waiting.

Mr Cartmell added: “I’m 72-years-old, a pensioner and they are ripping me off.

“I always said I would never fall for one of these groups, but we have done.”

The only alternative available to the Cartmells is for them to get their son to try and repair the damage as they have no money left.

When contacted by The Gazette a spokesman for the company said: “We can sort it out for them but at the moment we don’t have any lads working.

“I think around about March we will go round. We do have them in our diary and we haven’t forgot about them.”

Blackpool Council has issued a number of warnings in recent months about companies cold- calling in the area.

A spokeswoman said: “Our Trading Standards officers have been to visit Mr and Mrs Cartmell and are now investigating.

“Unfortunately we’ve received a number of complaints where people have paid someone to resurface their drive and have then been disappointed with the quality of the service they’ve received.

“No matter how tempting a deal may be, our advice is to think closely before dealing with doorstep callers. You need to ensure that they are legitimate and can be contacted in case of problems.”

For more information on Blackpool Council’s Cold Calling scheme or a list of reputable traders call (01253) 478375.