A Blackpool carer has been left £4,500 out of pocket after paying up front to a roofer who she says has left her roof a “shambles” and disappeared.
Laverne Wickers, 50, who lives with and cares for her disabled daughter Paige, 27, said she was quoted £6,000 to re-roof her property and fix the lead flashings.
Trading Standards is now investigating a complaint from Laverne, who lives on Redcar Road in North Shore, who said she paid the roofer £2,000 up front for materials and £800 to cover scaffolding costs.
But she says in just four days work started slowing down and she was pressured to pay more money up front.
She said: “He told me two weeks maximum for the job but four days in he started disappearing. He was turning up at 11am and going at 3pm.
“Then he came for two days and asked for £1,000 for more materials and so he could pay a wage to two other lads.
“I felt under pressure all the time.”
Laverne said she was suspicious and rang the firm that provided the scaffolding the roofer had used, Crown Scaffolders in Blackpool, who informed her the cost of the scaffolding was £600. But she said she had been asked for £800 to cover it.
“I realised (the roofer) had scammed me out of money,” she added.
“He said one of the chimneys was damaged and needed to come down. So that cost me an extra £400.
“Then he asked for a further £500 for materials.”
Laverne, who is also a professional dog walker, says she was informed by Crown Scaffolders that the roofer still owed them money. She settled the balance out of the £500 he had requested and gave him the remainder but she says he was furious and she hasn’t seen him again.
Now she has been left with an unfinished roof and debris in her garden, which will cost her further money to remove.
She says: “He didn’t even use a skip, just threw the tiles in to the garden.”
David Rix, 29, who owns scaffolding business Crown Scaffolders has now stepped in to help. He described the work as “atrocious” and has called in his friends at Kirkham Roofers, in Kirkham to fix the job “at cost price”.
He said: “(The roofer) said he wanted to pay me half up front for the scaffolding hire and half when the job was done, which I have never heard of happening before.
“He still owed me £320 three weeks in for a job he said would take a week and a half.
“Laverne has been left with water leaking on electrics, buckets in the loft and he has taken a chimney down and tiled over it so now she can’t use the log fire she needs for heating.”
Laverne added: “Crown Scaffolders and Kirkham Roofers have been fantastic.”
A Blackpool Trading Standards spokesman said: “We are aware of the complaint from Laverne Wickers and an officer has been in contact with her regarding the matter.”
The roofing firm at the centre of the investigation ignored repeated approaches from The Gazette for a comment.