A MUM has accused a building firm of leaving her £4,200 out of pocket by botching a job to build a patio.
Esther Jones first hired Dean’s Homes and Garden Maintenance to put up a fence but says she was horrified at the results of the more complicated work at her home in East Wichel.
Mrs Jones has left a review of her experiences on the consumer website Qype and says as a result she was contacted by two other disgruntled customers and a bailiff’s firm searching for the company.
She said: “I’m absolutely disgusted. They cannot do the work to the standard they pretend.
“I’ve made repeated efforts to get my money back.
“But if I can help by standing up and being counted and that helps other people I will scream and shout at the top of the mountain.”
The local firm, run by Dean Goucher, carried out the work to build the patio last summer.
Mrs Jones said: “Dean and his team have left me with a patio that is not fit for purpose.
“They cemented over my damp proofing which meant I was left with damp inside my lounge.
“Even after they carried out remedial work I was left with a patio that is too high as the ground was not dug out.
“There is no drainage, hence the rainwater was going into the air breaks.
“Several of the slabs have been laid upside down, and the majority rock when you stand on them.”
The 51-year-old says she feels a fool for paying the money upfront before being told bad weather and other problems were affecting the job.
She said: “Dean did tell me to get another contractor to put the job right but changed his mind.
“Then he said he would try and get my money back through his insurance. Instead he cut off contact.”
Esther is worried Dean is still in business after one of the other unhappy customers told her a company run by Mr Goucher’s son Sam – but with the same personnel – had carried out work at her home.
“Dean’s son has started a new business but it sounds like his father is still in charge.”
Esther says she has even had a call from a bailiff’s company trying to track down a vehicle used by Dean’s Homes And Garden Maintenance.
A spokeswoman for Swindon Council confirmed a complaint had been received by its Trading Standards department and was being investigated.
A website belonging to the company has been taken down and contact numbers disconnected.
Mr Goucher’s son Sam said his father’s whereabouts were unknown and he not made contact for six months, other than to say he was safe and his son could have his van and tools.
Sam said his own firm – Sam’s Home And Garden Maintenance – was not connected to his father’s business and he had been adversely affected by Mr Goucher’s actions, including a court case brought by a customer.
But Sam defended his father’s work at Esther’s house, claiming she repeatedly changed her mind as to what work she wanted, including whether or not to build a shed.
He said: “We have pictures of the job with her smiling.”
Sam also alleged Esther was trying to claim back money for the job by pretending she was not happy with the work and said she had subjected four workmen to verbal abuse at her home.