Gransnet forums



(29 Posts)
Bednall51 Sat 28-Jan-17 22:39:42

I am angry - please read my daughter's post below. The battle is raging on mumsnet, but we've been asked to invite the Nanas! I still can't believe what they have done to my beloved grandchildren.

"I am SO upset and hurt! I’ve been scammed out of £15,000 and I have no idea what to do next. I have two lovely, precious children who both have Autism. My husband and I saved and saved to build them a garden cabin as a quiet space and sensory room to help them.

I paid the deposit of £15,000 to a specialist Garden Structure builders in Chester who promised to start in December - then emailed me the say before they were due to start saying they’d ceased trading.
We have now found out this is a lie - they are still working and taking on jobs but have changed their name slightly.

I have tried Police and Trading Standards and am trying to get action but have been told £15,000 isn’t that much money! Well it is to me so how can I get it back? Can anyone help or give advice please? Thank you"

Soupy Sat 28-Jan-17 22:46:36

I'd be phoning the Citizen's Advice Bureau first thing Monday as in our area they have people who specialise in Legal problems; that would be a good starting point.

If the deposit has been paid by credit card would the card provider be able to help/advise?

petra Sat 28-Jan-17 23:04:12

Instruct a good bailiff, it works.

J52 Sun 29-Jan-17 08:10:32

If you've got strong evidence, paperwork etc. go to the local/ national press. A bit of naming and shaming might get someone to help.

It's fraud, so the police should do something. Bailiffs sound a good idea, do you have to have a CCJ to use them?

Bednall51 Sun 29-Jan-17 08:16:44

The press, both local and national are now on it. What is really making my blood boil is the posts that the perpetrators are putting up. They clearly have no remorse and are now claiming to be the victims. They have even stooped so low as to threaten her and suggest that she wont get her money back unless the publicity disappears! The wife Noella claimed to have contacted the police about the thread, which doesn't threaten her at all. Though I imagine that this is just bluster.....

rosesarered Sun 29-Jan-17 08:23:35

If the press are on it, that's good! So many small companies do this, it's great to expose them, how about now take them to the small claims court?

f77ms Sun 29-Jan-17 08:30:58

Do you mean £1,500 ? £15,000 seems an awful lot for a deposit ?? How much would the whole thing cost ? You need a solicitor I would think .

trisher Sun 29-Jan-17 10:56:36

Take action in court- threaten them first and then just do it. Small claims action costs very little and you don't need a solicitor
All about how to do it

Stansgran Sun 29-Jan-17 12:10:04

I think all the advice has been given on Mumsnet but it sounds shocking. I must admit that I wouldn't pay a deposit like that. Ten per cent is a reasonable deposit so if the garden room was £150k then I'd be a bit startled.

Lewlew Sun 29-Jan-17 12:22:18

I am wondering about the £15,000 price tag as well. This company at link below makes a Swiss Cottage playhouse. You can see the prices, they are in the single not double digits.

If it cost that much... then it must be very big, very high-end fitted with special sensory fixtures, lighting and insulation from noise. Still..... the deposit seems to be up there with a fully glassed garden office room/studio and not a play structure for children.

This garden pod company makes sound proof (or not) studios that musicians can use. It includes double-glazing, wiring, plastering, etc. The prices are up there for these. If a company made this type, I'd assume they'd be experienced and stable, not a fly-by-night outfit.

Fingers crossed the amount is wrong and they can get some help in getting it back. flowers

f77ms Sun 29-Jan-17 12:26:09

Could this be someone trying to discredit this company ? only wondering about the `deposit` of 15K for a childs play structure sensory or otherwise . Grannies are not daft !

Bednall51 Sun 29-Jan-17 14:05:11

The company director involved has owned up, resigned and offered the money personally (a classic move by dodgy dealers)

To quote mumsnet:
"Posted here on mumsnet only 28/01/2012 By Richard Grace ex-director of Garden Structures Ltd. Now resigned (subject to any forum moderation rules).

The company Garden Structures Ltd (now ceased trading) owed the De-Rivas family £15,000 which was paid to the above company the agreed deposit for building a special room for their 2 autistic children to have a better life. I as an individual intend to re-imburse the De-Rivas family, in full and as soon as I can. There are no other creditors involved in this matter.

Here below is my personal and public promise to repay the £15,000, which I have the ability to achieve. Unfortunately this cannot be achieved quickly but I can and will do this."

Elrel Sun 29-Jan-17 14:48:33

Judge Rinder, where are you when we need you?

Bednall51 Sun 29-Jan-17 16:19:26

It was to be a proper garden room, where the children could relax and retreat when the world gets too much for them to cope with. Anyone who has experience of autism will understand this completely. It was not a Wendy playhouse.
The £15000 represented 50% of the cost, which was for the (non) purchase of materials.

rosesarered Sun 29-Jan-17 18:06:37

I do understand and my autistic grandson has a special sensory room made for him.An extension, which was expensive ( but worth it.) Do hope that you get the money back soon.

MawBroon Sun 29-Jan-17 18:09:58

If a refund has been offered, then surely the problem has been resolved?

Bednall51 Sun 29-Jan-17 19:02:17

Words are cheap.
Apparently they are heavily in debt. Their only equity appears to be in their house, which already has CCJs against it. It is difficult to believe there was ever an intention to undertake the work.
We were told in Early Dec that it would be on the market. It isn't - a pie crust promise.

Lewlew Sun 29-Jan-17 19:34:46

Am thinking... if the press can run a story, or your local BBC station, perhaps a reputable supplier, like the pod specialists below or similar (just an example) who provide soundproof high-end structures, might offer to help you out of this mess. Though, they are in Nottingham. They might know of a firm closer to you which you can liase with.

After all, it would be in someone's interest to put the children's welfare and needs first!

Good luck with this flowers

Bednall51 Sun 29-Jan-17 19:51:54

Thank you for that. A couple of papers, both local and national, have picked up on the Mumsnet thread, so we will see what transpires.

Ana Sun 29-Jan-17 20:27:24

If he's bankrupt (or about to be) there's no way of getting your money back, unfortunately...sad

BlueBelle Mon 30-Jan-17 06:30:03

Isn't there a clue when someone needs £15,000 as a deposit, surely any bone fide firm would not ask for that kind of money If I was having ANY work done I wouldn't pay half the full price up front, shrieks that they have no funds

Having said that I feel for you as Ana s right if they declare bankruptcy you be unlikely to get the money back

i hope you can find a way to resolve it it's a blooming lot of money to lose Try one of the Tv programmes that do the DO it yourself stuff judge tinder wouldn't help he only does small amounts under £5000

Why hasn't the refund been accepted ?

Bednall51 Mon 30-Jan-17 07:35:40

If a refund had been forthcoming, it would most certainly been accepted.

Lewlew Mon 30-Jan-17 12:35:11


I am thinking that this contractor might have ordered a modular unit to assemble and perhaps customise? If so, he may have been required by the supplier to pay the 1/2 up front himself.

If so, it looks like he didn't and kept the deposit against other 'needs'. Therefore he didn't get the modular unit/materials.

Otherwise, I would be thinking he could custom build Bednall's structure for cost so as to avoid this mess. Obviously he is up to his ying-yang in other debt.

I do not read where any refund has been offered either.

Ana Mon 30-Jan-17 12:57:19

Surely the letter quoted in Bednall's post of 14.05 yesterday from the Company Director is an offer to repay the £15,000, albeit not immediately? confused

Lewlew Mon 30-Jan-17 13:39:34

Ana you have it with your smiley face. He wants to try to not look like a baddie in public. Going into administration is the 'modern way to refinance'... hmm