Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Rogue Trader from Hell

Jason's a rogue trader, skilled in the art of taking advantage of the gullibility of older people, as I found to my cost this week.
On sunday he knocked on my door saying he was fixing the outside shutters for my neighbour, cleverly referring to him as "Steve" and "did I want any work done on the outside of my house?" I said he'd could give me a quote on replacing two sections of wooden fascia board. Jason had a look round and said he'd replace and paint the wood, paint the wood on the front porch and put sealant on the joins of all the gutters for £400. I gave him the go ahead.
On monday he told me the sections of fascia were not rotten and only needed a repaint. I reduced the price to £300. By wednesday all he had done was the painting but he'd 'discovered' that the mortar on some of the roof hip tiles was loose and they needed repointing. When I told him I wanted him to do only the work we agreed he turned both rude and nasty and told me :

" I've never come across anyone like you before. I'm only telling you what needs to be done and you won't listen. You keep interrupting me."

I decided to cut my losses, phoned him later that afternoon and told him that when came on thursday morning I wanted him to pick up his ladders and £200 for the work h'd done. He wanted £250. He in fact came that afternoon. After he'd gone, Chris across the road came to warn me about him because he'd watched him get up a ladder, look around and then quickly raise one of the hip tiles with a trowel. I found he'd done exactly the same on the back of the house.

During the course of the week, on different occasions, he asked me twice for £10 and once for a sandwich. I said I had no cash and no bread. He must have successfully done this many times before with old people. He was always asking questions. Even this was part of his strategy of gaining ascendancy by trying to undermine my confidence.
Him : " How much did this patio cost?"
Me : " I can't remember."
Him : " What d'you mean, 'you can't remember'?"

Jason, a clever, crafty crook. I'll certainly remember him.

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