Be vigilant say Ipswich Citizens Advice Bureau bosses after complaints about building projects spike
Stay on the lookout for rogue builders – that’s the message from Citizens Advice Bureau bosses following a spike in complaints about botched building projects in Ipswich.
As complaints about home improvements nationally climb to a record 40,000, chiefs working at the Ipswich centre say they too have seen a rise in people seeking advice. Unsafe or faulty quick fixes, false warranties and poor quality jobs top the list of problems reported to the service in Ipswich over the past year.
In one case, incorrect fixings were used to secure a TV bracket to a wall. According to the client, the poor quality materials fell off and broke the TV as well as damaging the plaster.
Another concerned resident was visited by a boiler company which they claimed resulted in no hot water, central heating and two leaks that were not there before.
Nicky Willshere is chief executive at the Ipswich Citizens Advice Bureau. She said: Shoddy workmanship and unfinished home improvements are leaving people in Ipswich out of pocket and facing huge disruptions to their lives. Many people have come to Citizens Advice Ipswich in the past year wanting to know how they how they can get refunds or compensation.”
Ipswich-based Joel Nemukula visited the service this summer. He has spoken out about the “nightmare” he had trying to get his conservatory built in a bid to help others in a similar position.
The 47-year-old claims he was given a quote for the building project back in December and was told work would start in February.
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He handed over a deposit which was over a third of the full amount quoted but when he had not heard anything by the end of February this year he started to grow concerned. Months passed and Mr Nemukula eventually heard news in May. Work began but took far longer than expected – and in the middle of the project he decided to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for help.
He said: “I felt as if I had nowhere else to turn to. I just did not know what was happening at all. The advice bureau told me how to write a letter to get my concerns across which was a great help to me. I had grown a bit worried when I gave the deposit and I had not heard and if I’m honest about it, it was a bit of a nightmare for me.”
Have you been affected? Visit the service in Tower Street for advice.