Cold-calling firm’s £4,000 bill for shoddy work on Hartlepool couple’s drive

New drains installed under the driveway were not connected to the main drainage system.
New drains installed under the driveway were not connected to the main drainage system.

A firm was ordered to pay more than £4,000 in compensation and court costs for work on a retired couple’s drive.

JBS Home Improvements Ltd of Billingham was prosecuted by Hartlepool Borough Council’s trading standards department.

Hartlepool trading standards manager Ian Harrison.

Hartlepool trading standards manager Ian Harrison.

It was after the retired couple, from Seaton Carew, were cold called by the company in September 2014 offering to lift and repair their driveway and install two drains.

The homeowners shelled out £1,600 for the work, but the council says it soon became clear that the job had been poorly done.

They say the drive, which was meant to be cleaned and sealed, quickly had moss growing, and when the work was inspected by an engineer it was found the drainage covers were higher than the driveway, meaning that water could not flow into them.

Also, the drains themselves had not been connected to anything.

JBS Home Improvements Ltd failed to attend Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court when the case was listed for a trial last Wednesday.

It was found guilty in absence of not complying with the contract they had offered to carry out between September 8 and 12 in 2014.

The couple was awarded £1,600 compensation towards having their drive repaired properly and the firm was hit with a £1,000 fine and £1,645 prosecution costs to pay.

JBS Home Improvements Ltd could not be contacted for comment.

Ian Harrison, trading standards manager at Hartlepool Borough Council, has warned householders over cold callers.

He said: “This is a further example of why people should not deal with cold callers offering to do home repair work.

“Anyone looking to have work carried out should ask friends or relatives for a recommended trader and try to obtain at least three quotes before agreeing to work being done.”

Anyone who has concerns about cold callers can contact the council’s trading standards team on (01429) 523362.