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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Customer left in lurch after business closure

AN ANGRY Whitehaven pensioner claims he was duped into paying £464 in cash for a new toilet that he has not received because the company has ceased trading.

Adrian Walker: ‘I try to buy local whenever I can’

Adrian Walker said he and his wife, Maureen, ordered and paid for a new toilet from the Fire and Water Showroom at Haig Enterprise Park at Kells in November because they believed it was “a reputable company”.

But after numerous attempts to contact the company since then, the Mirehouse couple has discovered it is no longer trading.

Mr Walker says nothing can be done to get his money back as he paid for the toilet in cash.

The 70-year-old said: “I chose a toilet which I thought suited my needs. I was quoted a price which was rather more than I wanted to pay but I try to buy local whenever I can, so I agreed to the purchase.”

He said: “The trader would not take my credit card, only cash. I should have been suspicious but because I am a trusting sort of person I paid cash in a bank transfer.”

He was told the toilet had been ordered and the plumber would be in touch to fit it.

Mr Walker says the company has not responded to his phone calls or emails since.

He visited the showroom last week to find a notice stating “Sorry we are no longer trading”.

Mr Walker said the authorities have advised him there is nothing that can be done, as he paid the money in cash.

He says: “My bank can’t help, the police can’t help, Trading Standards passed me on to Citizens’ Advice.”

He said: “I’m very disappointed. I have been following up on the buy local campaign. I could have gone out of town to buy a new toilet but I chose to buy local instead.

“It’s an awful lot of money to lose. It’s left a nasty taste in my mouth.

“I still need to buy a toilet but I’m very wary now about who I can trust.”

When The Whitehaven News tried to contact the Fire and Water Showroom in Whitehaven, an automated telephone response said the line was temporarily out of order.

A Cumbria Trading Standards spokesman said: “We’ve been contacted regarding this matter and will make some enquiries locally about the business.

“Anybody wanting consumer advice or to report specific incidents can call the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 or visit www.advicegude.org.uk for support.”

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