An amputee ex-serviceman has been forced to spent thousands after claiming he and his wife were “messed about” by workers who left him and his wife without a roof.
Alan and Amiee Bigland, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, contacted Roofs For U Ltd after Amiee, 73, picked up a card advertising their services at a local shop.
The couple claim they were promised a new roof with quality, eco-friendly tiles, reports the Manchester Evening News.
But after three weeks of escalating costs and no progress on the job, police and trading standards stepped in, and the Manchester-registered company stopped work at the home.
A reputable firm has since completed the job in just a matter of days – but the whole experience has left Alan and Amiee almost £9,000 out of pocket.
Alan, 64, said: “It just gets to you, all the expense.
“They have seen a disabled person and thought it’s easy money.”
After Roofs For U Ltd visited the Biglands’ home, the couple were told their roof had 50 holes and would need to be replaced.
Alan says they were ‘called 10 times’ for the money while Amiee went down to the bank to take out what she could, and when the company continued to demand money the Biglands’ had already had enough.
Alan, who served in the Cheshire Regiment and worked as a coach driver before having his legs amputated due to infections, said: “He was mithering and mithering that much that I said we didn’t want to use them any more and I cancelled the contract.”
But on the company’s next visit, Alan and Amiee were warned about a leaking roof and mould.
Alan said: “He said with it being a limited company they had to report it to environmental health, and we would have to move out until it’s sorted.
“He came round and got us to sign some more paperwork. My wife was so frightened that she signed another contract with them.”
The couple say that days went by without any progress being made on the job, with ‘excuses’ being made for the delays – such as waiting for scaffolders to become available from Liverpool.
They say they were originally shown modern, environmentally-friendly roofing tiles and were quoted for the cost of those, but when their new tiles arrived they were different – looking ‘old and chipped’.
Once work was finally able to get underway, the couple were faced with yet more difficulties.
Alan says that while up on the roof, the company said the couple’s chimney needed fixing at a cost of £4,000, but they turned that job offer down, while they say the job became a bigger task when a worker caused further damage to part of the roof.
While on the job, workers were seen smoking while sitting on the scaffolding, and Alan says they were ‘effing and blinding’ throughout the day.
Alan said: “The workmen they were using were just people off the street by the looks of it.
“If anyone fell off they would have died.”
After initially paying a steep deposit, the couple say Roofs For U Ltd kept returning for more money until they eventually paid out a total of £4,000, with no progress made on the job.
Eventually the couple spoke to Coun Yvonne Cartey, who represents Ashton St Michael’s on Tameside council.
She contacted Tameside’s trading standards team and Greater Manchester Police.
Police attended but no arrests were made, with the case being handed over to trading standards.
Alan said: “They came and had a word with the people messing about on the scaffolding.
“They walked off on the job, leaving us with no roof.
“You could see right through from the loft. The rain would have come right through the ceiling.”
Alan says the company phoned another three times on the evening after police first turned up, asking if they could continue the work, before police turned up again on the following day (June 10) – when workers left the site.
Another company has since stepped in to complete the work on the couple’s roof at a cost of £4,850 – meaning the couple have had to shell out £8,850.
Amiee added: “I said I wanted honest people, not cowboys. People that I could trust. But they did all this to us.”
Tameside council confirmed it has received a complaint about the company and is investigating.
A Roofs For U representative said: “We were willing to finish the job for those people but they said they were going to get somebody else. We did f*** up but everybody is entitled to a second chance.
“There was one job they said they wanted the insulation done, then they changed their minds, then there was the chimney – it was not just one job, but then they changed their minds.
“We were waiting for a qualified roofer to come from Chester. I’m a genuine person, we want to get the job done and complete it. We did f*** up, we had some bad staff, it’s not our fault what happened.”