A WOMAN who lost thousands of £s to rogue tradesmen is warning people to be aware of the difficulties in gaining their money back.
Jacquie Reed, who lives on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy, paid a landscape gardening company around £7500 - a portion of the total cost of completing work on her garden before calling an end to the contract.
And she has given up hope of getting a penny back.
Jacquie told The Press: “We had a massive project done on the garden and the original company did a horrendous job.
“We cut the job short as the work was so bad, but we’d already paid them vast sums of money.’’
She hired independent experts who described the work as ‘‘disgraceful and sub-standard work’’ and had to draft in a second firm to turn it round - and the garden now looks amazing.
But she has been left to count the cost of a ‘‘catalogue of disasters’’ which included a lack of foundations under stone walls, horrendous pointing on stone work and fencing which wasn’t straight.
A garden feature which was to be a cobblestone spiral was also not symmetrical, contrary to Jacquie’s original design, and cobbles were at different heights, uneven gaps and not secure.
Mrs Reed continued: “We went to Consumer Direct who put us in touch with trading standards, but they said they could only do something if there’s been a criminal offence committed.
“We couldn’t go to the small claims court as we were asking for more than £3000 back from the company.
“We were advised we could take them to court, but it isn’t really an option as we wouldn’t get all our
“We would end up spending more
on court costs than we’ve already lost and what we would get back.
“We’re young enough to get over it, but there are a lot of people out there who effectively don’t have the means or ability to cope with the stress of something like this.
“I’d suggest people only go for companies whose work they have seen.
“Go and see their previous jobs and speak to the people that have had the work done - don’t believe everything you see on their websites.
“I never saw the company’s work up close or spoke to people who had used them, and that was probably the biggest mistake I made.
“Although I kept an eye on the work and I approached the owner on three occasions about the standard of work,
‘‘I should have taken action much earlier .’’