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Topic: Rogue Trader: PC Renovations, building and gardening services
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Posted by: Ellis Pritchard
Date/Time: 08/04/11 11:37:00

A warning to Ealing and West London residents!

There is a trader operating under the name of PC Renovations; they are offering gardening and building services in the Ealing area, and claim to be from Richmond, although seem to be difficult to track down. I believe they may mainly be operating door-to-door.

My elderly neighbour in W13 has been ripped off for several thousand pounds for shoddy work which wouldn't even have been worth much if it was done properly.

When asked to remove a small tree, trim back shrubs and clear and demolish a small shed in my neighbours small garden, they ended up building a massive bonfire, and then proceeded to burn the entire shed, the tree, and most of the rubbish in the shed, including plastics, garden chemicals, tools, rags etc., causing masses of black smoke, and flames 4 metres high which threatened other trees.

When I approached the main guy, he was very aggressive, and asserted that they had the right to do what they were doing 'as tree surgeons', and that the wood from both the tree and the shed was 'diseased, full of woodlice' and therefore couldn't be disposed of in any other way. As far as I can find, they are not registered tree surgeons, nor would this impart any special rights. Nor was all the wood 'diseased', and it would certainly have been taken down at the local Reuse-and-recycling centre, albeit at a price of course. There is no excuse for burning plastic and other waste, it is illegal. They left the fire only partially doused, leaving my neighbour, my wife, and myself to fully extinguish it later that night. The garden was left in a mess, and the adjoining neighbours garden used without permission as a temporary dumping ground.

I have subsequently found out that not only did he charge her over 600 pounds for the garden 'clearance', but unbelievably, she paid out over 3000 pounds in total for other bits of minor work including clearing gutters, and installing some kind of material to stop the gutters being blocked (which was unnecessary and is already falling out), and applying some sealant to a small porch roof. They managed to con my neighbour out of this money with various sob stories; firstly the guys' daughter was ill, then he was getting divorced, then he'd committed suicide: all very tragic sounding but almost certainly untrue; each episode was coupled with a demand for more money. So obvious was the fraud that her bank even questioned the amounts going out of her account.

My neighbour is very upset about the episode, and has reported the matter to the police. We've subsequently found out that other neighbours on our street have also been conned into letting these fraudsters do unnecessary work, including one who's front-garden tree was trimmed without his permission, and was then asked to pay for it.

The firm drive a scruffy white flat-backed truck with an enlarged cab on-top of which are orange flashing lights, and 'search' lights; a sign on the side of the cab says "P.C. Renovations (Est 2000) ... Freephone number 0800 8589008". The main operator is about 55, white, obese, about 6' tall, with thinning dark brown hair, a ruddy complexion and a London accent, he's not a nice man. He is assisted by a tall thin, bespectacled ginger-haired youth, 20-25, and two other operatives, both white, one of whom has an Irish accent, and may be the individual who demanded money on the phone.

Please avoid these traders; if you have further information on them, or their where-abouts, please email, and I'll pass the information on to the police.

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