Rogue builders tried to fleece an elderly couple out of hundreds of pounds for roofing work.
To add insult to injury, the two men also gouged five pots out of the chimney, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage.
Luckily, the 92-year-old man who lived in the house in Lancaster refused to hand over the £650 that was demanded for the work.
The rogue builders were planning to come back for the five chimney pots but police were called by the couple’s daughter.
Now local roofer Wayne Jobey has come to the rescue and repaired the damage made for free. Building supplies were also given free of charge by firm Travis Perkins while Supa Scaffolding donated scaffolding.
The daughter, who does not wish to be named, said: “It’s absolutely despicable to do this to old people. My mum is housebound and lives in the front room. You never think its going to happen to your parents.
“It was about 10.30am last Thursday and the phone rang and it was my dad. He said that someone was on the roof who wanted some money. They said they had to fix the chimney pots because it was very dangerous .
“We told him he needed to get an estimate but he said, ‘They’re doing it now and it will cost £650.’
“My husband went down there but the van had gone, and he told the other men they couldn’t do that and they said ‘yes we can’. We got straight onto the police and the man in the van came back.
“The whole lot of chimney pots were off. I was gobsmacked. The men in the van said they were from Burnley and they were going to come back for the pots.
“They didn’t get any money from my dad. They told him that slates were missing as well.I’m just glad he didn’t part with any money. We rang a local roofer Wayne Jobey and he has been fantastic. He took a lot of worry from us. He did all the repair work on the chimneys free of charge.
“We really appreciate everything he has done. It just goes to show there are good people around.”
Wayne Jobey, who runs a building and roofing business based in Heysham, said: “I’m disgusted and I’m mortified at the damage that was done to the mortar on the chimneys.
“I don’t know how they brought the pots down on the ladder either because they are very heavy. They left gaping holes in the chimney which could have caused huge problems inside. Supa Scaffolding donated some scaffolding free of charge and I took all the damaged mortar off and put the pots back on. The roof is now as good as new.”
Police said they received a call at 11.10am on Thursday, February 19, but the incident was reported to Trading Standards because no offences had been committed.
Mandy Maxim, principal officer for Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service, said: “Unscrupulous doorstep tradesmen often target older people and try to get them to pay over the odds for home improvements or repairs that don’t need doing,
“Our top piece of advice is never to do business on the doorstep, and to seek a number of quotes and agree the nature of work to be done, and a price, in a written contract before allowing work to start. Traders should not pressure people to have work done immediately, and these residents did the right thing calling their daughter and contacting the police when they became suspicious.”
Call Citizens Advice consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.