I paid £52k for my dream extension only for 'rogue traders' to take my money & run – they tricked me with a 'discount' | The Sun
A DISTRAUGHT homeowner is £52,000 out of pocket after rogue traders left his family without a dream extension.
Jismon Varghese and his wife were told their new living area and kitchen would take four to six weeks.
But after just one month, construction abruptly stopped with less than 20 per cent of the build complete, he claims.
Jismon, from Poole, Dorset, said: "No phone calls, nobody turned up, nothing.
"So, I started chasing up, what’s happening. You’ve got the money, you said four to six weeks completion time and it’s a month gone."
Before the project, the 38-year-old says he got references and a contract, a full price with VAT and a completion date, signed before work commenced.
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But he says he had been rushed into signing a deal as the firm threatened he may have to wait for months due to "other projects" if he didn't.
But months are said to have ticked by and when the dad-of-two finally got through to culprits Transform Dorset, they made excuses ranging from injuries to lack of staff.
It was a cruel kick in the teeth for a family who say they were sold a 10 percent "Christmas discount" by the builders before construction began in January.
Workman sporadically turned up to do some work, charging healthcare professional Jismon more and more cash but it seemed progress was being made.
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By May, Jismon was "mentally and physically" spent, so he went to Citizens Advice and sent Transform Dorset a letter saying they had breached contract.
He reported the company to CheckaTrade who struck Transform Dorset off the site – police, Trading Standards and Action Fraud were also informed.
A surveyor brought in to assess the extension said it would cost the family another £40,000 to finish, BournemouthEcho reported.
The dad later received an email from Transform Dorset's director saying they had gone into liquidation and Jismon's pre-paid kitchen had been cleared from a storage unit.
Shockingly, the savvy dad discovered the directors had started a new business at the exact same address, called Blandford Plastics.
Reflecting on the saga, Jismon and his wife say they simply didn't see "the trap" as they trusted their builder.
Cops said there were "a number" of copycat cases linked to the same business.
Dorset Council's Trading Standards said they had three complaints relating to the firm and were pursuing the firm's directors and are working to establish if any crimes have been committed.
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They added: "These complaints allege that the company has taken large pre-payments for high-value building work and not completed the work as promised, and that any work that has been done has been sub-standard."
The Sun was unable to reach Transform Dorset Ltd for comment.
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