Questions of Cash: Watch out for rogue trader London Emergency Plumbers

 

Q. I phoned London Emergency Plumbers in a panic, then realised I should have gone through my insurance company; I cancelled the call-out after approximately 10 minutes – and for that it charged me £132. The firm says it has a recording of the conversation in which they told me I would pay a cancellation fee. I dispute that.

I couldn't believe they took any money at all. I've tried to obtain the tape, but had no luck. When I checked on the firm online, I found that you had written about it (Questions of Cash, 17 May 2013). You indicated that you believed the company had ceased trading, but it most certainly is still trading. There is even a warning in large blue type on the website homepage that there is an enforcement order against it. TB, London

A. In May last year we highlighted that a business based in Bedford and trading as London Emergency Plumbers had withdrawn £1,058.40 from a customer from a call out in which all they did was switch off the water supply. We obtained a chargeback of £662 from NatWest on behalf of the reader. We understood the business – which was run by Muhammed Shamrez, who also traded as Express Plumbers of Bedford – had ceased trading.

You refer to a statement on the website which indicated that Bedford Borough Council's trading standards officers obtained a court order in November last year preventing Shamrez from conducting various, named, unfair trading practices, including failing to properly notify customers of charges. We are concerned that you suggest that the business is trading again. We phoned the number quoted on the website, but there was no reply. We offered to contact your bank to request a chargeback on the bill you paid, but you did not respond. We would like any readers with up-to-date information on London Emergency Plumbers or Express Plumbers of Bedford to contact us.

Smartphone warranty woes

Q. I bought a Sony Xperia T mobile phone via Amazon UK in July last year. I started having problems with it (first it wouldn't upload any new apps and then it kept switching on and off by itself). Eventually it stopped working altogether. I contacted Sony Xperia and was instructed to send the phone for repair to a company called SBE Ltd. I received a repair quotation from SBE Ltd stating an "out of warranty reason" of physical damage. The phone had never been damaged, misused or dropped and was always in a protective case.

After repeated emails it became clear that the issue was that I had taken off the back of the handset before I sent it back. Apparently this invalidated the warranty. When I received instructions for sending the phone to SBE Ltd it said not to send the battery cover, which I believed meant the back of the handset, as there was nothing else covering the battery. At no time during the telephone conversations and emails with Sony Xperia was I told not to take off the back cover off the phone.

This is the first time I have owned a smart phone and I am not well versed in technology. I bought the phone because I have a disabled partner with a stroke and I need to be constantly available via Skype and Facebook, so this has become very inconvenient for me. I do not understand why Sony is taking such a hard stance with this matter. CD, Brighton.

A. Sony has told us that it is offering to arrange for the phone to be repaired. You have confirmed this, saying that it is to be done free of charge "on a goodwill basis". You say that while you would prefer that it was done under the warranty, you are happy with the solution.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we’ll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: questionsofcash@ independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Life and Style
health
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Administrator

    £13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Dialler Administrator

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...

    Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City of London

    £35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen