How To Avoid Being Ripped Off When Buying A New Garden Shed
Buying a new garden shed, summer house, log cabin or garden workshop is an exciting time
as your plans for your new building to blend into your home take shape. BUT it can all go wrong as there are many unscrupulous people and firms on the prowl trying to rip you off. So you need to be VERY careful. By following the advice below you can avoid being a statistic in the courts as in the following recent case. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard the case where Pinesheds, run by Steven Corbett, advertised his garden sheds on eBay and upon receiving the money pocketed it, denying his customers their expected brand new buildings which he had promised. He told the court that he had ‘dug himself into a hole ‘ and ‘overreached himself’ and this had led to him not fulfilling these orders
The Recorder, Geoffrey Kelly, had said that Corbett had carried out this fraud over a period of time and had palmed off his unhappy ‘customer’ with a large number of excuses. The case was so serious that a prison sentence was only narrowly avoided but Corbett still received an eight-month sentence but was suspended for 18 months. As well as that he had to complete 150 hours of unpaid community work, payback £7,375 compensation and pay £1,000 in costs.
It’s good to know that the Court took the view that his actions were very serious and was dealt with severely. After all, this was people’s lives he had been affecting and their dreams of a new building to relax in with their families have been robbed from them as well as a great deal of hard earned money.
So How Do You Protect Your Self From ‘Fly By Night’ Shed Companies?
Visit Your Proposed Garden Building Company
In my view, the best way to ensure the company you are dealing with it is genuine is to visit them and actually see their premises and set up. By doing so you can make an informed judgment on the likelihood you will get your new garden building. The Internet has thrown up many companies which you can deal with over the Web so you can never be sure who they are and whether they will fulfil their obligations to you. The majority of businesses are good honest companies with which you will have no problems but don’t be the one who gets caught and lose your hard earned money. When you look at their web sites is there a physical address on the website alongside an actual phone number. Many websites only have online communication available making it hard to explain things or to get answers. And don’t get me started on those ‘Live Chat’ things I have to say I hate them. what’s wrong on the good old fashioned telephone?
Check Out Customer’s Feedback
Another good way to find out about garden building companies is to check their online reviews from previous customers. Feefo, Trustpilot and Google-Feedback are all good ones to consider. By taking a look at these you can get a good idea about the merits of the company you may be thinking of dealing with. Don’t be put off by negative feedback but read what they are saying and also, as importantly, how is it being dealt with. I would say that some negative feedback is a good thing and businesses can learn from that. I would also be suspicious of no negative feedback. In an ideal world, there would not be any but that does not happen. The best garden building firms strive for this but are happy to learn from their customers.
Pay At Least Part on Your Credit Card
Credit cards can play a big part in protecting you as well. Provided your purchase is over £100 and if it wasn’t you wouldn’t get a very good shed and just SOME of the purchase price is paid on your credit card you would be protected for the full amount you paid to your supplier. However, to claim under Section 75 you don’t have to have paid more than £100 or the full amount on your credit card the card company is liable even if you made only part of the payment (a deposit, say) on your card.
One thing to beware about is Paypal. Even you may pay Paypal by credit card you do NOT have Section 75 protection as you are not dealing with the supplier directly, you are dealing with Paypal which are not liable. So ALWAYS use your credit card for at least part of the payment DIRECTLY to the company you are buying your new building from.
Just the three pieces of advice above will give you massive protection over your money and ensure your garden will be enhanced with your new building when it arrives providing enjoyment for years to come. Don’t regret not taking sensible precautions – visit the company where you are thinking of buying from, check out their customer’s feedback and pay some of the purchase price on your credit card and NOT Paypal.
Hi, I'm Robin Antill, founder of 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, and I use my expertise gained over 42 years in the garden buildings industry to understand that each customer is different. With my manufacturing, retailing and customer service experience my articles help people choose their ideal shed, garden workshop, summerhouse, log cabin or garden office needs to suit their requirement and that is key to satisfaction. And what do I do when I'm not writing? You may find me following Grimsby Town Football Club or riding roller coasters - so plenty of 'ups and downs' in my life.