Gutter catastrophe for Baldock pensioner

Hilde Betts is warning people to be careful before employing door step traders

Hilde Betts is warning people to be careful before employing door step traders - Credit: Archant

A pensioner has warned people “to be careful” after she claims she was conned by a doorstep trader.

Hilde Betts, of High Street in Baldock, received a flyer before Christmas advertising Just Gutters, a company with a Cambridge telephone number offering to fix and clean guttering.

Shortly after Christmas the 75-year-old discovered her drainpipes were blocked and decided to give the business a ring.

“A man called John came round with another gentleman and they spent some time outside allegedly doing work,” said Mrs Betts.

“He then demanded that I pay him £60, more than we originally agreed, in cash. It wasn’t raining on the day so I couldn’t tell if he had done a proper job but the next time it did I noticed that water wasn’t running down the drainpipe so I rang him up again.

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“When he eventually answered he told me he would be right round to fix the problem but I haven’t seen or heard anything of him since. I can’t believe it, I’ve been ripped off. Any self-respecting person would have come back.

”I’ve lost my money and learned my lesson, but people need to be careful because there’s a lot of cowboys out there.”

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Michael Bee, who owns a business also called Just Gutters, based in Kent, said he has received a number of calls from people trying to track down the other firm.

He said: “We have had around 10 calls from people trying to speak to the other company. People should do their homework otherwise they run the risk of being ripped off.”

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Trading Standards advised Mrs Betts to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Board to formally report the matter.

The Comet called the numbers on the flyer and spoke to a John from Just Gutters. He denied he had carried out the work and said several other people had been handing out his flyers and had been carrying out work in his name.

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