A rogue trader who used aggressive tactics to enforce an unlawful debt has landed a court bill of more than £3,000.
Paul Scrivens tried to use aggressive tactics on two occasions to claim the money.
Scrivens, of Brunel Court, Coseley, carried out work on a Dudley property between February and May 2018.
His relationship with the resident broke down when he was challenged about the quality of work he had undertaken. As a result, he walked off the job when the consumer refused to pay him any more money.
He then pushed a note through the customer’s door, and later sent them a letter, in which he demanded £910 and threatened to have a charge put on their house if they didn’t pay him.
When these scare tactics didn’t work, he instructed a debt collecting agency to collect the alleged debt.
As a result, the consumer was visited at their home address by an agent of the debt collecting firm who allegedly took photographs of the resident and their property and demanded payment of the debt within 24 hours.
This left them trembling and shaken by the incident.
Scrivens had not given the consumer their statutory cancellation rights when he was legally required to do so.
The prosecution against Scrivens, who traded as All Under one Roof, was brought on behalf of the council’s trading standards team.
He pleaded guilty at Dudley Magistrates Court on March 10 to engaging in an aggressive commercial practice on two occasions when he tried to enforce an unlawful debt. Scrivens also pleaded guilty to not giving the cancellation rights.
The District Judge fined Scrivens a total of £1,100 and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and the prosecution’s costs of £2,440.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said:
This was a shocking case where someone was left extremely distressed at the actions of this trader who, when the customer expressed dissatisfaction about the standard of the work, took extremely aggressive actions. He had tried to collect a debt which didn’t exist as he had failed to give cancellation rights, meaning the customer was fully entitled to cancel the contract.
It is right that this case was brought to court on behalf of trading standards and we hope this will be a reminder to traders that they have a legal duty to provide cancellation rights and to deal with customer disputes in a reasonable and legal manner.
Dudley Trading Standards Fix a Home scheme offers a list of local approved traders who provide services of a high standard at a fair cost. Copies are available at www.dudley.gov.uk/media/15646/fix-a-home-directory-20-21-web.pdf