A rogue trader landscape gardener who overcharged for poor or incomplete work has been sent to prison for eight months at Huntingdon Magistrates Court today (Tuesday, December 3).
Andrew Smith (aka Andrew Wellbourn) (41) of Chapel Avenue, Wisbech St Mary, who traded as Acorn Landscapes, Andy’s Tree & Garden Services and Mr Gutter, admitted five charges of fraud by false representation and failing to disclose statutory information, involving three victims.
His gardening and guttering repair work was investigated by Trading Standards after complaints from the public about incomplete and unsafe work and the final cost of work which was at times double the original quote.
An independent surveyor described the standard of work as ‘very poor’ carried out by people with little understanding of how such a job should be done. Their only interest was making money from vulnerable people.
Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Skill, Councillor Mathew Shuter, said: “Cases such as this protect residents from unscrupulous traders and help to protect legitimate business whose reputation can be tarnished by traders like this one.”
People are advised to take care when employing a trader and should use friends and family recommendations along with the Cambridgeshire County Council Buy with Confidence Scheme www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.
Anyone with who has encountered problems with a trader can seek confidential, impartial advice from Trading Standards advice partner, Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline, on 08454 040506.