Rogue traders admit to unfair practices against vulnerable people

Leeds Crown Court. Picture by Tony Johnson

Leeds Crown Court. Picture by Tony Johnson

A pair of rogue traders of a Brighouse company have pleaded guilty to offences relating to unfair practices against elderly vulnerable consumers.

Robert Morrison, 35, of Lower Crow Nest Drive, Lightcliffe, and Paul Towers, 37, of Verdun Road, Wibsey, who traded as “Resinways the Driveway People Ltd” and “Drive-Ways” in Brighouse pleaded guilty to offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at Leeds Crown Court.

In 2014 Resinways was the most complained about company in the country in the “tarmacking and paving” category.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards received complaints that the company failed to refund deposits when customers cancelled their contracts, others complained that their driveway was slippy, was sinking, cracking or was breaking up.

Customers who complained to Resinways received no positive response from the company.

The offences related to:

Entering into a contract with a 94 year old man who had a significant visual impairment and was unable to read his contract.

Entering into a contract with an 84 year old lady with Alzheimer’s.

Telling a customer that she had to pay in full or the men would be pulled off the job when it was only half completed.

Failing to refund deposits totalling £4,400 when consumers cancelled their contracts.

Failing to honour guarantees when consumers complained of defects with their drives.

Advertising that their drives were anti-slip when in fact the company knew that customers had fallen due to the slippiness of their drives.

The case will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Friday March 3, 2017.

David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said “West Yorkshire Trading Standards is committed to pursuing rogue traders who cause detriment to consumers and take business away from legitimate traders.”

Councillor Shabir Pandor, of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said “This case demonstrates that West Yorkshire Trading Standards will not tolerate the actions of those who deliberately exploit the most vulnerable members of society.

“I would urge anyone who has concerns about unfair selling practices to report the matter to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service Helpline on 03454 030405.”