Printer Friendly


Byline: Andrew Penman & Michael Greenwood

THE guarantee looks impressive, but it has to be one of the most useless we've ever seen.

It "covered" work costing pounds 1,500 carried out on Sanjivan Jaswal's home in Hounslow, Middlesex.

A firm called Keybond sprayed the underside of his roof with a foam that was meant to prevent tiles sliding off, increase insulation and stop leaks.

It didn't. Water came through the roof and on to the ceilings below.

"The white ceiling has turned into unhealthy black and grey," says Sanjivan. "The risk of it falling has increased with each downpour."

He repeatedly contacted Keybond, but the firm ignored him. Yet it claimed to be an approved contractor for the makers of the foam, Pur Systems Ltd. This counted for nothing, because Pur Systems has been shut down and last year its bosses were barred from acting as company directors.

The principal director was David Farrell Wagstaffe, 59, of Glossop, Derbys, who milked the company's funds, leaving creditors high and dry, and later fled to Thailand.

No matter, thought Sanjivan, his guarantee was backed by a respectable firm, Pinnacle Insurance PLC, and run by an independent outfit called Quality Assured National Warranties.

Sanjivan called them. Pinnacle told him: "The installer, Keybond, is still trading, and thus our liability under the insurance-backed guarantee would not be engaged."

Quality Assured National Warranties said: "I appreciate how frustrating it is when a contractor does not respond to telephone calls and letters, but you have to continue to instruct Keybond to carry out any remedial work necessary, as the contract is between you and them and they are still trading."

In other words, the guarantee provided absolutely no cover against shoddy workmanship so long as Keybond still existed.

But did it? When we phoned Keybond we discovered that its numbers had been disconnected.

We visited its premises in Frank Street, Preston, Lancs, and found that the business had disappeared, along with its owner, Ken Vesty.

He did a flit last summer, owing money in rent. Sorted tracked him down to his home in Thornton Cleveleys, near Blackpool. Vesty said vaguely that Keybond went bust "six, seven or eight months ago".

Speaking on the doorstep of his pebble-dashed semi, he added, "All our customer guarantees were insured and people should approach the insurers over any problems. Keybond does not exist any more."

Peter Dawson of Quality Assured National Warran-ties said: "I can confirm that if or when Keybond have ceased to trade, the insurance cover will come into effect.

"A sole trader cannot simply say he has ceased to trade and thereby avoid his contractual obligations."

Then comes a big "but". The insurance covers only defects that arose after Keybond went under. That won't help Sanjivan.

So he will have to take Vesty to court. It won't be the first time. In 1996 a whopping pounds 10,000 claim was found against Vesty in the county court at Blackpool.

Meanwhile, Sanjivan might as well tear up the guarantee that isn't worth the paper it's written on.


USELESS: Boss Ken Vesty and his wobbly warranty
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2001
Previous Article:Sorted: Heigho, he owes..
Next Article:Sorted: SCAM WILTS.

Related Articles
Music stars hit the roof.
Homeowners' biggest flood risk is from within their own homes.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters