I don’t know if you would remember – we were visitors to the ideal home exhibition (review here) and we were on the prowl for potentially new wardrobes and ideas for our bathrooms. We quickly realised bathrooms were going to cost an arm and a leg – and so settled on the fact that we could take ideas away, but it would be a while before we got all the bathrooms done (unless of course my numbers come up this weekend). What we were really (and more likely to fork out for) was a new wardrobe for our bedroom, and one for the guest bedroom.
Now, we were not really in the market to get a new wardrobe, but after the better half, ermmm, broke the backing of ours, we thought perhaps it might be time to change it. We saw a few companies and had a few quotes (two of them we met at the ideal home exhibition) – the first being well over £4500 (I almost choked, the better half managed to pretend to be cool but he was probably having a mini heart attack) The other two companies (one of which we met at the exhibition) came in at about £3000 – which what what we said was out absolute limit. To say I was excited was an understatement! Measured up with both companies and chose one of the two. Sorted right? No. Of course not. This is after-all me, and everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. *SIGH*
About 6 years ago when we got our french doors changed, we came across a company that promised to do it for us at an unbelievable price, IF we ‘allowed’ then to use pictures of the finished project for their website to promote their business and ‘allow’ them to put a sign outside our house to say that they did the work on our doors. Hey – worked for me, as long as we got the discount – right? Wrong. They took about £750 deposit from us and disappeared. Worse, we payed by cheque, which means we were left unprotected. Weeks later, we found out through Companies House, that they were known as a ‘phoenix company’ ie: one who changes names and ‘rises’ again, under a different name, but the same company, therefore duping people like us who are less likely to think to do background checks on a bloody door company!!
Anyway, back to the wardrobes. Because of our past issues, we are now extremely sensitive to paying out money to just about any company and so, did our due diligence on the company we decided to go for (they wanted a deposit by cheque too). And what do you know. They had two different names and hadn’t filed their tax. When quizzed – the man who came to see us simply said he worked freelance for the main company and therefore could not explain further. Not only that – they wouldn’t take a credit card, which meant, again, we would be at risk if they were a dodgy company. So, that was it for that company – we had the other company right, the one we met at the ideal home exhibition that was the same price (the only reason we didn’t go for them in the first place was because they didn’t have black doors whereas the other one did) I was willing to not care about the colour – as long as it was legit – right? I mean, this company were exhibitors at the ideal home exhibition, who would have surely done their due diligence by making sure all the companies that were allowed to promote their business to thousands of people at their trade show, were all above board – right? Wrong (again!) *cue big sigh*
After speaking to the second company, explaining our woes about the previous company looking dodgy about their tax situation etc, we soon found out, that they themselves hadn’t filed their taxes! Not only that, they also were registered with two company names, registered to the same address! And yes, they wanted a deposit by cheque like the first company. *cue even bigger sigh* + sad face 🙁
I mean, at this point, I am exhausted. All I wanted was a wardrobe – and I had saved most of my bonus money to go towards it too! To say I am disappointed is not a true reflection of what I’m feeling. Pissed off? Now you’re getting warm!
We decided to not go with either for now – maybe we will re-visit the idea in a few months. oh well. Wardrobe woes? I think so! C’est la vie!
P/S: Companies House is a brilliant website. All companies are incorporated and registered with Companies House. They file specific details as required by the current companies act. All registered limited companies, including subsidiary, small and inactive companies, must file annual financial statements, in addition to annual company returns, which are all public records. This way you can check to see if you are indeed going with a legitimate company and not be duped!