A RETIRED couple have been left devastated after a rogue trader convinced them to hand over £3,000.
Lay minister Roger Miles, 71, and his wife Elizabeth, 66, of Stradbrook, Gosport, paid a man who came to their door claiming to have worked on the house before.
He quoted Mr and Mrs Miles £800 to fix a section of the roof, before then increasing that two times to £3,000, which they paid in cash.
Initially Mr Miles said no to the work but Mrs Miles was concerned they had damp in the house and wanted it fixed.
Mrs Miles told The News: ‘There were patches of damp in here so what he was saying made sense.
‘He was very presentable, quite smartly dressed with a shirt and tie.
‘He gave us no cause to question what he was saying.’
The smartly dressed trader turned up with two workmen that day and carried out the work over two days.
A week later Mr Miles called the police to report the man as he felt duped.
He said: ‘It was the following Tuesday I thought I’ve got to do something about this.
‘I hadn’t been sleeping well and I’m asthmatic, I hadn’t been sleeping very well.
‘I had an asthma attack that lasted for about three days.
‘I thought I’d better do something about this.
‘I was feeling very, very sore and stupid.’
But not all is lost – Len Edwards, from Gosport firm Alverstoke Roofline, has offered to remedy the work – at no cost to the couple.
Len inspected the work on the roof and found it lacking, he said the rogue traders had cemented over sections of the roof rather than strip it back.
Len added he would have charged just £600 for the work the rogue trader claimed to have done.
He said: ‘They haven’t done anything, they’ve just put cement over the verges.
‘They haven’t taken the tiles off. They’ve made a mess.’
PC Celine Bowen from Gosport police station responded to Mr Mile’s call.
She said other incidents have been reported.
‘Generally they’re cold calling and then they dupe them,’ she said.
‘The original quote gets upped and upped.’
The man was tall, slim, in his late 40s to early 50s, clean shaven and smartly dressed.
Call police on 101.