CONSUMER: Pensioner wins three-month battle over botched bathroom blind job

Brenda Reading. Picture: Malcolm Wells
Brenda Reading. Picture: Malcolm Wells
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A Gosport pensioner can now finally see the light after a company’s botched bathroom blind job dragged on for more than three months despite numerous promises to get it sorted.

An angry Brenda Reading signed up for two bathroom blinds with Gosport Blinds Ltd last October, but from the word go, the entire job turned into an ongoing catalogue of frustration and hassle.

She said: ‘I could actually scream, I really could. If I had my way I would have nothing more to do with them. I feel really upset about it.’

‘They did a blind for me about two-and-a-half years ago in my lounge, and I believe in using local companies, especially as they were convenient.

‘They did a good job and it was fine, but now I’m so frustrated and annoyed at it going on and on. It’s stressing me out and driving me round the bend.’

Last year she’d gone in for a major home refurbishment and had her bathroom redesigned.

She originally had a separate toilet and bathroom which was knocked into one with a toilet, shower, and vanity unit.

Seventy-four-year old Brenda’s sorry saga with the firm began after she ordered two roller blinds to complete her new bathroom.

She was promised the blinds would be ready to fit in two-and-a-half to three weeks but when another week went by without hearing from them she phoned Gosport Blinds to find out how her order was coming along.

She says the blinds turned up in mid November, but from the word go it became obvious the smaller of the two hadn’t been measured correctly, leaving an exposed strip down one side of the window.

The fitter initially claimed there was nothing wrong with the blind and the problem was all down to the thickness of the window surround tiles, but Brenda wasn’t having it.

What really irritated her was why the fitter drilled fixing holes when it was blatantly obvious the blind wasn’t a proper fit.

The window was re-measured and a replacement blind ordered, but a month later and much to her dismay and annoyance, the replacement hadn’t been made correctly and was also found to be too small.

By this time, Brenda was beginning to wonder whether the firm and its fitters knew what they were about.

She was becoming rather perturbed by the number of drill holes that had been left unfilled in her refurbished bathroom window surround after the abortive attempts to hang the ill-fitting blinds.

Finally the firm came up with a correctly-fitting blind but to add insult to injury promises to complete the job and promptly fill and rub down the unsightly unfilled holes dragged on until the second week in the new year.

Pleas to showroom staff to get the job finished fell on deaf ears, and after all the hassle Brenda had been through, her patience finally snapped.

She dashed off an email to Streetwise to help her get the ongoing saga sorted.

We were somewhat surprised to learn of Brenda’s experience as the Stoke Road firm had been in business for a number of years and had never once come to our attention.

We got on to the firm’s bosses and pulled no punches. We explained that Brenda had called us in because she was thoroughly dissatisfied with their service.

What had particularly annoyed her was being repeatedly let down with promises to complete the installation, but no one turning up.

We pointed out that the former special needs classroom assistant had been messed around for long enough and was fed up to the back teeth with being given the run around.

She was legally entitled to have the job completed competently and within a reasonable time, and it appeared they’d fallen down badly on the job.

Apologetic company director Hayly Bell admitted the order had gone pear shaped right from the start. Even when they’d done their best to get it sorted, things just hadn’t gone to plan.

She said: ‘It seems that for some reason, which I’m regretful to say I have none, it became apparent that one of the blinds was supplied incorrectly, and would need to be remade.

‘Regretfully this wasn’t noticed until after the blind had been fitted. However, the other blind was supplied and fitted correctly and Mrs Reading was pleased with it.

‘So not to leave her without a blind in her bathroom it was agreed that the incorrect blind would be left in place. To ensure that the new blind was made to the right size we returned to her house to re-measure the very next day.

‘The new fabric was promptly ordered but once again was sent incorrectly and had to be replaced for a third time.

We apologised and as soon as the material was supplied correctly, the blind was re-made and re-fitted. At the same time our fitter filled the previous fixing holes and explained to Mrs Reading that he would return to make-good.

‘I subsequently learned that our fitter did not return, and again I have apologised. We have now arranged for him to resolve the matter.

‘It’s my understanding that she is happy with the blinds she received but not the service.

‘Once the matter has been resolved and Mrs Reading is happy with the end result, I’ll be happy to discuss compensation as this is certainly not how we want our customers to feel.’

On giving Brenda the good news she was still not best pleased with her experience, but relieved and grateful that closure was finally in sight.

‘It wasn’t until I got in touch with Streetwise that things began to happen,’ she said. ‘Thank you so much for taking the time to help.’