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We’ve been made HOMELESS after paying £7,500 for Wickes bathroom ‘disaster’…it’s caked in dust & we can’t use the toilet

A FAMILY claim they’ve been made homeless after paying thousands for a Wickes bathroom “disaster”.

Eilish McGowan, 30, from Hackney, London, and her husband ordered a replacement bathroom costing £7,500 from the retail company at the end of January last year.

Eilish McGowan
Eilish McGowan, 30, and her husband ordered a new bathroom from Wickes last year[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
But they claim their flat in Hackney, London, was left ‘inhabitable’ and caked in dust[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
The couple also allege the bathroom was installed poorly[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
A fitter from Wickes then walked out when it was only half complete[/caption]

They wanted to use Wickes rather than a cheap alternative and were impressed with the promises offered on their website.

The couple paid £810 to book the design and also added an extra £722 to the installer for specialist work.

But they allege the bathroom was installed poorly, before a fitter from Wickes walked out when it was only half complete.

Their flat was also left caked in dust and most of their furniture had to be replaced.


Have you had a bad experience with Wickes? Contact: Jonathan.Rose@thesun.co.uk


Police officer Eilish even moved her seven-year-old daughter Cliodhna out of the property because she has a dust allergy.

She told The Sun: “The minimal work that has been carried out has created so much dust that my daughter and our family have had to move out as it has affected her so much.

“I explained to Wickes that my daughter has a dust allergy and they still did not take precautions or try to limit the dust into other rooms.

“My home has been inhabitable. Our furniture in all of the rooms was covered with dust and most had to be thrown out.

“My Apple iMac keyboard had to be replaced as somehow it was soaked. The installers showed little respect for my home.

“I booked for a professional cleaner before I moved back into the property.

“I never knew this bathroom would cause me so much work and stress.

“I was forced to move back in with my mum. If I didn’t have her, what would I have done?

“My husband was showering in the gym and using public facilities due to there being no toilet for over a week in the flat.”

Eilish claimed the work that has been done is to a “very poor standard”.

She says problems include a broken bath, cracks in the tiling, a leaking radiator, no shower guard, no toilet seat cover, writing over the walls, and a ventilator which hasn’t been installed.

I feel I have been conned and have left the bathroom the way it is to this day as it’s not complete.

Eilish McGowan

She said the installers also caused damage to the building after they drilled several holes during the job.

Since Eilish complained, she says the installers don’t answer the phone.

She claims she called Wickes who “brush her off” and now don’t respond to her emails or phone calls.

Eilish also had various neighbours contact her complaining about low water pressure and discoloured water.

Meanwhile she was allegedly threatened with fines by the council after the fitters dumped their old bathroom outside in the road.

What are my rights?

Under the Consumer Rights Act, anyone who enters a contract for goods and services can expect these to be supplied with reasonable care and skill – and this includes builders, plumbers, decorators and electricians.

It also includes materials, which should be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose.

If you’ve fallen victim to a cowboy builder, or had a dispute with your contractors, you should firstly collate all evidence you have, including paperwork, photos, videos, messages and bank statements.

Then, try to resolve the issues directly with the firm, before trying an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme such as mediation or ombudsman services.

If this doesn’t work, contact your bank to find out whether you can recover any money spent using Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (if the job cost between £100 and £30,000, your credit card company is jointly liable if something goes wrong).

If this doesn’t work, report them to the police on 101.

While the lines between what is criminal and just bad practice are blurred, a contractor could be done for fraud.

It is also important to contact Trading Standards. Citizens’ Advice has an online form to help you do this.

TS will then decide whether to investigate further based on the information you provide and help negotiate a settlement.

Even if it doesn’t, the details may help if anyone else complains about the same firm.

It is also possible to take builders to a small claims court if you have been left out of pocket. However, you run the risk of racking up significant costs.

While most home insurance policies don’t cover building work, it is worth confirming this with your provider.

And you should also, if possible, find out whether your builder holds liability insurance, which would also help.

Eilish continued: “I don’t want to go home still as it stresses me out.

“I feel I have been conned and have left the bathroom the way it is to this day as it’s not complete.”

More than a year since work started, Eilish still doesn’t know when it will be completed.

She claims she hasn’t received a penny in compensation.

A Wickes spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear of Ms McGowan’s experience as we always aim to complete our installations to a high standard.

“Our Customer Relations team is arranging for the remedial work to be completed and a designated member of the team will remain in contact with the customer until the matter is resolved.”

Eilish McGowan
Eilish even moved her seven-year-old daughter Cliodhna out of the property because she has a dust allergy[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
Eilish claimed the work that has been done is to a ‘very poor standard’[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
The fitters allegedly dumped their old bathroom outside in the road leading to threats from the council[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
Eilish said the installers were unreliable and often didn’t turn up[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
She also said the fitter caused damage to the building[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
They drilled several holes during the job[/caption]
Eilish McGowan
Most of their furniture had to be replaced[/caption]
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