Saturday, 13 December 2014

"Squirrel Man" - the most ineffective super hero ever!

"Roofing Man" - my hero!
Did Bracknell Forest Council mis-sell their services?

We had a slight problem - a squirrel in the loft. I posted a while ago about this. I managed to work out what the noise was and where the bugger was getting in. But what to do about it?

Well, like most people, I expect, I have not really had to deal with anything like this before. If you look up pest control you find a lot of companies out there, and like many tradesmen it is not always obvious how you can get a good job and a sensible price and not ripped off one way or another.

However, I checked the local council. I would not expect them to necessarily be the best or the cheapest but they should get the job done for a fair price, I would have expected. I should be pretty safe from being ripped off, or so I thought.

I spoke to them, and yes, squirrel in a loft, no problem. That is one of the more expensive ones to sort, £150, and is three visits. It seems it was in no way an uncommon problem for them to sort.

Well, the squirrel man cometh, and, well, he puts down some poison bait. But he makes if very clear that this won't actually sort the problem! It may sort one squirrel, but another will come along. We will have to get a roofer to sort the hole where he gets in! Well, I cannot be certain if it is the same one or not, but the bait was eaten and the squirrel was still making a noise in the loft a week later. His answer, on his second visit, was to put down more bait, but again, making it clear this will not sort the problem. This time the bait is not touched, but we still have a noisy squirrel in the loft!

Finally, the roofing people we contacted were able to fit us in and find and fix the hole that was letting them get in, for £80. We scared the squirrel out of the loft first. And that should sort the problem.

My concern here is that I am not sure how the man from the council has, in any way whatsoever, actually helped with sorting this problem. The problem is solved by the roofing man. Rage man from the council said that simply putting down poison will not stop the problem of squirrels in the loft - so why does he even do it? Why does he even exist? What have I paid the council for - doing something which will not solve the problem that I went to them to solve.

I cannot see how that is not blatant mis-selling. When I called they should have said "You need a roofer to sort the hole, we can't do anything that will solve the problem", and not taken my money. Instead they took my £150 over the phone and have done nothing to solve the problem. How is that not a scam?

Interestingly they also did not tell me of my statutory right to cancel, and have not in fact come back for their third visit. I cannot help feeling I have been ripped off by Bracknell Forest Council.

5 comments:

  1. ARTHUR DENT:
    I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said he'd come to demolish the house! He didn't tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me.

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  2. The council guy is paid to put poison down - he knows that doesn't work,and is honest enough to tell you that, but that's what he's paid to do.

    Further up the chain someone has marked this task as 'done', and labelled it a success, which gets pushed further up the chain to people who've probably never even seen a squirrel but talk a lot a about 'metrics'.

    Even further up there's a bean counter that's seeing the £150 and chalking that up as a success because they made a profit.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed, I paid £150 up front, and when he turns up he says it does not work, to the guy himself is not really to blame.

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  3. Sounds like time for a credit card chargeback to me...

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  4. I guess the question is - was the same squirrel up there the whole time? If so then it would need to go (by trapping or poisoning) regardless of any others getting in in the future, so they should really have explained the extent of their services properly.

    Probably an experienced person would have had a good look around, baited it in case there was one still around, then looked around the house and (using their knowledge) find where it was getting in and temporarily blocked it up, and told you exactly where. Oh and then they would have come back to find any corpses in the loft, because I suspect a squirrel could make a nasty smelly mess if it died in the wrong place!



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