Jump to content

NLC-Banner.thumb.jpg.acb5ba835b9e8bf0718b90539633017d.jpg

Home Observatories UK


Steve Lintott
 Share

Recommended Posts

That's both interesting and sad news.  Interesting in that the site is still up and one would expect possibly taking enquiries or orders, and sad that it make it look even more suspicious.  I think it was mentioned further back that looking on Google there appeared to be no listing on the name plates at the entrance to the industrial park, but then there is no way to know when the images were taken.  I would have thought that those processing any warrants would have done the usual searches under companies house as I would have thought that if Gareth Thomas was running a business there would be filings for tax / vat purposes.  If that has drawn a blank then I would have thought that the courts would be able to locate an address from HMRC as I'm guessing he would have drawn a salary or made NI contributions?

Anyway, sorry to hear this is still dragging out, and hope that you get some good news in the future and manage to get your money back and be able to put this behind you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gfamily said:

If you paid using a Credit Card you'll be able to claim back from them.

That's part of the issue - HOUK only took (take?) payments via bank transfer or paypal.  Most of the affected (there are more ) people placed deposits via bank transfer as they don't have or use PayPal.  If they had used Paypal, and it was linked to a credit card then yes they could possibly have some form of redress under the credit consumer act and get their deposits back.  Sadly AFAIK this isn't the case here, and court action has been the only form of action.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Gfamily said:

If you paid using a Credit Card you'll be able to claim back from them.

Of course but they don't have that payment option. At the time HOUK still had an excellent track record.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another update

I am pretty certain I have his actual address once confirmed by the bailiff team I will publish here.

Just some clarification on addresses. The address I supplied to the court was the one given on the deposit receipt and is the one that comes up blank.

 Unit 9B Roudham Park Industrial Estate, Roudham road, East Harling, Norwich, Norfolk, NR16 2SN

The address on the website is missing the 1st line so is not useable and it has a different post code.

Roundham, Norwich Norfolk, NR16 2QN

 

 

 

 

Edited by KY Cygni
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, malc-c said:

If they had used Paypal, and it was linked to a credit card then yes they could possibly have some form of redress under the credit consumer act and get their deposits back.

Sadly not and whilst slightly OT worth explaining for anyone paying for anything on CC.

A quirk of Section 75 is to whom your contract is with. If you use a CC via PayPal then the contract, as far as S75 is concerned, is between you, your CC company and PayPal. 

Assuming PP then forward the funds on to the end supplier they have fulfilled their contract to you and you have no rights against the end supplier under S75 should goods not turn up etc.

So, you are always better protected if possible, to pay the supplier directly with CC.

Clearly this isn't an option with HOUK however of course. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, dannybgoode said:

Sadly not and whilst slightly OT worth explaining for anyone paying for anything on CC.

A quirk of Section 75 is to whom your contract is with. If you use a CC via PayPal then the contract, as far as S75 is concerned, is between you, your CC company and PayPal. 

Assuming PP then forward the funds on to the end supplier they have fulfilled their contract to you and you have no rights against the end supplier under S75 should goods not turn up etc.

So, you are always better protected if possible, to pay the supplier directly with CC.

Clearly this isn't an option with HOUK however of course. 

 

That's interesting.. But does that still apply with PayPal as they are not actually selling anything, they are acting like a bank, and just processing a transaction.  I'm no expert though so you could be correct.  Its different when purchasing goods form a retailer who then steer customers to the manufacture after a 12 month warrant period... which is wrong as your contract is with the retailer and their contract is with the distributor (or direct with the manufacture if they are large enough).

Paypal do offer a buyer protection scheme 

Quote

When you buy something from a seller who accepts PayPal, you may be eligible for a refund under PayPal Buyer Protection. When applicable, PayPal Buyer Protection entitles you to reimbursement for the full purchase price of the item plus the original shipping costs you paid, if any. PayPal determines, in its sole discretion, whether your claim is eligible for PayPal Buyer Protection. PayPal's original determination is considered final, but you may be able to file an appeal of the decision with PayPal if you have new or compelling information not available at the time of the original determination or you believe there was an error in the decision-making process.

IMPORTANT: You may be required to return the item to the seller or other party we specify as part of the settlement of your claim. PayPal Buyer Protection does not entitle you to reimbursement for the return shipping costs that you may incur.

PayPal Buyer Protection may apply when you encounter these specific problems with a transaction:

You didn't receive your item from a seller (referred to as an “Item Not Received” claim), or

You received an item, but the item isn't what you ordered (referred to as a “Significantly Not as Described” claim).

If you believe that a transaction made through your PayPal account was not authorized by you, this type of claim is different from PayPal Buyer Protection, and is described under Resolving Problems.

Seeing that this case has already gone to court and a judgement made, I would suspect PP would be quite supportive and want to get involved ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@malc-c - yes this is absolutely the case unfortunately. There is no direct contractual relationship between your CC company and the the supplier therefore S75 does not apply to disputes regarding receipt of goods etc.

PPs own buyer protection may well kick in however it is not entirely nailed on that you'll get your money back from it. In this case I think the buyer would be outside the 180 day time period to raise a dispute...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As above, PayPal is nowhere near as good as paying with CC as their payment protection is entirely at their own discretion and judgement and its not covered under consumer law. With a credit card, the CC company is just as liable as the vendor. So if HOUK were no longer trading, then the CC company would be liable for the debt in the above circumstance.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing on companies house and the last review was 553 days ago.

Covid has hammered small companies.

But no contact with paying customers should ring alarm bells.

 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Cyril said:

Nothing on companies house and the last review was 553 days ago.

Covid has hammered small companies.

But no contact with paying customers should ring alarm bells.

 
 

If he was operating as a sole trader (and it looks like he was) then there will be no entry on companies house - a sole trader only has to register as a business with HMRC.

I did check a WHOIS domain history service to see if the domain had ever been registered in the owners name - but it has only ever been registered with Designtec - the people who built the website for him. (The service is https://whois-history.whoisxmlapi.com/ - and you can get a small number of free searches as a trial).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for looking Cyril, I did the same myself just in case he wasn't a sole trader.

Shimrod thanks for that, had a look myself and did notice that the domain is about to expire in April. I assume he would have to re-register otherwise the site would cease ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the website is still up and running and I was out of pocket I would create a new throwaway email address on gmail or something and pose as a new customer, then try and arrange a meeting (e.g. "Oh, I see you are in Norwich, I'm really close by, perhaps we can meet up and I could give you my deposit in cash"). Then just give the collection people the location and time of the meeting.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, KY Cygni said:

Shimrod thanks for that, had a look myself and did notice that the domain is about to expire in April. I assume he would have to re-register otherwise the site would cease ?

That's correct, but it could be set up to auto-renew, in which case the registration will only extend a week or two before it is due to expire. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

From communications received it seems that Gareth Thomas is no longer in the observatory business. The mobile # also appears to be no longer active.

There are at least 2 customers that haven't received their orders or a deposit refund.

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an update, I am aware that Gareth attended to complete an installation mid January. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he is still operating as I await my install ordered in April 2021

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, AndrewG48 said:

As an update, I am aware that Gareth attended to complete an installation mid January. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he is still operating as I await my install ordered in April 2021

Hi Andrew

Can I ask how you came about this information?

 

Edited by KY Cygni
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, AndrewG48 said:

As an update, I am aware that Gareth attended to complete an installation mid January. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he is still operating as I await my install ordered in April 2021

May I suggest you provide details to Steve via a PM as he has had to take court action in order to get his money back, and last reports the Bailiffs were trying to locate Graham to resolve the matter.  As some customers have already been waiting  18-24 months I would be very doubtful that you'll see your April 2022 delivery date honoured 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots happening today 

The address I have may not be the correct Gareth Thomas. There are several bits of info pointing in that direction that don't seem like coincidence, however the Gareth at that address actually called me and we had a very civil chat, he said it isn't him but was very understanding of the situation. He has agreed to confirm his identity against the image of the actual Gareth from another thread that I have supplied to the courts. Another person inconvenienced by HOUK Gareths poor character. 

So it's probably back square one for now. I will issue another warrant if I obtain an actual confirmed address, someone knows where this man is. 

I remain philosophical, it's not taken over my life but I will exhaust every avenue.

Edited by KY Cygni
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just visited the workshop address today, to hand over my order cancellation in person but it was locked up with no signs up.

I know this is the right place, as I visited the workshop in 2020 and met Nathan and Gareth and their dog!

 

 

 

Edited by Steve Lintott
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

All, FYI, I just heard from Gareth. I won't go into details but HOUK is still in business but clearly has a large backlog to clear.

Gareth was very apologetic.

I may get my shed installed in the next 3 months, or less

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well if he's still trading may I suggest you PM the above member and give him any information on from where he is trading from and any contact information so that he can in turn pass that on to the bailiffs and hopefully KY will get closure  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/01/2022 at 10:15, gilesco said:

If the website is still up and running and I was out of pocket I would create a new throwaway email address on gmail or something and pose as a new customer, then try and arrange a meeting (e.g. "Oh, I see you are in Norwich, I'm really close by, perhaps we can meet up and I could give you my deposit in cash"). Then just give the collection people the location and time of the meeting.

Well if he has now seen this I doubt he will reply to any emails…..☹️🤔

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Stuart1971 said:

Well if he has now seen this I doubt he will reply to any emails…..☹️🤔

In which case he won't be able to take deposits for new business, he's already not answering the phone. I think that's a good thing, until such time people get what they ordered, or a refund, no?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.