Salesman denies telling customer conservatory roof would collapse under heavy snowfall
- Credit: Archant
A home improvement company salesman has denied deliberately misleading a customer into an order by telling him his conservatory roof would collapse under heavy snowfall.
Stephen Gedge strenuously denied the allegation that he lied to a man in his 70s and his wife about the state of their conservatory roof which led to the couple agreeing for it to be replaced.
A jury at Ipswich Crown Court heard how Gedge, a salesman for First Home Improvements, visited the couple's home in Blundeston in September 2017.
Gedge, 56, of Havant Close, Norwich, told the court he had developed a "good rapport" with the couple and "got on really well with them".
Five days after a meeting on September 30, the man agreed to have the conservatory roof replaced, Adam Pearson, prosecuting for Suffolk Trading Standards, told the jury.
You may also want to watch:
Asked why that was, Gedge, who was worked for the company since 2008, said he believed the couple liked the look of the product and the price was right for them.
"I certainly did not say there was anything wrong with his roof," Gedge told the jury.
MORE: Home improvements salesman accused of 'aggressive' tactics vowed never to take advantage of people, court hearsThe man was quoted £9,500 for the work but was allegedly told by Gedge the price would be reduced to £8,378 if he agreed to sign up there and then.
- 1 Matchday Recap: Town close out game to secure big win
- 2 A14 blocked after three vehicle crash
- 3 Cook proud of players after Town hold on for elusive first win
- 4 Bishop on his 'brutal, almost disrespectful' Ipswich exit, not fitting into Cook's system and why he's 'absolutely loving' life at Lincoln
- 5 Major Lowestoft road partially closed due to police incident
- 6 Ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in their 1-0 Lincoln win
- 7 Lincoln City 0-1 Ipswich Town: Bonne does the business as Blues earn first win
- 8 Your favourite pub, restaurant, café and hotel in Suffolk revealed
- 9 Soul-searching, an unleashing and the enemy within - Town travel to Lincoln in search of a win
- 10 Yellow weather warning for heavy rain issued for parts of Suffolk
When the man changed his mind about having the work done the following week, he contacted Gedge who allegedly said he could not cancel the contract.
Mr Pearson said the man, who had survived a heart bypass and prostate cancer, was then reduced to tears after receiving an "aggressive" telephone call from Gedge telling him he would lose his £1,256 deposit.
Asked about the call, Gedge said: "I really like people, and I wouldn't do that to anybody."
A decision was subsequently made by First Home Improvements to allow the homeowner to cancel the contract but he was allegedly told that if he challenged the retention of his deposit the company reserved the right to charge him 25% of the order.
MORE: Salesman 'left householder in tears' in row over cancelled order, court hearsGedge and First Home Improvements, of Lenwade, have each denied two offences of engaging in a commercial practice which was misleading, engaging in an unfair commercial practice and engaging in an aggressive commercial practice.
Gedge has also denied fraud and First Home Improvements has also denied a further offence of engaging in a commercial practice that was misleading.
Yesterday, the company and Gedge were each cleared of one of the offences of engaging in a misleading commercial practice after the trial judge ruled there was insufficient evidence against them.
The trial continues.