A company director whose firm charged customers up to eight times more than the prices it quoted was fined last Thursday.
Watford magistrates convicted Mark Makowski of Phoenix locks Ltd, based in Potters Bar, on five charges of consenting and conniving to mislead customers when his company committed the offences.
The court heard that Phoenix quoted a Watford householder £90 for the replacement of two locks in August 2004. Theywere subsequently charged £347 for the work.
Another customer from Hampstead, London, was quoted £120 after locking themselves out. They were subsequently charged more than £1,000.
Watford magistrates fined Makowski, of High Rd, Wormley, Broxbourne, £500 for each offence, disqualified him as a director and banned him from driving for a year because he used his car for business use. The ban is suspended pending an appeal by Makowski.
Phoenix Ltd was also fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,341.40 in compensation to customers. Hertfordshire trading standards court costs of £5,800 will also be paid by Makowski and Phoenix.
But will it stop him? (He has been in trouble before for sharp practices, and is well known in locksmithing circles for all the wrong reasons.) See this Hertfordshire County Council press release for more.