A mother has claimed she has been left living on the breadline by an Edinburgh company who have refused to pay her a full refund for a deposit on shutters that never arrived.
Mandy Atkins, a 50-year-old former police officer, ordered two sets of roller blinds and some shutters for her home through Burgh Blinds N Shutters.
However, despite not receiving her shutters from the Dalziel Place business and taking the company to court – and winning – she has still not been paid the £756.02 she is owed by the business.
In October 2018 Ms Atkins ordered more than £2,000 worth of shutters from Burgh Blinds N Shutters and was asked to pay more than £1,000 in a deposit up front.
But after waiting six months for their arrival only for the shutters not to fit and giving the owner, John Hayward, another chance after a resolution was offered by the Citizens Advice Bureau, Ms Atkins lost her patience and requested a full refund in May this year.
Successfully receiving £400 via Visa Disputes, correspondence from Mr Hayward stopped and the last £600 went unpaid.
Ms Atkins took the company to Edinburgh Sheriff Court in September and despite appearance papers being sent with recorded delivery, Mr Hayward did not attend the hearing and she was awarded the full amount and costs.
Now, two months after the court case and papers being served with a witness present to force the payment of the remainder of the deposit, Ms Atkins remains more than £700 out of pocket, a year after her initial order.
Ms Atkins also alleges that she was abused by a shop worker and called a “f***ing weirdo” in front of other customers.
When the Evening News contacted the company and asked the same worker about the dispute, she labelled Ms Atkins “mentally unwell” and denied she had made the comment.
However, the Evening News has seen an email where Mr Hayward apologised to Ms Atkins for “heightened” emotions and for whether “anything was said out of context”.
As well as allegedly being abused, the shop worker also called the police when Ms Atkins came to the shop to discuss her issues.
Ms Atkins said: “She phoned 999 on me. She used the excuse of a sit down protest because I said I would wait on him.
“I am a retired police officer myself and I knew I would be told to move on. John was quite reasonable and said if you just give us some time.
“He has kept my deposit and not turned up any blinds. He has not responded to anything nor turned up to court.”
The ordeal has left Ms Atkins living with less than a pound at the end of the month and struggling to pay for petrol to get to work due to being out of pocket.
Christmas The lack of a refund has also affected her family’s Christmas celebrations.
She said: “It has been very stressful, especially when people are calling me names in the shop in front of other customers. I have got Christmas coming up and I have three children.
“I have already said to my daughter that this Christmas is going to be lean. How am I going to pay my bills, get my heating fixed or pay for food?
“Last week before I got paid I had to work from home because I didn’t have enough money for petrol. I am out of pocket because of him because of the court case and having to buy other shutters.”
“Last month we were left with 54p at the end of the month.”
A spokeswoman for Burgh Blinds and Shutters said: “It is a matter that his [John Hayward] solicitors are dealing with. He does not wish to make a statement.”
The shop did not produce any evidence of any ongoing legal proceedings when asked by the Evening News.
It is also understood complaints about Burgh Blinds and Shutters have been made to Trading Standards.
A Edinburgh City Council spokesperson said: “We routinely monitor and investigate complaints made against traders within Edinburgh.”