Still waiting for furniture row to be resolved
A COUPLE say they are still waiting to have their conservatory furniture restored – more than 14 months after paying a Bedminster trader £300 to carry out the work.
Nicholas and Glenys Dunning took their furniture, which cost them £1,500, to Bobbie Burns furniture restorers in North Street in December 2011.
After hearing nothing for months they repeatedly contacted the shop, which is run by Paul Harris, asking for their furniture and money back.
They say Mr Harris made them several promises that the work would be carried out, but the retired couple never received their furniture.
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Mr and Mrs Dunning, who live in Coalpit Heath, eventually took Mr Harris to the small claims court and the trader was ordered to pay the couple £1,890 in compensation for failing to carry out the work.
But the pair say they have still not received any money from him, despite making numerous visit to his shop to ask for the cash.
They have even called the police and the city council's trading standards team involved, all to no avail.
Bristol City Council say they are investigating a number of historic complaints against the business, which has been run by Mr Harris for 35 years. It was set up by his father Bobbie Burns and originally opened 55 years ago.
Mrs Dunning, 70, said she and her husband, 72, had been forced to buy replacement furniture for the items which they handed over to Mr Harris.
She said the couple paid £300 to have new struts put on the bottom of their items of furniture and for new cushions to be added.
Mrs Dunning said: "He would tell us things like 'It will be ready in ten days' or 'It will be delivered next week' but that never ever happened. He said he had been so busy that he didn't have a chance to do it.
"We went to the small claims court and it was said that he had to pay £1,890, which would cover the £300 and would also give us money to buy new furniture with.
"That was about six months ago but it hasn't been paid. It's as if he completely ignored that.
Mr Harris said he had hoped to settle the job with Mr and Mrs Dunning before they took him to court. He said his 89-year-old mother Evelyn had recently died and he had been forced to find money to pay for her funeral.
Mr Harris, 58, said: "This particular chap (Mr Dunning) came in a couple of weeks ago and said that if I gave him £400 back he would be quite happy. But my mum passed away a few weeks ago and I had to pay for the funeral.
"I didn't have the money. I offered to do the re-upholstery for them but they said they would rather take me to court.
"We could have done the work. We do a lot of work. We're not taking everyone to the cleaners."
Vicky O'Loughlin, spokeswoman for the city council, said: "Bristol Trading Standards have provided advice to the business on ways to ensure that breaches of contract for goods and services do not occur in the future."