A few months ago, our Customer Service team received a call from Barbara Meszaros the neighbour of Geoff Cunliffe, a military veteran from St Albans, Hertfordshire.
We were told how Mr Cunliffe, 92, was scammed by construction workers who left his house completely unsafe and in a sorry state of disrepair. He was left with a leaking roof, damp floors, peeling wallpaper, collapsed ceilings and black mould in every single room of his three-bedroom semidetached home. Unfortunately, he was targeted by cold callers offering to fit new insulation into his roof four years prior.
After a year, it became evident when large amounts of rainwater – which had been collecting in the loft – started to leak into the house. A devastated Mr Cunliffe, who has lived in the house for 52 years, said: ‘I don’t want to live like this anymore, it’s quite upsetting really.’
The widowed pensioner handed over a grand total of £4,025 to Eco Energy Advice in 2016 for repairs to his home. However, closer inspection four years later revealed just how bad the shoddy workmanship was. When the extent of the problems were discovered, for his own health and safety, Mr Cunliffe had no choice but to sleep downstairs in a chair, until his neighbours kindly used a tarpaulin to temporarily fix the issue.
Eco Energy Advice Owner, Adam Craig Roberts, is currently in jail carrying out a 3 year sentence since June of this year for a completely different offence. Justice has not been served and Mr Cunliffe still has no closure on the matter.
When we were told Mr Cunliffe’s story, we couldn’t believe that someone could even contemplate treating a human being in this way. Especially one who is a 92-year-old Military Veteran.
Our CEO Gary Fredson said “It’s absolutely disgusting and really disturbing to hear what Mr Cunliffe has been through over the last few years. He’s sadly been taken for a ride, let down by his local authority and his insurance provider. He’s done so much for his country and it’s about time someone repaid him for that service”.
Gary, made it his priority to help the vulnerable pensioner and covered the full costs to remove and refit his Solar Panels – so his roof could be fixed – and installed a new Solar Battery which would significantly help reduce his electricity bills for years to come. Mr Cunliffe will also never pay maintenance for his Solar PV system as we’re offering this service to him for free, for life.
Part of ESE Group’s service is to regularly check up on installations carried out and recently travelled to Hertfordshire for a socially distanced catchup up with Mr Cunliffe to deliver a little surprise just before Christmas.
Mr Cunliffe said: “My Neighbour only called you to get a quote to repair my roof, but after speaking with your office and explaining my situation, you took it upon yourselves to fix my roof and also installed a Solar Battery to help me with my energy bills. When you told me, everything would be done for free, I got really upset on the phone. My emotions got the better of me and knowing that I’ve finally been able to get this problem sorted was a big relief. I’ve been a Solar Maintenance customer of yours for 2 years now, but I never expected a service like this. It was lovely getting to meet you even if it was from a distance and the food hamper is lovely, really nice. I love cheese and I’m sure Barbara will help me eat it too.”
Mr Cunliffe’s neighbour Barbara Meszaros said, “Things got so bad for Geoff that we started a GoFundMe page to try and raise as much money as we could to help with his roof repair. Thankfully ESE Group stepped in help with the roof, but his house is still a long way from being fully liveable internally.”
After catching up with Geoff, we realised that more needs to be done. Mr Cunliffe has fallen twice in the last year because he needs a stairlift and struggles to manage the stairs by himself. We’d like to keep his GoFundMe campaign going with the aim to get enough money to have a stairlift installed and to redecorate his home. If you can spare it, please donate what you can –
It’s important now more than ever to look after our neighbours and our community, especially the elderly and vulnerable. We hope that whoever comes across this story might take a moment to check in on those around them.
When injustice happens, there’s always people around to help. Good will always out weight the bad – sharing positive stories, even in dark times gives us all a strong & reassuring reminder of this.