Mum’s ‘nightmare’ wait for Wickes bathroom that ‘leaked and had holes’

A mum claims she suffered a "nightmare" nine-month wait for Wickes to fix her bathroom and her health suffered because of the stress.

Single mum-of-one Catherine Bull, 45, employed the company to update her bathroom late last year at a cost of more than £8,000.

Wickes sent out a contractor in January, but Catherine, from Frome, Somerset, claimed problems started when she found leaks and holes.

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The company has now apologised and the bathroom completed, but Catherine told WalesOnline: "It’s been a nightmare," adding: "Now I’ve had to live with damp and it’s definitely affected my physical and mental health.

"We've been ill and unable to shake it off, and I've been an emotional wreck because of all the constant battles.

Catherine, a care co-ordinator, shares her three-bedroom home with daughter Sophie Anthony-Bull, 19, a beautician, and Sophie’s boyfriend Morgan Russell, 21, a tarmacer.

They chose the new design last December, and Catherine said she paid Wickes £7,500 for the bathroom equipment and £1,000 to the contractor.

Her small bathroom was estimated to take two weeks to complete, but she noticed little progress by the end of week one, so called Wickes, which sent out an installation manager, who left after the second week.

But Catherine said the installation became blighted by problems, including a leaky sink and badly-fitted tiles.

Catherine said she called Wickes after the two weeks, but it was March before anyone came out to her again.

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She added that she also wrote to the head of Wickes and employed an ombudsman.

Wickes agreed to start again, but said she'd have to wait – possibly months – but Catherine claimed that by September water leaking from the bathroom was dripping into her hallway and the ceiling was ruined with damp.

Wickes then agreed to refit the bathroom and work started on November 14 – which has now been completed.

But she said: “Sophie got sick with sinus problems at the start of September and hasn’t been able to shift it. I got a respiratory virus at the beginning of October and I usually shift them really quickly, but I had antibiotics for a week and I was still sick at the end of the month.

“It’s just been horrible. I’ve been a full-time working single mum in order to pay for this – life is a battle enough without this."

A Wickes spokesman said: "We are very sorry to hear about the problem that Ms Bull has experienced with the installation of her bathroom.

"We are also assessing the damage caused to the customer’s property and are in contact with Ms Bull to discuss the best course of action to ensure this is repaired.

"Our installation service currently works on a 12-15 week lead time between the purchase and installation start date. Unfortunately, we do not offer an emergency callout service, however we aim to rectify any issue that occurs as soon as possible.

"Our customer relations team will remain in contact with Ms Bull to ensure this is resolved quickly and with the best possible care."


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