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Outrage as plumber charges old woman £356 to put 13p tape on leaking pipe

Daisy Phillipson

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Outrage as plumber charges old woman £356 to put 13p tape on leaking pipe

A plumber's actions have been branded 'disgusting' after he charged an old woman £356 to put 13p tape on a leaking pipe.

While a service like this of course includes labour charges, it's not anywhere near the additional £355.87 added to the bill.

Speaking to LADbible, James Anderson explained how he helped to rectify the situation - at a far lower price - while also opening up about how it's a sign of the times amid the cost of living crisis.

James is the founder of Depher, which provides free emergency repairs for heating, hot water, gas and plumbing to disabled and elderly people all over the UK.

James (left) and his company Depher help vulnerable people across the UK. Credit: Supplied
James (left) and his company Depher help vulnerable people across the UK. Credit: Supplied

The donation-funded organisation expanded during the pandemic to help vulnerable people with a whole range of services including household tasks and much-needed food deliveries.

And it's safe to say he was outraged to hear about Margaret being charged so much for the simple job.

The 79-year-old originally rang the Depher offices, having previously been supplied by the company with a month's worth of food during Covid as well as assistance with her gas and electricity.

But when she couldn't get through, she contacted a local plumber named Wayne as the leak meant that her heating wasn't working and the house in Sabden, Lancashire, was cold.

The 79-year-old woman was charged £356 when the PTFE would've only cost 13p. Credit: Supplied
The 79-year-old woman was charged £356 when the PTFE would've only cost 13p. Credit: Supplied

After being charged £356 for the PTFE, she spoke with James and explained what had happened.

He told us: "I went back over and I rang Wayne, I know him, and I said, 'Listen, this is not the first time you've done this but it's hopefully going to be the last.'

"I told him that he has to go round to Margaret's and rectify the situation, because if he didn't I would not protect him or his identity.

"He listened to me, and he went back, returned the money and gave her a hug, which she accepted."

Wayne ended up paying for the part that needed replacing, costing just £32 in total, before James and his trusty team carried out the repair today (1 December) free of charge.

"On a personal note, I will be keeping a close eye on Wayne just to make sure that he doesn't do it again," he continued.

Margaret was grateful to the team for helping her out. Credit: Supplied
Margaret was grateful to the team for helping her out. Credit: Supplied

Unfortunately, James said this kind of incident is not uncommon. "We see it all the time," he added.

"Obviously people are now struggling with the cost of living, but that doesn't give you an excuse to charge that kind of money no matter who you are. It's disgusting."

Martin Lewis has some essential tips on how to lower your energy bills. Find out more in the vid below:

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As for Depher, James - who is branded a modern-day hero for good reason - went on to explain that the company now carries out a whole range of free services to those who need it most.

As well as plumbing and household repairs and food deliveries and parcels, the organisation has paid towards birthday presents, funeral costs, bailiff bills, and more.

The organisation helps people with a whole range of services. Credit: Supplied
The organisation helps people with a whole range of services. Credit: Supplied

Although they assumed they'd be back to their regular services once the pandemic eased, the cost of living crisis hit and so Depher carried on.

In short, they're providing support to UK households that are struggling so much right now - if you'd like contribute to the good cause, head to Depher's current GoFundMe page here and donate today.

By doing so, you'll be making sure people like Margaret get the heating and food they need this winter.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied

Topics: UK News, Money, Home

Daisy Phillipson
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