At BBC’s Rogue Traders programme, locksmith Mark Makowski, 40, was exposed of his dishonesty to customers and will face four years in prison for overcharging them of more than hundreds of pounds.
Often the work was unnecessary, and the customers who complained to him about his shoddy work either did not get a reply or were insulted.
Makowski living in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, did most of his work in the London area and was found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of 15 counts of fraud by false representation. This was after the Trading Standards Investigation found that 88 people have made complaints about his conduct, and prosecutors took 11 cases to court, which is a total of £8,000.
He is now known for being an ‘unpleasant bully’ as the people he took advantage of were desperate or vulnerable. Most of those people were elderly and women who were taking care of the kids on their own. Makowski would usually quote prices to them between £100 and £200 then would charge more than £500, and on some rare occasions, he would charge more than £1,000.
Judge Anthony Morris told Makowski he had acted as an “unpleasant bully, riding roughshod over any opposition to your business methods”.
He added: “You have shown a total lack of remorse for your offences and shown yourself to be a thoroughly dishonest man.”
A confiscation hearing for the compensation levels will be decided, which will be heard next year.
With Makowski not showing any intention or action to stop this in the future, it is obvious that there have to be some measurements to prevent these problems from happening to anyone by any locksmith. Getting locked out of a home is very common and can happen to anyone at any time, and the situation can get a bit intense if it happens right in the middle of the night. Dialling a random locksmiths number is not the best answer. One should be aware that they could be putting themselves in real danger while calling just about any emergency locksmith.