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 were those that were in a desperate or vulnerable state. 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 in 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 levels of compensation will be decided, which is due to be heard next year.
With Makowski not showing any intention or action to stop this in future, it is very clear that there has to be some measurements made to prevent these problems 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 into a real danger while calling just about any emergency locksmith.