£47,000 customer of collapsed Shropshire glass firm fears he has lost the lot
A customer who spent nearly £50,000 with a Shropshire glass company that suddenly collapsed - and now faces losing the lot - says he is in shock after hearing it has ceased trading.
The directors of Heritage Glass (Shrewsbury) Limited, based at Racecourse Crescent, Monkmoor, confirmed this week that it has had to close the business after 23 years of trading.
James Geraghty, of St Martin's, near Oswestry, said he paid some £47,000 to Heritage Glass (Shrewsbury) in November 2021 after hearing nothing but rave reviews about the company's work from pleased family members.
"The first I knew about it was when I was shown a copy of the news article," said Mr Garaghty, who said he paid for a "top of the line" extension, new doors and windows at his home.
"I am now a little bit panicked - and to say I am enraged is an understatement.
"In November 2021 we paid in full and we were told it would take them three months, but that we needed planning permission. So we paid £2,500 to get the planning permission and then got all kinds of excuses. I don't know if they were playing for time."
Mr Geraghty says he was told only last week that the work would be starting its final phases after Christmas.
He has had new windows and doors installed and says there are signs of damage, but nevertheless he said the family was excited at the prospect of the work being completed at last.
"It was going to be all singing, all dancing, with spotlights and radiators included in the extension.
"It has all happened out of the blue as far as we are concerned. We heard nothing to indicate they might have been in trouble.
"We had no reason at all to suspect that from all the good reviews they had. Members of the family said they had done a fantastic job for them, so we had no reason to suspect that we would not get the same."
When companies go out of business suddenly there is little prospect of customers getting much if any money back. Banks and other institutional creditors are at the top of the list for getting refunds from fire sale proceeds.
Mr Geraghty said he appreciates that "the chances of getting much back are small".
"It is pretty grim," he said.
But he still intends to lodge a claim when liquidators are appointed.
A spokesman for the company said on Friday that this is going to be done but the name of the liquidators is not yet known, and until then the company is declining to comment further.
It remains unclear what precipitated the company's sudden collapse.
A statement from the company this week said: "Due to difficult trading conditions Heritage Glass (Shrewsbury) Limited sadly has had to close after 23 years of serving the county of Shropshire.
"We are in the process of appointing a liquidator and once this is implemented all our creditors will be notified.
"The directors are saddened to announce this news."
As well as customers left struggling with unfinished jobs, an unconfirmed number of employees at the company may have lost their jobs, or much of their lone trader income just before Christmas.
One customer said he had contacted Citizens Advice who he found to be "very helpful". For more information if you have been involved visit citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-a-company-stops-trading-or-goes-out-of-business