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Rogue Cork Traders

  • 20-04-2023 11:20pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭

    Looking for a roof and saw Class Roofing advert on the 20/4/23 edition of the Cork Independent free paper. Did the usual due diligence, googled them, and looked at the google reviews. 45 reviews, all with 5 stars. All reviews fairly recent and looking into the individual reviewers, a lot have reviewed the same 3 companies - 1 in France, 1 in UK and Class Roofing, lol. What's more, using the Lens option on the pics in their Cork new roof page, the pics were taken off roofing companies in Ire and the UK.

    Maybe a job for Preneville :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,839 ✭✭✭✭the beer revolu

    I'd contact the publishers.

    That paper would have a lot of elderly readers who, while might be quite suspicious normally, might assume that if it's in the paper, it must be genuine.

    I think a paper like that needs to be careful about this kind of thing.

    Maybe Prendaville, too. He'd relish this stuff. I shudder at the thought but it might spread awareness.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,978 ✭✭✭Hangdogroad


    Post edited by Gaspode on

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ofcork

    Any good trades shouldnt have to leaflet drop parents got caughtfew years ago with that got them to do gutter had to com back and fix it and charged more money.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,413 ✭✭✭Harika

    Rule of thump nowadays: Avoid companies that need to advertise.

    e,g, Our plumber doesn´t even answer the phone of people he doesn´t know as he is booked out for months

    Best thing is to go by personal recommendation, difficult enough to get good ones already

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Many of these carpet/driveway/roofing scammers tend to use the same mobile number on different names

    Put the mobile number into Google and see how many come up.

    As for reviews, many of these have "extended families" and easy to create 30+ 5 star reviews amongst the "family"

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ofcork

    A lad at work knew of a couple who got caught with a shoddy tarmac job even guards told them better off paying or too much hassle apparently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,470 ✭✭✭Ginger83

    Plenty of cowboys out there and unfortunately very little to deter them, just look at Priory Hall.

    Got caught myself with a cowboy builder. They looked good with their multiple new vans and talked a good game but as I'm not a local I didn't know the craic. A trail of destruction following them, houses being plastered 3 times, flat roofs having to be jacked up, etc. Suppliers won't deal with them, locals won't work for them and they are the first to donate to the church.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 wongwayround

    MK builders in Cork are another, 45 reviews on google, all 5 stars and all from around the same month? Must have been a very busy Jan hahah

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,742 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    I googled them there and ended up on their website. At first glance it looks legit but if you start to dig a little you immediately start to notice that it's not quite right

    • All six of the testimonials were from people with very generic names and they all used the same grammatical style - one where pronouns such as "I" and the word "the" are often omitted. I suspect they were all written by the same person
    • The Address given is 95 South Main street. If you look that up on Google streetview that's a barber shop - "Budding Barbers". The accompanying eircode says that it's for an apartment at that same address....pretty suss
    • There are no names or pictures of anyone associated with this company
    • I reverse imaged some of the pictures from their Gallery page. Some of them are blatantly stolen from legit company's websites like Velux or are obvious stock photos. Others though....and this is where it gets really interesting others appear to be genuine but are also used on other sites. For example, a picture of a patio was being used on a different website by a different business "New Style Driveways". Their site has a different feel but the content of's pretty much the same craic. No names or pictures, testimonial page with the same grammatical style. This time it was an address in Fairview in Dublin that seems to actually be a pharmacy.

    I'd say if you kept pulling on this thread you'd unearth quite the web of facade-style websites whose sole purpose is to give a veneer of respectability for fly by night businesses that are essentially untraceable. There's definitely a story here for an investigative journalist to get stuck into.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭omerin

    Got a flyer from this company. No Google reviews, based in South Mall and like the above are using at least some images from other companies to showcase "their work"

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,470 ✭✭✭Ginger83

    Google reviews are worthless and I experienced it first hand with a local builder who built me an extension with a grant. Eventually it had to be demolished and rebuilt and I was awarded a second grant which is unheard of.

    I put an honest review on google and it was removed. I can't find out why. The builder has since had 5 star reviews put up and I have met others who have had negative reviews removed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,002 ✭✭✭✭rob316

    Something about roofing companies full of cowboys. Close relative paid for a repair to a roof from "Bishopstown Roofing", problems after few months, disappeared without trace. Company that fixed it said he left a trail of destruction, even caught the local church!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 LunaTech

    I can leave another name to the rogue's gallery. E&J roofing. Not even related to tradesmen. I'm ongoing with them so I can't divulge too much at this point but if anybody's thinking of using them......DON'T!!!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,002 ✭✭✭✭rob316

    Like I said roofing companies seem to be the worst and charge an arm and a leg.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,256 ✭✭✭Kaisr Sose

    Sorry to hear that. I hope your can resolve the issue. The photo of the lit blow torch just lying on the recently laid roof felt would not instil confidence. I don't know why you would do that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 LunaTech

    After doing some digging I found 12 year old article from the Cork examiner relating to the J in E&J roofing. A pending court case for obstructing traffic on the N20 while riding a sulky. 4 of his fellow defendants gave halting sites as their addresses. My money's gone. going to have to pay another roofer to redo the job. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,002 ✭✭✭✭rob316

    I know someone used AluPro, good job he said. I'd look for references to be honest, this trade is stock full of cowboys.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,256 ✭✭✭Kaisr Sose

    EJ Roofing had me thinking 'family' alright. Mobile phone only and no stated address. Both are red flags.

    Have you reported to AGS?

    I would not just let them away with it. Some people say it's a civil matter but if taking money for service thats not provided or not provided to required standard it may be criminal (fraud/taking money on false pretense).

    We really need a robust trading standards body like in UK to take on rogues like this. No hope of that so people will continue to be targeted for bogus repairs or substandard tarmac jobs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 LunaTech

    You're spot on about a robust regulatory body. If they're not registered and controlled don't hire them. Unfortunately AGS have a long history of advising people to just pay up or walk away from issues with the "fambly". Don't draw them on you seems to be the mindset.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭RetroEncabulator

    I don't know what it is but it's almost impossible to get a reliable roofer.

    I've had two horrendous experiences with roofers both in Cork and in Dublin.

    Guy in Cork turned up and quoted me some ludicrous amount of money for what turned out to be a need to replace 2 slates.

    He was quoting about €60k !!

    Then we'd a guy in Dublin dealing with an elderly relative of mine and he demanded cash on the random day he finished the job and was trying to hassle her to go to the bank to get it out. He was trying to drive her there in his van and all sorts of weird stuff.

    She is elderly and not all that mobile, and had hired this guy to do a roof repair without discussing it with anyone one. If it hadn't been for a neighbour jumping into the middle of it he'd have had her down at the counter in the bank.

    I've had numerous crazy situations with builders in the past too - we'd a guy in doing a big contract and he just abandoned the site for months - left us with a building site.

    More recently had minor works done and the guy was refusing point blank to follow installation instructions for ducts for extractors and all sorts of stuff and made a total mess. We'd a plumber at one point as well who was going to DRILL A HOLE in a very expensive bath to put a tap in which was intended to be wall mounted, and then claimed that the bathroom shop didn't know what they were talking about - they sent some out to clear it u with him!

    Then we'd another plumber who fitted a flat shower tray with the drain higher than the bottom of it so the water just flooded all over the floor. Ended up taking 3 attempts to put in a shower, all of which ended up costing me more money.

    I don't really know how you're supposed to trust any tradespeople here tbh.

    From what I can see, there's just no regulation of anything. Why don't these guys all have licences ? That's the norm in a lot of countries, including the US.

    It's a jokeshop of a country sometimes - self regulation and nonsense.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,839 ✭✭✭✭the beer revolu

    I'd agree that the general standard of work and professionalism in the building trades in Ireland is absolutely appalling.

    No doubt there are some fantastic, honest, competent trades people out there but they appear to be few and far between.

    We need proper schedules and contracts so people aren't told, "3 months" for jobs that go on to take 10 months! But then we'd all have to pay VAT.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,459 ✭✭✭The White Feather

    I had the same problem with a roofer. It was during the pandemic and I couldn't get anyone to even answer calls. Finally got someone and it was really 2 slates missing so there was a hole in the roof. He said 2K and I had no choice but to pay it. When you don't know anyone and a hole in the roof its very scary but I felt like I was being held to ransom. He knew I was in a corner and I knew he knew it too. Just had to pay it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18 selle italia

    Has anyone come across Corcaigh roofing and renovations. Also go by Pats building services. Due to call and have a look at leak in roof. Address in castle street cork. Can't seem to find any reviews etc online.

  • Registered Users Posts: 334 ✭✭RodVelvet

    A total of 3 google reviews and I don't think they are valid business addresses, I'd be very wary if I was you! For a company in business this long, certainly not adding up for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,742 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Got this in the letterbox yesterday. Looks to be another classic of the genre:

    The Address on their Reviews page leads to a Dry Cleaners on Google Maps:

    It is unusual in that it has a landline number on the flyer.

    If you google that you find a second business using that called DPC Construction:

    Their address:

    which according to google maps is a suburban Semi-D:

    One advancement that I see with these two web sites is that they have more realistic looking reviews using Google Accounts - which I assume were created for just this purpose

  • Registered Users Posts: 331 ✭✭Bellie1

    This got me intrigued so checked their Facebook page and alot of comments have been hidden which is a bad sign. Had bathroom done by cowboys and when put comment on their Facebook with photo of exposed live wiring, it was taken down almost immediately Word of mouth is the only way to trust it seems

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 LunaTech

    If you want your driveway done, call Bobby Butler. I can't recommend him enough. A stark contrast to the recent debacle with E&J roofing. Bit of a waiting list but top notch.