A MUM warned fellow shoppers after a Southend High Street store closed suddenly, leaving her without her goods.
Dawn Murphy, 40, of Eastern Avenue, Southend, faced a major challenge trying to get back her six-year-old daughter’s Hudl tablet after taking it into the electronics shop for repair.
She paid £35 for it to be fixed as well as £15 for a new charger and £25 for a cover. But when she returned to pick it up last Wednesday, she was shocked to find the shop empty.
She has since retrieved the unfixed tablet, but the new cover has not been returned. Mrs Murphy has now put warnings up about the store, should it reopen.
She said: “How can you do that to children? My daughter, Lois, was upset and crying. She said ‘please get it back mummy’ and I said I would. I feel disgusted because they took my money. I went back three times and was told ‘leave it with me. I will ring you every day’. It was all lies.”
Mrs Murphy tried to call the number she was given for the store, but it didn't work, so she took to writing notes on the door to try and find information.
Eventually, she was given a number for the owners and told to go to a nearby shop, where she retrieved the tablet.
She added: “I did the signs because if I had been conned, others have probably been conned. I don’t think it’s right.’’ Mrs Murphy isn't the only person caught out as Clare Palmer, 32, from The Grove, Southend, bought £20 speakers from the shop for her daughter Chelsea’s 12th birthday.
However, the speakers didn't work and when Mrs Palmer tried to return them, she found the shop had shut.
Mrs Palmer said: “I couldn’t believe it was shut. I only bought them from there because Argos had sold out. I was so annoyed. I managed to track down the owner and said I would report him to Trading Standards and he just said rudely ‘you do that then’.
“It’s terrible. There must be loads of other people who have been affected.”
Kirsty Horseman, information and communications manager for Southend Council, said: “We are aware of this case and would advise others with similar experiences to make sure they report this.
“To report a problem to Trading Standards, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service. Before contacting Citizens Advice, gather as much information as you can to support your problem.’’