Southend mum’s warning for shoppers after she is left in the lurch

Angry – Dawn Murphy with daughter Lois. Right: The now-empty shop where Mrs Murphy took the tablet for repair.

Angry – Dawn Murphy with daughter Lois. Right: The now-empty shop where Mrs Murphy took the tablet for repair.

First published in News by

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.’’

Comments (20)

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7:51pm Fri 22 Aug 14

beaulocks says...

You would think that it's worth mentioning the name of the shop wouldn't you.

She said "she wants to warn others"

What is the point of this story without knowing the shop.
You would think that it's worth mentioning the name of the shop wouldn't you. She said "she wants to warn others" What is the point of this story without knowing the shop. beaulocks
  • Score: 111

8:22pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

Its one of those pop up shops that sell all the cheap tacky phone covers and other smart phone goods from China, they also unlock phones (no questions asked), should have gone to a reputable shop/dealer/repair place, theres a lesson in there, top end of high street near McD's by the look of it, these fly by nights come and go.
Its one of those pop up shops that sell all the cheap tacky phone covers and other smart phone goods from China, they also unlock phones (no questions asked), should have gone to a reputable shop/dealer/repair place, theres a lesson in there, top end of high street near McD's by the look of it, these fly by nights come and go. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 49

8:25pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

ohh and get that charger checked could be sub standard and explode, again always buy from a branded store ok its a few pounds more but at least it won't overheat.
ohh and get that charger checked could be sub standard and explode, again always buy from a branded store ok its a few pounds more but at least it won't overheat. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 68

8:38pm Fri 22 Aug 14

woodystock says...

Why would you pay £25 for a cover in a cheap shop when you could get one cheaper online and then....leave it there???
Why would you pay £25 for a cover in a cheap shop when you could get one cheaper online and then....leave it there??? woodystock
  • Score: 38

8:59pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

Where is the name of the store? OK so it's gone but there must have been something, some detail... even descriptions of the staff, or even a proper location.

How in heck can people complain if they don't know where this place is or what it's called? There are so many of these fly by nights now it could be any one of them.
Where is the name of the store? OK so it's gone but there must have been something, some detail... even descriptions of the staff, or even a proper location. How in heck can people complain if they don't know where this place is or what it's called? There are so many of these fly by nights now it could be any one of them. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 31

9:41pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Canveyman24 says...

I've had experiences with shops like these, when quoting trading standards they really don't care, as they know they can get away with it.
We need to stop using these foreign repair shops, half of the time you explain what is wrong and they either replace more parts than are necessary, or give it back to you broken.

I advise any one to google Ifixit, a great website that teaches you how to repair any gadget you can think of, and you can order the parts needed from ebay. It is actually a lot more simple than you think, you save money, and you don't line scums pockets, and enough people do it, force them out of business.
I've had experiences with shops like these, when quoting trading standards they really don't care, as they know they can get away with it. We need to stop using these foreign repair shops, half of the time you explain what is wrong and they either replace more parts than are necessary, or give it back to you broken. I advise any one to google Ifixit, a great website that teaches you how to repair any gadget you can think of, and you can order the parts needed from ebay. It is actually a lot more simple than you think, you save money, and you don't line scums pockets, and enough people do it, force them out of business. Canveyman24
  • Score: 40

9:43pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Canveyman24 says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
Its one of those pop up shops that sell all the cheap tacky phone covers and other smart phone goods from China, they also unlock phones (no questions asked), should have gone to a reputable shop/dealer/repair place, theres a lesson in there, top end of high street near McD's by the look of it, these fly by nights come and go.
Sorry I'm not picking here, but they do not need to ask questions to unlock a phone. Unlocking a phone to work on any network is completely fine, I gather what you are talking about is Unblocking, which is changing a phones IMEI number after it has been barred for being stolen, this carries heavy penalties, and is actually quite hard to find somewhere that does this nowadays.
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: Its one of those pop up shops that sell all the cheap tacky phone covers and other smart phone goods from China, they also unlock phones (no questions asked), should have gone to a reputable shop/dealer/repair place, theres a lesson in there, top end of high street near McD's by the look of it, these fly by nights come and go.[/p][/quote]Sorry I'm not picking here, but they do not need to ask questions to unlock a phone. Unlocking a phone to work on any network is completely fine, I gather what you are talking about is Unblocking, which is changing a phones IMEI number after it has been barred for being stolen, this carries heavy penalties, and is actually quite hard to find somewhere that does this nowadays. Canveyman24
  • Score: 20

10:17pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

Canveyman24 wrote:
Robin Reliant wrote:
Its one of those pop up shops that sell all the cheap tacky phone covers and other smart phone goods from China, they also unlock phones (no questions asked), should have gone to a reputable shop/dealer/repair place, theres a lesson in there, top end of high street near McD's by the look of it, these fly by nights come and go.
Sorry I'm not picking here, but they do not need to ask questions to unlock a phone. Unlocking a phone to work on any network is completely fine, I gather what you are talking about is Unblocking, which is changing a phones IMEI number after it has been barred for being stolen, this carries heavy penalties, and is actually quite hard to find somewhere that does this nowadays.
these pop up shops are the 'new' market stall, easy to spot they all have a tacky flashing sign in the window and racks of cheap tacky phone covers and an asian looking chap behind the counter customers are blinded by getting something for a few quid less than a genuine shop makes you laugh spend big money on an iphone BUT buy a cheapy charger, sure this is in the old Hawkins Bazaar shop.
[quote][p][bold]Canveyman24[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: Its one of those pop up shops that sell all the cheap tacky phone covers and other smart phone goods from China, they also unlock phones (no questions asked), should have gone to a reputable shop/dealer/repair place, theres a lesson in there, top end of high street near McD's by the look of it, these fly by nights come and go.[/p][/quote]Sorry I'm not picking here, but they do not need to ask questions to unlock a phone. Unlocking a phone to work on any network is completely fine, I gather what you are talking about is Unblocking, which is changing a phones IMEI number after it has been barred for being stolen, this carries heavy penalties, and is actually quite hard to find somewhere that does this nowadays.[/p][/quote]these pop up shops are the 'new' market stall, easy to spot they all have a tacky flashing sign in the window and racks of cheap tacky phone covers and an asian looking chap behind the counter customers are blinded by getting something for a few quid less than a genuine shop makes you laugh spend big money on an iphone BUT buy a cheapy charger, sure this is in the old Hawkins Bazaar shop. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 25

10:19pm Fri 22 Aug 14

rob-wos says...

Actually the shop was/is opposite Phones 4u at top end of high street.
Actually the shop was/is opposite Phones 4u at top end of high street. rob-wos
  • Score: 10

10:20pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

"Eventually, she was given a number for the owners and told to go to a nearby shop, where she retrieved the tablet"


So beware,i detect from the above words they have another shop nearby.
"Eventually, she was given a number for the owners and told to go to a nearby shop, where she retrieved the tablet" So beware,i detect from the above words they have another shop nearby. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 33

12:51am Sat 23 Aug 14

_Lotus_ says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
"Eventually, she was given a number for the owners and told to go to a nearby shop, where she retrieved the tablet"


So beware,i detect from the above words they have another shop nearby.
Yeah, I thought that too.

What is the name of the nearby shop I wonder?
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: "Eventually, she was given a number for the owners and told to go to a nearby shop, where she retrieved the tablet" So beware,i detect from the above words they have another shop nearby.[/p][/quote]Yeah, I thought that too. What is the name of the nearby shop I wonder? _Lotus_
  • Score: 14

8:50am Sat 23 Aug 14

Alfiee says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
"Eventually, she was given a number for the owners and told to go to a nearby shop, where she retrieved the tablet"


So beware,i detect from the above words they have another shop nearby.
Yep they are all in it together. They move up and down the high street, then all go home together. Stop using them as others have said. They will then disappear.
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: "Eventually, she was given a number for the owners and told to go to a nearby shop, where she retrieved the tablet" So beware,i detect from the above words they have another shop nearby.[/p][/quote]Yep they are all in it together. They move up and down the high street, then all go home together. Stop using them as others have said. They will then disappear. Alfiee
  • Score: 24

10:15am Sat 23 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Another Essex Sucker, comes to mind...
Another Essex Sucker, comes to mind... sesibollox
  • Score: 4

10:55pm Sun 24 Aug 14

shorty1964 says...

Hi,

The shop in question is called Fone Gadget which was at 193 High Street .
Hi, The shop in question is called Fone Gadget which was at 193 High Street . shorty1964
  • Score: 13

11:42am Tue 26 Aug 14

Sugarman says...

Do not buy "cheap chargers" from anywhere - I bought two Iphone Chargers from Amazon, well I thought they were from Amazon in fact the link took me to a company based in Jersey via the link from Amazon. Both charges blew up in the socket, luckily I was at home both times. I contacted Amazon and the Company and was just told to send them back and they would refund the full price, and it "must have been a bad batch". Yeah right. Only buy proper products the alternative isn't worth it.
Do not buy "cheap chargers" from anywhere - I bought two Iphone Chargers from Amazon, well I thought they were from Amazon in fact the link took me to a company based in Jersey via the link from Amazon. Both charges blew up in the socket, luckily I was at home both times. I contacted Amazon and the Company and was just told to send them back and they would refund the full price, and it "must have been a bad batch". Yeah right. Only buy proper products the alternative isn't worth it. Sugarman
  • Score: 6

10:22pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Letmetryagain says...

For what she paid, she could have bought a new tablet.
For what she paid, she could have bought a new tablet. Letmetryagain
  • Score: -1

8:48am Thu 28 Aug 14

thecoat says...

Anyone with any savy knows you only part with money in a shop like this once the job has been completed, they should never be asking for payment upfront.

This lady only has her self to blame really.
Anyone with any savy knows you only part with money in a shop like this once the job has been completed, they should never be asking for payment upfront. This lady only has her self to blame really. thecoat
  • Score: 4

11:50am Fri 29 Aug 14

Bester says...

This report is AWFUL. Journalism at its most lazy.

What was the name of the shop? Where was it located? What is the name of the nearby shop that gave her the tablet back? Where is that located? Do both shops have common ownership? What are the names of the people who own these shops?

Come on Echo!!!!! You can do better than this!!!!!!
This report is AWFUL. Journalism at its most lazy. What was the name of the shop? Where was it located? What is the name of the nearby shop that gave her the tablet back? Where is that located? Do both shops have common ownership? What are the names of the people who own these shops? Come on Echo!!!!! You can do better than this!!!!!! Bester
  • Score: 3

6:32pm Sat 30 Aug 14

burghcastle says...

Sign of the times i'm afraid---madam.
Sign of the times i'm afraid---madam. burghcastle
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Tue 16 Sep 14

Sid Wrongen says...

The Council let these fly by nights in .. they stay for a few months and then disappear before the Council can chase them for Rates ...
meanwhile hard working shop keepers who are trying to support there family and better the High street are been forced out of Business
Southend Rates dept need to take a long walk down our high street just to see how bad it is.
The Council let these fly by nights in .. they stay for a few months and then disappear before the Council can chase them for Rates ... meanwhile hard working shop keepers who are trying to support there family and better the High street are been forced out of Business Southend Rates dept need to take a long walk down our high street just to see how bad it is. Sid Wrongen
  • Score: 0

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