West Auckland odd jobs man with reputation for taking money then taking off apologises

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A west Auckland odd jobs man, who has been getting a reputation for taking money and then taking off, says he had "other things" in his life to deal with and that's why he couldn't finish the jobs.

This odd-job man's work really has to be seen to be believed.
Source: Fair Go

Richard Craven - who also goes by the names Richie Craven, West Craven and Spilly Magee - apologised to his customers on Fair Go tonight, and has promised he won't advertise for any more odd-job work on Facebook.

That's where his customers - all residents of the west Auckland region - found Mr Craven, and contacted him to fix their gutters, replace roofing and paint houses.

Homeowner Neil Hannard says Mr Craven took $2000 as a deposit to paint his house - in return, he's been left with a zebra stripe pattern on one wall.

"One sunny day, not unlike today, we were waiting about an hour to let him in and he still wasn't here. So we messaged him and asked where he was. He said the forecast was pretty bad, so when I looked on the weather app, there were five bright suns. It didn't get any better than that," Mr Hannard said. 

Richard Craven says bad weather did prevent him from turning up to finish the job, but he still maintains that the Hannards got value for money.

"We spent $1200 on materials, we did three days labour, and there was still money owed after we finished."

After Fair Go pointed out the job wasn't finished, Mr Craven said that was because of "stuff going on" at the time, but he refused to go into further details.

He has since returned four tins of paint to the Hannards that he bought for the job.

Mr Craven also blamed the weather for not being able to finish a repair job on some guttering at Anton Ashcroft's house.

Mr Ashcroft said Mr Craven promised time and time again that he'd complete the section of roof, but he never showed up.

After forking out a $700 deposit for an unfinished job, Mr Ashcroft asked for a $50 discount off the final bill if Mr Craven ever came to finish it.

Mr Craven refused, and never turned up.

"I was busy on those days. I've got a life to worry about myself," he said.

However some of his customers are taking a stand. 

Eilish has lodged a case with the Disputes Tribunal after Richard Craven put a new roof on her house, but neglected to install the insulation he charged for.

He offered her a $500 refund on the $7800 job, but never put the money through.

Eilish reckons the missing insulation wasn't a case of forgetfulness. 

"I felt he'd purposely ripped me off thinking I was never going to see inside the cavity and never know that he'd been paid for a job he hadn't bothered doing," she said.

Mr Craven said they're sorting it out between themselves.

And he has apologised for "mucking people around".

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