It's an open and shut case

PUBLISHED: 16:59 26 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:04 18 June 2010

A SIDMOUTH pensioner was forced to barricade his broken front door after his service company told him they could not fix it for a week. Peter Shephard, 79, a loyal customer of Anglian Home Improvements, noticed two weeks ago his door would not lock and co

A SIDMOUTH pensioner was forced to barricade his broken front door after his service company told him they could not fix it for a week.

Peter Shephard, 79, a loyal customer of Anglian Home Improvements, noticed two weeks ago his door would not lock and contacted the company straight away for the problem to be resolved.

But he was told that the next available appointment was in a week and in the meantime he should use a garden spade to lever the door in order to lock it.

Mr Shephard, of Winslade Road, said: "I didn't even try to do that because it's a nice door and I wasn't going to risk damaging it.

"I'm an older person but they still told me I should try and lever it with a garden spade.

"They also offered me a call out but that would be up to 72 hours - three days- and it would cost £130. My door was still under guarantee and that didn't seem right to me at all."

A concerned Mr Shephard used a table and chair to block the door from the inside until it could be fixed the following week.

He added: "When I went out I hoped everything would be alright and at night there is that thought in the back of your mind-that's why I put the table there."

"It wouldn't have stopped anyone from getting in but it would've made one hell of a racket so I would've had a warning."

The door has now been repaired but Mr Shephard says he feels extra measures should be taken by the company to prevent this type of incident happening again.

He said: "There should be some sort of provision if this happens to people. I class this as a small emergency and there should be somebody on standby at all times to be sent out."

A spokesperson for Anglian said a service engineer did fix the door in accordance with the guarantee but there is no provision for a 24 hour emergency service.

She said: "We are sorry Mr Shephard experienced a problem with his door lock and for any distress this may have caused. In an emergency situation most household insurance policies cover this type of situation.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald