At the risk of turning into a cliche I have to report my experience of using Neil Protheroe.
For anyone familiar with him my account of events will not be news. These are the essential facts.
In a hurry given a leak under my bath into my lounge I looked at HoL and saw topline recommendations. I failed to follow the threads through to see the bad experiences also recounted.
Neil attended on the same day and made a repair to cold water inlet - a "top hat" I believe- I paid him £95 - he wanted to cash (although I only had 80 and did an immediate transfer for £15).
On entering the lounge the following day it became apparent that a much worse leak had subsequently started and water was coming through (luckily I hadn't removed the bucket from before!).
I immediately called Neil and explained the severity of the problem and he said he would be with me later that day (it was around 2pm at that point and he said he'd be there 7pm at the latest. I was relieved and all was cordial as I believed him when he said he would return, and I've had enough experience of home ownership to know that repairs often don't go smoothly!
Of course Neil didn't come and he called me some time after 7pm to say he'd come the following day instead - Saturday - and he was all reassurance and accommodating. I explained to him that I absolutely had to attend an appointment in town at 2pm, so would need to leave at 1pm. Of course, by 1.15pm he had not appeared or called to say he couldn't make it/was running late.
I called him at 1.15pm and it was then that I realised he had no intention of returning. He was difficult and evasive. After about 5 minutes of discussion the penny dropped - he was an arch dissembler and I ended the conversation - I realised he would not be trustworthy to invite back to my home - and started to think where else I could source a good plumber.
I have texted Neil Protheroe to ask for a refund and he is again showing his true colours. I am pursuing the idea of action in the small claims court, but for me the most important thing is that other people both in Haringey and further afield don't fall prey to this person and his initial "can do" veneer.
On a positive note, via my excellent heating engineer based in Stroud Green I have found an excellent local plumber who was able to make full repairs and is a genuine, skilled tradesman. Feel free to PM me if you would like his contact details. Yes, he is very busy, but he won't mislead you, leave you with a worse problem than you started with, or treat you with contempt. Thank you to all those who had posted honest accounts of what it's like to do business with Neil Protheroe - if only I had read them! - hence I thought I'd start a new thread.
Why not turn this controversial topic into a social good? Perhaps anyone posting on Neil Protheroe should have to pay a fee to an agreed charity?
I'm all for a bit of balance as I think some traders use HoL for a kind of free advertising by asking for a positive review here every time they do a job. I also had a less than good experience with NP, though not serious enough to post a 'negative review', and problems with at least two other recommended tradesmen from this site (one of whom turned seriously abusive) so I have by and large stopped using it as a source and turned instead to recommendations from friends.
I guess nothing beats a personal recommendation from a friend. Sorry to hear that your experiences haven't always been good.
I'm wary of taking any online or printed reviews at face value so always try and check out any review before following it up. Having done that, recommendations taken from this site have always worked out well for me.