The brother and nephew of Birmingham’s most notorious television repair conman have been caught out ripping off customers through their own business.
Gurdit and Gurlakhdave Singh Sharma are the brother and nephew of Gurdave Sharma, who was jailed in April after being repeatedly exposed for fleecing TV owners.
They were hauled before Birmingham County Court over a catalogue of complaints from customers which bore striking similarities to those which ultimately landed Gurdave Shama behind bars.
Barrister Jonathan Davis, prosecuting on behalf of the city’s trading standards team, said: “The reason we’re here is because of a continuing saga of missed meetings and broken promises.
“Trading Standards have tried to sort this out and the fact we are here is indicative of the lack of co-operation.”
The court heard that consumer watchdogs received an “excessive amount” of complaints about the father and son, who operated TV repair business Touchwood on Washwood Heath Road, Washwood Heath.
Problems were reported between 2009 and this year.
They touched upon claims that the pair failed to carry out repairs with reasonable care and skill, within a reasonable amount of time, or failed to return equipment at all.
The court heard their business – which has no connection with the Solihull shopping centre of the same name – also failed to give its address on receipts, making it almost impossible for customers to recover their property or to take legal action.
They also displayed digital tick logos in their adverts when they were not authorised to do so.
The pair appeared at Birmingham County Court after Trading Standards sought an order under the Enterprise Act 2002 forcing them to trade lawfully.
Gurdit Sharma, who said he no longer played much of a part in the business, told the court: “I can only apologise.
“I’ve been self-employed for 23 years and it’s only in the last four or five years that I’ve been in trouble. I’ve been lackadaisical”.
His son, 21-year-old Gurlakhdave Singh Sharma, who the court heard was the proprietor, said: “I agree we’ve been lackadaisical.”
Judge David Worster said: “They have not worked to the standards they should have done.”
Gurlakhdave was given a five-year order under the Enterprise Act 2002, which is designed to enforce the conduct of traders.
It does not prevent him from trading, but requires him to comply with a series of statutory obligations that apply to all traders.
Gurdit was given an eight-year-order.