Hydrotek Wallguard - a serious case of fraud

Hydrotek Wallguard - another con-artist exposed

Update (February 2016):

A recent email from a colleague tells the story of the demise of this horrid con artist:

Death of Derek Spring

"I was also interested to read of his associate, the elusive John Bingham. I thought that name was familiar – John Bingham is/ was the 7th Earl Of Lucan. So it’s not surprising you can’t find him."

We get a lot of complaints about Hydrotek Wallguard - and a con artist by the name of Derek Spring. He has taken a lot of money from people all over the country - we have a collection of cases here - all of which are hard to take to court simply because the slimy little man has no assets, and keeps changing companies faster than a card sharp.  NEVER deal with him or his Hydrotek Wallguard companies.

This is a letter we've had from a client - we investigated her property and confirmed that she had been conned out of a lot of money by this outfit.  There never WAS any damp.  

There is an outfit called the ISSE involved in this who have issued guarantees on behalf of Derek Spring who seems to run a company called Hydrotek Wallguard - I've challenged them to respond, but all we've seen so far is stonewalling.  Spring claims to be a highly qualified surveyor - by ISSE - but they don't seem to have any credibility either.  The plot thickens.

Here's the letter we were sent - most of these companies don't even exist, and some of the names appear to be fictitious as well - you can just see the Con taking place...   and all for a load of damp proofing that wasn't needed in the first place.

Pete:

In March 2009 we instructed a damp company to carry out remedial work on our house to resolve an on-going damp problem. A specialist surveyor by the name of Derek Spring (http://www.derekspring-specialistsurveyor.co.uk/Services) had previously carried out a survey of the property and provided the recommendation that ceramic siphon tubes should be installed externally. The theory behind these tubes are that they are porous allowing water to be absorbed and evaporated out the centre. The system is quite expensive and more expensive that the usually chemical injection, we have discovered the system is not proven, has not Agrement accreditation and is totally fraudulent.

http://www.hydrotek.co.uk/

http://www.dampwallessex.co.uk/

The system not only does not work but it has ruined the brickwork on our house leaving us with 100 ineffective tubes which need to be removed. He also re-pointed with cement instead of Lime Mortar which is causing additional us on-going problems – allowing him to return and commission more on-going work.

 As with all cowboys they weave a web to distance themselves from any future re-course. We have legal expense cover on our home insurance and we have instructed a solicitor to access the merits of this case. We have an expert witness report which proves the system could never work, however due to the slippery and teflon nature of the con-man… we may not be able to sue him because our contract is with a dissolved company.

I have found that he is linked to numerous Limited and non-limited companies. They usually get shut down due to non-compliance i.e. not submitting company accounts or compulsory liquidation. There is one non-limited company that has remained open since 1985 which is where I believe the money is being channelled though. Details if these companies are below and also attached.

Company Name

Former Name

Company Number

Date of Incorporation

Date Dissolved

Director

Last Director Listed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelmsford Property Preservation Company Ltd

Foxaward Limited

01968786

05/12/1985

03/11/2010

Peter Spring, Sheila Spring, Derek Spring

 

Hydrotek Damp Proofing Ltd

 

02356289

07/03/1989

18/07/1995

Shelia Spring & Grebson Barns Spring

 

Hydrotek Wallguard Ltd

 

04333978

04/12/2001

02/11/2010

Previous: Peter Spring, NOMDIR & Secretary: Alice Emma Natalie Spring

Derek Spring

Hydrotek Wall-Guard

Chelmsford Property Preservation Company

0375026

01/01/1985

 

Sheila Harrison & Derek Spring

 

The suspicious part is that they tend to open up a company, issue guarantees, keep the majority of the money away from the limited company and then pay it into a non-limited company by a similar name. This has been done though a variety of name changes and open/closed limited companies. This way you have no come back and the money is safe.

They use one particular company that goes by exactly the same name except without the Limited. The executive of the non-limited company that ‘creams’ the money has an executive called Sheila Harrison which is actually Sheila Spring… Derek Spring’s wife. Derek is also a named executive. This company has traded for approx 30 years and is still active. Derek has operated under other names such as Hydrotek Dampproofing, Chelmsford Property Preservations Company etc etc. They are all derivatives of the same thing which is why he never gets caught. He has now stamped a potentially fictional name of John Bingham over all his websites, invoices and letters so people don’t pursue him as he hides behind a company. I believe there is an audit trail… it’s just quite tricky to prove. In addition to this he charged VAT on his invoices but the VAT number does not exist.

The scheme is quite clever, install a system that doesn’t work, this will then generate on-going issues which you can come back and quote for. If the limited company which did the initial work no longer exists there is no contract and on one to pursue. So if you continue to work under your own name you are in the clear and devoid of any financial repercussions. Send the money earned by the Limited company to a non-limited company by the same name so the client doesn’t realise… then when that company no longer exist there is no accountability but the money is safe.

Can you help investigate this? I believe this man and his family (Wife – Sheila Spring/Harrison, son Peter Spring) has taken a lot of money from a lot of people leaving them with damaged properties, serious damp problems and no re-course.

Thanks...

And the mysterious John Bingham writes to us...

Well we had a nice letter from a John Bingham - at Hydrotek Wallguard, or should I say Hydrotek Wall-Guard - the same person who nobody can trace - it would be interesting to know where he lives, and who he is.  The letter called our clients the "Cowboy Clients" and told us that they have a 'long history' of drying walls by installing porous ceramic tubes together with ancillary works.  Apparently they have proven to Advertising Standards and Trading Standards that their method works and does what it says on the tin.. (I've not seen their tin - just a useless ceramic tube).  I have seen NO evidence that the Hydrotek Wallguard 'technology' is anything but the old and well discredited Knapen tubes, or Schrijver tube system - none of which work, none of which are approved for use in this country by anyone.

Trading Standards don't appear to have ever heard from them.  

Perhaps they don't like the fact that a 'Cowboy Client' has actually researched their business and shown it for what it is?

Apparently they first installed "tubes" in Westminster in 1927, and later in 1997.  Wow!  The company has been going that long!!!!  I'd love to see the 1927 'tubes' and the state of the poor building after that invasion.  I didnt think Derek Spring was THAT old, but just maybe he is...!

We'll await with interest the real identity of Mr John Bingham.  In the meantime we will also continue to comment on our client's case, with their permission of course.   The client also points out that Derek Spring appears not to own anything - even his home is owned by someone else - funny that!

Interesting that in their letter they say "the walls have drilled out dry" - well of course they will - the offending system was installed above a perfectly good damp course - and the tubes set in cement.

Complete fraud and incompetence in my opinion. I think we'll be putting a few more pages up on the site as a result of this - people like this do not need to be allowed to con the public out of their hard earned money. 

And as for ISSE...

The mysterious ISSE, with whom Derek Spring is intimately associated, and who have no members as far as we can determine...  They issue guarantees - but then won't honour them - and when our client approached them to investigate Spring, she received a long flannelling letter from the ISSE asking for money to investigate the case... All very strange - and smells extremely dirty and rancid.  This is certainly not a respected and well known organisation.  On the face of it, ISSE is a competitor to the Property Care Association, and the number of letters and communications out there on the internet between them supports this.  

My view - stay away from damp proofing!  Stay away from Hydrotek Wallguard and their silly siphon tubes.

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