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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 December 2006, 15:35 GMT
Complaints over bike traders soar
Sean Evans
Well-wishers clubbed together and bought Sean a quad bike
More than 1,500 complaints have been made to a council against a bike company run by a Surrey family accused of poor business practices.

Adam and Tarek Mowafi, of Copthorne, who run Power Offroad, R1 Offroad, and related businesses, failed to appear at a county court hearing on Thursday.

Customers claimed goods were faulty or were not delivered, and refund cheques have bounced, Surrey council said.

One customer left waiting was the father of a terminally-ill Crawley boy.

Keith Evans tried to buy a quad bike for his eight-year-old son Sean, who has terminal cancer.

We need to stop more customers getting ripped off
Peter Denard
Trading standards officer

He said: "How can they take people's hard-earned cash, especially for their children at Christmas, take it and not deliver the goods, and take off with the money?

"I think it's totally disgusting what these people have done."

Well-wishers have since clubbed together and bought Sean a quad bike.

Trading standards officer Peter Denard said: "We need to stop more customers getting ripped off."

He said the 1,500 complaints received so far totalled more than all the complaints received about all the major electrical stores, supermarkets and mobile phone shops across Surrey.

Information for customers on Surrey County Council's website states that Power Offroad and R1 Offroad are not legal entities and gives advice to customers.

It says claims should be made against the business proprietors, Adam and Tarek Mowafi, and gives their private address as Langset, Herons Close, New Domewood, Copthorne, West Sussex RH10 3HF.

BBC South East Today tried to contact the Mowafis but no-one was available for comment.

The Mowafis were the subject of an investigation by the BBC programme Watchdog earlier this year which said the family blamed problems on a factory error, which caused severe delays to deliveries.

The court case was adjourned until February.


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