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Angry customer parks tank outside Wickes to protest 'poor' £25k kitchen

Paul Gibbons, 63, was unhappy about the retailer's work on his new kitchen in Hampshire last February, and has demanded a refund.

Paul Gibbons with the tank outside Basingstoke Wickes. Photo released January 30 2024.A man who parked a tank outside a Wickes in protest over a kitchen has been told it will be removed in 14 days - but says he's not budging.Paul Gibbons, 63, drove the vehicle to the Basingstoke store in a row over some work.Fed-up Paul has demanded a refund from Wickes for his “poor quality” £25,000 kitchen installation at his home last February.He says it has been plagued with issues including mould under the sink, badly fitting units with a poor finish and one heavy drawer nearly collapsing on his dog.
Paul Gibbons with the tank outside the Wickes store in Basingstoke, Hampshire. (SWNS)

An angry customer who parked a tank outside a Wickes store in protest at a "poor quality" kitchen has been told the vehicle will be removed.

Paul Gibbons, 63, was unhappy about the retailer's work on his new £25,000 kitchen at his home last February, and has demanded a refund.

He parked the decommissioned tank outside the Wickes store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, in protest on 27 December, and it remains there a month later.

He has vowed not to move the tank until he gets his money back, but Wickes said the vehicle will be taken away within 14 days.

Gibbons claimed his new kitchen has been plagued with issues, including mould under the sink, badly fitting units with a poor finish and one heavy drawer almost collapsing on his dog.

Tank parked outside of Wickes in Basingstoke, to protest against a customer's 'poor quality' kitchen fit, has now had a 14 day removal notice placed on to it. Basingstoke. January 30 2024. See SWNS story SWLStank.A man who parked a tank outside a Wickes in protest over a kitchen has been told it will be removed in 14 days - but says he's not budging.Paul Gibbons, 63, drove the vehicle to the Basingstoke store in a row over some work.Fed-up Paul has demanded a refund from Wickes for his “poor quality” £25,000 kitchen installation at his home last February.He says it has been plagued with issues including mould under the sink, badly fitting units with a poor finish and one heavy drawer nearly collapsing on his dog.
The tank has been parked outside of Wickes in Basingstoke since late December. (SWNS)
Tank parked outside of Wickes in Basingstoke, to protest against a customer's 'poor quality' kitchen fit, has now had a 14 day removal notice placed on to it. Basingstoke. January 30 2024. See SWNS story SWLStank.A man who parked a tank outside a Wickes in protest over a kitchen has been told it will be removed in 14 days - but says he's not budging.Paul Gibbons, 63, drove the vehicle to the Basingstoke store in a row over some work.Fed-up Paul has demanded a refund from Wickes for his “poor quality” £25,000 kitchen installation at his home last February.He says it has been plagued with issues including mould under the sink, badly fitting units with a poor finish and one heavy drawer nearly collapsing on his dog.
The tank outside Wickes in Basingstoke, Hampshire, has had a 14-day removal notice placed on to it. (SWNS)

He borrowed the 1963 Abbot self-propelled gun tank from a friend who lends it to people who want to protest against big companies.

But a sign, placed on the tank by Wickes, reads: “This vehicle/item has been notified to us as being abandoned and/or not having valid road tax and will be removed within 14 days of this notice being issued.

"If this vehicle is not abandoned, please contact us on the below number immediately and/or arrange for it to be removed from site.”

It warned that failure to remove the vehicle within 14 days from 23 January will result in it being “sold or destroyed”.

More South and South East stories - click above
More South and South East stories - click above

However, Gibbons insists the tank is not moving, saying: “I intend to stay as long as it takes for justice.

"I find it bizarre that Wickes can choose which bits of the law they will obey. The tank is there as a peaceful protest.

“If they wish it to be moved there is a simple solution – pay me back what they have of mine and my out-of-pocket expenses.

"I am not looking for huge amounts of compensation, I just want to be back to where I was last year when this debacle started.

Tank parked outside of Wickes in Basingstoke, to protest against a customer's 'poor quality' kitchen fit, has now had a 14 day removal notice placed on to it. Basingstoke. January 30 2024. See SWNS story SWLStank.A man who parked a tank outside a Wickes in protest over a kitchen has been told it will be removed in 14 days - but says he's not budging.Paul Gibbons, 63, drove the vehicle to the Basingstoke store in a row over some work.Fed-up Paul has demanded a refund from Wickes for his “poor quality” £25,000 kitchen installation at his home last February.He says it has been plagued with issues including mould under the sink, badly fitting units with a poor finish and one heavy drawer nearly collapsing on his dog.
A sign attached to a tank parked outside a Wickes store in Basingstoke, Hampshire. (SWNS)
Tank parked outside of Wickes in Basingstoke, to protest against a customer's 'poor quality' kitchen fit, has now had a 14 day removal notice placed on to it. Basingstoke. January 30 2024. See SWNS story SWLStank.A man who parked a tank outside a Wickes in protest over a kitchen has been told it will be removed in 14 days - but says he's not budging.Paul Gibbons, 63, drove the vehicle to the Basingstoke store in a row over some work.Fed-up Paul has demanded a refund from Wickes for his “poor quality” £25,000 kitchen installation at his home last February.He says it has been plagued with issues including mould under the sink, badly fitting units with a poor finish and one heavy drawer nearly collapsing on his dog.
Paul Gibbons parked the tank outside Wickes in Basingstoke, Hampshire, in a row over a fitted kitchen. (SWNS)

“I find it obscene that having money, therefore power, makes them think that they are above the law.”

He said he will contact police if Wickes attempts to remove or destroy the vehicle.

A spokeswoman for Wickes told Yahoo News UK: "We arranged a full and independent inspection of Mr Gibbon’s kitchen by the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman. Their assessment was that two to three days remedial work would be required to bring the kitchen up to a satisfactory standard and we have contacted Mr Gibbons to progress this."

However, she said Wickes had issued Gibbons with an exclusion notice preventing him from entering its shop, accusing him of "unacceptable and aggressive behaviour", and that it had reported him to the police.

She said that "as the tank remains on our premises we are operating within our legal rights to issue the owner" with a notice under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977, which alerts an owner of items that have been abandoned on private land or property.

She said: "This requires that it is removed from our premises within 14 days, and if it is not we will have it removed by a specialist company."

What are your consumer rights with a faulty kitchen?

According to Citizens Advice, if you have had a kitchen installed, or had any work done at your home, and there have been problems caused by the trader, you should be able to get it fixed or at least get some of your money back.

It advises taking up the problem with the trader or company who arranged the work, even if they subcontracted it to another business.

Customers should gather all paperwork and receipts and take photos and notes of any issues, including dates and times.

If a trader has not completed the work with "reasonable care and skill" under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, customers are legally entitled to either ask them to fix the problem or get a refund, Citizens Advice said.

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