Builder slams customers who called him ‘cowboy trader’ saying he’s ‘lost everything’

Michael Brennan from Preston, Lancashire, claims he has lost his business and his family after customers slammed him on social media for faulty work which saw them lose thousands

Brendan Conlin, from Lockstock Hall, who fell victim to a ‘cowboy builder’ after the rogue trader carried out allegedly unsatisfactory work on his family home near Preston

A builder claims he has “lost everything” after unhappy customers “savaged” his business by branding him a “cowboy builder” on social media.

Michael Brennan from Preston, Lancs, said not only did he lose £100,000 in arranged jobs and all his customers, he also lost his wife and children after allegations that he is a rogue trader emerged on Facebook.

Brendan Conlin, 56, and Luke Parkinson, 39, had both separately hired Mr Brennan to complete extension works on their homes last year.

But after alleged time delays and faulty work, the pair were both left asking for their money back and took to social media to warn others he was a ‘rogue’ trader.

Now Mr Brennan has told LancsLive that a handful of bad experiences and scathing reviews have “blown everything out of proportion'”.

Luke said his brother in law spotted the faulty brickwork immediately


Lancs Live/MEN MEDIA)

He said: “I didn’t deserve that, losing business, not a problem but to lose your wife and boys is not good.

“As far as building goes, that’ll never happen again, I’ve lost friends, family, kids, everything, absolutely everything.”

Mr Conlin claims he agreed to pay Mr Brennan’s company, Ruby Constructions and Renovations Ltd £12,400 in installations of £4,133 to start an extension on his home in November 2021.

But not long into the job, Mr Conlin claimed there was clear issues with the work, including laying cement on drain pipes and not checking the work with a building inspector.

When the building inspector arrived Mr Conlin alleged he was told that the work currently done would need to be ripped out before any other construction, but he had already paid Mr Brennan the first installation.

Brendan Conlin decided to set up a Facebook group to find others who had been affected by the company’s work


Lancs Live/MEN MEDIA)

After asking for his money back, and claiming he received nothing, Mr Conlin said he turned to Facebook in an effort to name and shame Mr Brennan.

I have set up a Facebook group to find other customers who had similar experiences with Mr Brennan’s company.

Luke Parkinson, 39, was one such customer who joined the group, claiming he had employed Ruby Constructions and Renovations Ltd in July of the same year.

This time the total price was of £20,000 split into three payments of about £6,666, Luke said.

During the first phase of works, Luke claims the building firm asked him to pay another £800 due to a complication with the pipes which he agreed to.

luke parkinson


Lancs Live/MEN MEDIA)

But less than 24 hours after handing over his second installation, Luke claims that his brother in law immediately recognized an issue with the bricklaying.

Having reached out to a building inspector to set up an urgent meeting, concerned Luke claimed that he was told there were multiple problems with the work, including an unstable inner layer of the wall and incorrect installation.

Luke said that after being left £14,000 out of pocket with a half built extension and damaged driveway, he feels Mr Brennan “needs to be stopped”.

Other allegations have also surfaced on the group including a mum who says she lost £11,000 in November 2021 over an “appalling” kitchen extension.

But after putting these claims to Mr Brennan, the business owner says he has moved to strike off his own company and that the allegations have even ruined his personal life.

Customers accused Mr Brennan of wonky walls and faulty work that took too long


Lancs Live/MEN MEDIA)

He said: “To have everything taken away in less than two days, and for that, I’ll never forgive Brendan Conlin and Luke Parkinson.

“They’ve shot themselves in the foot with all this stuff on Facebook because now – if it ever went to court, and the business shut down, they’re not going to get anything at all.

“They should’ve let me carry on working and just let me crack on.

“My customers left me in a week, I lost over £100,000 in a week.

“It’s not a case of I’ve took this money and I can’t pay it back that’s not true – there’s only two times that has happened one of them is Luke Parkinson and the other is Brendan Conlin.”

In his response to the allegations Mr Brennan claimed his customers had told him the jobs weren’t going “fast enough” and admitted he had “spread himself too thin” taking on too many jobs.

But addressing the fact they had asked for money back, he claimed he replied “‘My guys don’t work for chocolate buttons’

Luke Parkinson claims he doesn’t know what he can afford to do with his home after losing £14,000 to Mr Brennan


Lancs Live/MEN MEDIA)

“Next minute I’m all over Facebook- and my wife’s ringing me up asking me what’s going on.”

After hearing his responses, the disgruntled customers told LancsLive they still believe he had “no intentions” of ever paying the money back.

But now Mr Brennan insists he has stopped working as a builder for good and fears his bad reputation may take a long time to clear up.

He said: “Half the people want to kill me and hate me and the other half say I don’t believe this is you.

“Even the customers say you’re one of the nicest guys we’ve met, you’re just a crap builder that’s it pure and simple- I’ve stopped building, I don’t build anymore.

“They’ve caused me more amount of problems, it ain’t going to go away for a long time.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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