By TH Friday 28 September 2012 Updated: 28/09 13:17
A TRADER, who installs and repairs satellites and aerials across Worcestershire, was featured on the Rogue Traders section of Watchdog apparently throwing a bottle of urine over a BBC reporter.
Mark Smith was shown on the programme on Wednesday (September 26) to throw the liquid over investigative reporter Matt Allwright as he left Redditch Magistrates’ Court, where he had appeared for an unrelated county court case.
The programme also featured installers Wayne Tipper and Jamie Walton, who operate under the trading name Mark Smith Satellites and Aerials.
Viewers saw Mr Tipper attend a call out set-up by the programme where a working cable to a digital box had been replaced with a faulty one.
Programme makers claim Mr Tipper replaced a ‘perfectly working booster’ with one which a Watchdog expert deemed unsuitable for digital reception.
Mr Tipper refuted the claims, denying the booster was unsuitable. He told the programme he had misdiagnosed the fault and had changed a part unnecessarily. He said it was an honest mistake - human error caused by a fault in the machine he used to test the problem and gave Watchdog a full refund.
In the second sting, a connector was removed from a rooftop aerial and damaged, which the Watchdog expert said just needed repairing.
Mr Walton was filmed carrying out work which Watchdog said did not need doing, by replacing a whole aerial that, the expert deemed, had nothing else wrong with it.
Mr Walton denied doing anything wrong and accused Watchdog of entrapment, saying his opinions and diagnosis was based on a fault deliberately fabricated by the programme and he disagreed with the Watchdog expert.
A statement from Mark Smith, read out at the end of the programme, said he denied any involvement with the businesses called out by Watchdog. He said the adverts used by Watchdog should have stated Mark Smith was a trading name used by individual installers.
Mr Tipper and Mr Walton said they were both sole traders who used the Mark Smith name.
But, they added, their businesses had nothing to do with him or other businesses using it.
They both said they had received no complaints and could not be held responsible for complaints about others.
* The Standard has featured adverts from installers operating under the Mark Smith Satellites and Aerials name and the section of the newspaper containing one this week had already gone to press before the Watchdog programme aired on Wednesday and before a decision could be made on the future taking of these adverts.
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