Nigel Gray hunts out Cowboy Customers for ITV1

by Lisa McGarry

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Presented by Nigel Gray, Cowboy Customers reveals the plague of patrons destroying small businesses by taking goods and services but not paying for them. This hard-hitting documentary brings to light the devastating human cost on the real families behind the small businesses who are dependent upon the bills being paid.

Builder Nigel Gray hit the headlines when he demolished a brand-new, £15,000 conservatory and porch because a customer refused to pay the bill. His company went bankrupt because of this one, massive unpaid debt. It hurt him and his family so badly that he felt he had to do something.

In the programme, Nigel goes on a quest to confront customers who owe some of the £38 billion in overdue or unpaid bills to Britain’s small businesses (source: Federation of Small Businesses). He’ll speak to families about the very real human costs of these cowboy customers and find out the devastating consequences that they now face.

He meets a family who fear their home will be repossessed and a man who will have to wait more than twenty-seven years to get all his money back.

Nigel highlights how the law is failing to bring these cowboy customers to justice. Shockingly, he discovers that even if you get a county court judgement against bad debtors, there’s no guarantee as to when they might receive their money.

Britain’s small businesses keep more than 13m people in work and are the backbone of our nation. They contribute a massive 90 billion pounds each year to the economy and in the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever that they are given the best chance possible to survive.

His campaign takes him to the heart of Westminster where he lobbies for significant new laws to help small businesses collect their money and keep afloat.

ITV1, Tuesday 8th September, 10:35pm

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