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  • FIRST POST
    • Spartan Saver
    • By Spartan Saver 8th Oct 17, 11:44 AM
    • 19Posts
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    Spartan Saver
    Dispute with a tradesman - Advice needed
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:44 AM
    Dispute with a tradesman - Advice needed 8th Oct 17 at 11:44 AM
    Hi

    I need some advice regarding a dispute I have with a tradesman.

    To make a long story short I hired an electrician to install some electric heaters as well as a hard wired smoke alarm and heat detector. We agreed that it would cost £200 for a full day's of labour. Plus £70 for the detectors. The heaters were paid for by myself separately.

    When he booked me into his schedule he did it at a date that was convenient for him and he said he would book the full day out so he could carry the work. He expected to be there from 8am until 4pm hence I agreed with the £200 day's labour.

    I visited the property on the day of the installation at 12:50 pm only to find that all of the works had been completed. When I asked the electrician at what time he left he said at 3 pm - which is not true as I returned to the property on numerous occasions to sort out some things and there was no sign of him or his tools. He also said he would call me when the work was finished - which he never did.

    I brought this up and he said he had popped out to get some fuses which I find hard to believe as there were no signs of his tools anywhere and he never returned during the time I was in the property.

    When I asked him about this he got defensive as I was not prepared to pay him for a full days work when he only worked half and he could have done other jobs in the house - which he said he didn't have time to do. He threatened to undo the work he had done and eventually he hung up on me.

    I am really disappointed as he comes highly recommended by the Estate Agents. His quote was reasonable but then again I don't want to be taken for an idiot. I am also not a clock watcher but leaving before 1 pm feels a bit unfair when there were other jobs he had quoted me for that he could have done but said he didn't have time to and would need a different day to book. He lives locally so distance is not an issue.

    I have never had a dispute with a tradesman and I pride myself in paying my own workers straight away.

    Can you please advise on what is the right thing to do ? Shall I pay him the full amount even though he has not been honest in his dealings ? I would love your insight and your perspectives.

    Thank you
Page 1
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 8th Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    • 4,918 Posts
    • 3,920 Thanks
    glentoran99
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    you are being unreasonable, You agreed a price for a job, You weren't paying him by the hour you were paying him for the job,


    If something took longer than expected and he was their until 6pm would you have paid him more?
    • Spartan Saver
    • By Spartan Saver 8th Oct 17, 11:55 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Spartan Saver
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:55 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:55 AM
    Thanks for the reply Glen. Most likely not. However why would he be dishonest about how long it took for him to complete the job ?
    Last edited by Spartan Saver; 08-10-2017 at 11:58 AM.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 8th Oct 17, 11:58 AM
    • 4,918 Posts
    • 3,920 Thanks
    glentoran99
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:58 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:58 AM
    Thanks for the reply Glen. Most likely not.
    Originally posted by Spartan Saver


    I wouldn't use him again though as he doesn't seem an honest guy
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 8th Oct 17, 12:15 PM
    • 284 Posts
    • 280 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:15 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:15 PM
    Thanks for the reply Glen. Most likely not. However why would he be dishonest about how long it took for him to complete the job ?
    Originally posted by Spartan Saver
    Because you sound like a pain in the bum!

    - You were continually bobbing in and out of the property, and it seems like you may have been doing that to catch him out (as apposed to, for example, praising the electrician for sorting the property out with his technical skills).

    - "I brought this up and he said he had popped out to get some fuses which I find hard to believe" - Well, bringing it up is pretty confrontational! Plus, "finding it had to believe" suggests that you aren't 100% sure of the truth, but you are more ASSUMING that he's lying.

    - "When I asked him about this he got defensive" - surprised he didn't get defensive before that to be fair! Sounds like he was potentially biting his lip before that....

    With fees like this I think that it is more about paying for the labour/expertise and less about paying for how long the job took (in complete contrast to a job like a DJ).

    If you don't want to pay the £200 and assume that it is a set fee for labour then I would suggest:

    1. Taking the electrician to court armed with your evidence that your contract stipulated an hourly rate and that he completely finished the job @ 12:50

    2. Find other electrician because he will undoubtedly blacklist you (and potentially tell other local electricians - more so if you are a landlord)

    3. Take up some electrician qualifications

    OR just pay it and move on with your life.
    Last edited by stuartJo1989; 08-10-2017 at 12:24 PM.
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 8th Oct 17, 12:33 PM
    • 284 Posts
    • 280 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:33 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:33 PM
    Besides, at 12:50 he was probably having a lunch break! There's a possibility that he had finished the bulk of it around 12:00 (hence what you were told) and was going to sort out the fiddly bits in the afternoon + make sure it was working correctly.

    So yea, gather your evidence and take him to court.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 8th Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 298 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    Personally I think you should let this one go. It sounds like you agreed 'a price for the job'. He did the job - he just happened to finish quicker than you expected. Let's say he turned up at 8am and went at 1pm (most tradespeople charge for full hours) - then you're paying an hourly rate of £40. I believe this to be reasonable - although regional variations will affect what is considered reasonable where.

    Arguably, the trades person shouldn't have got defensive with you. However based on what you've written, I think your constant checking on him is unreasonable behaviour. I take your point that you had other jobs that you wanted doing within the day rate - but ultimately, you agreed to the job based on what he quoted you - tasks and cost.

    So, write it off to experience and learn from it. He did the job asked - you got what you wanted - and the price paid is reasonable. I suspect he wouldn't want you as a customer again, and I rather suspect that you won't want to use him again. Life goes on.
    • Lavendyr
    • By Lavendyr 8th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    • 2,036 Posts
    • 1,848 Thanks
    Lavendyr
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    Agree with the rest. Just because he booked the whole day to complete the job doesn't mean that it would have taken the whole day. He might have booked the whole day in case any complications arose, to ensure he could complete it. You agreed a price for the job, not by the hour. I think you're in the wrong here, sorry.
    • Spartan Saver
    • By Spartan Saver 8th Oct 17, 6:38 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Spartan Saver
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:38 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 17, 6:38 PM
    Thanks for the advice and insight everybody. Just like GlenToran said : Pay and don't use him again. I'll chuck this up to experience.
    • thegasmon
    • By thegasmon 8th Oct 17, 8:03 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    thegasmon
    Sometimes you may allow a day for work and its goes really well and you finish early. Yon may start early, work flat out without a break and finish early.

    from his point of view, you have not booked any other work in for the day because it may take you the day so if you do finish early you then earn less than your days money because your customer expects to pay you less?

    Another factor, did you pay him for the time he spent looking at the job, fetching his materials.

    his mistake was using the term days labour, he should have said this is the price then you would not have been questioning it.

    him lying to you is a different matter tho, he should explained his position.
    Last edited by thegasmon; 08-10-2017 at 8:14 PM.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 8th Oct 17, 11:39 PM
    • 1,263 Posts
    • 1,872 Thanks
    pearl123
    Hi

    I need some advice regarding a dispute I have with a tradesman.

    To make a long story short I hired an electrician to install some electric heaters as well as a hard wired smoke alarm and heat detector. We agreed that it would cost £200 for a full day's of labour. Plus £70 for the detectors. The heaters were paid for by myself separately.

    When he booked me into his schedule he did it at a date that was convenient for him and he said he would book the full day out so he could carry the work. He expected to be there from 8am until 4pm hence I agreed with the £200 day's labour.

    I visited the property on the day of the installation at 12:50 pm only to find that all of the works had been completed. When I asked the electrician at what time he left he said at 3 pm - which is not true as I returned to the property on numerous occasions to sort out some things and there was no sign of him or his tools. He also said he would call me when the work was finished - which he never did.

    I brought this up and he said he had popped out to get some fuses which I find hard to believe as there were no signs of his tools anywhere and he never returned during the time I was in the property.

    When I asked him about this he got defensive as I was not prepared to pay him for a full days work when he only worked half and he could have done other jobs in the house - which he said he didn't have time to do. He threatened to undo the work he had done and eventually he hung up on me.

    I am really disappointed as he comes highly recommended by the Estate Agents. His quote was reasonable but then again I don't want to be taken for an idiot. I am also not a clock watcher but leaving before 1 pm feels a bit unfair when there were other jobs he had quoted me for that he could have done but said he didn't have time to and would need a different day to book. He lives locally so distance is not an issue.

    I have never had a dispute with a tradesman and I pride myself in paying my own workers straight away.

    Can you please advise on what is the right thing to do ? Shall I pay him the full amount even though he has not been honest in his dealings ? I would love your insight and your perspectives.

    Thank you
    Originally posted by Spartan Saver
    You are paying for a qualified person to do a job. It's a plus that he comes highly recommended. You agree to a price. Therefore, it the price you pay.
    A person could ask an electrician for an extensive breakdown quote for work before he goes ahead. The electrician might spend half an hour working it out in an evening. If he does not get the job he does not charge for the time spent working out the quote!
    • Spartan Saver
    • By Spartan Saver 9th Oct 17, 7:17 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Spartan Saver
    Sometimes you may allow a day for work and its goes really well and you finish early. Yon may start early, work flat out without a break and finish early.

    from his point of view, you have not booked any other work in for the day because it may take you the day so if you do finish early you then earn less than your days money because your customer expects to pay you less?

    Another factor, did you pay him for the time he spent looking at the job, fetching his materials.

    his mistake was using the term days labour, he should have said this is the price then you would not have been questioning it.

    him lying to you is a different matter tho, he should explained his position.
    Originally posted by thegasmon
    Spot on Gamson - Thanks for your helpful post. it was the labour part that made me question the whole charge and the discrepancy of his finishing time. If he had been truthful about his finishing time and explained all the pre work that went into the project I would have not questioned his invoice. However it was the lying that on his part that was unnecessary.

    Anyways I did the right thing and paid him as I dislike owing anyone money and I won't be using or recommending his services.
    • deaston
    • By deaston 9th Oct 17, 9:45 AM
    • 472 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    deaston
    We needed some plastering doing. The plasterer that was recommended to us wouldn't come to our house to quote - he just wanted us to text him some photos. He said it looked like a three day job and that he charged £220 a day.

    He arrived on the first day and said he needed some plaster (d'uh!) so we gave him cash and he disappeared for an hour. He got back and spent a lot of the morning on the phone whilst his dog 'enjoyed' our garden.

    Anyway, he finished it on the second day and asked for £660. I questioned this and he said "I've done three days work in two days - £660". I refused. He went apoplectic and threatened to take the plaster off the walls. I had to wait while my wife (who had been in tears) went to the cash point to get the extra.

    We phoned the company who recommended him and they said they wouldn't use him again (although I don't believe this) but it's occasions like this that just make me DIY whenever I can.
    • Spartan Saver
    • By Spartan Saver 9th Oct 17, 10:34 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Spartan Saver
    We needed some plastering doing. The plasterer that was recommended to us wouldn't come to our house to quote - he just wanted us to text him some photos. He said it looked like a three day job and that he charged £220 a day.

    He arrived on the first day and said he needed some plaster (d'uh!) so we gave him cash and he disappeared for an hour. He got back and spent a lot of the morning on the phone whilst his dog 'enjoyed' our garden.

    Anyway, he finished it on the second day and asked for £660. I questioned this and he said "I've done three days work in two days - £660". I refused. He went apoplectic and threatened to take the plaster off the walls. I had to wait while my wife (who had been in tears) went to the cash point to get the extra.

    We phoned the company who recommended him and they said they wouldn't use him again (although I don't believe this) but it's occasions like this that just make me DIY whenever I can.
    Originally posted by deaston
    Sorry to hear this. This is awful. There are some rogues out there but also some excellent tradesmen. I had an electrician install some LEDs. Great guy. Honest, hard working and very fair. Did some extras as well. I tried to pay him a bit more on top of what he asked for. He said all he wanted in return were referrals. Unfortunately he has had an accident and is off work for a few months otherwise I would have used him again.
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