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Money Moral Dilemma: Should we walk away from the window fitter who won't fit our windows?

edited 18 October 2022 at 4:48PM in In my home (includes DIY) MoneySaving
41 replies 26.3K views
MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
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This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

A year ago, we hired a tradesperson to fit a window and patio doors. He tells us he's had them made, but he still hasn't fitted them, and only responds to calls and messages to give reasons why he can't do the job. Winter's approaching and we want this done to stop draughts - we've asked other tradespeople, but they say they won't fit windows or doors they've not personally measured up. We've not paid anything yet, and don't want to leave him out of pocket, but we need this sorted. Should we keep trying to contact our absentee window fitter or walk away?

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  • jbainbridgejbainbridge Forumite
    2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    It's more than likely they haven't been made. Give him one final deadline and then when he fails to get in touch crack on with someone else.
  • staggeredstaggered Forumite
    350 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Write to him, recorded delivery, explaining that you've waited over a year, don't think this delay is acceptable, and if he doesn't fit the windows in (6?) weeks you no longer want to proceed.
  • Ed264Ed264 Forumite
    67 Posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    It's beyond my comprehension how you've let this drag on for a whole year! I'd be very surprised if he's actually had them made at all, otherwise he'd be eager to fit them and take your money. Don't contact him again, forget him and find a reputable fitter. Any tradesperson, of whatever trade, will not accept a customer's own measurements, and will insist on taking their own measurements for accuracy and security.
  • GroomGroom Forumite
    43 Posts
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    I doubt if he's had them made, if he had and you haven't paid him anything, he'd want to get them fitted as the company would be after him for money.  Did he give you a contract with estimated dates? I recently had a porch and bifolding patio doors fitted and I was given details of all stages. From measuring to fitting took 10 weeks. Write to him and tell him that unless you hear from him within 21 days with a definite date for them to be fitted, you will be contacting another firm. 
  • edited 18 October 2022 at 8:25PM
    hairywalrushairywalrus Forumite
    13 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 18 October 2022 at 8:25PM
    To paraphrase: "Tradesman claims to have incurred costs on materials which would have no value elsewhere, but is going out of his way to avoid recovering those costs and/or make a profit by finishing the job".

    Sounds like he's lying, to me, or has found more profitable business elsewhere.  Move on.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    325 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Simple. Write and cancel the order, then run away.  Keep a copy of correspondence.
  • sheath12sheath12 Forumite
    3 Posts
    Second Anniversary First Post
    There's no way he would of had the windows made at his own cost without being eager to get his money back by fitting them for you. I think you can be certain they don't exist. Send him a recorded letter stating if the windows are not fitted in a month then you will employ another firm to make and install your Windows.
  • honestcovehonestcove Forumite
    57 Posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    Your phone conversations could be viewed as an agreement to defer the contract fulfilment date, so technically you could be in breach of contract if you just withdraw. As suggested earlier a letter with a final installation date in the very near future should cover you. 
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