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Advice needed on paying invoice when work done different to quote

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by Fishwalker, 14 Oct 2018.

  1. Fishwalker

    Fishwalker

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    IMG_20181010_114757_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg IMG_20181010_134007_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg IMG_20181013_182624_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg IMG_20181001_110557_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg

    Hi.

    Sorry this is in Trade but I need advice from you trade peeps.

    We had 1m high of plaster hacked off at skirting level and reinstated last week, to remedy a rising damp patch on an internal wall, due to wet, rotten pan wood sitting on top of the original bitumen damp course (1.5m).

    The quote was to inject chemical damp proofer along the 1.5m wall for £50 + vat with £200 + vat for plaster removal and reinstatement and £90 +vat for the pan wood, which at the survey, the guy said they would wrap tanilised wood in a plastic to prevent the rising damp in a corner happening again.
    Also £10 + vat to remove a skirting board.

    We removed the skirting ourselves and in the end the guys said the chemical damp proofing wasn't needed as they'd sorted it the traditional way by wrapping the joist ends in this black plastic and the pan wood, which would stop any water rising. The bricks below were dry and in reasonable condition for a 110yr terrace.

    I queried would that mean we wouldn't be charged for the Chemical DPC?

    (The skirting they provided a replacement for, so I guess I'll let that go but it was far more than if we'd bought it ourselves).

    Anyway on asking, he said that the quote still stood as the pan wood replacement took more work than they'd expected.

    They have issued a guarantee stating chemical dpc has been injected and it is full of t+c's so is pretty useless anyway but I'm about to pay as we may need them again in the future.

    This is just annoying me as although I appreciate the work they've done that was over 2 mornings, it isn't what they stated in a written quote or on this guarantee.

    I do photography self employed and would never charge for something I hadn't done.

    Should I just pay and deal with it or ask at least for a revised guarantee certificate?

    P.s. the plug socket was broken in the plaster removal work and they replaced it with a basic one that wasn't curved like the old one that we'd bought. They'd been out and installed the replacement before I could say anything so that was annoying too.

    IMG_20181010_114757_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg IMG_20181010_134007_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2018
  2. just pumps

    just pumps

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    Wouldn`t accept a guarantee which stated works which was not carried out myself and question why you would want to use them again.
    Put the question re the wrapping of wood in plastic in the building forum and see what replies you get as to whether this is acceptable practise before paying.
     
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  3. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Ive never heard of 'pan wood'.......

    If the bricks below are dry, why is there damp?

    If I understand your pics, you have the joist ends showing and the joists are sat on that timber packer, with the brickwork built on top.

    I suppose my question would be 'have they resolved the problem' -Im not convinced, Id be more concerned about that, than the invoice.

    It looks to me the damp issue continues across the doorway.
     
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  4. Fishwalker

    Fishwalker

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    The last photo was the damp patch before the work not after.

    Here are some more pics before hacking away the plaster and before hacking out the rotten wood...

    IMG_20181009_185921_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg IMG_20181010_101909_resized_by_AVG_Image_Shrinker.jpg

    I asked them to check behind the skirting under the door to make sure the damp 'packing wood' did not continue and they were hesitant, saying it didn't and they didn't need to check, but on pushing them too, they prised the right hand side away and I looked and it seemed ok. They said it was dry.

    The packing wood they removed was totally rotten, sponge like and either dry or damp.

    I did think they'd need to remove it by lifting the floorboards in the dining room side of the wall but on removing the skirting in the kitchen, they found it was accessible there so less work.

    I just feel that they shouldn't be charging for chemical dpc they haven't used, or providing a guarantee and invoice with it written on as having been installed.

    They are a family firm though, of father and son and my mum used them and recommended them to us. I am otherwise happy with the work so far.

    As a comparison, i was going to use another damp guy who had quoted £300 to hack off the plaster and reinstate it, plus inject chemical dpc, only he didn't want to remove the rotten wood and said it would be a massive expensive, invasive job of lifting all floorboards and checking the joist ends in the adjoining dining room.

    I literally had to call the firm I'm discussing here 5 times to get them to come out, taking a month of them making excuses, as to them being busy that week and was going to give up, thinking they obviously didn't want the job, but as it desperately need doing, I bit the bullet and tried calling one last time and they agreed to do it.

    I just feel like I've been such a pain pursuing them to do the job and asking questions about the process (as I'm interested) that this is just going to lose me another tradesman.

    I also interviewed 5 firms and only 2 actually quoted! The rest either made excuses, or didn't email a quote afterwards.

    All I did was ask about what plaster they'd use and what the likely cause was and told them I'd done a lot of work myself, e.g. under the floor and to the house in general.

    Do they just not want to work for a woman, or in this case, think they can take advantage of my friendly nature?

    Maybe I need to visit citizens advice.

    Also, it seems no one agrees on how to resolve damp issues. Everyone disses other tradepeople's work, so how is the customer to trust what had been done?
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2018
  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Not going to comment on work, but you can get an estimate or a quote, with an estimate you can expect the fee to be adjusted according to what work was in the end found to be required, but within reason, so if estimate is £200, then maybe final bill could be £250, but not £400, with a quote that is the fee what ever happens. There is also day rate where there is no limit.

    I remember a quote over sign writing, normal guy would take 1/2 day to sign write a wagon, it was when council changed name from Flintshire to Clwyd so all wagons needed sign writing, normal guy could not do it, so a new guy was asked, he as it turned out was far cheaper, so 10 wagons got into yard to sign write, dinner time he asked for next 10 wagons, nothing wrong with the job, but it resulted in the council paying him 5 times the hourly rate to what they had paid other guy, and they objected paying so much. Why I don't know, they were getting the work done at half the price to other guy, but they did not like paying so much money for such a little time.

    However it was paid, although that guy got no more work from council.

    So you have agreed to pay a some of money to cure a problem. If problem cured, then no argument, if not, then is the time to object.
     
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  6. Fishwalker

    Fishwalker

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    Screenshot_2018-10-15-09-07-18.jpg Screenshot_2018-10-15-09-08-24.jpg

    This survey was free and states it was an estimate.

    The diagram in the survey clearly shows the wall plate (some have called it pan but these call it wall plate) right along the right hand wall next to the door was considered for replacement for the £90+vat.

    I am thinking of dropping by the Citizens Advice to make the call as I just know he'll talk me out of it when I call to ask for a revised invoice, based on chemical dpc not done.

    He also hasn't put back the skirting, however my other half said he'd do so as it needs painting and is a taller type than was previously there.

    He hasn't had to remove a skirting though or refix, which needs charging £10+vat for and the is the broken different socket, which we are in effect paying for again.
     
  7. Ian H

    Ian H

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    At my place we quote for the work and if something isn’t done it comes off the invoice.

    I’d be wanting an invoice for the work they actually did.
     
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  8. Fishwalker

    Fishwalker

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    Well after spending 2 hours waiting at Citizens Advice this morning, I got given a phone number for the consumer helpline that was on their website!

    Anyhow. Rang them and they said I had a case under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and said that if an estimate was provided and not a quote, then it is not legally binding and the work not done should be removed and a revised quote given.

    I started writing an email to the firm but then thought this was getting ridiculous and just rang the guy.

    Well, surfice to say he got pretty upset and started stammering, saying how he prides himself on his work and thought he'd done a really thorough job, in which he'd put in a proper physical damp proof course involving packing parts of the wall with slate and replacing the full 1.5m with tanilised wrapped wood and properly protecting the joist ends.

    He said he'd also bolstered up a joist that had dropped slightly using slate, which I can see he has and that he didn't have to do that.

    He said injecting the chemical stuff would have taken 15 mins, while this physical course took longer and would have cost a lot more if he'd estimated for that instead.

    He then as he got more worked up asked what I wanted. I said just to have the £50 knocked off the invoice and a guarantee reflecting what he'd just told me he'd done.

    He seemed like he was considering it but then back tracked and reverted to how much work he'd done and in good faith and that he's been in business for 30 years and usually gets most work word of mouth.

    He said something like 'he'd knock it off but that he wouldn't want to work for me again in the future' and something about nightmare customers not paying when he does the work in good faith.

    At that point I felt bad like I'd misjudged it all and possibly am just too cynical these days.

    So I said I'd like to use them again if needed so would pay but I wanted the revised guarantee and invoice. I asked if he'd allow me to withhold payment until I received them but he again wasn't happy saying he really needed the cash in his account.

    I think I'll just pay and restate I want the guarantee re wording and invoice for my records and draw a line under this.

    My mum has used them before and recommended them. I've just myself had trades before who have messed me around and that is why I need my trust earning.

    I think the lesson from this is clear communication and keeping on top of consumer law.
     
  9. Ian H

    Ian H

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    He should have explained it at the time.

    If he had said ‘I won’t inject the DPC, instead I will .............. which will have ........... effect on the quote’ then he would have saved any confusion.
     
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  10. Fishwalker

    Fishwalker

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    Yes, I agree.

    Instead he called me in and stated he hadn't injected chemical dpc because there was no where to do so without it being above the skirting where it would be pointless, and that the physical course was now thorough.

    It was at that point that I asked if the invoice would be amended to reflect that the chemical dpc wasn't put in, to which he said 'no due to the extra work'. The explanation was not made clear however as to why at that point.

    Had I been given time to understand that and before they'd started work, been given an estimate for the likelihood that chemical dpc could not be used and alternatives estimated, then I'd have been in a better position, to make an informed decision as to whether to hire them or not.

    I also think if the guarantee had reflected the revised solution to prevent future damp reoccurring, i.e. physical rather than chemical dpc installed, then I'd have just paid and got on with life. I'm usually a fast payer.

    But the fact that he gave an incorrect and useless guarantee, set off the alarm bells and lost my trust, such that I've wasted my time and annoyed him.
     
  11. Motman

    Motman

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    I’m confused. Who was covering the 'guarantee' of the chemical dpc? If it reoccurs in the future, what will the guarantors say when it becomes obvious that no chemical dpc has been used? If it were me, I wouldn’t pay up and I’d want it written down on the invoice what was actually done so that that work is guaranteed. If he’s that desperate for cash, how long is it going to take him to do that? The fact he won’t do that makes me suspicious. If he won’t do that, I wouldn’t want to use him again in the future anyway as he can’t be trusted. I wouldn’t worry about annoying someone like that - if he is annoyed, he’s only annoyed because he’s been caught out.
     
  12. Yafo

    Yafo

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    From what I can make out, there are 2 issues here.

    1 what work was done, and what guarantee it comes with.

    2 how much that work cost/should cost.

    Are you happy to pay on completion of guarantee wording with invoice? If so, make that clear to him.

    If you are not happy with the amount, then make that clear to him.
     
  13. opps

    opps

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    I don't understand how anyone could resolve the problem without removing the skirting under the doorway...
     
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