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overcharged on a plastering job

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by lindyloo, 4 Aug 2007.

  1. Nige F

    Nige F

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    Exactly how many days :?: and you ARE in London :oops: ....now ca$h jobs are around £120 a day here in the stix.so I`m told....therefore London must be £200 a day for cash and more for a company with overheads........and that must vary in different parts of London
     
  2. joe-90

    joe-90

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    Are you saying that if someone is incompetent they can charge a day rate for as many days as it takes them?
     
  3. Growler

    Growler

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    3 plumbers just quoted me £500 per day to change boiler.
     
  4. lindyloo

    lindyloo

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    Thanks for all this advice and support. Wish some of you were around here to stick up for me!
    I think I'll hold off paying him the outstanding amount til I've had advice from the CAB and Checkatrade. After all, he's given me nothing in writing, no quote or receipts, apart from B&Q receipts for the materials, which I shall go through with a fine tooth comb and querie everything. He's Polish, and the stooge who does the actual work speaks no English. He always wants cash so probably isn't declaring any of this income. Maybe he'll want to keep things out of the courts. But then so do I.
    Flippin' Checkatrade seems decdiedely dodgy. All the glowing references must be fakes. Has anyone else come across this?
     
  5. breezer

    breezer

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    majority of sites such as you mentioned do not really vet the tradesperson, they charge the tradesperson to join and agin for every lead they get
     
  6. Softus

    Softus

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    lindyloo, you don't have to start off getting adversarial about this.

    The main difficulty you face is in retaining payment - you're not entitled to do this without his consent, and he would be entitled to apply to court to force you to pay the agreed amount.

    If the fee is unreasonable then this is a different matter, and if he disputes this then you would have to apply to court yourself (or submit a counter-claim if he applied first). Your claim would be on the basis that the charge is in breach of the provisions of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (click here for consumer information), which, in summary, says:

    The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 requires a supplier of a service acting in the course of business in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to carry out that service with reasonable care and skill and, unless agreed to the contrary, within a reasonable time and make no more than a reasonable charge.

    The issue of the charge having to be reasonable is an implied term of your contract with the tradesman. Where the charge is before carrying out the work, as in your case, then the following provision applies:

    This means that you have redress if the tradesman dupes you into agreeing to an unreasonable charge.

    So, that's the legal situation, but I guess you want to resolve this without going to court. So, write a letter to the tradesman and either post or hand it to him. Explain that you are concerned that the price of the work isn't reasonable, and that you are offering <insert there the sum of money that you think it right> in full settlement. If his English is poor then he can take this letter away and have it translated/explained to him.

    Pragmatically, it's still better to withhold payment than risk the uncertainty of relying on a court order to obtain compensation. There are many cases where the tradesman will give up because he's unscrupulous and would rather vanish into the night than appear in court.

    However, I would reiterate the need to stay calm, polite, civil, reasonable, and yet strong in your resolve. Remember, the law is on your side, so you don't have to get angry or recriminatory with your plasterer.
    ____________________

    Moving on to some of the "advice" you've been given so far...

    Is that the best you can offer? It's blindingly obvious that the lady can complain on the grounds that she believes the charge to have been unreasonable.

    Even if you could spell it, this wouldn't be a helpful suggestion.

    Still legal out of court too. :rolleyes:

    That isn't one of the situations where the express term overrides the implied term.

    joe-90's advice here is generally good, although maybe a weeny bit aggressive on charges and timescales, but I don't believe this point:

    Last case I heard like this, the person contacted the Police for advice. The police told the rogue trader that they would investigate his business finances - he dropped it like a hot potato.

    This sounds very much like an urban myth - the police have no power to investigate finances, unless there is suspected fraud, and have no power in any peaceful civil dispute involving money.
     
  7. joe-90

    joe-90

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    She knew the copper and he read the guy the riot act.
     
  8. Softus

    Softus

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    That's not how it read in your previous post though joe - it now sounds like the copper was acting as a friend and outside the jurisdiction of the police. Nothing wrong with a bit of sabre-rattling, but only works if you have a strapping rozzer as a mate.
     
  9. joe-90

    joe-90

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    I think it was probably all bluster - but it worked. And the rip-off was even more ridiculous.
     
  10. lindyloo

    lindyloo

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    Thanks, Softus, for the legal advice. And Joe, too, for the fiery go-get-em support. I do feel angry at being taken for a ride, but I have to admit to feeling a bit nervous about confrontation, so knowing I'm justified in feeling ripped off, and that I have the law on my side, will mean I can be assertive but also pragmatic about things and just say "this is how it is" without getting stroppy.

    L x

    PS builder said I could paint the walls straight away. That's wrong, isn't it? Don't I have to wait a month or so for them to dry out?
     
  11. joe-90

    joe-90

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    Lindyloo. Don't feel that you are doing anything that is in any way underhand.
    If I quoted for the work I would have stripped the room, re-plastered and redecorated for under £1000.
    The guy is a conman, you owe him nothing.
    Every penny you save is a penny that you can spend on your kid/s.
    He won't go to court.
    Start talking about advice from Trading Standards and he'll realise the game is up. He'll go out there and fleece someone else rather than battle with you.
     
  12. lindyloo

    lindyloo

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    Thanks, everyone, for all your advice, especially Joe and Softus. Even those guys who didn't seem to be one my side gave a useful perspective. I have spoken to someone at Consumers Direct, the Trading Standards people. She informed me that, since I did agree the price, I must abide by it, and the guy could take me to court if I refuse to pay. However, she did say the standard of the work should be acceptable, and advised me to be "nit-picky", to formally complain in writing to the guy, giving him a time limit to put it right, and offering what I consider a reasonable amount for the work already done.
    I think I might withhold any more payment. If he decides to take me to court he'll have to inform me in writing first, so I would only need to pay up if I had to.
    Will inform checkatrade that he's a "rogue trader" and complain that they misled me as to his relaibility.
    Wonder if I should shop him to Customs and Excise because of his insistence on cash payments...
     
  13. Growler

    Growler

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    What were the £500 bills from B&Q for?

    As for the cash...it's not illegal to ask for cash.
     
  14. lindyloo

    lindyloo

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    No it's not. But it is illegal not to pay your taxes, and you know perfectly well that's the reason anyone asks for cash!
     
  15. Growler

    Growler

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    Not quite:

    Perhaps he asked for cash because he doesn't trust you to pay up properly at the end of the job.



    What were the £500 bills from B&Q for?
     
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