Tradesmen- why are they so hopeless?

(51 Posts)
PollyPerky Thu 23-Jun-16 13:31:19

It's just dire. Everyone we contact is unreliable. Waited for a Polish plumber to come to give a quote- thought we'd give him a chance even though he was new to an advertising site and no reviews. He didn't show. Emailed someone through recommendation of old plumber- took almost 2 weeks to phone us , came out to quote, now over 10 days since he was here, no quote, followed with text message, nothing. He talked timescales when here so WTF?? Also had a builder quote for a job, he seemed nice , interested, good reputation locally, a week gone by and no quote sent by email (yet.)

What is the MATTER with these people? ok they aren't brain surgeons and maybe struggle to run a business because they lack organisational skills but how the heck do they get work when they behave like this? Presumably by charging an arm and leg for the work they do turn up and do. Rant over.

Any tips for pinning these people down?

ThomasHardyPerennial Thu 23-Jun-16 13:39:29

Why do you have to insult their intelligence? It's unnecessary. Maybe you were condescending to them, and they chose not to work for you.

Lighteningirll Thu 23-Jun-16 13:42:34

Bloody hell I think it's probably your attitude aren't brain surgeons and maybe struggle to run a business no just hard-working, talented and skilled contributors to society. I sincerely hope your next poo is shaped like a hedgehog. Hth.

PollyPerky Thu 23-Jun-16 13:43:20

Oh how predictable a comment.

I was not condescending.

I was super friendly and polite.

The point I'm making is that their business skills always seem to lag behind their skills with their hands. Although they are running a business, they don't usually manage to complete the simplest admin stuff efficiently . I know I am generalising- there are graduates who have retrained as plumbers etc - but on the whole, the way they run their businesses leaves a lot to be desired.

MaryDoloresOHoolihan Thu 23-Jun-16 13:44:23

"these people". Ffs.

PollyPerky Thu 23-Jun-16 13:45:50

Oh thanks- lovely bunch here today.

Maybe just see if from a potential customer's point of view eh?
Why can't I point out they are inefficient and yes, it's often linked to low IT skills because they are still using snail mail for quotes, won't use email etc. ? Some are brilliant, but others aren't and they need to get their act together.

trevortrevorslatterfry Thu 23-Jun-16 13:47:42

hmm

DrDreReturns Thu 23-Jun-16 13:48:40

I think it's more the case that good tradesmen are in short supply, and are therefore really busy. You have to get used to waiting for them. The guy we know doesn't always get back to us straight away and is usually booked up for months. He does a good job so is worth waiting for.

bombayflambe Thu 23-Jun-16 13:49:47

I'm a graduate and my organisational skill are terrible.

I do understand what you mean: it is annoying when you've had the survey visit and the quote never comes in, but it is just the way it is. If they don't want the job for whatever reason then they don't want it. Calling them stupid or calling all tradesmen hopeless is taking it too far, which is why you are getting negative responses.

ThomasHardyPerennial Thu 23-Jun-16 13:51:23

It's much more effective to ring and leave a message, and keep ringing them if you want to chase quotes. Emails and texts are easy to ignore.

Lighteningirll Thu 23-Jun-16 13:51:59

I am currently project managing my own house renovation, it's my third I also own/part own three other properties. I always use checkatrade if I don't already know someone/its out of area. I rarely have any problem, my top tips would be
a be polite and treat them like the experts they are.
b know exactly what you want done and have a rough idea what you are willing to pay. (Expect to pay good tradesmen are busy people usually with excellent earnings)
c review any that don't turn up.

DoubleCarrick Thu 23-Jun-16 13:54:14

My husband is currently working his backside off and isn't getting home till late every evening. He's hardly got time to walk the dog, let alone sit and do quotes. He's booked up until October at the moment so if his quotes take a couple of weeks to do it's because he needs to eat and sleep although I will agree, his admin skills aren't amazing

DoubleCarrick Thu 23-Jun-16 13:55:56

And he'll drag his heels/not quote for people who he feels don't respect him or won't pay for the quality of work offering. Eg someone wanting to pay £300 for a weeks work

MissSueFlay Thu 23-Jun-16 13:58:54

We have always sourced people from RatedPeople.com and haven't had a dud one yet. Local Facebook pages are also quite handy for getting recommendations.
I agree with you, sometimes I wonder how some people manage to stay in business with the lack of client service, but you don't owe them anything. Let them know that you are getting competitive quotes, make it clear that you expect a quote by a specific date, chase once if it hasn't arrived and then move on. If they turn up later down the line just say you've placed the job, shame they missed out.

whois Thu 23-Jun-16 14:57:07

The point I'm making is that their business skills always seem to lag behind their skills with their hands. Although they are running a business, they don't usually manage to complete the simplest admin stuff efficiently . I know I am generalising- there are graduates who have retrained as plumbers etc - but on the whole, the way they run their businesses leaves a lot to be desired.

I totlaly agree.

How hard is it to say "actually love, i'm relaly swamped so I'm not going to come ang give you a quote" rather than LIE and say you will come and then never turn up? Pisses me off no end. Just say if you don't want to do the job!

whois Thu 23-Jun-16 14:58:14

He's booked up until October at the moment so if his quotes take a couple of weeks to do it's because he needs to eat and sleep
But he does tell people that? Rather than say 'yeah yeah yeah i'll come on Monday' ?

MyLlamasGoneBananas Thu 23-Jun-16 15:13:18

Plumbers ate in very short supply. I've just waited 3 months for one yo help refit my bathroom and he says he is absolutely maxed out.
My sister had to wait 2 weeks after an emergency leak call out for a job to properly finished.
My neighbour is struggling to find a plumber to move some pipework.

Seriously considering telling my daughter to consider a plumbing course at college. I reckon she would be minted once qualified.

That said I can sympathise. I've had a nightmare getting roofers to come and quote for work which may potentially be a whole new roof (so not like a little job they can't be arsed with). It's major work needed no matter what. I called 16 roofers over 3 weeks. Only 5 came out. None got up a ladder to actually look and only 1 sent a proper written quote. I mean just wtf????

PatMullins Thu 23-Jun-16 15:16:37

Oh come on...hmm

Jeremysfavouriteaunt Thu 23-Jun-16 15:18:58

I have just finished renovating a house and had terrible trouble with finding reliable trades people.
I am polite, respectful and willing to pay a lot for someone to do a good job.
I find it really rude that they don't turn up, like their time is more important than everyone else's.
Just say if you are not going to bother.

I used check a trade too.

CanadianJohn Thu 23-Jun-16 15:56:04

I'm in Canada; whenever I've called a tradesman, they are very prompt. The exception - if I can call it that - was when one guy was running late, and he phoned me to ask if arriving two hours after the appointment would be a problem.

So, why is England so bad? If there is a shortage of trademen - why? Why aren't young people taking apprenticeships, if there are well-paying jobs available?

Is it something systemic? Maybe the process from secondary school to training to qualification to employment is not running smoothly.

PigletJohn Thu 23-Jun-16 16:14:33

the education system does not value practical ability

the apprentice system has been pretty well destroyed

the housebuilding industry has shrivelled away

The other reason is that the question "Why can't I find a tradesman who is competent, reliable, runs a good business, is good value, and available?" has a lot in common with the question "Why don't I meet a man/woman who is educated, intelligent, funny, fit, well-dressed, a good cook, and available?"

If there was one, he wouldn't be available.

DoubleCarrick Thu 23-Jun-16 16:26:50

whois yea, he's upfront with his customers. He values his customers and has a lot of repeat business. After a quiet year though they aren't happy about waiting. Most will wait for him, some who haven't have called him in to fix problems caused by less proficient tradesmen

Pootles2010 Thu 23-Jun-16 16:27:20

Must admit i was shocked how far in advance you have to book the good ones. Our gas man took 2 months to get back to me, then i had to wait 3 months for him to be free. He was amazing! Really really good at his job, house was spotless, stayed till 9pm to make sure we weren't left without heating.

Well worth the wait.

DoubleCarrick Thu 23-Jun-16 16:29:36

Equally, worth noting, dh refuses to be on check a trade, etc. He says that for £300 a year membership check a trade will be loyal to their tradesmen and he feels that word of mouth is far better than a rating site controlled by the people who pay for its membership

OTheHugeManatee Thu 23-Jun-16 16:33:12

They might be busy. They might not want to do the job. They might just not like you. Lots of reasons why a tradesman could not call back. Not really cool to write them all off as thickos.

The trick is to get 3-4 people out to quote and go with the best combination of reasonable price and someone you get on with/feel you can trust.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now