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to end service of a tradesman?

(31 Posts)
Treasa24 Sun 23-Mar-14 12:41:52

We found a plumber who agreed to fix our new shower attachment, plus do plastering a portion of the ceiling in our (small) kitchen and also a little bit of painting there, all for £200.00.

Before he started the work, we also asked him if he could do rather more painting in the kitchen, bringing the total planned cost to £360.00. We though this is big hike for the extra work but agreed,

The worker arrived last week as we were about to go to work ourselves. Shortly afterwards our youngest son rang to say that he'd gone out for over an hour, having told said son he'd be 5 minutes. When DH came home at the end of the day, he found that the plumber had a young man there too - introduced as his stepson. We'd had no idea that anyone else would be there. Some plastering had been done - possibly finished?- and possibly a little painting, but the shower had not been touched.

The plumber had been meant to come back next week. However, we found that the paint which we'd bought wasn't in the house. DH enquired and was told that the stepson had taken the paint away by mistake. The plumber had also walked off with our house key even though he wasn't due back for some days. (It was dropped off at the house the next day, at our request.)

Since then we have found what seems to be a large quantity of plaster in our bin, unbagged and messy.

We are inclined to tell him not to come back, and pay him a lesser amount for the work done to date - the plastering. Does this sound reasonable? We feel uneasy about him in the house with or without his son while we're at work when this things have happened. One thing perhaps a mistake but it adds up to our feeling uneasy about him.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 12:47:34

What is it with these people, so hard to find reliable workmen. I've also got ongoing problems with a plumber.

I'd ask him for a bill for what he's done so far, negotiate depending on what you feel is reasonable and look for someone else.

Good luck.

PigletJohn Sun 23-Mar-14 12:51:27

And now you have to change the lock as well.

Tell whoever recommended this person.

TruffleOil Sun 23-Mar-14 12:58:14

I'd not be happy.

How long did he tell you the job would take, and is your bathroom in a state (other than the bin)?

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 13:12:00

I think the op said he dropped the key off, hope so anyway.

Hope you get it resolved.

PigletJohn Sun 23-Mar-14 13:25:00

Whenever I want to burgle somebody, I borrow their key and have a copy made.

CelticJuggler Sun 23-Mar-14 13:28:28

I love the thought of " PigletJohn, gentleman cat-burglar" grin

Ememem84 Sun 23-Mar-14 13:44:54

I sacked our plumber. It took him a month to fit our new ensuite. A job that should have taken a week. He lied about the hours he was working ( I had to pop home one lunchtime, called him, he said he was in bathroom working etc -he wasn't. As I was there). He didn't follow manufacturers instructions so has voided our warranties. And left all his tools in our flat for a month.

After a blazing row, I kicked him out. We have paid him for the work he's done minus a storage fee, minus a cleaning fee, minus the amount we had to pay someone else to put everything right.

Have since found out that he's been claiming invalidity benefits for back problems for the past 3 years. And therefore can't work. Tempted to report him.

HappyAgainOneDay Sun 23-Mar-14 13:59:43

Ememem84 Why have you not reported him? Earning money and stealing from us taxpayers ....? Back problems indeed! He could carry bags of tools which are not lightweight.

I as going to write 'report him for me' but thought better of it.

Allergictoironing Sun 23-Mar-14 14:18:23

JeanSeberg even if he dropped the key off he would have had plenty of time to have a copy made, and to date he hasn't exactly filled the OP with confidence about his professional standards.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 14:24:29

Appreciate that but it's a risk you take with any tradesman, however they turn out.

Ememem84 Sun 23-Mar-14 14:30:40

happy we've only just paid him. He's caused us a lot of hassle. Dh thinks we should report in a couple of months so he won't think it's us. I agree with this as he is a proper nasty person and has caused me a lot of grief. Didn't feel comfortable havin him in the house etc.

Getting back to the Op's point. Don't feel bad about sacking them. You're paying them to do a job to a certain standard. If they're not then no point keeping them on.

PigletJohn Sun 23-Mar-14 14:38:28

Many people have both a deadlock and a nightlatch on their front door.

If you part with a key you cannot know it has not been copied.

If you have to lend a key, make it the night latch key. A new cylinder can be relatively easy to change.

Never lend your bunch of keys which includes garage, car, backdoor etc.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Mar-14 15:50:57

Why is it so hard to find these people though?

First plumber was recommended - he came 3 times, couldn't fix the problem so told him to forget it. (Didn't pay anything.)

Second one I found on ratedpeople.com, work was shoddy, including leaving his rubbish in my garden till I made him come back for it plus had to get him back to do the job to a proper standard. Paid him now two weeks later original problem has come back - he didn't turn up as agreed yesterday neither did he answer my call.

littledrummergirl Sun 23-Mar-14 16:00:13

I had lots of small plumbing jobs to be done a few years ago. We thought we would start with the largest of them and were given quotes(by a couple-the rest never bothered).
The one we accepted came to do the job when dh was at work and told me he would have to charge a full day rate.
I said that was fine but I would expect him to work all day and gave him all the silly jobs that had been annoying me smile
Later that day he took a call for emergency work (lots of money) and said he had to go. I told him that I was paying him at that moment and he was not going to get his money until the end of the day when all the jobs were done.
He threw a right strop but finished the day.

poocatcherchampion Sun 23-Mar-14 16:30:14

I know it is a pain but I would never leave an unknown tradesman unsupervised.

and yes I would terminate and change the locks

PigletJohn Sun 23-Mar-14 16:59:13

I once came across a person in a building trade who laughingly boasted that he like to rummage through householders' drawers and run around the house with a pair of knickers on his head.

He did appear to be mentally unstable and is no longer in circulation.

I don't know if it was weird bravado or true, but I do know that there are some people who are light-fingered when unsupervised.

Treasa24 Sun 23-Mar-14 17:01:28

Many thanks, all. Very grateful for your thoughts on this.

We sent the guy an email, spelling out our concerns and saying that we were sure that if he were in our shoes, he'd be concerned about them, particularly walking off with the key. Although he also walked off with paint (which hadn't, unlike the key, been returned), we said keep it and please don't come by our house again. We could sort things out by phone or email.

DH and I went out and youngest DS rang to say that the plumber had turned up and would come back in 20 minutes. We phoned him and repeated our wish that he didn't come to the house. There really is something quite odd about him - hard to describe but there really is. He dropped off the paint, as it happened and we're going to call him tomorrow to try to resolve this once and for all.

He's probably worried we're going to report him - the police re safety, maybe even Checkatrade (where we found him but they never publish less than glowing reviews as tradesmen pay to advertise on it) or even the HMRC as he asked for cash when we first met him. These things haven't crossed our minds but he is behaving very defensively. I did wonder whether to report the fact that he held onto a key to the police - simply to log as an incident should anything befall the house (or its occupants) - unlikely, I know, but he's made feel that nervous.

poocatcher - I am beginning to be of that mind - be around with a tradesman you don't know. It makes sense.

Don't quite know how to resolve the question of payment for the bit of plastering that he did do - perhaps I should make the offer. I really don't want protracted haggling. Just for him to go away.

pixiepotter Sun 23-Mar-14 18:11:07

The plumber can get whoever he wants to do the work (you are not employing him.one of the important distinctions between employed and self employed is that the self employed can delegate or sub work out)

I am not sure what you are going to report him to the police for?
I am not sure that you can cancel him either.You have eneterd into a contract with him and he hasn't done anything wrong really .It is you that has got cold feet.If he is acting defensively it is because he thinks you are not going to pay him.

Ememem84 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:17:30

I've just reported ours. Have done it as anonymously as I could. But still think that he'll know it was me.

We did not part on good terms. We had a bit of a screaming match (I won -kicked him right out).

pixiepotter Mon 24-Mar-14 09:12:36

reported to whom?

poocatcherchampion Mon 24-Mar-14 09:36:42

I hope you can resolve it op.

Slapntickleothewenches Mon 24-Mar-14 09:48:19

<sigh> I still have decorators here that were recommended by Checkatrade. This is their third week, they were only supposed to be painting the outside and replacing some blown window panes. A grand total of two doors and seven windows, plus guttering and soil stack hmm

My house is freezing as they keep taking the windows out, the yard is covered in tools and the windows are in a worse state than when they started. It's actually my LL who's paying so I have restrained myself from hysterical ranting so far They've been here so long that even the neurotic dog has given up barking at them and just wags his tail hmm

Checkatrade, bunch of charlatans angry

Famzilla Mon 24-Mar-14 10:11:05

I wouldn't have him back either. Luckily DH works in construction so "knows a bloke" for every sort of household job that could need doing, otherwise I wouldn't know where to start in sorting the wheat from the chaff.

FYI though checkatrade doesn't just publish all the glowing reports. I have seen some not-so-nice ones!

CatThiefKeith Mon 24-Mar-14 10:41:52

My df has been in the building trade all his life, is always busy and has never advertised. He is not on Check a trader or whatever it is called, all his work comes via personal recommendations.

He too knows someone who has boasted in the pub about going through drawers and wearing knickers on their heads, as well as a plasterer with convictions for burglary.

Both of the above, some how, are on check a trader.

Seriously, it means very little, go with personal recommendations instead.

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