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To be utterly fuming at this...

(37 Posts)
StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 19:10:37

A few months ago (September) we had some new granite worktops installed in our house. The same day, the installer also fitted some at MILs (I arrange both installations as I was overseeing her kitchen refit for her.)Less than a week later, our worktop cracked along the join. As we discovered, the installer had fitted the worktop with a join over our integrated washing machine - the join was floating, no support at all, no cement etc underneath, and he'd also not used any silicon or adjusted the unit legs to the right so it was unsupported for about 1m.

He initially said he took responsibility, came out and attempted a fix which was hideous and which we said wasn't good enough. He then said he'd send a specialist who was anything but who did another really shit job. A toddler could have done better with crayon. He also didn't install the sink which he was supposed to install and which was included in the quote, so that cost us £150 (weekend) cos he left us at 5pm on a Friday with no damn sink! angry

We've been trying to get it sorted with the installer ever since. He refuses to accept responsibility claiming that our painter "must have" stood on it (possible but not likely and not the cause of the damage, that would be his botched job) however the worktop actually moved under my hands - so just leaning on it made the right hand side flex up and down IYSWIM? It's the busiest possible spot in the kitchen, exactly where you tend to dump heavy bags of shopping, that kind of thing.

Then he started demanding payment (because it broke so damned quickly we hadn't actually paid yet). We've been trying to come to a reasonable agreement - we asked him to replace them, nowt. We eventually got out own joiner to come and support the units and got a cosmetic repairer to come and fix the surface. Meanwhile he offers £200 compensation (£2.3k worktops, aye right!). We countered with £200 plus our costs, making for a total discount of about £600. Seemed reasonable to us given the mess he'd made but hey (there were other fitting mistakes too)

This has been going back and forth for a while, but today he has emailed MY MIL!! Telling her to"please ask Stat and Stats DH to pay their bill", informing her that we have asked for a £600 discount, a few other details, and then telling her that if we don't pay up he's going to speak to a solicitor!

I'm fuming. How utterly unprofessional can you get!

(incidentally, he actually did the same at MIL's house, she has a floating unsupported join too. We didn't notice until after her bill was paid)

borisgudanov Wed 14-Jan-15 19:24:33

Let him go to a solicitor. If he takes it to court he'll be laughed into the street. Then let them drag him back in to answer your counterclaim.

Littlef00t Wed 14-Jan-15 19:33:23

Have you rectified MIL floating join? If not, take some photos to evidence his work standard then get an independent assessment regarding whether the fitting was substandard. I guess not an issue if mil sorted but would add weight.

To be honest I'd be taking him to small claims for the issues, after sending a final notice before action letter stating won't take action if pay settlement.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 19:42:25

We haven't rectified MILs yet, but we have photographs of ours too, and the dodgy repairs.

At the moment it's him who would be taking us to court, as we haven't paid him yet (good luck I feel!)

Cooki3Monst3r Wed 14-Jan-15 19:42:34

He hasn't got a leg to stand on. And quite frankly, if he quoted for a granite worktop I would be refusing to pay any of the £2300 until I had one with no faults. (i.e. one without a frigging unsupported join!).

Never mind £600 bloody quid off. He agreed to supply you with a granite worktop. You agreed to pay an amount. He hasn't fulfilled his side of the bargain yet so you absolutely do not have to pay him a penny for that work top.

I would write him a letter, sent signed-for, stating a list of faults and everything he's done wrong - in chronological order. And tell him you will not be paying anything unless he gives you what you ordered - a stable granite worktop.

End of.

Tinks42 Wed 14-Jan-15 19:43:25

You said you havent paid him yet, then don't. He's just trying it on.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 19:59:37

The only reason we haven't refused to pay full stop is because it is possible the painter stood on it - we were never told it would be so pathetically vulnerable that you couldn't put any weight on it. But he claims you should never sit, stand, lean on a granite worktop. Ever.

Which is doubly ridiculous in our house where the window is behind the worktop, and recessed, and the catch is 2.5 off the floor. Does he think I can fly?! grin

Funny thing is that since we had it supported, our boiler broke down and had to be replaced. To get the old one off the wall the guys had absolutely no choice but to stand on the precious worktop. It didn't move an inch or break. Seems it only breaks when it's not properly supported!

QTPie Wed 14-Jan-15 20:00:07

Does he belong to a professional body? Does such a body exist ("National Assoc of granite fitters, kitchen fitters or stone masons or something along those lines?)? If so, directly approach them for advice?

Tinks42 Wed 14-Jan-15 20:04:32

I worked for years at a carpet installers, he really won't pursue it, it would cost him far too much. Just pay him what you think is reasonable, ie for the materials other wise he has the right to come and collect them.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 20:07:05

I'm wondering if we should just pay him our offer (since we offered that amount in writing) which would more than cover the materials, and let him sing for the rest

I presume he would go down the small claims route which shouldn't be too costly. I do have to be careful, job in FS requires squeaky clean financials!

ScotsWhaHae Wed 14-Jan-15 20:11:41

Ask about his insurance. Any kitchen fitter worth their salt should have adequate insurance to cover granite worktops. Not every fitter will work them because of the value and likely hood of it going wrong. It isn't uncommon for a normal joiner/carpenter to contract the installation of granite worktops out to specialised firms. It's quite a niche.

Gartenzwerg Wed 14-Jan-15 20:14:53

Even if he took you to court and somehow won, if you pay up within the time specified by the court (28 days usually I think) then you won't get a CCJ which is what I assume is worrying you regarding your job. Only unpaid CCJs go on your credit file.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 20:16:07

I will try that - the problem is he is now refusing to accept it's his mistake and wants us to sue the painter! The best offer he came out with was that he would replace them if we paid half of the replacement cost (plus the full original bill!)

I think he basically screwed up when he templated and didn't notice the washing machine (worktops were in situ), but he also had a scale plan of the kitchen so that is purely his fault. He was tired and annoyed as the install at my MIL's had been difficult and by the time he came to ours he just wanted to get the job done, and get out.

This wasn't a kitchen fitter btw, this was just a specialist granite company - the kitchen was already in and about 18 months old. We were replacing the worktops as we didn't like them and they had some damage (no we're not evil to worktops, the old sink had been installed badly so they were swelling around the sink)

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 20:16:44

That's useful Gartenzwerg, thank you

ScotsWhaHae Wed 14-Jan-15 20:17:52

Just realised it's you statistically «waves»

Seriously, don't pay.

We're local to each other, give me a pm. My husband is in the trade in Edinburgh, I'm nosey want to know who it is! Samuels?

Tinks42 Wed 14-Jan-15 20:19:09

Like I said, I worked for a flooring company for 15 years and they only ever took a manufacturer to the small claims court due to supplying crap materials. Never ever did they take a client to court. I'd go with your amount that you put in writing and not worry about it.

ScotsWhaHae Wed 14-Jan-15 20:22:19

Really surprised to hear it was a granite company. They especially should be adequately insured.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 20:23:09

PM'd you smile

I think that's what we might do Tinks. The small claims fees would be lower for the lower amount, but at the same time the court might see us as more reasonable if we haven't withheld the whole amount!

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 20:24:25

I'm still shockshockshock that he had the cheek to email my bloody MIL!

ScotsWhaHae Wed 14-Jan-15 20:31:19

Yeah that's bad patter!

Tinks42 Wed 14-Jan-15 20:31:50

They will do that to put a bit of pressure on knowing full well that they haven't got a legal case. Don't worry about it. If you said you weren't going to pay anything then that would be another matter, you aren't.

And, if they did ever pursue it (which they won't) give them the number of the company whose workforce actually stood on the worktop and let them take it up with that company.

As long as YOU didnt stand on it, you arent to blame.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 20:58:35

Funny thing is I worked in debt collection many years ago, and we were never, ever allowed to disclose a debt to anyone except the customer. Twas a breach of every type of rule we could think of. Which is exactly what he's done.

Dick! <grumpy now>

TBH, I think even if the painter did stand on it, it's not his blooming fault. Now that it's supported it is stable, and didn't break even with a (quite, urm robust) plumber standing on it while he lifted a boiler.

ScotsWhaHae Wed 14-Jan-15 21:00:47

You really shouldn't be standing on it though.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 14-Jan-15 21:04:19

We don't as a habit grin - the angle of where our boiler is positioned meant that the plumber really didn't have a choice. And as we had no heating it had to come off! All I meant was that once our lovely joiner had adjusted it, supported it, sealed it etc it now seems very solid. We had the plumbers under very struct instructions to only stand on the unit gables too.

RandomMess Wed 14-Jan-15 21:08:58

I'd be tempted to counter offer that he comes and takes the granite away and you'll start again elsewhere...

I think if he bothered to take you to small claims it would go your way anyway. Perhaps MIL should be claiming against him for not fitting hers correctly as presumably you're going to incur further costs resolving it?

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