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to think tradesmen add a "big house tax"

(74 Posts)
bedraggledmumoftwo Wed 04-Nov-15 17:23:00

Feeling really stung by a locksmith today. They were supposed to come around and quote to fix a patio door that was broken in the locked position. However, by the time they had essentially broken it open it meant the house wasn't secure so I wasn't in a position to consider a quote at that point, just choose between the cheapest and most expensive options offered. And alone in the house with two screaming preschoolers I wasn't really in a place to argue.

Anyway, we live a big old house, aibu to assume they look around and mentally put the price up as soon as they arrive?

bedraggledmumoftwo Wed 04-Nov-15 17:24:11

Ended up costing £500 btw. Not moaning about peanuts...

Graciescotland Wed 04-Nov-15 17:27:39

I know what you mean we have a lovely old farmhouse and it's steadings and you can almost feel the extra pounds sliding onto the quote as they tootle up the drive. "What a lovely place you have" translates as I'm charging you extra.

JeffsanArsehole Wed 04-Nov-15 17:28:13

I have definitely been charged more because they assumed I could afford it

They were wrong, I couldn't and said so

Panickingalot Wed 04-Nov-15 17:29:29

Absolutely. I am sick of it.

CheesyNachos Wed 04-Nov-15 17:29:57

yes yes indeed. A friend who has a nice house (not over big, but detached) in a nice area says that. She says that quotes change as soon as they clap eyes on it.... and that over time prices get inflated too, if the person is a regular like a gardener, etc.

It must get very tiring.

wonkylegs Wed 04-Nov-15 17:31:53

My parents used to suffer from this but DH & I now live in a big house and I think we don't get stung by it but I think that's partly because my parents were a pushover and I work in construction and know when I can and do tell people to FO!

bedraggledmumoftwo Wed 04-Nov-15 17:32:57

I'm just so annoyed because they were supposed to come and quote and instead they set to breaking the door open. I was running around after a one year old and thought they were just getting a good look. While I should have been relieved it was open, I then felt obliged to let them finish the job as otherwise the house wouldn't be secure

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 04-Nov-15 17:33:00

DH is a tradesman and doesn't do this. He has set prices. The only time he puts the price up is if somebody is rude to him.

dodobookends Wed 04-Nov-15 17:33:01

I think they have a 'gullible elderly person' mark-up too.

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 04-Nov-15 17:33:04

Yes definitely. Mil is always shocked at the cheap price we pay for work on our house. We have an average 3bed semi, they have a huge house on lots of land.

Cookingongas Wed 04-Nov-15 17:33:58

£500!?!! I regularly change stuck locks- he's ripped you off good and proper. What a knob! ( but, yes, you are right- a big nice house often means people put their prices up to 'match' - I get a lot of work because I don't and therefore come out as cheap comparably- though conversely I was once not chosen as I was too cheap compared to my competitors- who I know had agreed to price match each other as high and split the difference ( I was invited into the deal)

Unfortunately there are many tradespeople who are willing to take every advantage they can ( though certainly not all!)

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 04-Nov-15 17:34:03

Not saying people don't do it though and I'd have been mightly pissed off in your position!

SlightF0x Wed 04-Nov-15 17:37:13

yes. I've a small house now but although I'll be torn apart for saying this, in my accent adds a another layer of tax.

StrawberryMouse Wed 04-Nov-15 17:39:17

My husband started off as a tradesman so doesn't tend to happen here and wouldn't be entertained if it did. grin

bedraggledmumoftwo Wed 04-Nov-15 17:41:03

Cookingongas, it was a central rail operated multipoint lock on a patio door, so I didn't expect it to be cheap, but the only prices he mentioned were 150/300 for a cheap/ultra secure one. So I naively assumed that was an all in cost.

shushpenfold Wed 04-Nov-15 17:42:42

I think if you use shonky tradesman, they do hike the price. I'm careful to go to people who have been recommended and then mention the people who recommended them. It's in the best interest of the contractor to then do a good job for a reasonable price as I will also mention that I recommend good contractors to other possible customers too. The only place that has tried it with me recently is our new car dealership who assumed that because we had a car which needed expensive tyres, I wouldn't baulk when then mentioned an extortionate price for 2 new tyres. He proceeded to tell me to go and check with my husband hmm after mistaking my amazement at his presumption of MY stupidity, as worry about making a 'big decision'. When I rang him back 10 minutes later with a 'thanks but not thanks' call, he was a little miffed and was even more miffed when I said I had someone who would sort the types for well over £100 less.

bedraggledmumoftwo Wed 04-Nov-15 17:45:34


Next time we need something I will insist that my husband gets quotes at the weekend. Not that hes a tradesman, just that I think this is a combination of gullible female/harried and distracted mother of toddlers and the big house tax. In former years I would have been looking the prices up on the internet and challenging him then and there, but that wasn't an option with two demanding children to look after sad

Cookingongas Wed 04-Nov-15 17:49:41

He's no excuse- a fixed price should have been given- he knows his costs and expenses. Profiteering IMO. And ime - and I wish there wasn't a stereotype that I'm perpetuating- women talk. You do good fair jobs for a struggling mum and she will tell a lot more people than her husband would have. ( though you should be doing a good fair job for all)

pinechesterdrawers Wed 04-Nov-15 17:53:50

i think there is a premium on the area we live in. i feel very ripped off. im sure things were cheaper when we lived in a less sought after town 4 miles down the road.

WoodleyPixie Wed 04-Nov-15 17:53:54

Yes for sure. I live in an average three bed semi. Albeit with an extension downstairs and a conservatory. My window cleaner charges £25 inc conservatory.

The same window cleaners charges my mum £120 a time. Her house is bigger than mine but not 5times the size. It's just in a 'nicer' area and a large detached house.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 04-Nov-15 18:01:20

YABU. It's not a Big House Tax it's a This Looks Like An Expensive House, They Must Be Loaded Premium.

Hence why everything in London is silly money.

howtorebuild Wed 04-Nov-15 18:03:44

Yes, having lived in various sized houses I think it's true.

ExasperatedAlmostAlways Wed 04-Nov-15 18:04:08

My husband certainly doesn't.

bedraggledmumoftwo Wed 04-Nov-15 18:04:41

Woodley, cant you point this out for your parents to use as a basis for negotiation?

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