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AIBU to seek advice-disagreemrnt with Painter Decorator

(26 Posts)
Pulluptothebumper Wed 18-Oct-17 08:27:43

Posting for advice for a friend.

Friend employed a painter and decorator to do the necessary in her 3-bed Semi. He quoted £3900 to do the job and asked for £2500 up front which they paid him.

He started the job, wallpapered the hall and one bedroom then disappeared. The job done in these two areas was less than satisfactory - ripped paper, damaged walls and broke a picture. Friend made numerous calls to the chap who advised he was on another job, he was fully booked and would get back to her when he could. Friend has other renovations and jobs to do that depend on the painter finishing his work and making way for the next workmen to come in.

Again more calls to painter, no response so friend goes to the painter's home address to speak to him face-to-face. She was upset and in tears and pleaded with him to finish their job before moving on to his other jobs. He promised he would return on Thursday (tomorrow) to finish the job.

Last night he goes to Friend's house saying he is upset that she went to his home address, he feels to vulnerable to return to her property to finish the job as her crying behaviour suggests she's mad and he doesn't feel safe in her house. He demanded the outstanding balance be paid to him.

He left. Friend spoke to the people who had originally recommended the Painter to her and they advised she go to his house and speak to him. Friend went to house, the painter called his FIL who is an ex-police officer who intimidated Friend by cautioning her and saying her would make a statement to the police with whatever she said. He then said the Painter would not demand the balance of the bill, would refund her £500 of the £2500 already paid and they would not go to the police if she "shut her mouth and told no-one what had happened".

Friend is very distressed and potentially out of pocket by £2000.

Is she being unreasonable to take this further? What's the best course of action?

honeysucklejasmine Wed 18-Oct-17 08:30:01

Small claims court?

LaurieFairyCake Wed 18-Oct-17 08:31:01

She goes to the police and complains. An EX police officer can’t caution her!

She follows the police complaints procedure against the EX officer

And she civilly pursues the decorator through the small claims court (extremely easy, done online) for the full refund

And she NEVER goes to his house again as they could easily build a harassment case

FenellaMaxwellsPony Wed 18-Oct-17 08:31:17

They are trying to scare her. She needs to send a registered letter to the painter stating she will take him to small claims if he doesn't return her money, and she will have no choice but to warn others of his shoddy work.

Louiselouie0890 Wed 18-Oct-17 08:32:03

What a load of tosh from them. Take him to court

BarbarianMum Wed 18-Oct-17 08:33:15

Small claims court. And as many online negative reviews as she can manage. Andvtell her that in future, she should only pay up front for the cost of materials and then only when she sees a receipt.

BabsGanoush Wed 18-Oct-17 08:33:28

Small claims - costs about £200.

But £3900 for a 3 bed semi shock - did she get other quotes

makeourfuture Wed 18-Oct-17 08:34:18

Consider court. Breach of contract.

GeekyWombat Wed 18-Oct-17 08:35:34

She goes to the police and complains. An EX police officer can’t caution her!

She follows the police complaints procedure against the EX officer

And she civilly pursues the decorator through the small claims court (extremely easy, done online) for the full refund

And she NEVER goes to his house again as they could easily build a harassment case

This. All of this.

Pulluptothebumper Wed 18-Oct-17 08:52:49

Thank you! I shall link her to this thread so she can read it.

TacoFlavouredKisses Wed 18-Oct-17 08:56:34

Laurie is spot on.

What a cowboy angry

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 18-Oct-17 09:02:50

Your poor friend. I agree. Small claims. Do you really believe the fil is an ex copper? He most probably is not even the man’s fil and probably a con artist. This sounds like it could be a scam as he asked for well over half before even commencing work.

I have only ever paid a decorator upfront for materials. Almost 4K is exhorbitant for the size of house and the work should be absolutely top notch.

BriechonCheese Wed 18-Oct-17 09:03:24

Wow what a cowboy!
I feel really bad for her but continuing to go to his home could lead to harassment charges.

What bothers me most about this is the behaviour of the ex-police officer. What a disgusting abuse of "power".

Did the people who recommended him have any kind of issue with this kind of behaviours of problems with his work.

If she sends registered letter re small claims, she needs to make it clear he is not to come to her property and that she has taken up legal advice regarding harrasment charges.

MsFortunaMajor Wed 18-Oct-17 09:13:59

Your poor friend, what a nightmare. I am angry on her behalf that the decorator has said that your friend is crazy and he feels vulnerable after she (quite rightly) got upset with him. What an absolute arse.

Anyone can claim they are an ex policeman, or even a current one. An ex policeman doesn't have special powers to caution people. It wouldn't have been an official caution. It sounds like two chancers trying to intimidate her in to dropping the matter. If she doesn't feel able to, trying to sort things out through small claims may cause more upset. And I could understand if your friend didn't want to put herself through that.

Danceswithwarthogs Wed 18-Oct-17 09:15:47

Trading standards?

AtHomeDadGlos Wed 18-Oct-17 09:19:42

She was a mug to pay anything up front

5rivers7hills Wed 18-Oct-17 09:54:53

Why woudl you pay so much upfront for decorator - it isn't like there are loads of expensive materials to be ordered up front.

She has been scammed.

Small claims court to get her money back.

Police complaints process re FiL if he really is an ex copper.

Don;t go back to house.

Pulluptothebumper Wed 18-Oct-17 09:55:00

Thanks, all. It is so upsetting for her. He and his FIL sound like a pair of vile misogynists.
I'm an ex police officer myself and I certainly don't go around cautioning people! What a dick. The people who recommended him didn't have any problems but he sounds like the type of bloke who wouldn't take this chance with a male customer.

She thanks you all for the advice and she is going to fight it. It's a lot of money and he needs to be stopped from doing this to other customers.

AJPTaylor Wed 18-Oct-17 09:58:25

please tell her to check her household policy for legal expenses insurance cover.

CatsRidingRollercoasters Wed 18-Oct-17 10:09:24

Poor woman! How awful for her. I agree with pps. Complain to police re the behaviour of this ex officer, although I bet he isn't actually one. Perhaps he'd get into trouble for impersonating a police officer? I don't know.

Take the fucker to small claims court. I've been through it and it's really not that bad if you're organised. We were taken to scc by a dodgy builder who wanted to overcharge us. The judge wiped the floor with him. Feel free to pm me if you'd like more info on the process. It really is easy though and can all be done online. Look up Money Claim online. It's a gov.uk website.

At this point I'd proceed with a new tradesperson to get the work done asap and hope to recover money later. It can take months sadly.

annielouise Wed 18-Oct-17 10:14:21

Laurie has it spot on. Surely as ex police yourself you'd know the FIL had no power or right to do that. In fact, I'd say he's breaking the law in posing as a police officer!

She was very foolish paying so much upfront. I'd say most of the almost £4k cost of the job was labour, not materials so why the need to pay £2.5k upfront. It's not like he had very expensive materials to get. £500 upfront would have been sufficient, to be topped up as and when.

annielouise Wed 18-Oct-17 10:15:22

Hope she didn't give him cash and has a receipt.

RhiannonOHara Wed 18-Oct-17 10:21:50

I've learned never to pay upfront, apart from big materials costs.

But the intimidation and threats are the serious issue here. I agree with others that the 'FIL' must be reported to the police. Then small claims court.

Rainatnight Wed 18-Oct-17 10:30:52

Ugh, I just had a bad experience with decorators which wasn't nearly as bad but they were Cowboys and it's really stressful. I feel for your friend!

WineAndTiramisu Wed 18-Oct-17 11:02:07

That seems extortionate, we've been quoted £800 for 3 coats of paint for a large 5 bedroom house with some double height areas (although no carpets/furniture etc, totally empty).

But definitely small claims court for a full refund

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