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bad workmen: do you have to pay full whack?

(7 Posts)
tsunami Sat 10-Nov-12 08:56:40

OK - this is boring: sorry. It's all about a stove installation. I'll try to be quick. I paid the deposit on the grounds it was a 2-day job and would be completed a) before the plasterer came in and b) before the holiday season started (I run a small holiday business & the place has to be welcoming & not full of builders).

The job was put off for several weeks, when the plasterer had left, was plastered by the contractor incompetently (had to be redone by my own guy), they left rubbish on site, didn't turn up repeatedly etc etc etc old story. They invoiced before the job was finished. In the end, the job took 6 months to finish completely; then they sent a brusque 'reminder' that my payment was overdue. I objected that I hadn't got the service they'd promised - the whole job's been a stressful nightmare - they argued with my builder, phoned me on holiday, phoned me at 6:45 am, sent lots of long bullying emails justifiying why they were right and i was wrong etc. They said 'time was not of the essence' (rubbish) and then refused to provide a detailed breakdown when I asked for one (I think I should be entitled to one, even after the event?) or any compensation. Right now I've paid them 80% of their bill but am holding back final part of payment - which at the moment is about £1k - because I feel while the stove now works fine - and GOD I want to move on from this annoying incident - they still shouldn't be paid the full amount.

I don't believe in not paying what I rightfully owe, and paying properly for a job well done, but I really object to being treated any old way by builders then expected to stump up the full cost at the end of it all, on time. Do I have a legal leg to stand on? Does anyone know?

ClareMarriott Sat 10-Nov-12 10:02:02

What was the final cost of the job/s ? If you run a business and now have the stove installed and the plastering done, is it actually worth the hassle to argue the toss? If they are not VAT registered , they can't charge you for it . Perhaps you could pay the builder and make a mental note never to use them again

Rockchick1984 Sat 10-Nov-12 10:02:39

Maybe post in legal matters, there are some lawyers on there who could fully advise you smile

tsunami Sat 10-Nov-12 10:29:10

Clare Thank you - I know. That's the obvious option. Final cost is 5.5k. I'm just furious at the time they've wasted and the incompetence and general refusal to take responsibility. They are VAT registered. Rockchick yes, OK. I'll try lawyers. Thanks

Marrow Sat 10-Nov-12 23:57:03

The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 states that when work is carried out by a trader you can expect it to be done with reasonable care and skill, in a reasonable time for a reasonable charge. Your workmen seem to have let you down on the first two counts and I think you should state this to them in writing specifically mentioning the Goods and Services Act.

I would give Trading Standards a call. I have always found them very helpful. They can advise you and even give you all the info you need to put in a letter to the builders.

tsunami Tue 13-Nov-12 18:54:49

Good call, Marrow. I'll do that before making any drastic moves.


Marrow Sat 24-Nov-12 14:54:21

How have you got on Tsunami?

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