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Retrospective Quotes

(6 Posts)
lilttlemarvel Mon 15-Dec-14 09:55:00

Has anyone had any experience of getting retrospective quotes for work that has already been completed?

We've managed to get ourselves in a dispute over an invoice. If only I could go back in time and do things differently! We've had a lot of work completed at our house over the years and have never had an issue with any one before - this has come as a bit of a shock.

To put it in context - part of the work was very similar to a job our neighbour had done at the same time (although ours was slightly less work) and we have been charged about 2.5x more. We're not the type of people to quibble over minor things or expect materials at cost etc. Without exception everyone who we have shown the invoice to (and we are talking about people in the building trade here - including other trades working on site at the same time) have confirmed that we are being seriously ripped off. I don't want to put specific details on an open forum though.

We've been advised by trading standards/citizen's advice to get three quotes for work. First by a trustmark company - we tried but the closest is quite far away and they didn't even seem to know they were a trustmark company or have done anything like that before - unsurprisingly they didn't get back to us. Then I tried the 'buy with confidence' website - tried a couple of people but again they don't get back to me. Can't blame them really! They have now said it could be from any plumber. Can't be any one local that either we or this plumber knows or could know of.

Obviously, as the work has already been done we would be looking to pay for the quotes. Our solicitor (friend) has advised us not to do this at this stage and DH agrees with that - not wanting to spend anymore money or time on it (we've already offered to pay more than what we think is reasonable but this has been rejected). I can't let it go though - I can't sleep properly, concentrate on much else...I think I need at least one from someone completely unbiased to put my mind at rest. I've put a full description of the work undertaken, with plans and photographs in a powerpoint document so it could even be looked at without visiting our house.

Anyway, my question is has anyone else been in a similar situation and managed to get quotes retrospectively? Should I just keep trying?

neepsandtatties Mon 15-Dec-14 11:30:21

Could you send the photos, list of work needed to be undertaken etc as if it was a friend/relative's project, that you want replicating at your home?

But I'm surprised if there will be any come back - if you accepted the quote (and didn't shop around to see if it were competitive) then surely it's your look-out?

We've had some eye-watering quotes come in for a tiny extension, because lots of builders don't really want the work (£100 K vs. other quotes for £30K). If we were to go with the expensive quotes, we wouldn't be able to claim we had been overpriced, would we?

lilttlemarvel Mon 15-Dec-14 12:47:20

Thanks for replying neepsandtatties.

Yes, totally agree - if you accept an quote then you should pay it. Part of the job was on a quote (now being totally ignored and doubled!) and the rest was on labour time and materials.

Honestly, we are not the type to quibble over a couple of hundred quid. This is significant overcharging and nothing like what we agreed or anything close to reasonable. We have had a lot of work done on our property over the years - extensions etc. and have never had anything like this before and we definitely haven't always gone with the cheapest choice.

On this most recent project the total electrical bill was about £1K more than expected when budgeting (which is why we always have 10-20% extra in the kitty when doing a job!). No problem with that at all - all materials clearly listed and priced reasonably (don't expect things at cost!), all time invoiced for correctly (was definitely in line with how long we knew he was there for) and we were kept informed throughout. Neighbours electrical bill was about 5x less than ours but he had less work done in total and his electricians daily rate was lower. No problem with that at all. We're happy with the electrician and would use him again.

Yes, I could send the photos etc as if I wanted that work repeated but it would feel dishonest as they would have no chance of actually getting the work afterwards. I wouldn't do that - I would want to pay for their time.

wowfudge Mon 15-Dec-14 15:01:29

Two things come to mind. The first, how about contacting a firm of building surveyors for the quote? In fact they may be able to help by providing a report on what has been carried out versus the invoice cost.

Second, did you have a written quotation and now the invoiced amount is massively over that quote? Or were you just expecting it to be similar to what your neighbour paid and you had nothing in writing? Was there a contract in place?

Do you have a full breakdown of the charges? Can you not ask for things like copies of invoice and timesheets, etc. - i.e. back up for what is being invoiced?

Lots of questions there, but although you don't want to go into specific detail, this info will help.

Cedar03 Mon 15-Dec-14 15:57:22

I think you need a quantity surveyor who will look at the job and the materials used and tell you how much it should cost to complete.

lilttlemarvel Mon 15-Dec-14 16:42:54

That's a good idea wowfudge and Cedar03 I didn't think about building surveyors or quantity surveyors. Thank you.

It was part quoted (and yes, amount actually charged for that part is massively over) - completely different job from what they neighbour had done though.

The part that is similar to what the neighbour had done was disputed weeks before I found out how much he paid - so this dispute hasn't arisen from comparing with him. It was done on the same terms though (materials + labour at a similar daily rate and it actually took a similar amount of time - although we have been charged for much more). I wouldn't be disputing it if it were just 20-30% more - hell even just 50% more - but this is completely OTT.

No, don't have a full breakdown. Didn't have any contract (other than the quote that came later) or any pre-contract information either. I can't justify it now - it's just what we did and we are living with the consequences. Thankfully, I have been fully reassured that the law is on our side.

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