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I have completed a first fix for a client on the recommendation of a builder who put up the shell of an extension. However, the home owners have been agressive and verbally abusive on a number of occassions (I won't go into too much detail but they are 'nut cases') and have talked down to me and my apprentice quite extensively while we have been on site. When asking for money as the first fix was completed they agressively told us that we wouldn't have any money unless we completed the job, and if we didn't complete the job they would see us in court, etc. etc.

Some of the (many) rediculous points they have said they arent happy with (and have became abusive) include us fitting a fan in a downstairs WC which now doesnt have a window (as the extension covers it) I showed the husband that we could put the fan in line with the light in the centre of the room as the bay to one side was taken with central heating pipes to the boiler below, and the bay to the other side couldn't be ducted as the edge of the external porch didn't allow for core drilling. The bloke agreed that the fan could only go in the middle and this was OK, later (when it had been done) they told us the fan wasn't where they wanted it and we never asked them where they wanted it, that we were not professionals and that they would get someone else in to 'put things right' when we had cleared off (in so many words).

I asked about whether they wanted TV points wiring, which were on the drawing, on three seperate occasions, to which they replied that they were doing them themselves as they didn't want to pay out for someone else to do it. When the plasterer got held up and couldn't board any more walls because the TV points weren't wired, they phoned and TOLD ME that I had forgot to wire them and I had to attend the site IMMEDIATELY (I was in the middle of a rewire). I told them that this wasnt the case however, and the joiner was witness to two occassions when I had asked, who was on site with them. They became very abusive on the phone at this, and said that they would find out where we were working and come and pick us up, and that if we wouldn't go immediately they would get someone else and bill us for the work, and bill us for the plasterers wasted time. When the bloke started raising his voice etc. I put the phone down. I have discovered later that the husband had wired his own TV points, running coax in through the same holes as all my T&E in the stud work.

Those are two examples, of which there are plenty.

I have managed to get some money which covers our time and materials for the first fix (refused to cut the cavity boxes in this morning before the plasterer skimmed unless I had something for my troubles). The lady of the house told me she wouldn't give me it directly, but passed a cheque to the builder who was there. Who was stood with us. Who then gave me it, and it was made out in my name. (This is a woman in her 50s). I told them I wasn't happy with the way we were being spoken to and that we didn't come to work to be abused, and that if there was any more of it or the cheque didn't clear and I wouldn't be back to finish the job. At which I was told that if I didn't come back and 2nd fix and sign the job off, they would see me in court, after they had got someone else to finish it, and handed me their bill.

I could hear the wife in the background telling her son that if he didn't hit me she would.

The joiner has had the same sort of problem with them at the beginning of the job, but now we have been on site the focus and abuse seems to have shifted to us.

I have completed and notified many such jobs as this (over 70) in the last 3 years of being self employed, and have NEVER witnessed a customer like it- not even close.

Am I under any legal obligation to return?
I don't think I could tell the bloke to stop raising his voice and pointing at me, as calmly as I have done, if there is a next time.
 
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R

RISElectrical

If it were ne I would take the money for what's been done and politely inform them that due to their attitude you are not prepared to complete the works.

I am assuming that you haven't signed any contracts to the contrary?
 

telectrix

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as above. clear the cheque then walk. sounds like nothing but trouble. and the chances of them taking you to court are 1 in a thousand. been there, got the tee shirt.
 

Richard Burns

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Not worth the hassle, get out while you have some money and no abuse.
So long as there is no contract in place then do not take threats to heart, they can hardly charge you for someone doing the job they were going to pay you for!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
There is no written contract. I jumped on this first fix as a bit of a favour (in the hope of more work) for the builder, as his friend of many years had let him down. I know the electrician who was meant to originally do the job, when I spoke to him I found out that he never had any intention of doing the work as the people in the house had been 'telling him how to do his job' and he didn't like their attitude when he had visited to price the works.

The builder phoned me up to do the first fix, though I'm not working for him, I'm supposedly working directly for the people in the house. The builder meanwhile is off putting his next shell up and out of the way.
 
I'd also put the word out at the wholesalers about these people. It might teach them to have some common courtesy when they struggle to get a decent tradesman because oftheir crap attitude
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Great. I feel so much better knowing that I'm not going back. Unless the cheque doesn't clear, then I'm not so sure! Fingers crossed until Thursday..
 
Because they have given you a signed cheque they have acknowledged that a debt is legitimately due to you so if it doesn't clear it's off to the county court for a nice easy win to screw their credit rating:)
 

ruston

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And if I remember right it is against the law to give a cheque in lieu of payment without the funds to cover it. Verbal abuse is also assault if it makes you fear for your safety.
 

telectrix

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but don't let them guess that you're not going back . turn up on monday , then give 'em 2 fingers.
 
I really feel for you mate sounds like a total nightmare and there are people like this who are pros at doing this sort of thing, I think it is unlikely that you will ever get paid the agreed amount if you finish. If you are square re the parts then if it were me I would send a polite email (once you have the funds cleared) stating that to be threatened with physical violence is unacceptable and your working relationship is untenable. Then move on to the next!! All the best.
 
then if it were me I would send a polite email (once you have the funds cleared) stating that to be threatened with physical violence is unacceptable and your working relationship is untenable. Then move on to the next
Then once they move in, go to the pet shop and buy a couple of pregnant mice. When they go out post them through the letter box:)
Edit.. Don't do that, it was a joke.
 
A

alarm man

dont walk away..run..your gonna get shafted,youve done well not to react so far...thers many would have,the telling the son to hit you or she will would have done it for me..id have ripped it all out and shoved it up his....:38:
 

ruston

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Lol they wont stay long , rodent's do'nt like hassle either.:toilet:
 
M

Mark_Burgess

Is this job down south?
Pass them on to me, i'd love to wind them up!!
 

Jimmy Boy

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Arms
Just nut them..but before you do ..Hide frozen Prawns in their curtain poles, and any other orifice you can find in the house,,that will fk them up lol

J
 
Teesside area I'd guess mate OP is Monkeyhanger
Pass the job onto DurhamSparks, I'll pop up with him just to wind the customer up. I'll even bring my own dead fish to put under the floorboards and behind plaster boards.

Do you fancy it DS? ;););)
 
Pass the job onto DurhamSparks, I'll pop up with him just to wind the customer up. I'll even bring my own dead fish to put under the floorboards and behind plaster boards.

Do you fancy it DS? ;););)
Pick me up along the way too:)
 
A

Arnold Layne

Monkeyhanger, if I have understood you correctly you have no contract with the householder and no scope of works either by the sound of things, so you are under no obligation to return ( and if I were you I would not return, what kind of people threaten physical violence!) You may have a verbal contract with the Bulider, but that is down to who said what ,when. In fact the whole arrangement sounds amateur. The Builder is employed by the householder I assume, what is the scope of his contract? but the householder is responsible for paying you, so in short if they do take you to court ( which I do not believe they will) they will lose because they have no contract with you and their contract arrangements with others are unclear and the law does not look kindly on things that are unclear.

On another point, if the householder is doing works to the electrical installation himself who is going to sign it off? I hope that he is not expecting you to do that ??! Good luck and if I were you I would not return to this job and I would make the reason clear to the Builder who introduced you to the situation in the first place.
 
1

1shortcircuit

Reverse Psychology, Front them.... Grow a set of balls and tell them in no uncertain terms how it is and how it will be. You now want money for second fix upfront or YOU will see them in court. Sounds like you're dealing with a bunch of gobby dim witts so unless you are physically afraid of these people put it to them.

I am not the biggest of people and I am quite softly softly whilst going about my professional business but when it comes to situations like this my bollards grow huge and I stand my ground unless I honestly believe that I am going to get my head caved in.... and believe me, I worked on the doors so I know they ARE out there.

Two choices, take the stand.... Literally OR take the money a F*** them off. The only problem with the latter is your reputation is most definitely at risk.

This is where I believe judging a book by it's cover is most important. At the end of the day every tradesperson should be looking for quality customers just like they are SUPPOSEDLY looking for a quality tradesperson

:thumbsup
 
G

Geordie Spark

I had exactly this situation when I was fitting a bathroom suite.

I walked away & left them with the bath, basin & WC fitted, but no water connected to any of them.

As I was leaving, the woman of the house asked me if I could recommend another plumber to finish the job !!!
 
O

oldtimer

Dont get wound up if you read my post about the jobsworth who was hostile the minute I walked in the door I said look I dont get paid enough to take that from you and I refuse to get caught up in a bun fight between you and your boss so I am out of here because your conduct is not acceptable remember you need to find out why they are so hostile with you I had it with a customer years ago and when I walked she phoned to explain that the last spark messed them about so I said well you and your husband need to resolve this because you aint taking it out on me trust me it aint worth it Also put it in writing to them that you and your boy feel that they are being hostile and rude to the both of yous and with these types take a notepad so that when you say do you want a cost for tv cables and they say no then make sure you write this down in front of them so with the date at the yop of the page you can say well I specifically asked you on date and you refused one last thing are they the same with the other trades or are the just angry with the other trades and taking it out on you
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #32
There's all sorts of things I'd have liked to have said at the time (e.g. about when I came first thing to upgrade the meter tails as the leccy board were putting an 80A in, at 10:45AM their two sons were STILL in the beds that needed moving to take the boards up and we had to wake them up ourselves!) but I tried my best not to give them any actual reason to kick us out etc. otherwise I'd have left with NO money/cheque but still plenty of grief!

I guess that somebody who stands and suddenly spouts off consumer right this that and the other and if you dont do the second fix and sign it off we will see you in court, has possibly done a bit of misguided research & has intended this situation to happen. I'm the youngest on site (I'm 24 and my apprentice is 18) so if they were going to take the **** of any of the trades it was obvious it would be us.

I only wish the sparky who was initially meant to do the job had phoned me to tell me about the people, before the builder asked me if I wanted to do it! Wait till I see him in the wholesaler next...

On a lighter note, I've had some great customers lately. We did an occupied rewire for a national letting agent and the tenants couldn't praise us enough for our work (two 13 hour days) and tidying up after ourselves. Last week we did our first job for a local kitchen & bathroom company (shower / down lights / fan light / bonding) and the people in the house were over the moon, & phoned the firm up to request that when they get their new kitchen in a few months could they send us back to do the electrics.
 
O

oldtimer

Yep thats the bonus and yes you need to realise that you can get the odd bad customer and I have learned its no use getting into a fight with them as my I dont need this walk away mentality works for me but sadly people want and need you to orbit around their lifes and that means waiting for the 2 teenage kids to surface out their beds and sometimes them as well as I do work for a letting agent and you cannot get access to the property until after 1 because they cannot get out of their bed so i say well I will come a week on Tuesday they say I cant wait that long then it well I can fit you in at 10 well ok then and I turn up at 9:30 the things we need to do
 

ipf

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If I take this correctly, another point to take into consideration is that they have interfered with your installation by installing the TV cables incorrectly. 7671 and Part P come into play. If you walk, who will provide the certs? You've done the first fix. Could be a can of worms for the charmers.
 
D

DurhamSparky

Hey Monkey!!! im up for a bit of customer bashing!!!

i will put them in there place.....!!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #40
Had a call off others on site yesterday, asking if I was going to go back to 2nd fix & sign it off next week as it will be all skimmed out etc. by then, they said that the home owners have been telling everyone that if I don't complete & sign off they will take legal action. They haven't tried contacting me themselves, even though I'm the one working for them. Idiots!
 
Have they actually said what grounds they are going to base their case against you on?
Idiots, I'd bet these people have just come into a good bit of cash and it's making them act the big shot. A prat with money is still a prat
 
1

1shortcircuit

Had a call off others on site yesterday, asking if I was going to go back to 2nd fix & sign it off next week as it will be all skimmed out etc. by then, they said that the home owners have been telling everyone that if I don't complete & sign off they will take legal action. They haven't tried contacting me themselves, even though I'm the one working for them. Idiots!
So, the million dollar question.... What are you going to do?

I know what I would do and it wouldn't involve a revisit. Sounds like you have perfect REASONS NOT to return!
 
1

1shortcircuit

So, the million dollar question.... What are you going to do?

I know what I would do and it wouldn't involve a revisit. Sounds like you have perfect REASONS NOT to return!
Actually, tell them you can return in about 8-10 weeks to complete. That way you are not refusing to fulfill the contract that was not created and signed by you all but may sit better IF it ever went to court.
 

ruston

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It 's pity that your nerves are so bad caused by the bullying and intimidation that you have received on this job . I'm sure any court will understand and may even see fit to compensate you for loss of earnings and pain. More than one way to skin a cat.

Edit because it decided to post before I was finished lol.
 
1

1shortcircuit

It 's pity that your nerves are so bad caused by the bullying and intimidation that you have received on this job . I'm sure any court will

Afraid to even open the front door now through fear of being dealt with by said clients!
 
D

DurhamSparky

2 scenarios...!!

Blue star at night geordie delight....
Pale star at night and there ganan be a fight!!!!
 
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