Trades people often let themselves down on communication and in being unreliable.
I would hazard a guess these particular guys are all busy working, but they should have given you a heads up that they weren't going to show well in advance.
I wouldn't want to be a jobbing builder as you immediately get tarred with the same brush as all the other wazzocks out there.
There are numerous TV shows that do nothing to help the reputation of proper professional tradesman. It's a highly skilled challenging role, but which is not held in high esteem by most people. The word "cowboy" is synonymous with anyone who can make a living doing this sort of work. The media do everything to reinforce this. This doesn't attract good people to the profession!
Our society tends to denigrate the less academic people amongst us. They deem these people good for nothing other than manual work. If only those with this misguided idea understood that manual trades work requires skill, tenacity and a diferent sort of intelligence to that of traditioanl academia.
They are overlooking that after actually doing all this manual work, this self-employed business person has to be salesman, bookeeper, project manager, logistics/procurement etc. No wonder some of these guys are a bit unreliable! They have their plate full and many are not up to running a professional outfit.
I bet most customers just go for the lowest quote, rather than pay a bit extra to get a true professional. So wazzocks proliferate, as do cowboys/conmen.
I can imagine it would be a nightmare dealing with the unrealistic expectations of some customers and the general ignorance about the time a job takes and what it entails. So you'd be expected to do jobs to prefection for peanuts. Any tiny arising issue can/will be blown out of proportion by the customer causing acrimony. Perhaps you would get people who wouldn't pay until you have done a lot of extra repair work on damage which they falsely claim you caused etc etc. Imagine the damage one misguided or unreasonable person could do to your reputation.
It's physically hard work as well as requiring skills and talent. Perfoming these trades often eventually mess up your health. It's an occupation full of pitfalls and not very well paid, given the insecurity of the situation and the extended hours beyond the time you spend on site.
There's no excuse for guys not keeping you informed, but if there were sizeable companies employing guys, ensuring their work and materials were scheduled, customers kept informed etc, it would all work better. If this was the case, customers would be paying considerably more than they do now. This will never happen becuase people want "cheap". You get what you pay for!