Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 55 total)
  • Unreliable tradespersons
  • Mr_C
    Free Member

    I need a new boiler installing and I’ve contacted 5 local heating engineers to give me quotes. Of those 1 never returned my call, 3 of them never bothered to show up as arranged and I’ve heard nothing more from them, and the one that did show up hasn’t bothered to send the promised quote through.

    I can turn my hand to most things, so haven’t needed to get anyone in to do work on the house for many years, but installing a boiler is beyond me as well as being illegal. So is this normal? Am I being over-optomistic in expecting people to turn up when they say they will? How many should I need to contact before I get someone who will actually do the job?

    And if anyone knows a reliable heating engineer in the Mansfield area could you send me their details.

    bigyinn
    Free Member

    I avoid using unknowns for this sort of reason. Speak to local friends and neighbours and see who they recommend.

    cbmotorsport
    Free Member

    Trust a trader?

    At least you’ve got some comeback if they dick you around, all the people I’ve used on there have been good.

    fluided
    Free Member

    Have you tried the trading standards website in your area as they will have a list of approved tradesman.

    Landing Page

    whereisthurso
    Free Member

    I’ve been an architect for 10 years and still haven’t found a tradesman that I could recommend to be punctual and courteous. Unfortunately a lot of them will try and get away with doing as little as they can rather than a proper job but there are some good ones. Like Bigyinn says recommendations from friends are probably going to give you the most reliable contractor but generally set your expectations low and you might be pleasantly surprised.

    Rockhopper
    Free Member

    You can fit the boiler yourself apart from making the connection to the gas.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    You can fit the boiler yourself apart from making the connection to the gas.

    If he can’t get a plumber to do the whole job, he’ll never get one to sign-off a self install!

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Not quite as bad as our plasterer.

    Day 1)Turns up at 3 (car trouble), leaves at 4 (pick kids up) having put 2 coats of PVA on 1 ceiling. “Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it tomorrow and not charge a full day for this”.

    Day 2) Arrives at 9, several fag and tea brakes, 2 hour lunch starts at 12 and leaves at 3:30, “don’t worry, I can work late tomorrow because the ex wife has the kids”.

    Day 3) Arrives 10, leaves 4.

    Day 4) Same as day 2, but makes to leave at 2:30, when my Miss finally flips and tells him he can plaster at least one more room before a reasnoble finishing time.

    Day 5) 10-12, hands over a bill for 5x day rates and about 2x more in materials than we could have bought them at B&Q.

    Somehow it got negotiated to 4 days, TBH he’d barely managed 20 hours or 2.5days if we were being generous so we felt ripped off paying that much!.

    check-a-trade and the like on the other hand are usually great.

    IA
    Full Member

    I’ve generally found if they:

    a) Turn up when they say they will
    b) Quote when they say they will
    c) respond to queries in a reasonable time/call back etc.

    Then they’re decent. It’s amazing how many don’t seem to get 1/3 let alone 3/3.

    cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Another vote for http://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

    Interestingly two of my tradesmen were discussing Checkatrade and their dissatisfaction with it. They had stopped paying to advertise partly due to the unregulated number of tradespeople and felt that the buywithconfidence scheme was much better.

    Tradespeople have to pay, checks are carried out on their work and by talking to customers. If a customer reports back that they’re dissatisfied with the workmanship, it’s investigated and the tradesperson could be removed from the listing.

    Incidentally I contacted 8 plumbers with a view to replacing all radiators etc and only 4 made contact. Out of those who came to quote, 3 gave me quotes.

    Edit: this is dahn Saaaarf.

    surroundedbyhills
    Free Member

    I recently had my house in turmoil for 3 weeks waiting for a plasterer (who came recommended by 2 different people) he cancelled twice and then when he did turn up said he could only do 30% of the job agreed!
    I then contacted a local builder to quote on a couple of jobs, one of which was to do with a sometime smelly loo (only moved in recently so not my fault) His suggested solution was for me to “borrow” another toilet and fit it to see what the problem was! FFS!! Borrow a fn toilet?

    brakes
    Free Member

    and d) not charge you more than they quoted

    they’re like rocking horse shit

    poolman
    Free Member

    Sorry to hear this but I am afraid it’s the way it’s done – I only use trades people who I know & they know me, they don’t waste my time & I don’t waste theirs.

    It’s often best to pay a bit more & know it will get done properly, if it’s cheap there’s a reason.

    Good luck, sorry I can’t help

    dooosuk
    Free Member

    and d) not charge you more than they quoted

    The plasterer I used also tended to knock off at 3 – 3.30pm

    He could of done 3 days work in 2days if he’d been bothered. Turns up on day 1 with no materials so as soon as he arrives he disappears shopping.

    To top it off he called my tight as I only agreed to pay him 75% of the extra cost he was asking for above the original quote.

    TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    This is an argument in favor of economic migration…

    We used a local builder who was checkatrade, or similar.

    Turned up to quote but then sent a bunch of polish guys to do a slap up job.

    Later he was hauled up in court for running a brothel from his house (hopefully not with the wives of his polish laborers…)

    Think he is still in business, maybe a related company now but with similar initials.

    iolo
    Full Member

    Why would you pay a day rate for a tradesman?

    Hello mr tradesman, please give me a price to paint/plumb/plaster/fix/whatever. Here’s the job. If there’s any extra work that crops due to any unforeseen we will agree a price before you do anything. When can you do it? I can pay in cash when you’ve finished the job and I’m happy with it.

    That’s it.

    Mr_C
    Free Member

    One of the ones who didn’t show was recommended to us, the one that didn’t bother calling back was the only one on Check-a-trade in my area.

    I’ll have a look at the buywithconfidence site and see if can get any joy through that.

    murf
    Free Member

    For balance, I’m a sparky and I’m almost OCD like in my timekeeping and attendance!
    Poor timekeeping from anyone in any job above the age of 16 is just rude and ignorant!

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Sorry to hear this but I am afraid it’s the way it’s done – I only use trades people who I know & they know me, they don’t waste my time & I don’t waste theirs.

    Our plasterer was a friend of the family.

    Why would you pay a day rate for a tradesman?

    The original agreement was “it might take 3 if we do the fetching/mixing/PVA, more likely 4, 5 if something goes wrong in the living room” as the artex looked a bit dodgy so was going to get 2-3 coats of PVA.

    He then dragged out what was a 3 day job (and he could have finished Wednesday lunchtime if he’d tried), to the full 5 days, despite us doing more hours than he did (we eventually did all the PVAing in the evenings, mixed plaster, filled his hawk, cleaning up etc), and nothing going wrong.

    The electrician on the other hand was great, we were in a hurry so were happy to take the first quote we got if he started on Monday, the quote was reasonable (within about 10% of what we’d budgeted), and he even apologized for being late on a couple of days despite it being a fixed price job.

    iolo
    Full Member

    I hope he was very cheap. Did he do a good job?

    cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    All at the same time I’ve been dealing with a plumber, electrician, painter, carpenter, carpet fitter and garage door fitter!

    It’s taken a massive amount of my time and has also involved a complaint to the head office of a major diy retailer whose mistakes and crap quality products have meant that one tradesperson spent more time in their store than at my home. I got a result though and he’s not out of pocket.

    Overall though I’ve been happy with the work carried out and only complaint was a bit of poor communication from one tradesperson. I pass on my compliments and feedback.

    mildbore
    Full Member

    Mansfield? Shacklocks impressed us with their bid for our new central heating, punctual, competitive. Didn’t use them in the end cos we went for someone a bit more local,bloke called Peter Taylor who you can Google too. He was reliable and did a decent job

    windyg
    Free Member

    I like bad tradesmen, it ends up getting me more work. I keep in contact with people, turn up on time, do what I’m asked to do and break down all work down for them to see what has been done. When I charge a day rate they get 8 hours work no messing about.
    Recently pick up a job at a very large property worth a few million, they had been through a lot of gardeners as they as they all took advantage knowing the owner was wealthy, I just charge everybody the same no matter who they are.

    IA
    Full Member

    I like bad tradesmen, it ends up getting me more work. I keep in contact with people, turn up on time, do what I’m asked to do and break down all work down for them to see what has been done

    I’d also add to my list “someone that’s busy” – busy folk that are keeping themselves in a lot of work tend to be good at it – they’re busy for a reason!

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I hope he was very cheap. Did he do a good job?

    Celings are Ok, a few poor bits but they’re big ceilings, with quite deep artex so it was never going to be easy/perfect.

    He was too lazy to unscrew the light fittings so we then had to chip away the plaster around them, poly filler and sand then fit new ones.

    He made up the plaster for filling the electricians chases too runny, then added PVA, net result is it’s sagged/run down the walls and set so rock hard it’ll never sand. Had enough so we’re just putting big bits of furniture against the worst bits and avoiding up/down lighting the bad bits.

    griptool
    Free Member

    You can fit the boiler yourself apart from making the connection to the gas.

    No you can’t.

    You are not allowed to work on any gas fitting (eg, fit gas pipework or appliances for others to commission) unless competent (assessed and registered) to do so.

    Be safe out there,,,, lol

    rone
    Full Member

    This is my world. I’m more than happy to pay whatever they want but there is always some issue with not turning up, not returning calls or shoddy work.

    Why doesn’t supply and demand squeeze the bad ones out?

    In any other line of work you wouldn’t get away with it.

    cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    It goes without saying that a refreshment tray was left with kettle, decent instant coffee, tea bags, squash and masses of quality biscuits. 😀

    natrix
    Free Member

    It goes without saying that a refreshment tray was left with kettle, decent instant coffee, tea bags, squash and masses of quality biscuits.

    This week my roofers went off with four coffee mugs and the tea tray, quite wtf they want with it all I don’t know………. 👿

    cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Blimey! I’d ask for it back or reduce the bill. 🙂

    glasgowdan
    Free Member

    Definitely get a recommendation. The so called third party rating sites make their money from the traders who often have power to remove bad feedback so it’s all meaningless. Same goes for some more official trusted directories – businesses can take the steps required to get their names in the books, but this doesn’t mean they have to give a hoot about service, as long as they do good work when they get round to it. These sites also don’t indicate you’ll get good value for money.

    esselgruntfuttock
    Free Member

    Definitely get a recommendation

    Stepdaughter has been given names & numbers for 2 plasterers to give quotes, neither turned up or responded when arranged.
    I had a quote from a tiler for a job which he put back twice in 3 weeks then said he actually couldn’t do it at all due to time constraints.
    Had a bloke who came to quote on our conservatory roof, he came, he quoted, said when he’d come. That was 4 months ago & still waiting. (unless he came when we weren’t in cos It’s stopped leaking)

    project
    Free Member

    strange thing is im a self employed tradesman who always endevours to turn up on time, works till job is done, sometimes no lunch break, always returns calls and says no if its a job we cant do/handle/dont have the relevant equipment or experience.

    Have an email, address, a home address, mobile and freephone number for customer contacts, and we do get a lot of repeat work and recomendations off customers some spanning back 15 years.

    But when i go to some shops to spend cash to buy stock where the staff get paid per hour im met with bored ignorant staff who really shouldnt be in customer facing roles,yet somehow they keep a job, we dont work, we dont turn up we dont get paid, its a simple equation.

    Just perhaps some tradesmen as fussy about who they want to work for and decide at the work interview they really dont want to work for you.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    It’s all frustrating but I have some sympathy for the reality of this kind of work.

    A LOT of your time is spent just quoting for jobs that you may never get. It’s common practise for people to get several quotes. On top of that, building etc is very much a ‘can of worms’ type situation where it’s often very difficult to accurately judge what’ll turn up in a job and equally how much time problems might cost you.

    You spend a big amount of time just sorting out materials etc and running around before you’re even actually on site and put on the timer.

    There are some very conscientious tradesmen out there but they can be hard to find but yeah, not an easy job to be able to do in a way that pleases everyone.

    Those trades that leave at 3pm. Maybe they’re off to fulfill a promise to quote for someone else?

    You have to do a lot of essentially unpaid work.
    Good luck getting your work done though

    Big-Dave
    Free Member

    For balance, I’m a sparky and I’m almost OCD like in my timekeeping and attendance!
    Poor timekeeping from anyone in any job above the age of 16 is just rude and ignorant!

    ^ This. I’m self employed and if I can’t be bothered to turn up on time it doesn’t say much about my attitude towards my career. If I’m going to be late I always phone ahead and let my customers know.

    I just charge everybody the same no matter who they are.

    ^ And this. I treat all of my customers with the same level of respect and don’t try to rip off the ones who clearly have a few quid. I find the wealthier customers who think I’m good for value money always end up either making referrals or asking me back for more work. In fact most of my recent work has come from referrals.

    The way I see it is I’m self employed because I genuinely enjoy what I do so I’m more than happy to put in the effort for my customers.

    Of course things don’t always go to plan; I ended up with a scratched eye at a customers this evening (managed to get some grit in it) whilst carrying out a survey and then had to spend a very painful hour completing the survey, setting out traps and bait points and dispensing advice. I couldn’t see straight, had tears streaming down one cheek and was in total agony. The customer was either impressed by my commitment or thought I was total nutter!

    project
    Free Member

    Eg day job next week, drive to customers house measure up/ discuss job etc, price materials and timber etc,write out rough draft etc, type out estimate, hand deliver estimate 2 days latter when in the area, (personal touch there), customer then sits on estimate for 3 weeks, then gives go ahead work planned but being outside, work cant go ahead due to weather, heavy rain etc and power tools dont like each other.

    So keep re planing work for another day, day before visit 2 timber yards for best prices on the day, toolstation for hardware,and gate supplier for gate.

    Unload van and go in.

    Next day as planned reload van, with tools, hardware, timber and gate, arrive promptly at customers house, start work, work till job finished and then return home, unload van and relax.

    Then plan next job, tools check, stock check, write out order for more stock,answer emails and ansaphone messages. relax.

    markgraylish
    Free Member

    You have to do a lot of essentially unpaid work

    That’s called sales lead generation and is the same in EVERY industry. “Work” just doesn’t magically turn up and every industry has to pursue “work”, some of which may not come to fruition…

    kayak23
    Full Member

    True but if you’re just one person then it takes a huge amount of time out of your working day.

    Quoting to dig down in a cellar and do a loft conversion takes longer than quoting to build a website I imagine, plus you tend to be able to stay where you are and not physically travel all over the place in something akin to the latter…

    I visited someone recently to have a look at some floating shelves they wanted putting up and a banister extension.
    Thing is, putting them up was what they said, what they meant was, designing them, planning then, researching materials, getting costs etc etc. All of this I did, as, as you say, that’s how you generate work, but I had to do it in my evenings as they weren’t going to pay me to design and research.
    I then produce some drawings which I email over for them to peruse. A day or so later I realise that other commitments are going to be extended and so if they will wait for me I’ll be glad to help, if not then I can suggest someone who may be able to do it instead.
    They decided to ask this other person and it later transpired that they’d given him the drawings that I prepared to work from.
    Bloody charming… 🙄
    Still…shizzle happens… 🙂

    mark90
    Free Member

    A LOT of your time is spent just quoting for jobs that you may never get. It’s common practise for people to get several quotes.

    That’s just the way it is in a lot of business. I work for a big corporate that spends millions on bidding for work that in the end often goes to a competitor, you can’t win them all.

    When I find a tradesman I can trust and am happy with their work, then I won’t go getting multiple quotes. Get a price and if it seems reasonable then go ahead. The problem is finding that tradesman you can trust, who will do the work, and to an acceptable standard.

    In the first instance though it is a case of speaking to a few tradesmen, getting a ‘feel’ for them, getting quotes, etc. It’s not always the cheapest that gets my business. The quality of the quote, the details, the spec, etc is as important as the headline price in my view, especially as a lot of tradesmen seem happy to give a vague spec and cut corners as much as possible.

    gears_suck
    Free Member

    Simple work ethic for self employed.
    The customer you are with is the only customer you have.
    I always try to think this way. They dont care if I have other commitments. Why should they?
    Show up, work hard, work well, leave no mess, be respectful, drink the tea(even if its horrible) Pet the dog or cat, (even if you don’t much care for them)
    All these things should be genuine and natural.
    If you dont have a deep respect for yourself and feel pride in all you do. Go on the dole and leave the work to those that do.
    If you are rushing to get paid and need to move on to the next job, call the customer ahead and postpone. The one you’re with is more important. The other will wait, or not. I’m only one guy.
    Some people want you to do things that you know are crap and if there’s a chance what they want me to do will compromise my standards, I walk away.
    Stuff like: Can you fit this gas fire I got off my mate. Or, can you plaster over my artex it’ll help to hold up my sagging ceiling. I’ll fit the kitchen units, I just need you to fit the work tops and hob….
    Also, If I go to look at a job and get a bad vibe. I walk away. I’m not obligated to explain myself. If I don’t reply it’s because I didn’t want the job you’re offering. TBH though, I normally tell someone if I’m not interested.
    Some people are just d*cks though and I leave it at that.

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