KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
22nd September 2017
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I had to chuckle at the report issued this week (see below) about what tempts a homeowner to choose one tradesman over another.
I get on well with my neighbours and last week invited those on one side, into my garden to see the problems their trees are causing. I hadn’t expected immediate action so was surprised to learn the following day that my daughter had overheard the lady discussing the job with a man who agreed to do it next morning. As I’d just encountered two local villains in my neighbour’s driveway, I became very worried. The look I’d given the pair must have said it all as the last time we’d been that close they’d kicked dents in a line of cars having just attacked and pulled a knife on a passer-by!
I rang my neighbour, asking how well she knew the men. She’d had no idea about their criminal activities which extend far beyond those I’ve mentioned above. Apparently one had knocked to ask if she needed her windows cleaning!
She resolved to cancel despite fear of repercussions on both of us but was intimidated into paying £120 ‘up front’ when they caught her unawares. Her husband arranged to work from home the following morning and when the men didn’t turn up he said that a lost £120 was a small price to pay for what could be a lucky escape. He left for work and can’t have been gone 10 minutes when the men climbed over his gate. He returned as soon as he picked up my call but became embroiled in the kind of scenario one sees on ‘Rogue Traders’: “There were three of us working” (there were only two – but that’s beside the point)... “Our boss said we misquoted. It should have been £1200 but we were allowed to charge £600. Your wife agreed £450 so you’ve got a good deal.” (She’d agreed £350 for a job worth £150 at most)… “We’re not leaving until you pay up”…
It could have ended worse than it did. My daughter’s boyfriend finished lopping the trees as a favour, my neighbours have learnt their lesson and I’ve been out to buy some strong new window locks, which I should have done years ago.
If you’re choosing a tradesman – do choose wisely!
24th April 2015