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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th March 2020


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Minister Jo Swinson has taken a lot of flak for her suggestion that consumers should record their dealings with tradespeople to provide evidence under the new Consumer Right Bill which comes into force in October, but I for one think it’s a great idea! So often householders feel their needs haven’t been met by tradespeople and it’s only when conversations are recorded or requests for work put in writing, that there’s a reliable record of the proceedings. Poor memory, misunderstanding or even mishearing can be expensive.

I’ve used emails I’ve sent regarding roof-work required, as well as a recording made by a supplier when I requested some electrical repairs, to successfully fight my corner when they tried to rip me off. I’m still scratching my head over why a contractor tasked with repairing my cistern decided to paint my dining room wall yellow instead and I’m not going to be caught out again!

And of course, it works both ways, doesn’t it?

Some years ago a carpenter friend spent the best part of a year fitting the interior of a very expensive house on Kingston Hill and never got paid for any of the work. The owner changed his mind so often about the colour of the marble, type of wood etc and even had Tony alter the direction of a sweeping staircase in the lobby after the original had been finished, that Tony ended up walking off the job. Nothing had been put in writing initially so Tony couldn’t demand the money as the job hadn’t been finished… nothing to do with his abilities as a carpenter but everything to do with the householder’s inability to make up his mind! If only there had been something in writing, or recordings of their conversations!

On the same vein, the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers is about to introduce a policy that will protect installers should the manufacturer of the product being installed go out of business or be unable to supply for some reason. So often the installers end up taking the flak when it’s not really their fault, so this is another initiative I support. You can read more below.





Jan Hobbs


6th March 2015

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