can I pay less than agreed?

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sara3 | 17:13 Tue 26th Oct 2010 | Civil
22 Answers
bathroom saga, part 25 :o/

the bathroom in being re-done from scratch. so far I've paid absolutely nothing (they've not asked for anything) but I was told the whole job would take a week to 10 days, and I'd have no water in my bathroom for 1-2 days.

they started on Mon 11th Oct. it's been slow, they've made (cosmetic) mistakes and had to rectify them. there have been 4 working days when no one came. the tilers finished today (lovely job) and I've had to chase up the boss to see if someone will be here tomorrow. he's not sure and will get back to me.

I have had NO bathroom water from Day 1. fortunately I have a downstairs toilet!

so, can I pay him less than agreed? how should I approach this? thanks.


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probably not if you didn't make time of the essence in the original written have got a written contract haven't you?????
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I have an invoice with a breakdown of the work, and a total price.
does it say on there what time it will be done in?
Try it, but if you are a lone girlie they might try and put pressure on you.
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no bednobs, it was verbal.

Kiki, I'm on my own, unless I threaten to set the kids on them!
if it was verbal then you haven't got a leg to stand on....
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thank you woofgang.

and thank you to jeff, or whoever you used to be :o)
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well you registered yesterday and have posted about your friends who have been suspended.
It's a tough one.

What almost all tradesmen do is to be frightened to turn work down even though, if they thought about it, they can really only do one job at a time.

So they take on three or four, and run between them - you can rest assured that the time they were not with you, they were finishing (or starting!) somewhere else.

Without a verbal agreement, you are in a bit of a difficulty so -

Get the guy on the phone, and explain that you don't want the job to drag on any longer. Tell him you want a finishing date from him - and be reasonable based on what they have left to do.

Tell him you expect workers there all day every day until you are done, and you will pay the agreed fee on completion but -

any delays for what ever reason (and make sure they can always have access during the working day - say 08:00 - 17:00 - and you sill deduct £30 per day or part day from the agreed fee.

If he refuses - and if he has jobs on, ne may do, then offer him fifty per cent of the fee for the work done, and get someone else in to finish. the threat of that may make him back down - be firm, and don't be intimidated - you are the customer, he is the worker.

You see, all builders and tradesmen work on the basis that everyone (including their customers!) is trying to rip them off - so they try to get in first, which is why they behave this way.

beat them at their own game - be reasonable, but don;t let them have an open-ended contract or they will simply use you as a 'fill-in' between jobs where they are under more pressure to get finished.

And the lesson? A written agreement in advance signined by both of you with a start and finish date, and a price. then if they start messing around, you can threaten to withod their fee, or part of it, because you have a written contract and you can threaten them with court - usually does the trick, they hate co
It's got to be at least worth a try. The worst that can happen is they say no.
Sara, Jeff registered on the 25th AUGUST - not yesterday.
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thanks Andy. I told him last week that I wanted the shower up and running by last weekend and he said "I'll see what I can do".

you're right, they are running between jobs but it's very frustrating now. I will ring him (again) soon, and be tough with him.

thanks Milly :o)
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gen, well spotted ;o)

oops.. apologies to Jeff (or whoever he..... !!)
I would advise (and have done) any client of mine to do exactly as Andy has suggested.

Be polite but firm ! :o)
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jack, nice to see you.. hope you're on the mend x

I think they've seen me as a bit of a pushover so far (although I have asked them to make changes, and they weren't overjoyed). I'll wait to see if he calls, as he said he would. if not, I'll call him in a couple of hours.
Get your OH or tattoo-guy to threaten for you. Men know how to move men....or give me the number & I'll get a thug to phone for you.
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I don't have an OH, and try to avoid the thug approach!
they're taking the pizz at present - get a bloke to phone with good excuse as to why job is finished pronto, ie returning home at w/e.

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