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  #11  
Old 1st September 2008, 10:16 AM
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Tony Tony is offline
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You probably shouldn't name him on this site now you have written the above, but you could on the Which? local site and the others that GG mentioned. A "I wouldn't recommend xyz." would suffice.

This is a statement of fact and nobody can argue with that.

Tony
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  #12  
Old 1st September 2008, 02:01 PM
Drolgerg Drolgerg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony View Post
You probably shouldn't name him on this site now you have written the above, but you could on the Which? local site and the others that GG mentioned. A "I wouldn't recommend xyz." would suffice.

This is a statement of fact and nobody can argue with that.

Tony
Thanks Tony - I will do exactly that!

Art is an Enemy" - Roger Taylor
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  #13  
Old 23rd September 2008, 05:37 PM
Drolgerg Drolgerg is offline
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Thought you might like to know the latest: I've gone to the Police & they don't want to know. As far as they're concerned it's already been dealt with (however badly) in a Court of Law so they can't do anything. I tried to make the point that it's a Civil Court & this is a criminal allegation but the plod didn't seem to know the difference. Do you think there's any point writing to them in the hope of getting someone more senior? In the meantime we've sent off our Appeal application & are waiting to hear back from the Court.

Justice eh? What a joke

Last edited by Drolgerg; 23rd September 2008 at 05:38 PM. Reason: spelling error (probably Freudian slip)
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  #14  
Old 13th November 2008, 05:11 AM
rachel123 rachel123 is offline
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Angry Best Wishes

I am absolutely amazed by this story, not to say disgusted, and I hope you are finding some resolution. Not only is this stressful, it consumes you life. I wish you the best.

I have been done over my builder on my extension- half of it was built then he turned up more infrequently. Then he demanded more money to finish it (an extra 12K). We agreed 5K, which I paid, he turned up for a bit, but it still has no roof- what do I do? And he won't come back, won't answer my calls!

What do I need to do to get him to finish this work?
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  #15  
Old 14th November 2008, 12:33 PM
Drolgerg Drolgerg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel123 View Post
I have been done over my builder on my extension- half of it was built then he turned up more infrequently. Then he demanded more money to finish it (an extra 12K). We agreed 5K, which I paid, he turned up for a bit, but it still has no roof- what do I do? And he won't come back, won't answer my calls!

What do I need to do to get him to finish this work?
Thanks for your support.

Not sure I'm the right person to advise on this given my experience, but what you can do may depend on the nature of your agreement with the builder.

If the price he gave you for the work was verbal only it may be difficult to prove but a verbal contract is still a contract.

If it's in writing then it depends whether he gave you a quote or an estimate. A quote is binding & cannot be altered unless it contains specific exclusions such as "labour only" or "materials not included". By law he must do the work specified for the price specified.

An estimate, or a conditional quote, can be added to but it has to be justified - the builder can't just name a new price. Citizen's Advice or which? legal are usually pretty good for this sort of thing.

If he refuses to finish the job he is likely to be in breach of contract. You then have the option of hiring another contractor to finish the job & seeking any extra costs to you in doing so from your builder. I suggest writing to him & telling him that is what you plan to do & give him 7 days to reply before you take further action. Let him know you're serious & don't let him bully you.

Even though this is the law as I understand it this is just theory - my experience suggests that in practice it can work differently. Hopefully I was just unlucky & came across an unusually corrupt & clever builder plus an equally corrupt / incompetant judge.

How big is your roof?! I reroofed our large Victorian house in Sutton Coldfield last year with quality concrete tiles for around £10K - including guttering replacements & some chimney repairs, plus a roof window. Direct replacement slate tiles would have been only another £2K. I think this guy is ripping you off - or he's doing what our builder did & is trying to get out of the job by making it impossible for you to keep him on.

I have found in the past that just a threat of legal action is sometimes enough, although you may eventually have to go so far as to lodge a claim against the builder (Small Claims Court if amount claimed <£5K). When he sees you're serious he may see sense. This costs around £100 - if it goes this far you should try to claim back your court fee also.

The best advise I can give is 1) don't pay for a job before it's finished- unless graded payments are part of the contract. Chances are you'll never see your builder again, & you have the right under the Sale of Goods & Services Act to inspect the work & verify it has been done as agreed before making any payment,

2) ALWAYS get everything in writing & signed, & keep copies of all documentation,

3) given that my experience shows even this may not be enough, NEVER hire a contractor who isn't a member of a reputable trade association. Since our encounter with our psychopathic builder we have only used Trustmark registered contractors & have had no major problems. If we did we would have recourse to Trustmark who can have the tradesman thrown out thus costing them business & therefore money.

Hope you have better luck than we did!

Drolgerg

Last edited by Drolgerg; 14th November 2008 at 12:41 PM.
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  #16  
Old 14th November 2008, 06:04 PM
rachel123 rachel123 is offline
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Some good advice there, thanks so much for that. Didn't know the difference between a quote and an estimate- good to know. Will use your suggestions.

Did you ever resolve your case or have you had to give up?

Is it worth the pursuit/stress in the end? Is giving up just what these builders rely on to get away with it? (I think your builder is obviously a pro at this, but suspect, perhaps hope, most aren't).

Thanks again
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  #17  
Old 15th November 2008, 10:22 AM
Drolgerg Drolgerg is offline
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Originally Posted by rachel123 View Post
Did you ever resolve your case or have you had to give up?

Is it worth the pursuit/stress in the end? Is giving up just what these builders rely on to get away with it? (I think your builder is obviously a pro at this, but suspect, perhaps hope, most aren't).

Thanks again
Np

It's still ongoing. The answer to your question is "probably not", especially as if we appeal & lose again it will be expensive. But I'm now very motivated & very angry. I feel violated. Also he has been given carte-blance permission in a court of law to add my signature to any document he likes & to steal my identity - I have to fight that for my own & for my family's protection.

It may sound high-minded but I also feel I have a duty to stop this crook doing the same to other people. He belongs behind bars.

I don't want to tip my hand as to what I'm doing now - this whole thing has made me slightly paranoid - but I am taking action.

I think you're right about my guy - he's a special case. I think he did bank on us giving up (he's a blatant bully) & that we didn't is why he's resorted to such extremes. I think in most cases going through the channels available will work.

I'm 1 of those people for instance who managed to reclaim bank charges - once I initiated legal action they caved. For non-psychos (although in the case of the banks that's debatable!) using the available options should usually be effective.

Good luck

"Art is an Enemy" - Roger Taylor

Last edited by Drolgerg; 15th November 2008 at 11:28 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #18  
Old 16th November 2008, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drolgerg View Post

It may sound high-minded but I also feel I have a duty to stop this crook doing the same to other people. He belongs behind bars.
It doesn't sound high minded at all. Why should these people do this. How do we know they haven't done it to every other customer they've had? Why should they continue to get away with it?

I have a friend who served a letter to their builder (template of the letter was downloaded from a website, which succeeded in getting their work done). I know you are much further down stream from that so it may be no use, but I'll try to get a copy attached anyway. I am hoping this will be of use for my case (when I finally get my hands on it).

Unfortunately this could take a week as my friend runs their own business and seems to be snowed under. Anyway, perhaps its worth a try when it turns up.

I think you are right, we should use all available options!
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  #19  
Old 18th November 2008, 12:28 AM
rachel123 rachel123 is offline
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Here is that letter (attached) that my friend used on his problem contractor. They rave about it! Only had a quick look myself and haven't used it- so can't vouch for it. Good Luck.

No its not attached as it exceeds the 19.5kb limit for the forum! It's title is 'BlackListedBuilders_Resolution_Step2.pdf' and you can find it at BlacklistedBuilders.co.uk.
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  #20  
Old 23rd February 2010, 01:48 PM
Hughesy Hughesy is offline
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Default Re: Ripped Off by a Cowboy Builder

Hi There
I couldnt help being extremely disturbed at Drolberg's situation. It's blooming frightening that some one could get away with that.

I know you guys mentioned about the FMB (Federation of Master Builders). The problem with a lot of these organisations is that, being businesses they focus on profit rather than good tradsmen.

For an organisation to PROPERLY vet a trader to ensure only quality work they can't just do a few checks when the trader joins then leave them alone. They need to have a percentage of their work picked at random and checked. The only company i've found that does that is Vetted Tradesmen.
I've used them twice once for some minor kitchen cupboard stuff and once for a full bathroom refit. Both times i got quotes from 3 tradesmen who lived quite local to me. They all brought references with them and they seemed professional.

The Kitchen cupboards where a bit of a pain to finish off (i had to call them back three times) but they cam back everytime and it's done now. The bathroom went fine.

The thing is that about a week after i had the work done Vetted Tradesmen contacted me and asked how the work went! - This is unusuall and surely the sign of a company that check its members properly!
Hope this helps
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