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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:22 am 
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royaloakcarpentry wrote:
Thing is a 'handyman' has no qualification.....(in theory) so anyone can trade as one.

I know anyone can trade as a carpenter, bricklayer etc but at least you can ask for proof of qualifications.

As soon as someone says....' I can't', then that is the time to not employ them especially if they are working in a trade they say the can do.

£160.00 for a handyman in Kent is overpriced in my books. he should be cheaper than a painter because he has no trade behind him. painters are cheapest of the 'trades', so only fair handyman is £20-30 a day less. I am a qualified carpenter/joiner and charge £200 plus per day and find it disgusting that a non qualified person could be £40-60 behind me.

It baffles me how some people make a living. I sorted out a shower cubicle last week. A tiler had been in done a days work and then said he wasn't capable.....an effing tiler not capable of making good a wall!!!!

Gaawd, it blows my trumpet, it really does. I could rant for another hour pmsl.


With regards to the tiling. I had cracked tiles on my kitchen floor. Phones insurance company. Ins company said that they would send round a tiler to lift the tiles and install new ones. Went out and bought slate tiles. Tiler turns up and says. OH wait a minute slate. I said whats the problem. He says there is no way I am putting slate down. :wtf: :sad:

Phoned insurance company. They said that the company that they hire which is multi national have stated that due to it being slate I would have to pay 127.50 to cover materials. :wtf: :wtf: Insurance company wouldn't pay it.

So goes with a tiler out of yellow pages. He comes round and I explain to him about the slate. His response No problem. It takes a bit longer to install but that is fine.

This questions if the first guy was actually a qualified tiler.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:19 am 
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Thanks for your support. I'm afraid Trading Standards don't seem to have any teeth. Plus he's using their records to support his argument.
E.g My 1st email to the handyman after his work tried to be friendly. Thanked him for coming etc but pointed out the faults and said I'd have to get my neighbour to help me correct them. (I was afraid if he came back he'd (a) make it worse and (b) charge me more money. But T S have agreed with him since that this was not a "complaint" and that I was happy to do the work myself.
I pointed out to them their website said "no room for rogue traders on our list" so I'd have to contact a solicitor. Then they tried to negotiate with the man. I'd told him he was welcome to come back but if still not satisfactory I reserved the right to take legal action. He was "offended" at this and refused to come. He offered £20. I said this wasn't enough so he's withdrawn the "no liability" offer and accused me of trying to extort money off him.
So here's my "cunning plan". I've asked for any records of complaints under the Freedom of Information Act. Then after another firm has rectified his mistakes, I'll negotiate with the local paper to publish an article with before and after pics and warning the public about the Council list. I don't have to name him even. But if he has complaints against him, tell the public how many. And warn that an unskilled man shouldn't charge nearly £200, the same as a skilled carpenter/joiner.

Maybe the others on the list will pressure the Trading Standards to exclude him. He's not in Yellow Pages or white under his trade name. Should this be a warning sign to prospective customers?
One last query. Some of the figures quoted on this page as a respectable fee for an unskilled s/e man seem to be less than the minimum wage if it's an 8 hour day. Can someone explain?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Doesn't make a difference if someone is in yellow Pages or not. My son could put advert in Yellow Pages for carpentry and he has only been in college for 6 months!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Weegie

It is a hard one to comment on. We do insurance work and if you change from a normal ceramic to slate then we would want extra because of the extra work involved. The company we get the work from would only pay for ceramic as that is what you had and was damaged.

So it may have been a qualified tiler who was adhering to company guidlines.

Could be that the insurers were only going to pay for the broken tiles to be replaced. We get this quite often, where only minimal amount of work possible is done to restore to before damaged state.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:19 am 
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I dont get this if you were unhappy with the work then why did you pay him ? No wonder trading standards are not taking it up.Its totally irrelevant what you think a tradesperson should cost or the onging rate etc you agreed the price and you paid him thus confirming the contract.If you were so unhappy with the work then why pay before it was sorted out ?

I get customers sign my receipts confirming they are happy with the standard of work.If there are any problems they should surface at this point.Im also covered in case a week later someone decides nothing is right.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:17 am 
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What would have happened if I'd refused to pay? People get sued for even cancelling a cheque. He offered no receipt to sign. I'm in the early stages of cancer. I don't want big arguments with tradesmen. If I'd complained, he'd have said "I can come back and put it right but it'll cost you £x."
I got caught. I employed someone off the Fair Traders list thinking they were literally Fair Traders.
My only wish now is to warn other people not to make the same mistake. It appears that if you have a problem with a trader, Trading Standards will try and negotiate.But if they can't resolve it, the customer has to take the trader to court. I'm waiting to see if other people have made complaints about this person.

About 20 years ago, there was an outbreak of hepatitis locally. It was traced to a kebab shop but Trading Standards refused to release the name in case it affected their trade. It was only when the public avoided local kebab shops, the others insisted the shop be named.

I also believe in the law of Karma. *It'll come back on you". Previous antagonists have ended up with heart attacks, brain tumours, divorces, car crashes etc. A musical group I was in heard I was going to give notice. So they sacked me with no notice. When the agent saw their new line-up without me, he cancelled their 5 month summer season with 1 month's notice. They had to rush out and rent a shop to get by!

So Life will penalise this man. I just have to be patient.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:25 am 
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Turning the other cheek is ok by me, provided you smack him in the gob on both sides.

Is there a point to this thread, if the Op doesn't want advice from the experts.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:44 pm 
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Since I started this thread, my case has been weakened by ambiguous records at the Trading Standards. I told them I was reluctant for this man to return in case he made the job worse. They apparently recorded "Doesn't want workman to return". I said I'd probably have to get my neighbour to help me - "Can you do this easily?" Yes I replied (meaning 'to get neighbour's help') They recorded "He and neighbour can do the job easily".
RoyalOak - my point about Yellow Pages is that it's easy to advertise there -so why wouldn't someone? Trading Standards have just told him to put his address on his Fair Traders ad. His phones are always on "answerphone".
My main point is that a Fair Trader can be monitored by Trading Standards, do a poor job and get away with it.
I'll let you know when I get the Freedom of Information as to how many times he's done it before. And what action I take.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:00 pm 
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I will tell you why I wouldn't advertise in Yellow pages.......I don't need to. All of my work comes from recommendations. Why pay over 1K a year on something i don't need.

You will find that there are thousands of businesses in England that haven't had to advertise for a very long time.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:41 pm 
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Yorick wrote:
What would have happened if I'd refused to pay? People get sued for even cancelling a cheque. He offered no receipt to sign. I'm in the early stages of cancer. I don't want big arguments with tradesmen. If I'd complained, he'd have said "I can come back and put it right but it'll cost you £x."
I got caught. I employed someone off the Fair Traders list thinking they were literally Fair Traders.
My only wish now is to warn other people not to make the same mistake. It appears that if you have a problem with a trader, Trading Standards will try and negotiate.But if they can't resolve it, the customer has to take the trader to court. I'm waiting to see if other people have made complaints about this person.

About 20 years ago, there was an outbreak of hepatitis locally. It was traced to a kebab shop but Trading Standards refused to release the name in case it affected their trade. It was only when the public avoided local kebab shops, the others insisted the shop be named.

I also believe in the law of Karma. *It'll come back on you". Previous antagonists have ended up with heart attacks, brain tumours, divorces, car crashes etc. A musical group I was in heard I was going to give notice. So they sacked me with no notice. When the agent saw their new line-up without me, he cancelled their 5 month summer season with 1 month's notice. They had to rush out and rent a shop to get by!

So Life will penalise this man. I just have to be patient.


If you refused to pay him he would then have had to take you to court to recover his money where you could have argued your case as to why you didnt pay.But you chose the easier route of paying him but now have the harder route of your own wasted time trying to seek recompense.If you hadnt paid him it would have been his time wasted instead.

Now you need to decide if its worth the wasted energy pursuing this.The time invoved looking for revenge could be better spent looking for better tradesman.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:23 am 
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Yorick wrote:
Since I started this thread, my case has been weakened by ambiguous records at the Trading Standards. I told them I was reluctant for this man to return in case he made the job worse. They apparently recorded "Doesn't want workman to return". I said I'd probably have to get my neighbour to help me - "Can you do this easily?" Yes I replied (meaning 'to get neighbour's help') They recorded "He and neighbour can do the job easily".
RoyalOak - my point about Yellow Pages is that it's easy to advertise there -so why wouldn't someone? Trading Standards have just told him to put his address on his Fair Traders ad. His phones are always on "answerphone".
My main point is that a Fair Trader can be monitored by Trading Standards, do a poor job and get away with it.
I'll let you know when I get the Freedom of Information as to how many times he's done it before. And what action I take.


Where you talking to Trading Standards Or Consumer Direct?
Don't be fooled, Consumer direct are the 'helpdesk' for the Council Trading Standards. Your case may not of even been seen by a real Trading Standards Officer so far.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 am 
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Re paying this cowboy. Here's my previous experience of the law. I was once a cashier for a council in the 80s. A manager complained our barred security window (our only ventilation) was open the max 2 inches. Closing it meant no ventilation. We all started making mistakes. I made an £80+ mistake and was told to "make restitution" as per my contract. I refused and gave 3 months notice (to look for a job). They illegally took the money from my last month's salary. I saw 2 solicitors who said my refusal to pay was also illegal despite unhealthy conditions. (My revenge was to send round the Factory Inspector who ordered the council to put in a ventilation unit.)

Remember I requested Freedom of Information details of any other complaints against this cowboy? Denied! Any info is covered by a non-disclosure order.

The newspaper won't write an article for fear of losing advertising. They may print a letter.

So a solo self-employed man can advertise as "we" and a family-style business, years of experience, can help with carpentry, electrics, plumbing,(no need to mention like-for-like), gardening etc. with no qualifications and very little ability. And if anyone complains nobody will ever hear about it.

How about you guys who are losing trade to cowboys lobbying your MPs for a change in the Law? How about demanding ads must say "We have qualified (e.gcarpenters) or prof trained in....(e.g a plastering course). The rest could be called "acquired abilities". ?

It's only a matter of time before my problem handyman crosses the gran of one of Medway's nasty families. Then some relatives will look for him to explain the error of his ways.

As for me...I have a "trading estate"building firm from the Fair Traders list coming tomorrow to give some quotes. They tell me their carpenters are qualified.

Good luck to all you guys. Thanks for your interest and advice.


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A sole trader can quite easily advertise as family run business or family business, he only has to have his wife help with accounts for that statement to be true.

You can indeed advertise as a carpenter, whilst having little ability. Just the same as the 'guild of MASTER craftsmen' have 22 year olds with 3 years experience on there books!!!!!!! Absolutely laughable.

Not sure what a 'trading estate firm' is supposed to be. If you mean that they have an office, that means absolutely nothing. If you mean that they normally do work for the council, then..............good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:02 am 
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Yorick wrote:
I needed a handyman to install some kitchen floor cupboards. So I chose the only one on my Council's Fair Traders list. His online ad boasted "Family Business with 30 years experience." (Turns out he's a solo s/employed since 2005.)There were several things he "didn't do" like plastering, doorhanging, "not very good at decorating" etc.
He came round to view the jobs I wanted done. Couldn't take up vinyl stickyback floor tiles and lay levelling compund on composite kitchen floor. Getting tiles up "too much hard work". Lay waterproofing over front porch? "Cheap flashing comes off after a year. Lead flashing gets stolen."

Eventually agreed to install flat pack cupboards with worktop (no sink needed)which I acquired. Also to reinstall completed existing floor cupboards against wall I'd shortened and install architrave down each side of wall. £160 for 8 hours plus wood.Turned up at 9.45. No excuse or apology.
Refused to make starting holes for any screws so too many went in crooked. Consequently drawer facias not straight up. Cut worktop over a bag of plaster on floor so small chip out of laminate in corner. Worktop installed square but not cupboards. Overhang wider one end than other.
Instead of taking architrave only halfway down wall to leave space for existing cupboards, cut notch for worktop which he removed from cupboards. So worktop square but cupboards crooked due to small length of skirting board now obstructing. One of his architrave screws came out at 45 degrees through the wood wall face I'd painted.
He went off to buy architrave and worktop metal endpiece. He later charged me £27.50 (retail £17.50.) Then had "no change" so took the £30. (His ad says "no hidden charges".)


Trading Standards said they'd ask him to return to correct problems. I emailed and said if it wasn't done well this time I would take further action as I doubted his abilities. He refused to return because of this but offered £20 (no liability admission) I said £20 wouldn't pay for a 1st hour's work so he should up his offer considerably. He now virtually accuses me of trying to extort money from him on this "spurious claim". I even asked him to bring his wife round as arbitrator. If she was satisfied, that would end it. No reply.
So now I can either take him to Court which would cost me more than the claim. Or I can publish photos of his work on the Internet, which he's told me would bring more trouble than I could dream of!
I've asked the Council for any previous complaints (under the Freedom of Information act.) Any ideas?


The bit ive higlighted in bold type from your original post are the actual complaints you have, the rest is irrelevant.
You cant comlain to trtading standards about how he worked.You also cant complain about him charging you for the architrave as you already agreed a price plus wood.Ok he charged you for the worktop trim :shock: .

You agreed the price beforehand and paid it.If you werent happy then why pay ? You also knew beforehand his skills werent up to much as he couldnt most things.
You really need to chalk it up as experience and move on or it will eat away at you.

I hear what you saying about others getting done but what can you do if trading standards wont take it up ?


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:41 pm 
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You just won't stop putting yourself up on this pedestal!
royaloakcarpentry wrote:
Thing is a 'handyman' has no qualification.....(in theory) so anyone can trade as one

Thing is a Joiner doesn't require any qualifications. so anyone can trade as one.

What theory?

To work as a Plumber - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Plasterer - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Decorator - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Joiner - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Roofer - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Carpet Fitter - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Chiropodist - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Brick Layer - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Tiler - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

To work as a Plumber - No Qualifications required. Anyone can trade as one.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I do the following
Plumbing - No qualifications, but plumbed with my Dad (Plumber Gas Fitter, the older of you will know the difference) for best of 12 years on and off.
Gas fitter - No qualifications [see above] (sub to a Gas Safe Installer and he signs all my work off and makes final connection)
Plaster - No qualifications (small repairs) For larger work I call my (unqualified plasterer).
Decorating - No qualifications. Haven't come across anything I would be wary off as yet, but I'm hoping. And when it does I'm also hoping I'll get the help required from the good folks on here to gain further knowledge and experience.
Joinery - No qualifications. (I do what I feel is within my scope) hoping to learn more as I do more of my own work. (I also do it because I enjoy working with wood). Have done some work I wasn't completely of-fay with but with some help, my ability was there it just needed guidance.
Welding - No qualifications. (But only my own for now, but have mobile kit which should allow me to do repairs when I feel competent enough)
Tiling - No qualifications. Have done, don't any more, there are better tilers than me that I can sub to and still include in my working portfolio as I oversee and check the installation.
Kitchen Fitting - No qualifications. Will do and still do.
Brick Laying - No qualifications. Not my favourite, will rebed and rebuild small repairs anything else I'm wasting clients money and my time.
Electrician - No qualifications. Change like for like, but do commercial work in offices etc. I also sub to an Electrician who does answer all my questions and checks anything I'm concerned about.
There's more I could list but it's easier (and saves having a business card that's A0 in size and has to be delivered by Pickfords) that I just say I'm a Handyman.

We've done the Multi-Trades thing before and as a marketing exercise it's too complicated, whether you class yourself as 'Multi-Trade' or not you'll be seen as a Handyman by the punter.

There are quite a few people on here who ARE Handymen/handywomen/Handypeople (think that covers them all) and whether they have a qualification in their back pocket for one or other trades they are competent and able to cross trades and work as Handy??????? folks.

You're general description of what we as Handymen (etc) do is belittling, you even go so far as to separate yourself from it by classing yourself as 'MultiTrade', SmultyTrade you're a Handyman plain and simple.

I don't separate myself from poor Handymen by saying I'm Multi-Trade, the punters won't get it! I separate myself by my quality and standard of work.

You're showcase stuff is exceptionally good, highly skilled and professional, I'll even go as far as to say a bloody good qualified joiner (but I have only your word for that) and a top quality Handyman!

One of my clients hit the nail on the head (he's in the building industry, white collar side) it makes it so easy for him to say.
"I want that door casing removing from there and put in there, reinstate the plaster, decoration and joinery around the old opening. Fit the door and casing to here and reinstate the plaster, decoration and joinery" He calls 1 person and doesn't have to wait and organise 4 people.

I'm a Handyman and proud of it! You should be too. Our work differentiates us from the Rogues not our title.

Now go get your saw, and take your qualification and skilfully cut the legs of your pedestal, and leave your card hanging off it,
RoyalOakCarpentry
Quality Time Severed Joiner and Handyman

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