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 Post subject: Problem with handyman
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:36 pm 
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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?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:56 pm 
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sounds like a council worker..

as soon as he said i cant do this n that etc you should have got rid imo
he sounds like a unhandy man,

maybe you could findout about if its possible to get a joiner in to correct the problems and send him the bill?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:01 pm 
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i have a go at the council if he was on there recomended list :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:17 pm 
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I can well believe it. There is a handyman on youtube and he is giving out some god damn awful advice at the moment. I guess the problem is that anyone can call themselves a handyman, plumber, joiner etc.


Do you have receipts for the work?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:41 pm 
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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.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:50 pm 
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I have found that a lot of 'tradesmen' haven't done a proper apprenticeship, and have simply learned the trade off another tradesman.

In my eyes, they are also 'handymen', as they have no proper apprenticeship behind them. on the other hand, if they are good at their job, then I dont see why they cant charge what they can get away with.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:32 pm 
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Its the same with, for example, a joiner doing some bathroom fitting/tiling as well. The joiner may be a fully qualified joiner, but has learned to tile by himself.

This then makes him a handyman when he's tiling?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Yes indeed it makes him multi-trade, for that job in a way. On the other hand if he was capable of fitting any style of bathroom and tiles, even up to working within 2mm tolerances to please a top spec designer, then he would be working as a bathroom fitter.

I wouldn't class what you do as 'handyman', and I have seen your website. i would class you as multi-trade. It wasn't a dig at handymen in general. Well ok, yes it was, but the crap ones.

To me that bloke is a handyman.......he can only do a few select bits of some trades.

A tradesman can do all bits. A multi-trade is between the two.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:39 am 
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You didn't get a handyman; you got a cowboy.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:16 am 
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Handyman means he lives around the corner I think :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Do any of you guys live in the Medway Towns? I still need these cock-ups corrected. Also kitchen floor needs levelling compound and concrete porch roof needs waterproofing. Several other things. I was diagnosed with cancer last year and I'm not feeling strong enough to attempt anything that takes more than 10 minutes.
Can any of you qualifies come and give me a quote?

To take this bloke to court would cost more than I'd get back in a claim. A fixed-price consultation with a solicitor costs £100+.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Yorick,

I'm sure you can file with the "Small Claims Court" on line

Fees are low and you can keep track of it on-line.

Look at this link http://www.aboutsmallclaims.co.uk/small-claims-online.html

Write, don't ring, to the muppet again and tell him if he doesnt come round and rectify the issues, you wil get someone else in and bill him for the repairs.

Good luck

Rico


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:10 pm 
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I cover Essex, London and North kent.

I used to live in Kent....hence why i still cover that area.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:24 pm 
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If you wanted a kitchen fitted why not use a kitchen fitter ? A handyman to me is someone who does small odd jobs, put up a few shelves,flat packs change a tap etc.

On another note trading standards can actually prosecute him for mislieading advertising with the "30 years" trading bit.

The regs are here

Section 5 on mis leading actions covers it.

These regs willl catch out a lot of dodgy traders once the public catches on to them.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:45 am 
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He didn't say "30 years trading". He said "30 years experience".

In the first place you used him as a consequence of his being on the council list. Complain to them and at least get him taken off the list.

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