Fellow tradespeople.....I need some advice!!

Discussion in 'Job Talk' started by Missk, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Hi Missk.

    There are, unfortunately, some people from 'that' profession who seem to think they dictate the laws and rules.

    I suspect a lot of it comes down to their job often involving the issuing of 'threatening' letters on behalf of their paying clients, which are successful in achieving their aims - even tho' they didn't have any actual valid case to act on. The mere threat is enough.

    You have a superb paper-trail from the sounds of it, and you have wisely kept it that way. So, at the moment, you issued a quote for a 'full' job, they trimmed it down saying they'd tackle some of the tasks themselves, you issued a revised quote and they accepted this? Cooool.

    When you look through the details of the revised quote and compare it with what you have actually done up until now (and what you intend to do to finish it), do they correlate closely? Is there any way they can dispute what an item on there is? Is it crystal clear?

    If so, I would be tempted to do as Phil says - fulfil your part of the agreed contract so that - as you've said yourself - you will have done everything that was expected of you. (If this situation does become murky, it will be a huge added complication if they can start claiming "you walked off the job" or "didn't complete the agreed works" or "was unreliable" - I fear they are the types who will try it all on. In fact, they may even be hoping you do this...)

    Reply by email, attaching 'for their reference' the revised quote you both agreed on before you started the work. Mention it was all agreed 'as per your acceptance by email dated...'. Inform them your intention now is to (a) fulfil that revised and agreed contract, (b) expect full and prompt payment as per your usual terms and agreed at the beginning, and (c) that you will then enter into discussion about further works. (And, of course, you'll have the option of just walking away...). I'd finish by giving a date on which you will turn up to do this - make it as soon as possible.

    At the same time find out which legal organisations they belong to (does this couple have a website, or letters on their headed paper?), and make enquiries about the 'code of conduct' all their members should abide by. You can even start making discreet enquiries into this, giving an outline of the scenario to the organisation but not so much detail that they could work out who you are referring to. Also explore what type of Ombudsman overlooks these legal organisations - there has to be someone out there to whom complaints about solicitors can be levied.

    Keep the paper trail going! If you stick to doing the 'right' thing and also stick to your guns, I think there will come a point when they will realise they haven't a leg to stand on, and to pursue the issue would land them deeper and deeper in the poo...

    Don't give any inkling at the moment that you are looking 'behind the scenes' at the moment - just play it innocent and by-the-book.
  2. PC Works

    PC Works Member

    Would be good to get an update. How did things turn out OP? I used to work in the legal field so I'm not too surprised that a law firm is trying to intimidate you. From the sounds of things you've been very sensible in keeping a paper trail.

    Do you use a contract at all?
    KIAB likes this.
  3. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    Each active solicitor in the UK is registered with the SRA (SRA.org.uk) and can only act on particular areas of Law. Even if it is their own personal case, they cannot get their firm involved in any areas of law they are not regulated in. I would check they are covered for civil disputes.

    In any case in would suggest you point that you put in a complaint to the SRA claiming that the individual solicitors are acting without integrity. Having a question on your integrity as a solicitor on their professional record is the last thing any solicitor wants

    SWBUILDERS Active Member

    You have to give them a 7 day notice that work will cease if you stop before that you will be in breach of contract, it's covered in the housing and regeneration act being solicitors they prob know that and you walking off is what they are hoping for
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.

  5. Yes.

    But they broke the contract.

    All the suggestion is, is to clarify the contract before continuing. As long as it is in writing, with reasoning, taking into account other sage advice, the intention is to put pressure back on them and to show not intimidated.

    Rules are there for both sides.
  6. Yes, but the idea is for MissWhatsit to act in a way that her integrity cannot be questioned.

    I really hope this has gone well - it should have done if she made it clear she was going to fulfil the contract, and expect payment at the end on this basis. I'd love to see this go to court if these arrisols didn't pay up - the judge would look very unfavourably on them.

    SWBUILDERS Active Member

    No they haven't broken a contract they have negotiated if you walk off a job you are deemed to have broken a contract be it verbal or written the correct procedure to follow is set out in the act previously mentioned

  8. Read point 8 of the 1st post.

    You suffer intimidation if you want.

    They broke the contract. Needs clarifying.

    Contracts work both ways.

    Continuing work after their breach without clarification puts you in weaker position, because it is assuned you accept those changed terms.
  9. HappyHacker

    HappyHacker Active Member

    I worked with a bricklayer who had been building some garden walls for a client. When finished he went to the client and asked for the money. The client said "I know how to deal with people like you. Here is 2/3 of the money we agreed. I am a barrister, if you want to go to law for the rest of your money it will cost you a fortune and take forever". The bricklayer went back to his mate who was putting the tools in the van and told him what had happened. His mate said he needed a few minutes to tidy up. A few days later they were driving past the clients and there was a Dynarod van in the drive. The bricky says to his mate "They've got a problem with a drain", his mate replied "They have got a problem with all their drains, I put cement down them all, I knew you would not do anything".

    Good luck with your case, we do not need idiots like those trying it on, work is hard enough without aggravation. The advice given above is good, both regarding CAB and reporting them to the solicitors registration organisation.
  10. goldenboy

    goldenboy Super Member

    When it comes to disputes like this, the key decision is to remove any emotion from it.

    There are customers about who do this again and again.

    I have been stung in the past and just about every tradesman I know has too.

    I was "engineered" off a job in London once so the project manager could get his joiner in instead. Not being allowed to work at short notice, missing materials, change of spec etc

    That ended up getting very complex. And the legal threats were very very heavy. First salvo from them was that I owed them £7.5k. Bizarre as I had taken no deposit. I countered with a claim that they infact owed y But through an excellent book-keeper and a mate helping with the legal side
    it was resolved. I ended up missing some of my profit but still was happy with the outcome.

    Some customers seem to regard tradesmen as like Amazon these days. They want everything at short notice, for the cheapest possible price and are happy to "return" work if they change their mind.
  11. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Did a job few years ago big extension and customer kept adding extras on, being a bit soft i did them at the end of the job i gave him a invoice including extras, he said i will pay you the original quote but not the extras, his reasoning was i should of known what he needed at begining of job, and if i take him to court he will win because he has more money than me, total w##$er
  12. furious_customer

    furious_customer Active Member

    So, a question about this scenario - if this happened to an electrician, would the likes of NICEIC or Select become involved on behalf of their member?
    If so, is there any regulatory body that other trades could register with that would do background checks such as ensuring that the tradesperson is insured etc. and also provide them with codes of conduct for situations like the OP's and ultimately legal support if required?

    And if not, why not?
  13. Fatsteve

    Fatsteve Member

    NEXT TIME - GET A DEPOSIT AND A STAGE PAYMENT HALFWAY THROUGH JOB - then if the job turns to ****** attitude **** EM, A lot of chisellers out there !
  14. Fatsteve

    Fatsteve Member

    Load of cowboys out there but far more back peddling cheapskates waiting to take advantage after job has started.
  15. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    Solicitors think this is normal life do not take it personal
    Finish what you agreed get paid
    If they want pay new situation the material arwe yours take off wall and go
  16. furious_customer

    furious_customer Active Member

    I know this is an old thread and it does sound as if the customer was well dodgy, but I am wondering if it was quick as black and white as described or if there was room for interpretation?

    If the first quote had a line item for e,g, "paint the ceiling" and the customer sends an email to say "please remove painting the ceiling from the quote because I will do this myself" and then near the end of the job they say "why haven't you painted the ceiling" then the error is very clearly on their part with an audit trail to show that.

    Now if the line item was a bit more generic e.g. "make good and decorate affected areas" and the customer says "please remove this as I will do the decorating myself" and as part of the job you move an extractor fan and leave a hole in the ceiling, then it may not be ovbious that filling the hole was part of the "making good and decorating" line item.

    It did sound as if the customer was throwing their weight around, but I wonder if they were also attempting to exploit poor communications?
  17. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    Sorry to hear about that, can be horrible.

    I heard of these people: https://legalbeagles.info/ (only heard of on radio)

    Also I wonder if you should start researching your clients on the internet. I do and has helped a lot, especially if your ears ***** up cos something just ain't right about em
  18. marwen

    marwen New Member

    I **** do anything properly, Its really make me so shame sometime :mad:
  19. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Copied Spam rubbish.

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