What are your thoughts on this?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by P. Gee, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. P. Gee

    P. Gee Active Member

    Last week I fitted some floor to ceiling MDF wardrobes I made for a customer, total being 3300 wide in three sections and 2300 high. I had them professionally spray finished in white. They look great and the customer said so but, they won't pay the balance as a couple of the doors are about 2mm out at the top which unfortunately isn't unusual for tall MDF doors. I've tried but adjustment has no effect. I know that over time the pressure from the hinge side can help them go completely flat. Any other customer wouldn't give it a second thought because it really doesn't notice, but they are fussy to the point of being ocd. Any suggestions as to how to proceed?
  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Before anything else, take plenty of photographs and record the dates worked, and any correspondence.

    Sounds like they're trying it on, it's nice to get things perfect but 2mm at the top(!) of the wardrobes is in my opinion, acceptable, especially as they're nearly 8foot in height. Are these people basketball players or something?

    Have you done work for them before? Have they been reasonable up until now? If it's a matter of fifty quid I'd be tempted to let it go for peacekeeping, but I suspect it's more like a grand, which if that's the case there's no feasible reason to withhold that amount from you.

    Sit down with them and ask politely on what grounds do they feel justified in holding back such an amount, when the actual reason/discrepancy is absolutely minimal. Do your very best to win them around, as no one wants a bad customer or bad publicity, but if you get nowhere, I'd politely (key word) inform them that you'll be looking to recover costs via small claims courts, and leave them with that (gauging their reaction). Tell them they'll be receiving a recorded delivery letter imminently, you'll see yourself out, and that it's a shame that it's come to this.

    We all try our best to meet so many criteria to get the job done, time, budget, diligence, finish, 2mm is NOT a hanging offence in 90% of instances, least of all 7 and a half foot high.

    Their OCD affliction is their burden, not yours.
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  3. wiggy

    wiggy Screwfix Select

    How much do they owe you?
  4. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    2mm, so 5/64 ″fraction, in a 2300mm door, perfectly acceptable to me,pretty darn hard to see that,they are being over fussy barstewards I say.
    FatHands likes this.
  5. chippie244

    chippie244 Super Member

    I'm presuming you used Blum hinges and if so how many?
    KIAB likes this.
  6. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Hopefully four minimum.:rolleyes:
  7. crazyworld

    crazyworld New Member

    2.300 mdf doors i would never do.b&q sliding system yes.
  8. P. Gee

    P. Gee Active Member

    After the plinth and cornice the doors were about 2000. And yes I used four top quality hinges. I have worked for them before, I even made them a new front door about 4 years ago but they are sooo fussy. The balance is £950 but to be honest I'm inclined just to let it go for my own sanity.
    Thanks for your replies, it's much appreciated.
  9. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    P. Gee likes this.
  10. Do as he says^ :)
  11. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Is that all you got to say...:eek:
  12. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    They don't sound very decent people, stand your ground, that's a fair amount of dosh owed to you! :eek: Good luck hope it works out in your favour.:)
    Rulland, P. Gee and KIAB like this.
  13. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    So the doors are 0.1% out.
    Well within an excepted tolerance.
  14. wiggy

    wiggy Screwfix Select

    If you are willing to let that sort of money go, tell them you will give it one more try, take the doors off and stick them in the back of the van and get out of there.
    KIAB and P. Gee like this.
  15. P. Gee

    P. Gee Active Member

    18mm with 4mm on the edges to give the shaker look. Sprayed with white cellulose lacquer.
    I tried to add a photo but it says the file is too big and as I'm doing this from my mobile I wouldn't have a clue as to how I make it smaller.
  16. Does the 2mm make them catch, or leave a noticeable gap or what is their issue?

    I would have thought the 2mm would not be noticeable?

    Just wondering what their point of view is.
  17. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    I'm guessing it's at the top where 2 doors meet and the 'problem' door is showing a 2mm lip ?
  18. PG, I use this http://jpeg-optimizer.com/ to reduce photo sizes for this site. (Not sure how it works, but I usually plum for 50% comp and 3,000 pixels and that seems to cover all bases, with the photo quality still good...)

    I can't say I fully understand where this 2mm comes in - do the meeting door edges not align by 2mm? Or is one door taller than the other by 2mm or what?

    Anyhoo, this all comes down to what is 'reasonable'. Eg, acceptable tolerance. How 'noticeable' it actually is to someone who is not actively looking for such issues.

    I obviously cannot comment on where it fits in to all this - I'd have to see it in person, and even then it would be largely subjective. I would hope it would be pretty obvious where it lands in the 'acceptable' position - ie: either (1) "No, that is NOT noticeable unless deliberately looked for..." or else (2) "Hmm, it's not 'bad', but it ain't brilliant and I do notice it each time..."

    Ie, if it falls clearly into one of these camps, then the answer should be fairly obvious - (1) sue them or (2) fix it or take the financial hit.

    It gets tricky when half the peeps say "Now't wrong with that" and t'other 'alf say "It's unacceptable..."

    Trying to be as impartial as you can, PG, where you YOU honestly think it sits?

    If you truly believe it is totally acceptable and they are chust being OCD (or arrisses), then almost certainly a judge/adjudicator would also come down on your side - they don;t like unreasonable customers any more than you do - they do try and be 'fair'.

    So, I'd go the Jord approach (post #2) - sit down with them, be TOTALLY reasonable, explain how this matter is troubling and disappointing you, how much you HATE it when a customer is not 100% satisfied with your work, etc... but that ultimately you truly believe it is perfectly acceptable quality and you are as certain as you can be that a judge would see it that way too. Explain further that you simply cannot take such a financial hit, so you regretfully will have no option but to take the matter further...

    Keep an eye on their reaction at all times - if you sense them weakening on their position or being more conciliatory, then pursue that and keep away from the 'further action' bit - see if, instead, you can arrive at a financial compromise - I dunno, a £300 discount MAX?

    I hate unreasonable customers as much as I hate rubbish tradespeeps, and so do most judges. If they remain stubborn and you are certain they are being unreasonable, then act on your 'reluctant' threat - DO sue them.

    It's a matter of professional integrity as much as anything else.
    FatHands likes this.
  19. Tell them the added gap at the top is deliberate - to cope with parallax error at such a height... :p
    P. Gee likes this.
  20. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Give them a £300 discount, like hell.:mad:

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