澳洲Australia property Dodgy tradesman and othe (non)useful cont

在澳大利亚


I'd really like to name and shame dodgy tradesman and other hopeless contacts on the forum.. but I think that's not allowed? :(

A family member has recently had a few renos done on their house, and I'm astounded at some of the practices that have happened and the blow out of costs.

The latest drama is with the electrician who refuses to itemise his invoice, but at the same time he's invoiced for his travel time, wtf?? :eek:
What rights does a customer have if a contractor refuses to itemise their invoice? And surely they can't invoice for travel time?? The house is only 4km from the cbd.

The floorboards were a total mess.. its been too stressful to get compensation. The roof over the deck blew out to 15k :eek: I actually did the engineering for it and estimated 8-9k tops? But unfortunately couldn't recommend a cheap, reliable builder..

A side issue.. The only job that they've been really happy is the painting. The painter was recommended through a friend who does cash in hand.. Not that I endorse cash in hand jobs as insurance is an issue for electrics/plumbing.. but it goes to show, it's all about "who you know".

Anyone else have any horror stories?  

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Refuse to pay the electrician until he itemises his bills. If he doesn't like it, then let him take you to smalls claims court and see how far he gets then (especially with the travel time rort).

The only problem with the above though is that he knows where you live...

I had one guy in doing some asbestos removal on an ex-govvie in Canberra (i was updating the bathroom and needed to get the asbestos removed). Anyway, the guy came in, dressed in his spacesuit, took the asbestos out and left it loosely wrapped in plastic in the front yard for a few days. I basically yelled at him to get it moved. His suggestion was for me to just put it in the skip out the front - but i know I would've been hammered if i got caught doing that, so i demanded that he take it away and pay to get rid of it. He was just tryign to save the cost of him disposing of it himself...

Another time, one tradesman was in doing some work, and next thing i know, about 4 of his mates turned up and walked in and out of my house and checking out the the job he is doiing. They were from different tradeplaces but they came in together (with their utes parked all over my nature strip, dogs and eskies in the back) and just walked right in, didn't bother knocking or anything and started a mini convention or get together in my hallway. I got a bit edgy when the original tradesman wanted to show his mates my HD television. Hated that immensly.

I think the key to being a tradesman is to have so much gall that you treat other people's homes and your clients with so much contempt.


g  

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G,

as a tradesman i take great pride in my work and treat all of my clients and there homes with a great deal of respect. in my view, when i leave a job behind i dont just leave behind a good job, i leave my name as well. maybe this is why i keep myself and two other tradesman in fulltime work with little advertisement, word of mouth is my best advertisement. (not blowing my own horn, its just how i do business) as for the type of tradesman you have described, i dont know how they stay in business. maybe its because some people take the cheapest quotes to save a few bucks. as they say, you get what you pay for.  

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Hi VB,

As much as I appreciate the sentiment from my point of view I'd much prefer an *idiot home owners, builders and other assorted developers/wallys I have worked for thread*

I think the key to being a tradesman is to have so much gall that you treat other people's homes and your clients with so much contempt.Click to expand...
Spot on GG....don't we just rock? Especially us licensed ones...:p

Ciao

Nor  

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Harry75 said: ↑
G,

as a tradesman i take great pride in my work and treat all of my clients and there homes with a great deal of respect. in my view, when i leave a job behind i dont just leave behind a good job, i leave my name as well. maybe this is why i keep myself and two other tradesman in fulltime work with little advertisement, word of mouth is my best advertisement. (not blowing my own horn, its just how i do business) as for the type of tradesman you have described, i dont know how they stay in business. maybe its because some people take the cheapest quotes to save a few bucks. as they say, you get what you pay for.Click to expand...
Harry75, it is hard to find good honest tradies like yourself, it is for this reason that we in SS should set up a list of recommended tradies.  

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there is no requirement for a contractor to breakdown their invoices? where do you people get off :confused: before the trade starts they should have quoted you a price which is agreed to and then they claim the balance as the work progresses,, if there is any changes or extras along the way this should be negotiated and agreed in writing before the work is done :eek:

and why shouldnt a tradie charge for travel? last time i filled up it cost money :rolleyes:

next time you eat at restruant why dont you ask for a breakdown of the menu the waiter will tell you to go jump like any other business why is the building industry any different :p  

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Im a tradie, and i think it is unacceptable to provide a non itemised invoice. How can the customer know what they're paying for?

On my own invoices, i itemise service call, labour, parts, certification etc. Customers can like my bill or not, but they know what they are paying for

Different for pre quoted jobs though. The agreed amount is the amount to be paid, no need for a breakdown of fees there.

I intensely hate getting very vague bills for my rentals, espescially from plumbers, stating eg. "repair plumbing problem, total cost $300.00".
No breakdown of time, parts etc. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

BTW, you do get an itemised bill at a restaurant,stating what you ordered and prices as per the menu. You don't just get a bill saying "food and drinks, $100.00".  

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sports fan said: ↑
there is no requirement for a contractor to breakdown their invoices? where do you people get off :confused: before the trade starts they should have quoted you a price which is agreed to and then they claim the balance as the work progresses,, if there is any changes or extras along the way this should be negotiated and agreed in writing before the work is done :eek:

and why shouldnt a tradie charge for travel? last time i filled up it cost money :rolleyes:

next time you eat at restruant why dont you ask for a breakdown of the menu the waiter will tell you to go jump like any other business why is the building industry any different :pClick to expand...
99% of other businesses don't(at least not explicitly) charge travel time !
Never mind what excuses they use, the only reason tradies don't itemise account is they rip u off, pure & simple !
Arrogant tradies, especially the licensed variety, I rest my case !!!!! All I say is bring in overseas tradies. We property investors have enough of being PIB (property investor bank) for the dishonest tradies..
Wish more honest tradies like you units4me, put those deceitful tradies out of business.  

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on the move said: ↑
99% of other businesses don't(at least not explicitly) charge travel time !
Never mind what excuses they use, the only reason tradies don't itemise account is they rip u off, pure & simple !
Arrogant tradies, especially the licensed variety, I rest my case !!!!! All I say is bring in overseas tradies. We property investors have enough of being PIB (property investor bank) for the dishonest tradies..
Wish more honest tradies like you units4me, put those deceitful tradies out of business.Click to expand...
sounds like you have been stung badly ,but please dont lump all tradesmen/woman in the same basket ,it only takes one bad apple to ruin the rest but if you dont put the bad apple in to start with then you have no problems ,think about it  

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sports fan said: ↑
there is no requirement for a contractor to breakdown their invoices?Click to expand...
I'm guessing that's a wind up ;)

At the least, the invoice should be itemised for taxation purposes, as GST is payable. Having said that, some tradies may double dip (taking the original GST plus a little more for themselves, calling it GST but not passing it on the the tax office) which is essentially fraud.

A customer may also want to claim for depreciation on renos. A peice of paper stating no more than "$1000 parts and labour" isn't much good to anyone. What was the work actually for?

But most importantly so the customer knows what he/she's paying for - surely that's not too much to ask?  

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Why would it be a wind up?

A customer knows what he pays for. Its whatever was agreed before the work started. There is no requirement - legal or otherwise for an itemised account.

If a customer needs a depreciation schedule that has nothing to do with the tradie. Why would it? Its none of his business.

But if the invoice amount is different to what was agreed on before work started (say initial quote) with no approved variations along the way, then that can be questioned.

As a long time contractor in a previous life i can guarantee there are a lot more dodgy customers than dodgy tradies.  

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We always give an itemised quote (security screens, blinds awnings etc)

The customer knows EXACTLY what they are paying for. OFTEN we get a part job because we have given such a good quote (not just $xx for the houselot) It is easy for the homeowner to say "OK I won't get the whole house done but i can see that the bedroom, lounge and dining room will cost me $$."

As for not charging travel? Well of course we do...it is built in to the price of the job.....same as freight is built into everything you buy. That being said though our total motor vehicle expenses are less than 3% of our income.

Tips on getting a good tradie??? ASK people. Word of mouth is the best way to get a good one. If you are new to the area...ask the neighbour, ask the bloke at the pub, ask the lady at the petrol station anything :) Bring it up in general conversation and people will spill lots of stories :)  

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The two primary reasons for all this.............

Client:

Failure to adequately define the required outcome.....ie scope of work.

Contractor:

Failure to understand/interpret the required outcome....ie scope of work.


ciao

Nor  

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evand said: ↑
As a long time contractor in a previous life i can guarantee there are a lot more dodgy customers than dodgy tradies.Click to expand...
Yep, and they all want 3 quotes but only one contractor can "win" the job.

And they want a fixed price, because they think you'll go slow, but as the job progresses they want additional "bits" done, within the price, extra to what they asked you to quote a fixed price for.

Ex contractor:mad:  

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normal business practice when you are getting a new computer, tv, car, car insurance is to get 3 quotes, then you select best value. Getting your toilet fixed by a plumber, or a hole in a wall patched by a plasterer is no different ;)

a quote forms a fixed price contract between client and contractor.. if your getting a contractor to do the work and then invoice you.. your leaving yourself open to getting invoiced unfair claims and disappointment :eek:


an invoice should definatly include a descritption of the work performed but there is no need to break it down itemising costs of materials, labour, profit o'heads etc

maybe us builders and tradies could start a thread warning us about sh#thouse clients that dont pay???  

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It's called Karma

As both a tradie and an investor often see arguments arising from both sides.
I am in the fortunate position, to be able to guage each of the trades, and ascertain whether or not they make th cut.
I have a little back book FULL of contacts. Some have a star, some have a black dot.
As others have said, the best way to secure a good tradie is through word of mouth, AND, being a good client. It works both ways guys.

A poster mentioned that it is acceptable to get three quotes, or shop around, same as it is when you are buying a car or computer. However, remember in these cases it is YOU doing the travelling. Your time spent.

To enlighten some investors who feel hard done by, here is a little scenario-

As a builder, i am asked to quote a bathroom renovation, i go to my client, on time and well dressed. We meet and i ask for a plan or scope of work, something to let me know what the client wants. Find out they have nothing, so i spend the next 1.5 hrs sitting down, discussing requirements, and drafting a scope of works and drawing a set of plans complete with measurments. Then question time,
Builder- What type of tiles do you want
Client-Don't know havent really looked
Builer- What tapware
Client- Um Don't know-could you make some suggestions
Builder -Sure, look i'll put together some samples and forward the Scope and Quote
Client - great, thank you!

At this point i have already, spent over 2 hours discussing requrements and TRAVELLING to the customers house. I will then spend another 2 hours, drawing plans, securing prices, and putting a proposal together.
ALL DONE AFTERHOURS, and I am still to see a cent at this stage.

Then the customer uses all of my ideas, and plans etc to secure another quote:eek:

So my question to all investors is this-

How many of you would be willing to work for your employer/company, for 4 hours every week for absolutely no pay!!
Contractors do it every week.

My advice,
Contractors/Tradies- Put youself in investors shoes, and help them achieve their goals. Without good customers, you cease to exist. PERIOD.


Investors- Don't muck your trades around. If you are serious, do your homework. Have a plan drawn up. It's not hard, get some graph paper, draw what the "room" looks like now, and what you want it to look like.
Find out what finishes you like, cost and where to find them etc
Treat your trades right, and you will find, good trades will be at your disposal.
Us trades do talk alot on site, and are often discussing clients who require jobs done. All of my "GOOD" customers have access to those trades with a star next to them in that little black book. The rest go fishing, and end up with a trade who has a black mark:rolleyes:

Last tip- If your trade has spent hours discussing your project, giving you ideas, quoting etc, and misses out on the job, or you are tyre kicking, or just changed your mind! A simple bottle of wine, or some beers to acknowledge the work they have done, will go a looooong way to ensuring they will be around if and when you need them next time:)

All boils down to respect for each other

Karma Baby Karma!


Adrien

www.mametconstructions.com.au  

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kudos Gecho.

Nice post.  

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gecho1 At this point i have already said: ↑
www.mametconstructions.com.au[/url]Click to expand...

you hit the nail right on the head  

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gecho1 said: ↑
As a builder, i am asked to quote a bathroom renovation, i goto my client, on time and well dressed. We meet and i ask for a plan or scope of work, something to let me know what the client wants. Find out they have nothing, so i spend the next 1.5 hrs sitting down, discussing requirements, and drafting a scope of works and drawing a set of plans complete with measurments. Then question time,
Builder- What type of tiles do you want
Client-Don't know havent really looked
Builer- What tapware
Client- Um Don't know-could you make some suggestions
Builder -Sure, look i'll put together some samples and forward the Scope and Quote
Client - great, thank you!

At this point i have already, spent over 2 hours discussing requrements and TRAVELLING to the customers house. I will then spend another 2 hours, drawing plans, securing prices, and putting a propasal together.
ALL DONE AFTERHOURS, and I am still to see a cent at this stage.Click to expand...
This scenario nicely epitomises what work is like in just about every service industry. My company does HR consulting work, and it's pretty much the same deal.  

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on the move said: ↑
99% of other businesses don't(at least not explicitly) charge travel time !
Never mind what excuses they use, the only reason tradies don't itemise account is they rip u off, pure & simple !
Arrogant tradies, especially the licensed variety, I rest my case !!!!! All I say is bring in overseas tradies. We property investors have enough of being PIB (property investor bank) for the dishonest tradies..
Wish more honest tradies like you units4me, put those deceitful tradies out of business.Click to expand...
on the move,

we already have a lot of "overseas tradies" next time you need some work done give them a go you will soon come to appreciate the arrogant licensed ones.  
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