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Everything posted by labrajaws

  1. Yes, I have definitely learnt my lesson about paying deposits upfront to someone I don’t know. I thought it sounded plausible at the time when he said he needed money to pay for materials and money to pay the digger man and grab man. He has spoken to the block supplier and it is likely he will be able to return the blocks but there will be a handling charge. To avoid this dragging out indefinitely with little chance of success, I may just agree to pay the handling fee on top of the other work he has done so far. Thanks
  2. This is what the trader is claiming his costs are, and so far has refused to provide any proof in the form of screenshots, emails or receipts etc: Complete dig off of 120 square metre area garden = £900. 2 mixed material grab loads away £500. 20 Tons of stone = £900. 5612 block paving blocks Various colours are brindle,charcoal and buff =£2220. Other costs of £700 Total: £5200 I know that the dig would cost £250 maximum (mini digger plus operator 1 day hire). His diggerman was only here for 2 hours. Grabs cost £180 each (x2 = £360). I have checked this with the company he actually used. 18 (not 20) Tonnes of stone were actually delivered - I have checked this with the company he actually used. Cost @ £14 a tonne = £252. So his total costs for work done and materials supplied to date = £612 He is saying that I have to pay for the blocks and take delivery of them, even through he refuses to lay them and has cancelled the job before it is anywhere near ready to lay them. They have been ordered from his supplier and delivered to his building yard. Is he right?
  3. This is the letter template I used https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/template-letters/letters/problems-with-services/letter-to-cancel-a-contract-thats-been-breached/
  4. The address on companies house is owned by a lettings company, and his current address is owned by a housing association. The latter is where I sent a recorded delivery letter to this week and it’s him that signed for it, so I know he lives there. I got his current address from a hospital admissions form that he sent me a screenshot of, as another of his excuses for not turning up was that his son had been ill and visited hospital that day. I didn’t ask for this proof and was gobsmacked he had sent it me as it is has a child’s personal information on it. However it was useful to get the address from. the letter I sent this week was suggested by a CAB advisor, who said I had to give 14 days for him to remedy the situation (as he has breached the contract by refusing to complete the job) before sending the pre-court letter, and then waiting another 14 days before starting a small claim. I did change the wording in my letter to request a refund with proof of his costs to date, rather than a remedy to return and complete the job. this was CABs advice: Under common law, when you enter into a contract, both parties are bound by any terms and conditions that have formed part of any pre-contract negotiations. If nothing related to your issue is included in the terms and conditions, or, the trader is not following terms included, you may be able to hold the trader in breach of contract. You may be able to seek a refund from the trader for a breach of contract by repudiating the contract; this means bringing the contract to an end. Alternatively, you may request the trader honour the contract as agreed and seek damages; damages could be for a monetary amount you feel is reasonable to compensate for the breach. The burden of proof is on yourself as the consumer, therefore you will need to provide evidence if the trader is not complying with the terms and conditions. Chloe: Follow the trader’s complaints process. If they don't have a complaints process then we advise to write to them. Explain what the problem is, how you'd like them to sort it out and set a date for them to reply to you. If you use webchat, it's a good idea to save a transcript of the conversation. If you complain by post, send the letter using a recorded delivery service. This lets you track the letter, and prove it was sent and received. An example of a recorded delivery service is Royal Mail Signed For. You can do this in any Post Office. We advise to give them a deadline of 14 days to get back to you. You can get help writing an email or letter by using the templates on our website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/template-letters/letters.
  5. I don’t know the answer to that, but I know that all the other jobs we’ve had done during COVID have gone ahead either as planned or without significant delays. When he refused to complete the job this week, it had got to the point where me and my wife could not take it anymore due to the toll on our mental health and weeks of sleepless nights worrying about the situation. Instead of trying to persuade and beg to him return and finish the job, we took his advice/instruction to “find someone else to do the job” at face value and accepted that he had breached the contract and we would pursue a refund of work not undertaken. We found someone else to do the job (supplying their own bricks and materials). It cost slightly more for them to finish the job (8k) than his total original quote (7300), but they had a team of 8 people that completed the job in just under 2 days. They pulled out all the stops to help us get sorted, as they could see what a mess we’d been left in for so long. They were incredible and we couldn’t fault them or their workmanship. They had a very high feedback score on trust a trader and other sites so this is why we used them.
  6. I’m not going to name him or his company but I’ll just leave some links below... https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/09575986 https://www.facebook.com/mnmpatios2paving100 From what I understand, an LLC has to appear on companies house, and this is the only one matching the business name he uses and that he has ever been a director of. I’ve no idea if he owns his home, I suspect it’s rented as it’s a different address to the one on companies house, which was last updated in 2018. The house he lives in now has not been sold on Rightmove records so most likely belongs to someone else.
  7. Definitely not doing that on a public forum, especially when this is likely to go to court!
  8. Deposit of £4932 was paid on 03/09. Dig on 04/09. Grabs on 13/11. Job cancelled by trader on 17/11. He has a business name but that is dissolved on companies house, so I am assuming he is a sole trader. All quotes and correspondence were via email so no letter headed paper. Deposits paid to an account in his own name (business account?) I have his home address which is where the recorded letter was sent and signed for by him on 19/11.
  9. Sorry this is so long... I hired a local person to install block paving on my existing driveway and garden. He insisted on a large deposit (about 5k) which was roughly 2/3 of the quote, before even starting work. He came on the day we agreed and dug off the garden and old block paving into 2 large piles. This was on a Friday, and the following Monday when he was due to come and take the piles away in grab lorries. However he didn’t come and said he felt really ill and his son was ill too. He later said he had Covid symptoms and had been told to isolate. We had no drive to park on and access to the house from the street was a mud bath, with the kids treading mud everywhere when they came in, and postman and other people visiting the house to do work (moved here July and house needs lots of work) were slipping all over the place. He got a postal Covid test done around the 2nd or 3rd day of his illness and was isolating until results came back. As he hadn’t contacted me whatsoever, after a 4 or 5 days I was chasing him up to see when he was expecting to be ready to work again. If he’d tested positive then of course I would not have expected him on site. If he’d tested negative then isolation would have ended and he would’ve had no reason to not come back to finish the job I’d paid for. However there was a 2-3 day turnaround of test results at the time, and after 10 days I was still none the wiser about his results or plans. My employer expects me to call HR on my 1st day of absence from work, before my shift starting time, and then provide daily updates, including an estimate of when I will be returning to work. I realise being self employed gives you some freedom in this respect, but to ignore a customer for 10 days is totally unacceptable in my opinion. Especially when he knew what state the drive was in, and that we had other jobs booked in straight after he was due to finish. We had some big jobs booked in after the drive was due to be finished, involving scaffolding front and back, and I was trying to juggle these jobs around him being here, and minimising numbers of people on site due to Covid. After about 11 days he must have got his test results (he never did tell me when or what the result was) as he contacted me to say he would be there the next to do the grabs. However the next day was another no show, so I asked him why and he then said the grab lorry had failed its mot and could not come. He then had to contact a different grab lorry company and it was rescheduled a few days later. I had made him aware we were on holiday at half term, and so that week was out and the following week due to double glazing with scaffolding front and back, were not possible for anyone to work on the house. He then contacted me about 3 days before we went on holiday to say he’d be there the next day, and confirmed my holiday dates back to me. I said it was ok to make a start, but he would not be able to work whilst we were away due to no access to power or water (the house being all locked up and neighbours being at work so we couldn’t leave keys). We also didn’t want him around when we weren’t here and couldn’t check what he was doing. He then had a hissy fit and said he’d have to come back 2 weeks later, and that no other customer had ever refused to let him work while they were away! I wouldn’t want anyone doing such a big job while I was away, and don’t know anybody else that would be happy either. The day he was meant to come back, he didn’t show (again) and he said it was because someone at the grab company’s wife had died and couldn’t do the job. I have no idea if true or not as his excuses were so random and continuous by this stage. I asked him to use another (locally well known) grab firm with more than 1 lorry and more than 1 driver and he agreed. However he later contacted me to say this particular firm were too expensive and he would be going back to the original firm who let him down (mot failure). They let us down again on the day agreed, so my wife got the grab firms number and gave them a call. She was firm and to the point with them (no shouting, swearing or abuse) but told them to be here the next day no excuses as they had caused us so many delays. They actually turned up and did the grabs the next day and brought 18 tonne of stone. The trader was happy my wife had phoned them as he said we were backing him up, and had done what he couldn’t by getting them here. We were then told later that the driver had been spoken to ‘like s***’ by my wife and would not be working with the trader again. Very bizarre. Anyway the trader agreed to start the job a few days later but failed to turn up (again). We had had enough by this stage and texted him to see where he was. No response. We called several times and he didn’t answer. He eventually texted to say his van had been taken away by the insurance company weeks earlier and he was out looking for a new van, and that he had an online course that which he couldn’t cancel. We said this wasn’t good enough (we were now on week 6 of no driveway and the entire front of the house looking like an abandoned building site). He then told us to find someone else to do the job as he was sick of us telling him what to do! As he is now in breach of contract, we are trying to get our deposit back, less the dig, the 2 grabs and the stone delivery. We estimate these costs to be less than 1k. He is refusing and saying we owe him money! He is also saying we have to have the blocks which he has ordered, despite the driveway being nowhere near ready to lay them, and us having nowhere to store them. He wanted to dump them on the pavement and I had to tell him he couldn’t do this as it was illegal! We’ve been advised to take him to court to get our money back, and have sent him a letter by recorded mail to advise this is what we will do in 14 days if we don’t get the refund we are due. Are we within our rights to get a refund, as he has refused to complete the job but wants us to pay for the blocks he has ordered? We can’t use these anyway, as no other trader will offer a guarantee on the job with blocks not supplied by them.
  10. We've just had a quote for double glazing the whole house which was pretty reasonable from SafeStyle. Although we are looking to pay in cash, the sales guy recommended we pay via their 12 months interest free option as the guarantee would still be honourable by GE Money if SafeStyle go bust within the guarantee period. We could then pay it off after 12 months to avoid interest payments. I think we'd just pay 1 months interest upon settlement. I wondered if anyone else had taken out the interest free option and if there are any hidden penalties, or hassles paying off the loan early? Also if anyone had a view on the likelihood of SafeStyle going bust any time soon? We are put off using smaller local firms for this reason...
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