Gransnet forums


Tradesmen? I’m sick of them!

(30 Posts)
Greyduster Wed 17-Nov-21 10:38:01

Is it just me who feels they must have the words, “tradesmen, please feel free to let this person down, and ignore them when they phone you to find out why” tattooed on their forehead (yes I know it would have to be a pretty big forehead - they could, at a pinch, let it trickle down onto my cheek….)? We were suppose to have a gas fitter come to service the fire in our living room today. He gave me a time, and a date, and he hasn’t turned up! When I telephoned him to find out what was going on, I had to leave a voice message. That was two hours ago and he hasn’t come back to me with either a call or a text. This is the third gas fitter who has let me down without a word of explanation. Why?? Apart from anything else it’s so b****y rude!! I have a lot going on in my life at the moment that I could legitimately dissolve into a howling mess about, so why is a nothing issue in the big scheme of things threatening to reduce me to tears? Sorry. I just needed a rant…. I am now off to make an effigy to stick pins in!!!

Scones Wed 17-Nov-21 10:47:48

That is very frustrating. We've found this too but have hit on a run of luck and if you could tap into it where you are it might be a huge help.

By word of mouth we found a guy to do our electrics who is 'semi-retired'. He's in his 70s and only does a bit of work now and then so he is always available in an emergency, he's seen it and done it all and he is such a good fellow to deal with. Reasonable prices too (along with plenty of tea, biscuits, sarnies and a beer or two).

He recommended a plumber, gas fitter, fencing chap and plasterer to us...all of whom have retired but do bits and bobs for beer money.

All these guys are fantastically reliable and good company.

Older tradesmen are the way to go!

Namsnanny Wed 17-Nov-21 12:04:37

Rant away Greyduster?
We started contacting plumbers in Jan and its taken until now to find one who will turn up (yesterday as it happens). Same experience as you had from the others.
Now if I can just find an LPG gas fitter to repair our fire.....?
(Its been a number of years in the trying)

FannyCornforth Wed 17-Nov-21 12:05:35

Ah Scones, you could be describing my dear husband there. That’s exactly what he used to do until he had to ‘properly’ retire a few years back.
All his customers loved him.
The day that he sold his van was a sad one. sad

Maya1 Wed 17-Nov-21 12:11:12

How annoying Greyduster.
We have british gas Homecare. We pay monthly but they service the boiler and Appliances every year. They have an offer on at the moment for new customers. You can get your electrics,and plumbing added as well. You don't have to have your energy supply with them.
Just a thought.

Katie59 Wed 17-Nov-21 12:26:49

The problem with older semi retired plumbers and electricians is that their qualifications get out of date, it costs a great deal to get them updated, not to mention insurance and transport.

M0nica Wed 17-Nov-21 13:56:20

We use workmen who as far as possible live in the village and who we have used regularly over 25 years. There has been the occasional mishap, but generally when you are on first name terms with people and see them in the Co-op regularly, they are reliable.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 17-Nov-21 14:05:00

We use local people and find them very honest and reliable. So much of their work comes from recommendations. The old country ways and values are alive and kicking round here .

Cabbie21 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:05:54

When we moved here we needed a Gas Safe engineer, and had two bad experiences- one did not turn up, one turned up and made notes but did not send a quotation, and the third was pure gold. He also out us in touch with other reliable tradesmen. Sadly he died far too young, but his business partner has continued to be as good. Yes, sometimes he has an emergency which takes priority, or a job overruns so he lets us know he is going to be late. But such people are rare.

Jaxjacky Wed 17-Nov-21 14:36:10

Similar MOnica except ours drink in our local pub, most of the trades are covered, if it’s something out of their sphere, they’ll know someone. As MrJ is a ceramic tiler it’s often done as one favour for another too.
None of which helps Greyduster and I’m stuck to offer ideas as it so depends on where you live! Have you tried TrustMark Grey? Detailson the AgeUK website.

Hetty58 Wed 17-Nov-21 14:36:39

Luckily, there are two gas fitters and an electrician in this road, so, of course, I rely on them. They're hardly going to let down a neighbour.

I had to laugh when one turned up to service the boiler, though. He'd actually driven his van - from number 20 to number 55! (I can see his house from my window.)

Elizabeth27 Wed 17-Nov-21 15:40:44

Age UK has a business directory of trusted tradespeople, if there is not one in your area they may have a handyman service or you can use the TrustMark tool on their website.

Dickens Wed 17-Nov-21 15:41:08


... ours is similarly unreliable. He doesn't communicate, and has a habit of just turning up when it's convenient for him. But not for us.

They are in high demand, they know it, and make their own rules.

But it can really mess up your day.

Riverwalk Wed 17-Nov-21 15:53:52

I recently had a new gas boiler installed - at the appointed hour of 07.30 my buzzer rang and I breathed a sigh of relief.

I just knew that someone who turns up dead on time is going to do a good job, and he did!

Commiserations to Greyduster - I hope you get sorted soon.

grannysyb Wed 17-Nov-21 16:35:06

I found an excellent plumber on Nextdoor. Reccomended him to a friend, who was delighted with him

Greyduster Wed 17-Nov-21 16:39:05

I feel stupid for going off the deep end. We rang him again and he still didn’t answer, so DH got in touch with someone who has said he will come next week. Now where have we heard that before? Thank you for your replies.

Lollin Wed 17-Nov-21 17:31:12

I hate having to deal with tradesmen. Just when you think you have found someone reliable who can do a half decent job it turns out it wasn’t even half decent and getting them back is impossible. I’ve tried the older tradesmen route and both times ended up with men who treated it as a place to escape doing what they know and enjoy but taking over the garage as if they are at home. In both cases I ended up with an image of their better half enjoying them getting out and earning money too.

Shandy57 Wed 17-Nov-21 17:45:19

Good trades people around me in rural Northumberland are like hen's teeth and everyone eventually hears who are the goodies/baddies. When we moved up here twenty years ago we were targetted by the baddies, we had a few bad and expensive experiences. It seems some of the trades accept every job to keep 'outsiders' out, but then can't fulfil the work for many months. I've been waiting for the gutter man since April, I'm giving up on him now.

I've just purchased a bungalow and the vendor left me a file of the works she had carried out. I'd never heard of the roofer she'd used, but I've now been told he is on the run from his creditors in Spain! Not great news as the guarantee is invalid.

Since my husband died I have managed to find a few reliable and trustworthy trades people I trust, I feel very lucky. Unfortunately my roofer is retiring next April, he's fixed the roof and I've now asked him to come and replace the gutters which are brittle white plastic and at the end of their life.

Kate1949 Wed 17-Nov-21 17:54:52

Oh how I agree. We posted on that neighbourhood recommendation site asking for a decorator to do our stairs. One got straight in touch, came around. gave us a quote which we accepted. He said he could do it in 4-6 weeks time. This was in September. When the 6 weeks had passed, we contacted him and he said 'oh I can't do it now until the second week in December.' So I texted him to say yes that's fine. No reply. Nothing. We don't know if he's coming or not. angry

MerylStreep Wed 17-Nov-21 17:56:44

My OH is still doing these jobs for neighbours and friends.
Just this last Saturday my friend/ next door neighbour called in and one conversation led to him moving her bedroom radiator. He had moved 2 others in the summer.

Shandy57 Wed 17-Nov-21 18:01:33

I've just remembered I'm still waiting for the joiner to board the loft - in August he said he was coming soon!

Happygirl79 Wed 17-Nov-21 18:38:02

So many tradespeople seem to think they are master craftsmen then overcharge, bodge the job when they decide to turn up and break something else in your home whilst there.
I've truly lost faith in the lot of them to be honest
They should all be renamed bodge and scarper limited cos you'll never hear from them again of you complain

Sago Wed 17-Nov-21 18:56:50

Greyduster I feel your pain.

We recently found a great guy, jack of all trades who is really good, reasonably priced and pleasant to have around.

My neighbour came round when she saw him doing a small roofing job for us and hijacked him, she has since passed his details on to all her friends.

He does still come to us possibly because I do a mean bacon butty but may have to start doing champagne breakfasts, 3 course lunches and dinner to go.

cornergran Wed 17-Nov-21 19:48:07

Don’t feel stupid greyd, the deep end is there for a reason, saves resorting to violence shock.

We’ve had similar experiences. It infuriates me beyond reason. It takes two minutes to phone, less to text. There are good tradespeople out there. A plumber phoned to say she would be just ten minutes late yesterday. The shock lasted all day here grin. Hope the next one is better behaved.

Mollygo Wed 17-Nov-21 20:13:27

Bad experience with Corgi, non-arrival, ordered wrong parts took over a fortnight to fix the boiler so we are looking for someone else. The reason we moved from British Gas was inability to arrive for appointment and servicing of a boiler which broke down within the week after they came.