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Traders with too much work to care.

(83 Posts)
Quizzer Wed 29-Jun-22 19:26:47

Just waited in for two hours for a bathroom fitter to come round to give us an estimate for an expensive bathroom renovation. In the end I sent a text asking if he was still interested in the job. He replied telling me “not to be so snotty” as he had been busy all day. He said I could make another appointment.
I don’t feel inclined to hire a tradesman who can’t even bother to send a text to say he is not coming. Even more so because he calls me snotty for asking a perfectly reasonable question.
Anyone else had experiences like this?

StarDreamer Wed 29-Jun-22 20:20:20

Back in 2018 I had great difficulty in getting an electrician, though eventually I found a very good one, self-employed. He sorted out the initial problem quickly. As a result I discussed with him an upgrade and he did that and various other jobs for me, and did it all excellently, clearly having an ethos of doing a good job and providing good customer service.

Before finding him though, I rang one and he had an answerphone and although I rang on several days I never got any response, so I gave up.

Another one was a "We have electricians in your area" one rung at just after 9 am and they quickly booked me in for an electrician to arrive by 1 pm.

They rang back at around 10 am very apologetic. It appears that they did not "have" electricians, they had independent contractors on their list. Apparently the man lived some distance from me, and had taken the line that, for the job, which was basically small, he wasn't willing to travel that distance.

Another one was a business advertised under electricians and I rang and a man answered. What did I want doing? I explained, in detail. He said "I'll ask the electricians to see if they want to do it". "Aren't you an electrician?" "No, I'm a plumber, I just answered the phone as I was nearby". I heard no more from them.

Another one, advertised on the web as something like "You know how some electricians let you down, we don't" and so I rang them. "Oh we don't do your area anymore."

But as I say, I found a good one and he came promptly.

He also got other work as someone I know asked if I knew of a good electrician.

Esmay Wed 29-Jun-22 20:23:45

A bad attitude before he starts :
get someone else !

Katie59 Wed 29-Jun-22 20:25:30

Regrettably good tradesmen are so busy they can pick and choose customers, they feel they are doing you a favour by doing the work.
I’m not sure if it works for bathrooms but it’s better to buy a fitted kitchen off a company inclusive of fitting, rather than buying the units then finding a fitter

BlueBelle Wed 29-Jun-22 20:30:20

Well I wouldn’t use him that’s for sure why don’t you go through age concern they have recommendations and they wouldn’t speak to you like that for risk of getting a bad review

CanadianGran Wed 29-Jun-22 22:30:31

We've been trying to get a carpenter to re-do our back door steps for months. Living in a smaller, remote town there aren't that many available. One has given us a quote, but says he can't source cedar needed. Actually wanted my husband to phone around and find some. good grief! We have told ourselves that this year is a write-off, and we should start looking again next year.

Nannagarra Wed 29-Jun-22 22:51:35

We’re in the same club - it’s impossible to get work done, despite the size of the project. (Have had an estimate for a new roof but it’s now beyond the proposed time.) A friend who is a tradesman tells us jobs are put on back burners until it suits. It’s so frustrating.

tanith Wed 29-Jun-22 23:03:45

A lack of skilled people and people having cash to do renovations is what I think is causing some problems. My GS has work stretching into next year and says customers are very frustrated they are having to wait for him to get round to them. He already works on Saturdays to try to fit in as much as he can but refuses to ‘hurry’ jobs and do a less than perfect finish. He tried taking on an extra person but they weren’t up to his good standard, it takes lots of time to price and do estimates of jobs which he now does after he’s spent time with his young daughter in the evenings and quite frankly he looks exhausted most of the time. I’m not saying feel sorry for trades people but there’s more to running a business than just one job.

JenniferEccles Wed 29-Jun-22 23:27:07

There’s no way I would employ someone who spoke to me like that, shortage of tradesmen or not.
Could you ask around your neighbours for a recommendation?

Deedaa Wed 29-Jun-22 23:32:02

I asked a friend of a friend to give me a price for some work round the house and for relaying some paving. He came round to look at it but that was the last I heard. I got a man to look at a leak in the roof, he gave it a cursory glance, told me he'd be back when the rain stopped. Never heard from him again. Everyone just seems to have massive waiting lists.

mokryna Wed 29-Jun-22 23:50:47

If it is any confort, this is not only a problem in the UK and if you do manage to get someone, the price is ridiculous. This was even before last year.

karmalady Thu 30-Jun-22 08:47:26

It took over 6 months for a professional decorator to get started on my interior, I wanted the whole house interior done, no wallpaper and the same soft white throughout. He was so busy and needed to keep his plasterer/builder/private clients therefore my job took another 6 months once he started, stage by stage. I knew he was honest and a skilled perfectionist so did not ask for a quote, which would have cost him time. He was very fair wrt pricing after each stage was done. I paid him promptly and patiently waited for the next stage

It was a very stressful time for me and took a year from when I asked but I am glad I did it and am certainly very glad I did not employ a slap dasher. A good tradesman is worth waiting for. I am also very glad that I bought a new build rather than a renovation project. The builders had a duty of care for two full years and electrics and plumbing are modern

In a similar vein, I am hanging onto my boiler service engineer and my hetas sweep. I book in with the same person each year. I value people who take pride in their work and are honest. I would not like to be looking for a builder of any sort right now. The experienced older ones are retiring and there are not many apprentices being trained

Franbern Thu 30-Jun-22 09:10:14

All good (and even the not so good) tradespeople are absolutely inundated with work at present.

The electrician that our flats have always used for work in our public areas which has always amount to a goodly amount every year decided to give up working for himself as it was too stressful. We contacted another one, whom had been used by several of us previously for work inside our own flats, he was lovely, came over same day, sent us a quote for this work, but when I phoned him to accept this quote could only give us a date THREE MONTHS hence to carry it out. And, we know that he really does want to be our contractor.

I feel very fortunate that my kitchen suppliers/fitters kept totally to the dates we had agreed earlier this year.

Mind you, I would always have been slightly suspicious of any workspeople who would have said they could carry out the work nearly immediately - good ones always have had a good few weeks work in hand.

Maggymay Thu 30-Jun-22 09:34:24

We have just booked a time to have our bathroom refitted
The earliest he can do is December,we are happy to wait as he did our kitchen and did a excellent job.

Sherry1 Thu 30-Jun-22 11:57:03

I must put my 2 pennyworths in as the mother of an electrician. He started on his own 3 years ago and now has a small company employing 5 people. His ethos is that you are only as good as your last review. He isn't and won't be listed on any sites that claim to put you in touch with tradespeople. Apparently, some charge them and only ask for 1 or 2 reviews to be emailed to them. There are no security checks done by the ones he checked. The best way to find a tradesperson is by word of mouth. He happens to be a top-rated electrician so, although he could fit immediate estimates in, you would be waiting around a month+ before they could do the work. NEVER employ a tradesperson who can start work tomorrow!

coastalgran Thu 30-Jun-22 11:58:21

Good tradespeople are hard to get. Some of them judge by the work they have to do and/or the location. Posh job, posh house and demanding occupants equals being given the run around and/or an eyewatering price.

joannapiano Thu 30-Jun-22 11:59:29

Our bathroom flooded, the pipe to the toilet leaked behind the vanity unit, beginning of April.
We called an emergency plumber who smeared gunk on said pipe, this lasted a week. Meanwhile DH pulled all Lino up. We had no flushing toilet ( we only have one bathroom) for 3 weeks and used a bucket to flush, despite having numerous DGC here. Our new bathroom was fitted last Friday, couldn’t get anyone sooner, many booked up 6 months ahead. So many people on our estate are having major work done.

Elizabeth27 Thu 30-Jun-22 12:04:19

Tradespeople can pick and choose the jobs they do so best to keep them sweet.

Mallin Thu 30-Jun-22 12:06:53

What about us who rent? We are reliant on our landlords.
For instance, the unadopted small Close I live in has had no street lights for nearly a year. It’s a reasonable isolated area and truly frightening to be in pitch darkness when getting out of the car after forgetting to take a torch when leaving home earlier in the evening.
Landlord says a lift has to be hired to reach street lights and there’s a wait for one to be available.

Thistledubh Thu 30-Jun-22 12:13:29

Many years ago I needed a roofer to replace lead flashing on my house roof. On reflection I should have been more cautious in hiring him as he had the 'gift of the gab.' Job went OK but I was rather worried when I saw his 10 year old son up on the roof with him! A couple of nights later torrential rain started coming through my bedroom ceiling. Next day I phoned the roofer to tell him and received a torrent of abuse, shouting, name calling and threats ... as I had disturbed his fishing trip! A subsequent roofer discovered a couple of broken slates. I guess it was his way of getting out of the problem he had caused!sad

Treetops05 Thu 30-Jun-22 12:15:29

We had used a local electrician for 8 years, asked last summer for them to do several small jobs (about £500 total. After 5 months I politely reminded them we needed the work done before winter, and he turned up Christmas week. He did 1/5 of the job, said he wouldn't bill till the job was complete and disappeared. A bill appeared which I thought advisory as it was not for the entire job, so filed it. In May we pointed out we needed the work completed, they said 'you didn't pay the bill' and I explained the situation re billing on completion, but paid. After another month I contacted them, and stayed in all week as the would 'pop round after work hours to finish' but never arrived. I asked what was happening and apparently by expecting them to appear when they said they would 'I had exhibited a lack of trust in them, hadn't specified exactly what make/model of an item (not being an electrician) and they couldn't work in those circumstances'...We gave up, called a large local company instead of a small independent and had the work completed a week later.

polnan Thu 30-Jun-22 12:16:45

oh gosh, tell me about it,, since my dh died just before the virus struck, I have been trying to get someone to do small jobs, Hire a hubby! absolutely useless,, and some rather larger jobs,, mostly repair, maintenance, but larger jobs, Check a trade,, don`t go there,, Trust a Trader,, ditto.

I have contacted several men, (where are the women we hear mentioned) make appt. will send quote, never hear from them again,, one man did part of the job he quoted for and then just disappeared... just do not understand the lack of communication..

some of my family, wanting kitchen replacements, bathroom replacements,, waiting.. months and months as up above quoted.

decorationing, from what I see not so similarly struck, does this mean that so many think it is an easy job?

plastering... all plasterers disappeared from the earth.


mrswoo Thu 30-Jun-22 12:17:58

We wanted a patio laid and found a local firm to do the work. They visited, measured up, left us with samples of different types of stone. Once we had made our choice they gave us a quote which we agreed. A date was set for them to start work.
We've never seen or heard from them again.😡

Auntieflo Thu 30-Jun-22 12:21:46

We have booked our decorator. He will begin in March 2023.

Missiseff Thu 30-Jun-22 12:34:13

Yes. Just after I moved house earlier in the year I booked for some quotes to be done for an electrician, plasterer and decorator. Then I got Covid so text them to cancel. Except I forgot one. I was in bed for 3 days & he knocked me up when he arrived. I wasn't a pretty sight, it was obvious I was ill. I spoke to him through the window and apologised profusely for forgetting to let him know. He was fuming and shouted that I could have messaged him. Again I apologised. He stomped off down the drive waving his arms and shaking his head. I sent him a text again apologising. He didn't reply.