Home > Your Rights > What to do if you're Unhappy About Work Done by a Tradesperson

What to do if you're Unhappy About Work Done by a Tradesperson

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 1 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Unhappy With Tradesman Unhappy With

Most people will hopefully never have to deal with an unhappy encounter with a tradesman, but for the few that do, it can be a very stressful and worrying time. If you’ve had work carried out on your home and you are unhappy with the outcome, there are a variety of different routes you can take to try and have the matter resolved. Although they may seem daunting at first, remember that you’re paying someone whom you consider to be a professional to conduct work on your behalf. If you feel they haven’t lived up to their side of the contract, then it’s entirely within your rights to pursue it further.

Take the Personal Approach First

If you feel unhappy about work at your home, the first point of contact should always be with the individual who carried out the job for you. Most reliable tradesmen aren’t going to want their good name tarnished, so they’ll be open to listening to your complaints about any work they’ve conducted for you. If you feel that you can’t speak to your tradesman, contact the owner of the company he or she works for and if they are the owner then your next step would be contacting the trade association that governs your tradesman. If you really feel that you have to take this approach, it’s better to ensure that you know exactly what your contract specifies with regards to being unhappy with your tradesman.

A Good Contract Saves a Lot of Stress

When you first entered into a contract with your tradesman, you should have hopefully put in some provisions there about what happens when things go wrong. One provision should have included the option of either you or your tradesman getting out of the contract if they need to. Another should have been that your tradesman must return to fix any problems you are unhappy with when the contract has ended.

Many people also add in a clause that states that they don’t have to pay until they’re fully satisfied with the job. This is a great way of ensuring that your tradesman is always willing to fix any problems and be available to talk about any issues you’re having. If they aren’t getting paid, they’re going to want to get things wrapped up as soon as they can so the money is in their bank and not yours. Another great aspect of checking your contract before approaching outside agencies for help is that you’ll fully know your rights and know what legalities you’re entitled to through the contract. If you’re unhappy with your tradesman, but your contract has no provisions for that, you could be facing an uphill battle. You can however cancel a contract with a tradesman and employ another if the original tradesman has failed to complete the work to your satisfaction after a specified time limit.

Getting Help from Outside Agencies

If you feel you’ve exhausted your personal contacts with the tradesman or his/her firm, it’s time to look for outside help. You can find many useful mediation points in outside agencies who specialise in helping customers deal with tradesmen they’re unhappy with. Your first stop should be to look for some kind of arbitration scheme, but remember that when a decision is made through such a process, it is binding. You can’t then take the tradesman to court if you’re unhappy with the decision made. Another option is to speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau and ask for their advice. They can often provide you with a variety of options to pursue before you have to go down the road of local courts and large legal costs. You can also speak to a private solicitor if you have one, as this way you’ll be dealt with in a timely manner and on an individual basis. This will cost you though, so ensure that all other avenues have been exhausted before trying this.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
A painter and decorator did a job for me which was to paint the living room, toilet and ensuite. He charged me a day rate of £220 for 3 days. My new born was in hospital so I left him a key and let him get on with it. I came home 1 day and picked up on something I wasn't happy with and let him and he told he'd sort it. When I came home after the 3 days with my newborn I was disgusted with the finish in every room, I could have done a better job. He offered to come back and sort but I don't want him back it was that bad. I don't want to pay him a penny either as he's caused me a lot of distress and I'm now going to have to pay someone a fortune to correct. Where do I stand?
Mark - 1-Oct-18 @ 11:57 PM
O paid a £50 call out fee which was to cover first hour of work to restore signal to my TV. Fixed in 5minutes however one week later problem back and he has failed to turn up to fix. What redress have i got ?
Jean - 20-Sep-18 @ 12:55 PM
I have just been scammed by trades man who came in to fix a broken reeded glass panel at my front door. He claimed he bought the sheet of reeded glass for £220 and spent less than 30 mins to fit it. for which he charged me 80 pounds. I have searched on the internet and a sheet of ribbed/ reeded glass on the internet cost on average less than 50 pound. I am gutted and don't know what to do as he capitalized on my ignorance in the first instance. Who can I report this to? what should i do? I know this is not right and he did not tell me the price before he started working as i was on a work call at the time
Mule - 21-Aug-18 @ 5:07 PM
I had an estimate from a renovating to refurbish my kitchen, which included taking down a stud wall which divided the kitchen from a utility area and toilet. He also removed the small toilet window and replaced it with a much larger window, which looks out on to the garden. Since removing all the above things cracks started to appear in the brickwork directly on the window above and continue to the top of the house, now plaster is falling from the brickwork too. The builder and I agreed on an estimate to include rebuilding cupboards to fit the space where the utility area had been, and when he realised that it would take longer to do this, he asked I pay much more. Because I refused to do so as he agreed to do this, he pack up his tools and walked out, leaving me with an unfinished kitchen and cracks in my brick work. I paid him up for all the work he had done so far, but he has left me with a mess. I sent him a photo of more plaster that has fallen from the brickwork on the back of the house,and he has ignored me. What should I do? Lesley
lesley - 21-Aug-18 @ 10:33 AM
@Bex - give him a message to say that if he doesn't come around to have a look by a specific date, you'll take it to the small claims court.
AndyT - 30-Jul-18 @ 2:13 PM
Hi. We had some work done in our garden. Wanted an area dug over and weed supressent down with pebbles over the top. Was happy at first but now a lot of weeds are coming through, even grass. Everything is coming through thick and fast. It is coming through and not from the top. Paid quite a lot to have this done so we didn’t have to weed as we don’t have time now. We asked him to come have a look and he would do some weeding for us, still waiting 5 weeks later, no sign of him. What can I do as I’m really not happy. Is this to be expected because if it is I wouldn’t of had the work done.
Bex - 27-Jul-18 @ 3:07 PM
Hi my partner has refitted and supplied an en-suite bathroom for a customer - she paid upfront for material sand provided her own tiles to which my partner fitted as well - on the floor and walls - this was back in January- payment for the work carried out was handed over at the end of the job as we always state please pay once satisfied - today we received an email tasting she wasn't happy with the tiling as it wasn't level - this wasn't mentioned before nor have we received any correspondence in regard to this - in fact she has asked my partner do do a cloakroom for her. She has asked that we refund £200 and take the hand basin toilet and shower unit out so she can pay another tiler to redo the tiling which she is paying £570.00 for and then to refit them free of charge as she is very happy with the en-suite. She was only charged £400.00 for stripping the old out and plumbing in the whole en-suite fitting it and tiling ceiling to floor - this was 3 months ago - help - where do we stand?
Bob - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:37 PM
Hi my partner has refitted and supplied an en-suite bathroom for a customer - she paid upfront for material sand provided her own tiles to which my partner fitted as well - on the floor and walls - this was back in January- payment for the work carried out was handed over at the end of the job as we always state please pay once satisfied - today we received an email tasting she wasn't happy with the tiling as it wasn't level - this wasn't mentioned before nor have we received any correspondence in regard to this - in fact she has asked my partner do do a cloakroom for her. She has asked that we refund £200 and take the hand basin toilet and shower unit out so she can pay another tiler to redo the tiling which she is paying £570.00 for and then to refit them free of charge as she is very happy with the en-suite. She was only charged £400.00 for stripping the old out and plumbing in the whole en-suite fitting it and tiling ceiling to floor - this was 3 months ago - help - where do we stand?
Bob - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:10 PM
Abz - Your Question:
I employed a carpenter to fit a door for me and I wasnt happy with the final product, so I kicked him off the job and hired another carpenter to fix the job. I made the first carpenter sign a promissory note promising to pay for any repairs by the 2nd carpenter but now he wont pay.The note didnt have any details on it eg. The total he needed to pay, or the name of the new carpenter and I didnt contact him to say the new work was taking place. Is my note legally binding?

Our Response:
If you’ve had work done at home and there’s a problem caused by the trader, as specified in the article, you should be able to get it fixed - or get at least some of your money back. Whatever the problem is, you’ll need to talk to the trader and come to an agreement, please see link here for further information. If the carpenter is ignoring the agreement, your only recourse would be to apply to the small claims court and let the court decide whether your agreement (verbal or written) should be honoured.
TraderScams - 13-Mar-18 @ 9:59 AM
I employed a carpenter to fit a door for me and i wasnt happy with the final product, so i kicked him off the job and hired another carpenter to fix the job. I made the first carpenter sign a promissory note promising to pay for any repairs by the 2nd carpenter but now he wont pay. The note didnt have any details on it eg. The total he needed to pay, or the name of the new carpenter and i didnt contact him to say the new work was taking place. Is my note legally binding?
Abz - 12-Mar-18 @ 6:48 PM
katieoxo - Your Question:
I had a quote from a so called tradesman, via member of family. I was asked to pay over half of the quote up front, the day of commencement came round , received a way laying call, next day no workman either, then two arrived one stayed for around3 hours, they did roughly 15 hours work between two in one week. The first weeks work was fairly tidy until they were left alone at which time they drilled a hole right through the wall approximatly a foot in circumference, then they flooded my dining room, causing electric failure, the tiles are all higgled and not flat, they damaged my ceiling light but did put a new one in, the paint work is very shoddy running over tiles, a whole has been left round the toilet waste pipe, toilet seat does not fit correctly, sink is only a cloakroom sink ( but fits nicely) no surveyer would pass this job, oh and he miss fitted the floor covering, plus filled some areas with putty rather than grout. And blamed the leak on other plumbers work The chrome pipes are covered in grout and you can see the old colour paint on some of the paintwork. this work took two weeks. the toilet syston lid does not seem to be the right one as it does not fit properly either. All in all very poor fittings & workmanship for the £4200 price paid.

Our Response:
You can see more via the FMB link here which should give you guidance regarding your options. Please do not name builders on this site, this is as much for your protection against being sued for defamation.
TraderScams - 4-Sep-17 @ 3:38 PM
I had a quote from a so called tradesman, via member of family. I was asked to pay over half of the quote up front, the day of commencement came round , received a way laying call, next day no workman either, then two arrived one stayed for around3 hours, they did roughly 15 hours work between two in one week. The first weeks work was fairly tidy until they were left alone at which time they drilled a hole right through the wall approximatly a foot in circumference, then they flooded my dining room, causing electric failure, the tiles are all higgledand not flat, they damaged my ceiling light but did put a new one in, the paint work is very shoddy running over tiles, a whole has been left round the toilet waste pipe, toilet seat does not fit correctly, sink is only a cloakroom sink ( but fits nicely) no surveyer would pass this job, oh and he miss fitted the floor covering, plus filled some areas with putty rather than grout. And blamed the leak on other plumbers work The chrome pipes are covered in grout and you can see the old colour paint on some of the paintwork.this work took two weeks . the toilet syston lid does not seem to be the right one as it does not fit properly either. All in all very poor fittings & workmanship for the £4200 price paid.
katieoxo - 2-Sep-17 @ 9:06 PM
Garden maintenance/handyman services Falkirk. I paid £900 to have an area levelled, tree stumps removed and bark area made. To look at it seemed fine but after work complete and payment made I was walking over it and it was all swampy and uneven with nowhere near enough bark for the area. I called them and they offered straight away to bring more bark and supply more wood around the fence. When they came back they did supply more wood but refused to give me more bark, I refused to pay the remaining £130 due. Month later I've had several gardeners out to look at area and they all commented on how bad the job was, when membrane lifted the area had not even been touched and the membrane they used was not letting water through so there were puddles everywhere. New gardener has removed stumps no problem when I was told they were unremovable. Do not use this company....
Pauline - 26-Aug-16 @ 5:53 PM
Had some plumming work done by a man called Dave, his company is called GSI MANCHESTER (Get someone in) his shoddy work has cost me just under £3k to put right, I have had 4 major floods in my house damaging ceilings walls & floors, He cut his pipes to short then forced them together with only half of the pipe soldered together, bath was leaking as well as two radiators when contacted him on the Friday over the leaks he got back to me via text mesg said he wld fix it on Tuesday when he comes to the house, all wkend I had dripping pipes even though is van states he is 24hr call out, the bath has not been fitted correctly and his seal around the bath is horrendous a ten yr old cld do better, the bath panel slides on contact showing all joists to the house from under the bath, please don't us GSI MANCHESTER he work is shoddy and dangerous, I have contacted him for a reimbursement, he has ignored my text and numerous phone calls, this man has to be stopped before someone is hurt, one of my big burst was red hot water coming from a pipe he nailed into while putting a floor board down, keep your money and be safe, this man is a real life conman, he took the money and run without finishing work that was already quoted for ... DO NOT USE.
KILLIE - 5-Mar-16 @ 12:36 AM
Had a terrible Experience with a company called Ultimate Tradesmen ltd in Edinburgh. Asked for money up front, destroyed the bathroom(nothing left, no working toliet) took £850 as an advanced payment and never finished the job! beware. of this guy Dean Blues. He will only steal your money
bob - 16-Aug-14 @ 10:33 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word: