Jump to content

Tradie/ Acquaintance conundrum
Please help!


  • Please log in to reply
185 replies to this topic

#1 Jellyblush

Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

Hi everyone. I'm in a sensitive situation where I really don't know what to do. All advice appreciated. Want to do the right thing but something smells fishy and don't want to be taken advantage of.

In December 2010 I decided I needed two doors replaced in my home, due to dog scratching them.

Got a quote from Doors Plus which came in at just under $2k, which I thought was a bit steep.

Friend mentions they have a friend (acquantaince of mine) who is a carpenter and builds new houses, who can do it for much less, if I just buy the doors.

It is agreed I purchase two doors, and they fit them, charging me a half days work to do so.

This occurs in March 2011.

I ask them and ask them and ask them to invoice me; I know the price of the doors ($700) and have budgeted and put aside $1200 for the job thinking that should be plenty.

They don't invoice me.  I keep chasing. I WANTED to pay, as I had the $$ at that time.  Eventually, in December 2011, the guy says "don't worry about it".  Well, I still want to worry about it! I want to pay!

Today - almost 2 years after the job was done, I get an invoice for $2500. It just says 'Home renovations as per quote"
Well there was no quote, ever, and it is so much higher than we discussed
I also think it should be itemised - doors and labour, but it isn't.
It says immediate terms too, but I will have to pay in installments now because they money I set aside is long gone.


What do you think I should do? What I'd like to do is:
a) request an itemised invoice for doors and half days labour
b) discuss the expectation that it was going to be about half the invoiced amount
c) say I need a payment plan due to it taking so long to invoice me

Is the above reasonable? I'm nervous as I think it will cause ructions with the mutual friends. So wish Id just gone with a professional at the time sad.gif

#2 Feral Nicety

Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

What they have done is so unreasonable that surely your friend will see it is wrong.

The lack of a supplied written quote is a huge red flag and the billing almost 2 years later is also bizarre.

#3 causeway

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

Surely they are taking the p*ss!

I'd be calling them and querying it! There is no way I'd be paying as per invoice. It took them 2 years to invoice, you could take 2 years to pay!

#4 TotesFeral

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

The fact that you didn't get a quote is worrying, if he took it further you might not have a leg to stand on as there is a big legal difference between an estimate of costs and an actual quote.
But I'm not sure where he would stand seeing as it has taken him over 2 years to invoice you.

What state are you in OP? Can you contact Fair Trading or your states equivalent.

#5 Poss and Soss

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

I would ask for a 'copy' of the quote they say they provided, and also an itemised receipt.

Given it reads that you paid for the doors it looks like they've charged you $2.5k for 4 hours work? $625 an hour? Not bad if they can get it wink.gif

I certainly would not be paying it! I would pay something but not that much!

#6 TopsyTurvy

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

I would go back and tell them they have sent you the wrong bill.

Put it in writing.

Dear XYZ tradie,

I recieved your invoice number ABC, which you have sent to me in error.

Please send the correct invoice for EFG amount as originally verbally quoted which was for a door instillation only.

Thankyou and kind regards,

Jelly

#7 lizzzard

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

QUOTE (TopsyTurvy @ 11/01/2013, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would go back and tell them they have sent you the wrong bill.

Put it in writing.

Dear XYZ tradie,

I recieved your invoice number ABC, which you have sent to me in error.

Please send the correct invoice for EFG amount as originally verbally quoted which was for a door instillation only.

Thankyou and kind regards,

Jelly


This. I would assume benign intent in the first instance - it may have been a genune error... See how they respond to the above original.gif

#8 Lady Garden

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

Hmm, what doors?

Seriously, if there is no quote and no contract and no invoice for the doors purchased, the "friend" has a hope in hell they'll get paid.

Do not pay OP.

#9 TotesFeral

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

QUOTE (FluffyOscar @ 11/01/2013, 02:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmm, what doors?

Seriously, if there is no quote and no contract and no invoice for the doors purchased, the "friend" has a hope in hell they'll get paid.

Do not pay OP.


But contracts can be oral. If he has anyway at all to prove that he did the work then the OP will need to pay. The OP didn't obtain a written quote so technically all she got was an estimate which is not legally binding so yeah he can then charge her more.


#10 LifesGood

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:52 PM

QUOTE (TopsyTurvy @ 11/01/2013, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would go back and tell them they have sent you the wrong bill.

Put it in writing.

Dear XYZ tradie,

I recieved your invoice number ABC, which you have sent to me in error.

Please send the correct invoice for EFG amount as originally verbally quoted which was for a door instillation only.

Thankyou and kind regards,

Jelly


This is a good idea because it gives the tradie an 'out' without losing face and it gives you the opportunity to state the 'implied price' that formed what was obviously an oral quote. Also include a note about it being two years ago.

Stand your ground OP, there is no written quote, pay what you were expecting to pay, no more.

#11 Phascogale

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

Did you purchase the door separately or did they purchase you your behalf - this part isn't clear in your OP?

I like the above letter that TopsyTurvey wrote.  It does give them an out.

It's worth calling Fair Trading or equivalent in your state.  They will be able to step you through what you need to do.

I would hope that the company would provide an itemised bill.  There may be a mark up on the doors if you didn't buy them yourselves but I would imagine you have a good case if it's just for 4 hours worth of work to hang a couple of doors (the actual work I could see coming to about $400 ie 2 people x $50/hr each as it was half a day).

Sounds like they are making things up two years later as they can't remember what they did.  There's probably been an audit and they are $700 short for the doors or something and thought home renovations would cover it.  The above letter would address this as it would tell them what it was for.

#12 Jellyblush

Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

Hi, thanks very much you guys.

To clarify - the doors were purchased by him, at wholesale price for me, so he said.

Appreciate your answers. Need to ring him now and am so nervous.

#13 LambChop

Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

"Please send the correct invoice for EFG amount as originally verbally quoted which was for $700 for the doors and 4 hours work for door installation."

#14 Kickingitcountry

Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE (LambChop @ 12/01/2013, 07:37 AM)
15230825[/url]']
"Please send the correct invoice for EFG amount as originally verbally quoted which was for $700 for the doors and 4 hours work for door installation."


I would do this. I would also have a word with the friend that recommended him. Not to have a go just to let them know that this tradie has done this so they stop recommending him to other friends.

#15 JaneDoe2010

Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

QUOTE (LambChop @ 12/01/2013, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"Please send the correct invoice for EFG amount as originally verbally quoted which was for $700 for the doors and 4 hours work for door installation."


I agree with this. We run our own electrical business and wouldn't dare invoice someone 2 years after the fact, especially for that much!!

Good luck. He's WAY in the wrong. And yes, I'd speak to your friend too.

#16 Jellyblush

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

Thanks very much everyone, I will do this. Hate this sort of stuff so much.

The $2.5k invoice he's sent also says 'and materials costs' but materials costs were paid by me at the time - we went to Bunnings together and I bought everything he needed (bar the doors) and paid by credit card so have it documented.

Do you think it would be worth me writing to consumer affairs just to let them know what has happened and ask advice?


#17 kpingitquiet

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

Is it possible that someone bought the business? Or they changed accountants? It sounds to me like someone went through old notes/invoices and is trying to settle outstanding bills without knowing the deals you made, and quoting current market prices.

I will say door stuff is expensive. My husband literally went and fixed a kickplate on a firedoor, took about 15 mins. The company quoted $400 for work+materials. wacko.gif

#18 LifesGood

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE (Jellyblush @ 12/01/2013, 12:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks very much everyone, I will do this. Hate this sort of stuff so much.

The $2.5k invoice he's sent also says 'and materials costs' but materials costs were paid by me at the time - we went to Bunnings together and I bought everything he needed (bar the doors) and paid by credit card so have it documented.

Do you think it would be worth me writing to consumer affairs just to let them know what has happened and ask advice?

I would deal direct with the tradie first and see how you go. Definitely put it in writing though so you have a record of what is going on. Point out the errors he has made and restate YOUR understanding and expectations of the transaction.

Most people back down if you call them on their "mistake".

Please let us know how you go.

#19 Jellyblush

Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:04 PM

Thanks heaps, just tried to call him but it went to messagebank.
I left a message stating that I wished to discuss the invoice as an error had been made.

No change in company - he is a sole trader, the invoice was issued by his dad who does his account. I know he hasn't worked for about 4 months due to travelling so think he is just trying to call in cash.

Edited by Jellyblush, 12 January 2013 - 01:15 PM.


#20 Jellyblush

Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

Okay everyone, I have composed this to send based on previous excellent advice in this thread:

Hi XXX,

I received your invoice number XXXXXX, which you have sent to me in error.

In January 2011, we made a verbal agreement for the supply at wholesale price and fit at discounted rates of two corinthian external doors at $700. You advised that labour would not be charged at greater than one half days work of 4 hours. All materials except the doors were paid for by me by credit card. We agreed that work would commence 'when you had time' due to the discounted nature of the work, and that doors would be hung but would not be finished or painted.

This work was completed as described above on 25/03/2011.  I requested an invoice in March 2011, April 2011, May 2011 and December 2011, however none was supplied, and I was verbally advised by you "not to worry about it", which, alongside the fact that you had not invoiced, I took to mean that you did not intend to seek payment.  I then received the attached incorrect invoice XXXXX on 11 January 2013.

Please send the correct, dated, invoice for supply at wholesale price (with receipts) and fit at discounted rates of two corinthian external doors, as per our verbal agreement.

Thankyou and kind regards,

Jelly

#21 JustBeige

Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:50 PM

I like the letter. The only other thing I would do is try and get a couple of quotes on how much just hanging a door would cost for labour.  That way if he comes back to you, you can say "i spoke to consumer affairs / building industry body, and they advised a basic hourly rate is....."

Just so you have a clue on how much its suppsed to cost.

#22 Jellyblush

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

double post

Edited by Jellyblush, 12 January 2013 - 03:01 PM.


#23 Jellyblush

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

Oh, great idea, thanks Justbeige.

I have also sourced my doors online, retail, including delivery, this is them:

http://www.masters.com.au/masters/navigati...uct_details.jsp

So the $700 originally agreed for two, wholesale, seems more or less right.

#24 Jellyblush

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

argh double post, I need to calm down!

Edited by Jellyblush, 12 January 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#25 JustBeige

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

Thats good. You can use that to show that you know how much they should cost if you need to.

I agree with your thought on the dad/him trying to get some money off you and just charging at todays costs.

Definitely tell your friend to not recommend him any more. It looks bad for them.

Oh, I would also make sure you register post the letter. I would do that on top of emailing it - get a return recpt too if you do it that way

Edited by JustBeige, 12 January 2013 - 06:37 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Win $1000 with Sea-Bands!

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band prize pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos gift card!

Misery loves Facebook

Facebook users are often criticised for only showing the positive, fun parts of their lives. But what about when it swings the other way, when someone uses it for the purposes of ranting about their children all the time, never posting anything positive?

Toddler's adorable impersonation of pregnant mum

Little Ellis has noticed his mum is walking differently lately, and his impersonation of her is hilarious.

'Forgotten baby syndrome' can happen to any one of us

When my third child was two months old, I strapped her into her car seat, then promptly forgot all about her. But she survived, unharmed, because it was winter, and I was lucky.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five mums or mums-to-be will join the EB Test Drive Team and discover great items at an exclusive Big W event. (Sydney only.)

Ten things I've learned about motherhood

Never take a good night's sleep for granted. There is no logic like toddler logic. Standing on Lego hurts every time. These are the truths of parenthood.

Parenting past the toddler years: what's next?

Your baby has grown into a toddler, and now your toddler is fast approaching the preschooler stage. What can you expect as a parent?

Tips on what to pack in your hospital bag

Before giving birth I read countless lists, ended up overpacking just a little, and now know what I'll actually want to pack next time.

New app keeps tabs on your kids at childcare

Popular new technology lets parents know what their children are up to at childcare - but not everyone is a fan.

21 things I love about newborns

There?s an irresistible magic about newborns. Of course they're not all smiles and rainbows, but they are undeniably cute and remarkable in so, so many ways.

Kid-friendly hairdressers: who says haircuts can?t be fun?

I?ve found some salons who boast setups ideal for children ? you name it, they?ve thought of it. All are designed to make haircuts fun rather than stressful.

Labour pain relief may reduce risk of postnatal depression: study

Postnatal depression is a complex condition, but researchers say pain relief during labour may help some women.

Why we need better support for men after miscarriage

In a recent study, 85 per cent of men admitted feeling sadness after their partner miscarried, but almost half said they didn't share their feelings at all. What can be done to help them?

Mum in business: Kristy Chong

Kristy Chong is the managing director of Australian-made Modibodi underwear and a mum to Lucas, 6, Jason, 4, and Isaac, 6 months. She shares her advice for other mums thinking about starting their own businesses.

From toddler to preschooler: a developmental roadmap

So your toddler is growing up and will soon be entering the preschooler years. Here are a few ways to frame their development that will help you understand what?s going in those beautiful, funny, clever little heads of theirs.

Mum sacrifices an eye for her unborn baby

Motherhood is full of sacrifices, but this woman has made a life-altering one - and her baby hasn't even been born.

A grandparent by any other name

A growing number of grandparents are shunning tradition and going against conventional names - but a grandparent by any other name still gives the same awesome cuddles and kisses.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

When labour just doesn't happen

After three healthy kids, I can?t help feeling I?ve been a little ripped off. I missed out on something I had always wanted to experience, and now I?ll never get the chance.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

Win $1000 with Sea-Bands!

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band prize pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos gift card!

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five mums or mums-to-be will join the EB Test Drive Team and discover great items at an exclusive Big W event. (Sydney only.)

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.