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Topic Title: Possible legal battle - Electrician V Customer - Your unbiased Opinions please?
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Created On: 30 September 2012 05:10 PM
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 01 October 2012 11:38 AM
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OMS

Posts: 18919
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That's the thing about bullies - they only back down if you stand up to them - they only continue to be bullies if you empower them - your choice.

See them in court - for any expert witness they bring, there'll be another who will equally claim the opposite. For the sum involved, I wouldn't get into an argument with them - just turn up if you get the summons and stae your case - point out how reasonable you've been.

regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 01 October 2012 01:10 PM
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potential

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Originally posted by: OMS

That's the thing about bullies - they only back down if you stand up to them - they only continue to be bullies if you empower them - your choice.



See them in court - for any expert witness they bring, there'll be another who will equally claim the opposite. For the sum involved, I wouldn't get into an argument with them - just turn up if you get the summons and stae your case - point out how reasonable you've been.



regards



OMS

And write everything down as it happened now.
Contemporary evidence is valued in court.
 01 October 2012 02:13 PM
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Rum1

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Originally posted by: baldelectrician

Hi Rum]



Sorry to hear of your problems with this rogue customer.



I have about 1 a year as most of my work is word of mouth, so that helps keep the nutters at bay



I have taken steps to solve issues like this- all my calls are recorded and there is a message saying so before the call gets connected, this really stops almost all of the telesales calls



I would have called the client and told him of the issues, issued a potentially dangerous situation notice, and sent both recorded delivery.



The 7 day does not apply as you have been paid.


I would have charged them the full hourly rate, and shown a discount as a good will gesture off the total.



I also reccomend a camera to take photos for evidence gathering (with permission), you could say "I'll text a photo of the situation with my phone if you want"



I told a lady last year that I would refuse all calls from her, and not reply to any letters from her or her representatives. No communication would be entered into on the matter and I considered the issue closed.


So can you tell me more as to why the 7 day rule doesn't apply if payment has already been made please ? This has not been raised as yet but wouldn't want customer to throw that in at court - no cooling off period was spoke of for this small job as all happened so quickly. In realty they paid a deposit and now part of that has been taken as payment - the rest returned. They are suing for return of rest of money paid...? All confusing reallly...!
 01 October 2012 02:28 PM
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BigRed

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With OMS on this one, I've had to go to small claims, they were pretty damn good
 01 October 2012 02:36 PM
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alanblaby

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I don't think payment before or after the job has anything to do with it. Most reasonable people wouldnt try to claim on the 7 day rule, but the few who would, are also likely to claim back anything they have paid you.
This Legislation has some admirable aims, mainly to deal with doorstep sellers of tarmac, windows etc, which people are conned into buying, but this scattergun approach has caught up legitimate tradesmen, hence the need to carry the 'opt-out' forms if you are doing a job within the 7 days of first quoting.
 01 October 2012 02:39 PM
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AJJewsbury

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I've only dipped into this: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/.../uksi_20081816_en.pdf
but 9(2) looks promising... "Where the consumer cancels a specified contract in accordance with regulation 8 he shall be
under a duty to pay in accordance with the reasonable requirements of the cancelled contract for
goods or services that were supplied before the cancellation."

- Andy.
 01 October 2012 04:57 PM
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baldelectrician

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I would just leave it as you have done.

Let them know that you will not respond to any further communication, but will respont to a court summons if they wish to take this course of action.

-------------------------
baldelectrician.com
 01 October 2012 07:42 PM
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Rum1

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Originally posted by: alanblaby

I don't think payment before or after the job has anything to do with it. Most reasonable people wouldnt try to claim on the 7 day rule, but the few who would, are also likely to claim back anything they have paid you.

This Legislation has some admirable aims, mainly to deal with doorstep sellers of tarmac, windows etc, which people are conned into buying, but this scattergun approach has caught up legitimate tradesmen, hence the need to carry the 'opt-out' forms if you are doing a job within the 7 days of first quoting.


Thanks Alan for useful info...feel very vunerable now....need to look into this more for future use and get some Forms from somewhere!!!
 01 October 2012 09:46 PM
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mikejumper

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Originally posted by: baldelectrician
I would just leave it as you have done.
Let them know that you will not respond to any further communication, but will respont to a court summons if they wish to take this course of action.

I agree with that.
You usually have to produce all correspondence in court.
The last thing you want is reams of paperwork to photocopy.
 01 October 2012 10:10 PM
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baldelectrician

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If he takes it all the way, let him do all the running and work

As far as you are concerned you took payment for materials and labour up front and were onsite for the times you mentioned
It is in your favour that they are not disputing the times you claim to have charged.

The cooling off stops when you have been paid as the contract has finished. The cooling off period lets a client cancel a contract at any time without penalty, they still have to pay for charges (labour and materials) incurred so as you have refunded them they are in no worse a position - although I suspect they would have tried not to pay.

The 7 day cooling thing makes an invoice unenforcable (unless approved by a court) so a trader has 2 options;
Do the 7 day paperwork and all the palava this entails
Don't do it and take it on the chin if you get a problem

-------------------------
baldelectrician.com
 01 October 2012 10:27 PM
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BrucieBonus

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Rum - sorry to hear about this situation - it sucks. You've been given good advice on here.

Unfortunately if cash is a bit tight at the moment then it becomes difficult to write it off to experience and move on, so I wish you good luck

However, do take away something positive from this - (as I try to do if things go wrong!) - and that is that it could have been a whole lot worse (eg days of work and customer not wanting to pay), PLUS, now you WILL get those testers out before your floorboard lifter! We've all been there - wanting to get on with the work, but believe you me I learnt the hard way that if it don't test out - let the customer know ASAP so they can make a decision and you limit your loses (or rather hopefully, the bill for the customer!)

Don't let one customer get to you - remember all the nice ones!

best of luck

BB
 02 October 2012 11:13 AM
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Rum1

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Cheers for your comments everyone...much appreciated!!

Hindsight is a wonderful think...i wish i'd have started on the lights before the TV cabling! Started to get boards up for TV cables and it was most productive to get lighting boards up at same time....

I guess i'll just sit back and see what happens!! Only communication i've sent is receipt for work undertaken - design, planning and lifting of floorboards in correct places etc (+ making some exposed cables safe i found under the floor). Then putting it all back again & tidying up!
Then just a cover letter explaining that i have done everything i can to be fair by them and i had their safety at heart at all times. All done in a professional & polite way. They should have those by now - so we will see......
 02 October 2012 02:00 PM
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Rulland

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Originally posted by: Rum1

Cheers for your comments everyone...much appreciated!!



Hindsight is a wonderful think...i wish i'd have started on the lights before the TV cabling! Started to get boards up for TV cables and it was most productive to get lighting boards up at same time....



I guess i'll just sit back and see what happens!! Only communication i've sent is receipt for work undertaken - design, planning and lifting of floorboards in correct places etc (+ making some exposed cables safe i found under the floor). Then putting it all back again & tidying up!

Then just a cover letter explaining that i have done everything i can to be fair by them and i had their safety at heart at all times. All done in a professional & polite way. They should have those by now - so we will see......


Remember 'Hal' ?, fit one of those little beasts on a critical-but out of the way circuit, lol.

-------------------------
Those who make no mistakes do very little work!!......
 02 October 2012 05:33 PM
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OldSparky

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Hi Rum

well i for one dont think they will take you to small claims, it will cost them £60.00 i think to do so, so it would not be worth it, also i think you have to pay your own costs,

leave it be move on and forget them,,
 02 October 2012 06:21 PM
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Rum1

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"Hal" - what is this?
 02 October 2012 06:37 PM
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OMS

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Originally posted by: Rum1

"Hal" - what is this?


HAL 9000 - try a Google for "2001: A Space Odyssey"

The modern version is a radio operated remote lighting switch wired N-E with an RCD protected circuit - just rock up in the van, press the button and hey presto - circuit (or house) off supply and a call out for an electrician - you can reset and the house is fault free when the spark rocks up - such fun !!

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 02 October 2012 06:45 PM
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Rulland

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Ah Oms, you bad bad man! Lol

-------------------------
Those who make no mistakes do very little work!!......
 02 October 2012 07:14 PM
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Rum1

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Originally posted by: OMS

Originally posted by: Rum1



"Hal" - what is this?




HAL 9000 - try a Google for "2001: A Space Odyssey"



The modern version is a radio operated remote lighting switch wired N-E with an RCD protected circuit - just rock up in the van, press the button and hey presto - circuit (or house) off supply and a call out for an electrician - you can reset and the house is fault free when the spark rocks up - such fun !!



Regards



OMS


Hahaha - that sounds great - how i wish i had one of those in my lovely customers circuits!!!
 04 October 2012 09:30 AM
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Rum1

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Thought i'd give Trading Standards a ring to see if they have any sample forms etc for this 7 day cooling off period. When i eventually got through i spoke to a nice lady who was very keen to explain it all.

According to her - if i get a call and am invited to visit a customer (as you generally are) , pop round, see the work to be done, go away, then send them a written estimate and wait a response - the 7 day cooling off does not apply!! This is because the they will have had time to think about the estimate and compare it with other estimates etc - even if it all happens within a few days!

The 7 day cooling off period only really applies if i was to go round to a customers house to give an estimate and agree a price + book in the work there and then etc - therefore not giving them any chance to "think about it"

She also seemed to indicate that for "Emergency" work, when you are to start fault finding/ carry out repairs straight away - its a bit of a grey area - it's best to issue the "Right to cancel" forms and get the waiver signed - to cover you own back!!
I guess this is the case because you could start fault finding and the customer (getting worried about the cost) could stop you half way through and refuse to pay and saying it wasn't an "Emergency" - just a repair job etc.

Was interesting to know. So in my recent "hassles" with a customer it seems the 7 day cooling off wouldn't apply as i sent them a written estimate - they had other estimates - and they contacted me to accept.

So they can't throw that at me should things go to court!!
 04 October 2012 09:35 AM
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potential

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I agree.
If the customer replied to your estimate stating they wanted the work done and agreed a time they completed the contract between both parties.
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