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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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 04 October 2012 03:39 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19628
Joined: 23 March 2004

Originally posted by: Rulland

Ah Oms, you bad bad man! Lol


Not me - rather, a prominent member of this forum - who shall remain nameless and blameless - you know who you are -

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 04 October 2012 10:48 PM
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Zs

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Joined: 20 July 2006

Ah, proper rumbled! that'll be me.

I got nervous toward the end of a big job, just a little hunch caused by a 2am four page email from a client telling me that I was an evil liar...bit of a shock, then another two days later..... 'Oh, the old technique of falling out with the trades toward the end of a beautiful job' thought I. So unlike you rum, I kind of saw the issue brewing. I saw it through and all nicely finished, because I felt good about the issuings from the bottom of my garden. I had already had time to test things in the shed. The Focus 'Wise' System with a key fob, mis-wired and in the ceiling of a garage in Chorley Wood. Works a treat from the van in the street. I did not ever have to press the button in anger and the unit did cost about £50. However, I still have the key-fob and the little bugs can be ordered separately. . . so don't mess with Zs.

What's that song? I want to look inside your shed? Some good stuff comes out of mine

Zs

I should explain that the outstanding amount on that job at the time was several thousand. £50 seemed like a good investment.

Edited: 04 October 2012 at 11:05 PM by Zs
 05 October 2012 11:26 AM
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Rum1

Posts: 127
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So ZS - did you ever get to use it or did they pay up so you didn't bother too....?

Have installed some wireless receivers with remote control in my garden for lights & water feature. Titan i think the make is.

Now imagining one of those discretely installed on a lighting circuit of a non payer!!! Oh what fun that would be....
....halloween night...they are in home watching a scary movie.... lights on lights off...lights on lights off....haha!! Dinner guests round...lights on/ lights off.......endless fun!

Would take an electrician some time to find that fault...because all works fine when they investigate haha!
 05 October 2012 02:43 PM
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Zs

Posts: 2864
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Now look what you've done Rum.. I'm not supposed to be here until the novel is finished. I broke my rule and looked in last night.

That particular odd-one wasn't an electrical or quality issue, or I'd have asked on here. 'Twas a combination of the client going over-budget and presumably trying to find ways of cutting the final bill, and some assertiveness/karma/moon-position/Tantra/Stone-Henge type training she had been on. The builder was also on the receiving end of some grief but not the emails, she'd never dare. I don't over charge and knew that I had spread sheets and diary notes of all my hours so it was just going to be a time consuming hassle. Nothing like the surprise you're going through.

She had her gas meter moved by a bloke from down the road one Saturday Morning when I was there. Reported a break in and theft of copper yet that house is entirely plastic. Three days before completion I calmly asked her if the gas meter was working alright.

She paid and added £500.

It was never my intention to tell a soul about the little invention. I don't like to admit that I found a vindictive streak inside myself so it was all going to be covert. But I casually mentioned the afternoon in the shed in the wholesaler one afternoon. Everyone in there fell about laughing. At which point I realised it was quite funny. One day I told our friend OMS. OMS makes me cry real tears laughing when he tells this story. In the kind of place he and I meet I am a shrinking violet amongst the Gods of our industry. Their shock tickles me.

Now, if I hadn't looked in on here last night I'd be able to put all that into past-historic, French style for you, cut out the adjectives and adverbs, search it for cliche, and at the same time remove essence of wasabi-peanuts from down the keys of the computer.

Not to mention a lead guitar solo to Sweet Home Alabama.

I'm outta here, but i still love you all.

Zs
 05 October 2012 04:24 PM
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Rum1

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hahaha, like it Zs!!!!

I will ask you no more....now go get that book written...Enjoy!
 05 October 2012 10:02 PM
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AncientMariner

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Originally posted by: Zs
Now look what you've done Rum.. I'm not supposed to be here until the novel is finished. I broke my rule and looked in last night.

But I casually mentioned the afternoon in the shed in the wholesaler one afternoon. Zs


I came across this the other week:-

50 Sheds of Grey
Erotica for the not-too-modern male.

My body writhed and quivered from the pain. I had learned my first lesson. Never again would I leave an upturned plug on the shed floor...

'You're obsessed!' she cried, storming out, 'You love this shed more than me!' Obsessed? Ridiculous. Shed be back. I mean, she'd be back. .

I was excited but nervous. I'd finally been accepted into the BDSM community - Builders, Decorators and Shed Maintenance.

We each drop our keys into the bowl. Before long we'll be entering a world of forbidden delights. God, I love these shed-swapping parties.

As she manually adjusted my sprinkler, my inner gardener did a Morris dance of delight.

She gazed wide-eyed at the cans stacked precariously against the crimson shed wall. 'Welcome,' I said proudly, 'to the Red Room of Paint.'

'It's your lucky day,' she said, placing a riding crop in my hand and lowering her skirt. I couldn't believe it - I was getting a pony!

We tried various positions - round the back, up against a wall; but the bottom of the garden was the only place for a really good shed.

I managed to stay calm as my wife bound my wrists & ankles. Although I did get a little nervous when she bundled me into the boot of the car
'Not in this shed,' she said, 'I'm an exhibitionist. I need to do it somewhere we can be seen.' I was horrified. 'Not... the conservatory?'

She stood before me, naked in my shed. 'I'm yours for today,' she gasped, 'You can do whatever you want with me.' So I took her to Nando's.

'Make me feel pain like I've never felt,' she pleaded, blindfolded & naked. 'Alright,' I said, placing the Lego bricks on the shed floor. .

I looked down at her. She'd been on her hands and knees for an hour. Finally I spoke. 'Are you sure you lost your contact lens in here?'

By the time I'd finished, her bottom was bright pink - I'd mixed up the baby oil and Thousand Island dressing again.

I have to admit to one fetish - MILFs . . . Mowers I'd Like to Fix.

'Hurt me,' she begged, raising her skirt as she bent over my workbench. 'Very well,' I replied, 'You've got fat ankles and no dress sense.'

As I stood there in Ikea, naked and ashamed, I came to an important decision. Next time only one of us would wear a blindfold.

'I am your master. You will obey my rules.' She rolled her eyes and walked out of the shed. That's definitely it - I need to get a new cat.

From that first encounter I was hooked - I just couldn't get enough of sheds and mowers. Or S&M for short.

My whole body shuddered as she entered my Man Cave. I really must get a padlock for the shed door.

So this was it - it was really going to happen. Every man's ultimate fantasy . . . Three In A Shed.

Lady Christina bit her lip as she eyed my dripping brush. Somehow I knew it wouldn't be long before I'd be touching up her gazebo.

I stared longingly through the shed window & adjusted my trousers. The sight of her dewy, slightly unkempt lawn had awoken my inner gardener

She told me it turned her on to have her movements restricted when she made love. I looked around - I'd have to get a smaller shed.

I emptied the small water butt for the fifteenth time that day and collapsed, exhausted into my shed. I like big butts and I cannot lie.

We stood on the golden Caribbean beach. She shed her clothes. I shed my inhibitions. At that moment I knew it would always be about sheds.

'This is a contract between you and me,' she said coolly. I signed shakily. This was it. In twelve easy monthly payments the shed was mine.

'She knelt before me on the shed floor & tugged gently then harder until finally it came. I moaned with pleasure. Now for the other boot ...'

'I lay back exhausted, gazing happily out of the shed window. Despite my concerns about my inexperience, my rhubarb had come up a treat...'

'She took me firmly by the hand and led me up the garden path. I went into the shed a boy. And came out a man ...'



-------------------------
Clive S Carver GCGI IEng MIET
 06 October 2012 11:25 AM
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Zs

Posts: 2864
Joined: 20 July 2006

Originally posted by: OMS

Mine is only £114 outstanding for an undercharged emergency call out and a subsequent remedial which I took OMS to on one of his rare days out last winter. I find it embarrasing to admit that she never paid and it continues to irk.




I'm guessing it's not the polish affair - and I'm appalled.



OMS



Random. A cheque has just arrived from her. 10 months late and from a very posh bank beginning with C. Am considering giving second thoughts to this cosmos lark.

Ancient Mariner, I laughed almost as much as I did whilst reading the amazon reviews for the book which will never pass into this house. Because I am a book snob. I have a girl-pal who makes extremely good money writing those though, about £10k per issue, extra for translations. The best I've ever been paid is £7.5K for a DIY book and the fee just about covered my time at £20 an hour. My friend is a little short fat girl who wears chunky jumpers, hush-puppy shoes and looks like a Mum. She's a demon knitter and cake-baker....Don't judge a book by it's cover...... remember that if ever mine makes it to press, you might be in it. By thy long grey beard and glittering eye It's clean.

I find myself wondering how much money a certain book on the subject of Earthing made for the author.

Zs
 06 October 2012 12:23 PM
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Rum1

Posts: 127
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Originally posted by: baldelectrician

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




Just an update to my cowboy customer.
Received a very long letter today, maybe by an academic relative as he relates to the customers in the third party. The letter writer has disputed every point i have made - quoting my letters/receipt multiple times etc.
They are now disputing the fact that i even took up any floors boards - yet what i did - are now damaged! They are basically twisting the truth and going to a lot of trouble to maniplulate the truth and accuse me now of not doing any work. The letter writer/customer seems obsessed - like some kind of game or challenge to win at all costs!! To blantly lie like this is unbelievable. Now saying i "stretched" the job out because they decided to stop the work - cynically accusing me of trying to make some money because work had been halted etc...which is rubbish.
They are not disputing the time on site - just that i did nothing hardly while there.
They still wish me to refund in full and continue to threaten to go to the small claims court and complain to the NICEIC etc. They still want to bring an expert witness etc etc

They have an argument against everything i have said...alot of twisted truths etc. Is it up to me or them to prove what was been done or not been done in court?
 06 October 2012 12:43 PM
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baldelectrician

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Thank them for their reply.

Send them a reply stating you now consider this matter closed and will file thier complaint away.

Should they wish to pursue this matter further then you suggest they pursue court action.

Intimate that you will defend any court action and you reserve the right to counterclaim, but you will not respond to any further communication on this - other than offical court documentation

-------------------------
baldelectrician.com
 06 October 2012 12:56 PM
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Rum1

Posts: 127
Joined: 13 February 2009

Originally posted by: baldelectrician

Thank them for their reply.



Send them a reply stating you now consider this matter closed and will file thier complaint away.



Should they wish to pursue this matter further then you suggest they pursue court action.



Intimate that you will defend any court action and you reserve the right to counterclaim, but you will not respond to any further communication on this - other than offical court documentation


Thanks for advice....sounds quite good to me

I have read that someone taking you to court should consider all options before doing so....including mediation etc by an independant body...(citizens advice maybe?). Didn't know if it was worth suggesting that in my reply...something they can organise if they want to to try and resolve this matter....or invite them to suggest a sum of payment they would be happy paying......both suggestions to show the judge i have tried to resolve the matter at several points!

Just a thought!!
 06 October 2012 01:44 PM
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alancapon

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Originally posted by: Rum1
. . . Received a very long letter today, maybe by an academic relative as he relates to the customers in the third party. . .

or a relative / friend who is a solicitor.

. . . They have an argument against everything i have said . . .

You would expect that, as it will form the basis of what they present at court if it goes that far.

. . . Is it up to me or them to prove what was been done or not been done in court?

It is up to you to provide sufficient evidence at court to form your defence. The court will then decide who they believe based on the evidence presented by both sides.

Regards,

Alan.
 06 October 2012 01:55 PM
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Fm

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Its a 100 quid forget about it.
Its not worth the hassle and continued agro.

Zs. Got lots of customers from the clydesdale bank too
Draw a line in the sand and move on
 06 October 2012 02:33 PM
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Rum1

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They are continuing to contact me wanting their money back.

Truth is its only a £103.50 i have retained for my work. I have lost 2 days labour over all.

I, like any person in this unexpected situation only have my word that i was on site for 5 hours and lifted and relaid numerous floorboards etc. Time on site isn't disputed at this stage

They just seem relentless in demanding their money back....they just seem to want to bully me into conceeding...as work is very slow this money is very hard to give up...
 06 October 2012 02:38 PM
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Avatar for potential.
potential

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Originally posted by: Rum1
Originally posted by: baldelectrician
Thank them for their reply.
Send them a reply stating you now consider this matter closed and will file thier complaint away.
Should they wish to pursue this matter further then you suggest they pursue court action.
Intimate that you will defend any court action and you reserve the right to counterclaim, but you will not respond to any further communication on this - other than offical court documentation

Thanks for advice....sounds quite good to me
I have read that someone taking you to court should consider all options before doing so....including mediation etc by an independant body...(citizens advice maybe?). Didn't know if it was worth suggesting that in my reply...something they can organise if they want to to try and resolve this matter....or invite them to suggest a sum of payment they would be happy paying......both suggestions to show the judge i have tried to resolve the matter at several points!
Just a thought!!


It is quite usual for a dispute to escalate.
I wouldn't worry about it.
Just make sure you do not say or do anything to give them further ammunition to aim at you.
Similarly the more they write the more ammunition you have to aim at them.

Don't "close" the matter.
If you do it gives them little option except to take you to court and makes you appear unreasonable.

In any communication you need to remember it will be used as evidence if it comes to court.
Don't say anything you don't mean or anything that can be interpreted the wrong way.
You need to assert in writing what work you did again; that you consider they broke the contract they made with you: That you will defend yourself in court vigourously and subsequently claim costs and expenses if neccessary.

Also you don't HAVE to reply to a letter from them if you don't want to.
Just keep it for when/if you go to court and answer it there.
 06 October 2012 03:25 PM
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Rum1

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Yes its all very difficult to know what to do for the best.
I've never had a situation like this in my life. Never a complaint or court threat in 13 years of trading.
Always do the best by my customers.

can't understand why they are behaving like this. I can only assume that "public sector manager husband" & "Financial advisor father in law" are enjoying the arguement etc. They are no longer interested in the right and wrong...just want to win a game!

I can only assume they hate that fact i have discovered problems, have now got to pay out more to potentially rewire and begrudge paying me anything because i couldn't finish the work....just thought they could discard me and move on.....
 06 October 2012 03:52 PM
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Paradigm

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Rum

Quick question for you, do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?

Answer it honestly, I know the ideal is both but quite often we cant have that and you need to see if its worth the grief. The art to that is if you do let go of it, you really HAVE to let go of it, otherwise, you will end up with a resentment that will eat at you.

If you can't let go of it, then you're only choice is to do battle and you are correct, this will stop being about £103.00 and start being about ego & winning and there is a cost to that, in peace of mind and stress.

True story: Mate of mine does work for a guy in an area that's very famous for its population of premier league footballers and one of the guys he is working for is in a dispute with his neighbour over a fence boundary. The distance disputed is approx 150mm and the legal bill now stands at around £30k. He reckons that the loser of the final case will end up with a bill of £80k. All over 6" of land. Yeah right.

Its got nothing to do with the land, its all about being right and winning but neither of them have the brains to see that.

Yours is nowhere near that but sometimes, you do have to wipe your mouth and move on. I wish you luck whatever the outcome.


Nick

-------------------------
"be careful of what you write"
 06 October 2012 05:37 PM
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Rum1

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Originally posted by: Paradigm

Rum



Quick question for you, do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?



Answer it honestly, I know the ideal is both but quite often we cant have that and you need to see if its worth the grief. The art to that is if you do let go of it, you really HAVE to let go of it, otherwise, you will end up with a resentment that will eat at you.



If you can't let go of it, then you're only choice is to do battle and you are correct, this will stop being about £103.00 and start being about ego & winning and there is a cost to that, in peace of mind and stress.



True story: Mate of mine does work for a guy in an area that's very famous for its population of premier league footballers and one of the guys he is working for is in a dispute with his neighbour over a fence boundary. The distance disputed is approx 150mm and the legal bill now stands at around £30k. He reckons that the loser of the final case will end up with a bill of £80k. All over 6" of land. Yeah right.



Its got nothing to do with the land, its all about being right and winning but neither of them have the brains to see that.



Yours is nowhere near that but sometimes, you do have to wipe your mouth and move on. I wish you luck whatever the outcome.





Nick



Nick ,

you sound like a person of experience. You make a very valid point from a neutral point of view.
In times gone by....i may well have just thrown the money at them as i could easily afford it.
I guess it is just so hard now been a family man in times where work is so rare to just easily give up on £100. I guess with me now it is a case of it been 50% principle 50% taking the hit.
In times gone by i wouldn't have even been able to take the flippin job on as i couldn't have squeezed it in. My instincts told me originally this customer didn't like spending money - again in the past i would have declined the job - but i have to take on even the crappest of jobs at present.
Not too proud to admit, The economic climate has seen my work drop of from 4 months in advance to a week in advance and pricing jobs at 2005 prices. I'm just a domestic electrician - old customers keep coming back but new custom is thin on the ground even with plenty of advertising. So its a bitter blow when you get nightmare customer who is now doing just as you say - making it about "ego & winning"

decisons decisions......?
 07 October 2012 11:31 AM
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baldelectrician

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You don't even have to tell them you consider the matter closed.

All you have to do is stop replying to their emails and letters.

If they call you that's a different matter, you can get software to block their number.
I have it on my phone and sales calls get added to it, that way they can't get through again- I just add their number once I have hung up

-------------------------
baldelectrician.com
 07 October 2012 05:20 PM
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weirdbeard

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Originally posted by: Rum1




Was going to install some Saxby cast steel fire rated downlighters (230V). (Class 1). Many it seems are class 1 and require earths.



Hi rum1, I've just had a look at the saxby site and it does say in the spec for their cast fire rated downlights that they are class 2.

Sorry but if I may be brutally honest my unbiased opinion is that you would be much better off forgetting about this negative issue, move on and apply your time that you might otherwise spend dwelling on this more constructively, such as print off a few 1/2 page A4 flyers, get a pocket full of business cards and then spend a couple of hours in your local area, don't just post the flyers but knock on doors, if anyones in simply introduce yourself and ask if they would mind you leaving a flyer and card with them - advertising with the personal touch - you never know what might turn up, just a couple of small bits and bobs will cover the £100 and you'll get a bit of fresh air and exercise rather than sitting worrying for hours about things such as courts etc.
 07 October 2012 06:28 PM
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potential

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Originally posted by: weirdbeard


Sorry but if I may be brutally honest my unbiased opinion is that you would be much better off forgetting about this negative issue, move on and apply your time that you might otherwise spend dwelling on this more constructively, such as print off a few 1/2 page A4 flyers, get a pocket full of business cards and then spend a couple of hours in your local area, don't just post the flyers but knock on doors, if anyones in simply introduce yourself and ask if they would mind you leaving a flyer and card with them - advertising with the personal touch - you never know what might turn up, just a couple of small bits and bobs will cover the £100 and you'll get a bit of fresh air and exercise rather than sitting worrying for hours about things such as courts etc.


Fine, admit defeat.
But who is to say that is the end of it?
The type of customer that wants to argue the toss is just as likely to sue for damages and costs too.
A major aspect of their case would be that the money was handed back so admitting liability to their previous claims
They'd have a point too.
After all, why hand the money back if you are in the right?
Sometimes the easy way out leads into further problems.
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