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Old 05-07-2007, 03:53 PM   #16
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problem contractor-help please


I think the lesson learned here is 2 part.

a. Research your contractor - licensing, references, etc.
b. Get a written contract.

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Old 05-07-2007, 03:55 PM   #17
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problem contractor-help please


I would take that to mean its OK to cover materials that have been delivered. That way if the contractor skips you arent out anything. But yes, do not pay for what you don't already have (materials and labor).

Some may do things differently.

Me - I do odd jobs for people, custom furniture on the side from time to time. I usually do not charge anything up front, payment on delivery. The only time I charge something up front is if the materials costs will be really high or something unusual.

What this forces me to do is have a great deal of trust in my customers and also be extremely clear on what the project is and isn't, timeline, etc.

I haven't gone out on a limb that far though. Most I have ever done was about $4000 for materials on a two day job. Paid in full for materials and labor when satisfied. I actually was paid MORE because of how happy the customer was.

Another time I was commissioned to build a custom vanity. We agreed on materials, design, etc. I acquired the materials and began building. Customer had a job change and immediate, unexpected, relocation. They no longer needed or wanted the vanity. I figured I would be out the $100 or so in materials I had used so far plus my couple of hours work. The customer offered, without me asking, to pay for the consumed materials, I declined, she insisted. I got a check for $150 IIRC. I was able to use the materials, even the parts I already made, in another project. I was even able to use elements of the design we worked on for another project! I STILL came out ahead.

Anyway, I'm rambling.
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:53 PM   #18
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problem contractor-help please


[quote=robertcdf;44011]
I dont work for people that dont at least cover material costs for a project 5 days before it starts. If you cant trust my refrences and BBB membership then find another contractor.[/quote

Neither do I. It's very simple, no signed contract, no down payment, find another contractor.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:49 AM   #19
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problem contractor-help please


Quote:
Originally Posted by robertcdf View Post
What happens when the customers leaves you holding the bag with $10,000 worth of special orders that are not returnable?

I dont work for people that dont at least cover material costs for a project 5 days before it starts. If you cant trust my refrences and BBB membership then find another contractor.

In the 20 years my dad has been a contractor thats only happend once and when he filed a lawsuit against them they filed bankruptcy so he was out about $10,000 but as a contractor you take that chance. I have seen many homeowners get taken many times. Just yesterday i went and looked at a job where a 70 year old man hired a guy to put up vynil siding. The guy showed up the day after they signed a contract and asked for $1500 to get started and said he was going to get material and never returned. If you asked me for money before any work was done or material had showed up on the job you wouldn't have to worry about working for me i'd run you off in a minute. Most homeowners don't go around looking for contractors to screw, But there's plenty of crooked contractors that go around looking for customers to screw.

NEVER EVER GIVE MONEY FOR WORK THAT HASN'T BEEN DONE!!!!

Last edited by krpen71; 05-08-2007 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:07 PM   #20
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I bet the ratio of who is screwing who is MANY MANY MANY more contractors screwing the customers! I've been a homeowner only for 3 years - each time I hired a contractor, they screwed us up big time - regardless of the agreement and license they have. So I was questioning, what is the criteria to earn this stupid license. At this point, to me, it doesn't mean crap! license or no license, they still screw you. I called a lawyer and what he told me was 'unfortunately the law is more favoring the contractors than the consumers, so the best bet is to negotiate with them' If customers don't pay,contractors put lien on the house or at least they know where the customers live. In many cases of contractors, they don't have offices, therefore, it's much harder for customers to do anything when things go bad.

Back to my story... I CAN'T even negotiate because the contractor has not called back nor picked up his phone. So does that mean that I just forget about him? and hire another contractor? Isn't that convenient for the contractors?
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:04 PM   #21
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problem contractor-help please


Is really calling the police not an option? I sympathtic for you.... To me the guy gets the money and do not do the job... is a big rip off... I mean if the police can at least assist you to obtain the address of the person so that you can carry out small claim lawsuit... or other advice...
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:22 PM   #22
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problem contractor-help please


Quote:
Originally Posted by Csucks View Post
I bet the ratio of who is screwing who is MANY MANY MANY more contractors screwing the customers! I've been a homeowner only for 3 years - each time I hired a contractor, they screwed us up big time - regardless of the agreement and license they have. So I was questioning, what is the criteria to earn this stupid license. At this point, to me, it doesn't mean crap! license or no license, they still screw you. I called a lawyer and what he told me was 'unfortunately the law is more favoring the contractors than the consumers, so the best bet is to negotiate with them' If customers don't pay,contractors put lien on the house or at least they know where the customers live. In many cases of contractors, they don't have offices, therefore, it's much harder for customers to do anything when things go bad.

Back to my story... I CAN'T even negotiate because the contractor has not called back nor picked up his phone. So does that mean that I just forget about him? and hire another contractor? Isn't that convenient for the contractors?
most Contractors are good, hard working people. your responsibility was to control the finances, that was your leverage.
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KUI****G View Post
Is really calling the police not an option? I sympathtic for you.... To me the guy gets the money and do not do the job... is a big rip off... I mean if the police can at least assist you to obtain the address of the person so that you can carry out small claim lawsuit... or other advice...

Yes, I thought about it. But you think the police do this kind of stuff? Is it the 911# that I should call? I called the city mediator but they don't seem to be friendly. They kind of suggested to call the BBB. I don't know much what BBB does. I though it's just for complaints without any action is being pursued?
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:57 PM   #24
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The police will do nothing. Contract violation is not a crime, it is a civil infraction. The police will help you if someone takes your money that has acquired it by ill means. If you hand your money over to someone, then they will not intervene. Even if you are not getting what you paid for, there is no crime. You can say it is like stealing, but it is not exactly like stealing. Best bet is through court.
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:59 PM   #25
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problem contractor-help please


The BBB will register a complaint, this can hurt the contractor if perspective clients look at the BBB for reference but they will do nothing to resolve your conflict. Resolve in court or resolve amongst yourselves. Those are your options. Threatening to call the BBB can sometimes spook people into cooperating..
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:19 PM   #26
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May be BBB can give you the address of the guy... I agree take to court is the best way... but I understand you need a physical address of the contractor in order to file a court thing...
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:37 PM   #27
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I checked BBB website, I can't even file a complaint there - it's forwarding me to another government agency.

I tried to look up his business, names, etc., but it's not listed anywhere. I am gonna call the police dept to see if they could suggest anything. I looked in white pages- and I found hundred names like his. arrrghhhhhh!!
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:44 PM   #28
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In what form was the payment? I suppose handing someone cash is the utmost worst thing to do. A check will probably give them some sort of tie to a bank account. A credit card would be the absolute safest, 0 fraud liability. If a contractor doesn't have a credit card service, have them use a paypal account and you two can work out the fees... That'll probably irritate the hell out of them though


If you paid with a check/bank card, go fill out an affadavit of fraud at the bank, and you'll likely get a refund while they go after the guy... worth a shot. I've gotten money back for unrelated reasons that way (ebay fraud).


Would would one do on a roofing job? Cash upon delivery of materials??? Rest of payment upon job completion?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brik View Post
I actually was paid MORE because of how happy the customer was.
i wish i had a couple of dopes like that around, i'd make 'em happy all day long
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:09 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Csucks View Post
I bet the ratio of who is screwing who is MANY MANY MANY more contractors screwing the customers! I've been a homeowner only for 3 years - each time I hired a contractor, they screwed us up big time - regardless of the agreement and license they have. So I was questioning, what is the criteria to earn this stupid license. At this point, to me, it doesn't mean crap! license or no license, they still screw you. I called a lawyer and what he told me was 'unfortunately the law is more favoring the contractors than the consumers, so the best bet is to negotiate with them' If customers don't pay,contractors put lien on the house or at least they know where the customers live. In many cases of contractors, they don't have offices, therefore, it's much harder for customers to do anything when things go bad.

Back to my story... I CAN'T even negotiate because the contractor has not called back nor picked up his phone. So does that mean that I just forget about him? and hire another contractor? Isn't that convenient for the contractors?
I've hired many, many, many contractors and never, never, never been screwed ever.

Sorry, but stupid is as stupid does.

There is a coorelated statement such as you have made - it's about buying cars, you've probably heard it to, how "I was talked into buying something I didn't want."



Sorry, your statement and that one have a lot in common.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:18 PM   #30
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problem contractor-help please


Here's a simple solution for you - don't do business with any contractor that wants more than a 10% deposit. NO MATTER WHAT.

BUT, and here is the big BUT. Quality, solvent, real companies don't work for Craiglist pricing. They will charge you what you probably consider to be an arm and a leg. BUT the difference is, they will perform.

You will get what you pay for.

That's the problem with consumer/contractor relationships that is such a strange beast to most consumers. Consumers are used to going out to the local store and buying things. Consumers know what the differences are what their dollar will buy them at Nordstrom's and Wal-mart. They know the level of service they will get at each store.

But once they step into the home improvement category they lose all perspective. They totally lose the correlation between the price you pay and what you get for your money. Between what a legitimate business is, why they charge what they do and the difference between some guy and a truck.

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