Author Topic: Your friend's work was shocking  (Read 4066 times)

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paintpots

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Your friend's work was shocking
« on: January 21, 2013, 02:00:19 PM »
I'm in a bit of a quandary, and since Ehellions seem to be very good at this sort of thing, I thought I'd run it past you.

BG: BF and I are currently doing some fairly heavy renovation work to a house we've just bought - knocking down walls, replastering etc. Before we got started on anything serious, we were advised to sort out the electrics and put in any additional sockets we needed, which we decided to do. In the UK, you can do your electrical wiring yourself (and both of our parents have done this), but you have to get it checked and signed off by a registered electrician if you ever want to sell your house, so we decided to get an electrician to do all the work for us.

I asked around colleagues etc. for recommendations for electricians (as well as all the other people we need), and one of my colleagues recommended* her neighbour (an electrician) to me. He came around, we discussed all the things we wanted done, and he sent over a quote (we also got a quote from another electrician). His came out cheaper, (partially as a consequence of being not registered to charged VAT/sales tax) and he seemed like a nice chap, so we decided to go ahead.

He turned up on the day/time as promised, and at the end of the first day everything looked good (floorboards up etc). I bet you can see where this is going...

To cut a long story short he did an appalling job. He took 8 weeks (being chased regularly) to fit 9 sockets, and then proceeded to harangue us with increasingly threatening requests for payment before he had even finished. Worse still, when he claimed he had finished, BF (who is an engineer btw, as are both our dads) inspected what he'd done and found that some of it was actually illegal, not to mention unsafe (think wires stuck together with duct tape). He also left large unfilled holes around the sockets - BF was livid, but admittedly electrician hadn't promised to 'make good' the walls in his quote so unfortunately we couldn't argue this point.  Fortunately for us, he was registered, and had stupidly issued a certificate for his work stating it was up to regulation. We rang up his registering body and explained what he had done (don't know what happens at that point..).

BF explained this all to the electrician who promptly became v. apologetic and gave some feeble excuses and promised to 'adjust' the work 'to our requests' that afternoon - which he did (it's all safe now-phew), and we did pay him, although not the extra 90 he decided to charge us for running a cable under the floor. We've learnt our lesson not to use recommendations unless they've actually done work for the person recommending, and fortunately all our subsequent contractors have been fantastic.

So now to my quandary:


My colleague (who I am very fond of and is a bit of a lifesaver workwise in preserving my sanity) recommended him to me in all good faith, but I really don't want her to carry on 'recommending' him to anyone else after the experience we've had. However, he is her next door neighbour, and clearly a good friend - only the other day she posted on fbook about how she'd had such a lovely evening with him and his family. He was very charming and she's very sociable, so I can why they would get on - and I really don't want to make her feel awkward, as we're never going to see him again, while she will regularly.

Should I tell her about our experience? If so, how? I don't see her very often, and I'm not entirely sure how to bring it up. We usually meet up for lunch with another colleague once a month or so (and I did tell other colleague about our experience), so it's not the best forum. I did bump into her last week, and I suspect she may have known something because she did ask me about the house, but I chickened out. Help me steel my spine!!

*I say recommended - I think she did say she couldn't speak from experience but that he was a really nice bloke and very trustworthy. He knew that I work with colleague.

Shoo

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 02:02:57 PM »
I think that if she asks you how things went, you should be honest.  But I wouldn't go out of my way to bring it up with her.

cicero

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 02:17:10 PM »
I would. and I have. a friend of mine recommended a handyman to me, "he's amazing" she said. yes, amazingly incompetent... He left a mess, he didn't do a good job, he wanted me to pay him in cash/no receipt so he wouldn't have to pay income tax and VAT, and when i insisted on a reciept he changed the original price...

I told my friend that the receipt issue bothered me, and while I understood that she was happy with him, i wasn't overly impressed with his work.

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doodlemor

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 02:38:36 PM »
As this is a safety issue, I think that you need to tell her.  You wouldn't want your friend or someone else who used him on her recommendation to have a fire.

As some point, when the job is over, I think that you should bring this up if she hasn't already asked.  You could say......"I are sorry to have to say this, but DF and I had a lot of problems with your neighbor."  Then just give her the facts in a non judgmental voice.

oceanus

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 05:24:52 PM »
As this is a safety issue, I think that you need to tell her.  You wouldn't want your friend or someone else who used him on her recommendation to have a fire.

As some point, when the job is over, I think that you should bring this up if she hasn't already asked.  You could say......"I are sorry to have to say this, but DF and I had a lot of problems with your neighbor."  Then just give her the facts in a non judgmental voice.

This.

While he may have been "nice", a lot of "nice" people are incompetent.  Also sounds like he was a PITA to deal with.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 06:49:46 PM »
I would not go out of my way to bring it up to her, but if she asked, I would tell her what I thought and if anyone else ever asked about his work, I would tell them what I thought also.

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 07:02:41 PM »
I absolutely agree with doodlemor--this is a safety issue and she needs to know what happened.  I would feel less strongly if the handyman had been a painter or something similar--no one dies from a bad paint job.  But electrical fires are a major hazard--I would tell her and let her decide if she wants to continue to reccomend him.

TootsNYC

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 08:34:18 PM »
As this is a safety issue, I think that you need to tell her.  You wouldn't want your friend or someone else who used him on her recommendation to have a fire.

As some point, when the job is over, I think that you should bring this up if she hasn't already asked.  You could say......"I are sorry to have to say this, but DF and I had a lot of problems with your neighbor."  Then just give her the facts in a non judgmental voice.

I completely agree.

There isn't any criticism of your friend in this--not at all. You are simply passing on information you think she might want to know.

Cuddlepie

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 09:51:26 PM »
I would 'work' him into a conversation somehow as he was recommended but these recommendations should stop.  It is a safety issue for others that use his services.  Perhaps only criticise the quality of his workmanship and leave out criticism of the man himself, this may go over better with your friend.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 02:07:48 AM »
How likely is she to be recommending him to other people?  It's not like an electrician is something people are looking for every day.  I would mention it if it comes up, but I wouldn't try to work it into conversation - chances are, you'll find a time to mention your dissatisfaction long before she ever has a chance to recommend him again.

CakeEater

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 04:19:48 AM »
I don't think you need to worry about her having to see him and it being awkward. She doesn't need to repeat what you've said to him, or discuss it with him at all. She'd feel worse, surely if she recommended him several times and at some later point found out how shoddy he was for everyone.

I'd just bring it up in a information sharing way. 'Hey, just thought you should know that we weren't really happy with the work electrician did. I just thought you'd like to know in case you wanted to rethink recommending him to anyone else.'

TootsNYC

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 08:15:15 AM »
CakeEater's post reminded me--if she recommends him to someone else, she may say or think, "I recommended him to my colleague, and she used him. She never said anything, so everything must have gone well."

onyonryngs

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2013, 10:05:12 AM »
I would definitely tell her.  She recommended him.  I would be horrified to know that someone I recommended did this and would want to know.  One of those "it's not personal, it's business" things.  However, it's also one of those hindsight things - I found that you usually get what you pay for and if you're trying to save money by using someone who gets around paying taxes, etc. for whatever reason, that is sometimes a sign that they may not have the best business morals.

Kiwichick

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 07:50:19 PM »
I would definitely tell her.  She recommended him.  I would be horrified to know that someone I recommended did this and would want to know.  One of those "it's not personal, it's business" things.  However, it's also one of those hindsight things - I found that you usually get what you pay for and if you're trying to save money by using someone who gets around paying taxes, etc. for whatever reason, that is sometimes a sign that they may not have the best business morals.

Not being VAT registered only means his company doesn't turnover more than 77k a year, it has nothing to do with getting around paying taxes.

OP just tell her the facts, she needs to know that just because she likes him it doesn't mean she should be recommending him.

m2kbug

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Re: Your friend's work was shocking
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2013, 09:12:13 PM »
I'm going agree that she needs to be told.  Not only is this a dangerous situation, but I think her name and trust levels are being soiled in recommending this individual a little bit.  I don't know if those are the right words to use.  It's not like his poor work is her fault.  I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.  I would be very upset if someone I recommended was sloppy and could potentially cause serious damage and loss, and I would, in part, feel responsible.

It's unfortunate this electrician didn't work doubly hard when his friend and neighbor recommended him.

How to bring it up?  I'm not really sure.  If she asks you how it went, do share the problems.  It sounds like she's already aware of some problems, but maybe she heard from him you were the problem.  This does put her in the middle a little bit.  It doesn't have to destroy their rel-ationship, she'll just be careful about recommending him again, and he doesn't have to know whether she does or not.