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.