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A Visitor From Over In Painting

 
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:47 PM   #1
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A Visitor From Over In Painting


A Plumbing Company I hired IS NOT working out, should I cut my losses and look for a new company?

Most of the agreed upon work was not done. Prior to any work the very young apprentice they sent sawed out about a third of the kitchen ceiling cutting a copper line in the process & flooding the kitchen floor. He had no catch basin or tub and nothing suitable to mop up the water. (I did the main mop up!) Only about Two sq ft was needed! All this to replace the drain mouth piece and over flow on an upstairs bath tub. He also installed a small air intake valve under the downstairs sin. These little jobs took him at least 6 HOURS. The problems I had discussed, paid the deposit on and signed for involved: inspect old portion of the stack, replace the sink waste pipe that was corroded, galvanized pipe, replace tub/shower drain to stack, replace tube waste and overflow with access, replace toilet bend and flange, install air admittance valve on washroom sink in main. Most of this work was not done after ripping up the kitchen. The next morning in preparation for a shower I started to wash the bathtub and water poured through the ceiling into a breakfast that was on the stove and flooding the kitchen a second time! The same young apprentice was sent back and he piled caulking under the bath drain ( That, no doubt would have fixed the leak WITH NO NEW PARTS). I told him the bath still did not drain properly, I still had the old pipe to the sink and the toilet bend and flange was not done. He told me the fixs were to difficult and complicated "just pour some liquid plumber into the drains", (AS THOUGH I HAD NEVER TRIED THAT!!). It was the "difficult and complicated" stuff I was willing to pay a "Pro" for. At full plumber's rates I did not even get a plumber; I got an unassisted apprentice. The company did not check on the work being done and did no inspection of the work that was said to be completed.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


I would be on the phone with the owner first thing Monday morning. Best case he sends out a top hand and gets the work done correctly, and immediately.

Worst case he turns out to be a not nice person and tells you too bad.
Which opens the door to you taking more aggressive forms of recourse.
Did you pay with a credit card? They might be able to take the money back from him.

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Old 02-25-2018, 09:00 PM   #3
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


Call the boss and give him a chance to make it right. That's what you would want from one of your customers.

If that doesn't happen, then it's time to cut your losses.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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Originally Posted by Lettusbee View Post
I would be on the phone with the owner first thing Monday morning. Best case he sends out a top hand and gets the work done correctly, and immediately.

Worst case he turns out to be a not nice person and tells you too bad.
Which opens the door to you taking more aggressive forms of recourse.
Did you pay with a credit card? They might be able to take the money back from him.
I have already had communication with the boss. He said " I apologize for how your job didn't go as planned. .... My technician was told to replace the drain line for the sink multiple times verbally and in writing. He will be disciplined accordingly. I also expect my technicians to fix their mistakes if they are made, so they can learn from them."

BUT it seems he wants to send the same "technician" back. A very young and unambitious apprentice. (I checked the technician's status with the registry and he is an apprentice and looks no more than 16, I know he could be older by not by much.) I told the boss I don't want that kid in my house again. I am awaiting his reply. I should not have to pay full plumbers rates to train his staff for him and this job was by no means quoted cheaply!

The kids been back once already and still unprepared to do any of the other work. I told him about the still outstanding work and he shrugged and left, having put lots more caulking around the drain connection.

So far, they just got a hefty deposit by check.

Last edited by JenniferTemple; 02-25-2018 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 09:22 AM   #5
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


No way would he be coming back into my house. If the boss won't send out a licensed plumber, which I doubt this guy is, then tell him you need to hire one elsewhere to fix their problem, which they will need to pay for.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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No way would he be coming back into my house. If the boss won't send out a licensed plumber, which I doubt this guy is, then tell him you need to hire one elsewhere to fix their problem, which they will need to pay for.
Here in Ontario you can look up a trade person's status with the Ontario College of Trades, a regulatory body. I did that, the kid (technician) is definitely a second year apprentice. What he is not getting is proper training being sent out on his own, that may also account for his poor attitude! He really did not look like he gave a hoot. Usually, when I see young guys in the program, they are excited, ambitious and had already learned a lot on their own, driven by personal interest. That was what made them apply for apprenticeship in the first place. This kid had none of the interest or enthusiasm I would have expected. If he'd shown the "right stuff" Id have cut him a lot of slack, in spite of his boss. We all had to learn at some point. As per training this kid is getting sc***ed! But given his lazy and unambitious attitude , I just did not care.

IMO, the boss should have come himself or sent a trusted and competent next to accompany the kid on the second call. First to look at the job, second, to provide instruction to kid and third, to provide someone I could have a knowledgeable discussion with about the problems and possible work arounds.

Given my own business, I am inclined to even cut a lot of slack for the companies. In my own business I NEVER sent a rookie out to a job alone. I saw them make to many dumb mistakes to chance such a stupid business practice. Sadly, shortly after they get good enough to work solo, they head out to become my competition!
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:19 AM   #7
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


In this state we have labor & industries so you look up the contractor license number. But I don't believe an apprentice can do licensed work on his own, they are helpers. If that's the case there you have a big stick to work with.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:42 AM   #8
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
In this state we have labor & industries so you look up the contractor license number. But I don't believe an apprentice can do licensed work on his own, they are helpers. If that's the case there you have a big stick to work with.
True, but do I really want angry people who have clearly shown they don't care. When the drywall is all replaced, it could take a little time for me to know how sound the work was and end up being more more expensive and a lot more trouble. This is the heart of my quandary, angry people do not do their best work. If I force issues, no doubt that is what I will get, angry and disgruntled workers.

They can keep the deposit, what worries me is they want me to pay more and I think we are at "even" at this point and I STILL NEED TO REPAIR ALL OF THAT CEILING! (Next up, if I allow them to continue, would be tearing out of some wall upstairs and if they tear out an excess there....possibly to NOT have the work done or done properly)

Last edited by JenniferTemple; 02-26-2018 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:57 AM   #9
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


I'm a little lost. Are you having the plumbing company do the wall repair? I sure wouldn't. Leave the ceiling open until you're sure it isn't leaking. I'm doing a ceiling repair now, toilet leaked. I suggested leaving it open until we knew it was the wax ring. Better safe than sorry. (No, I didn't originally install the toilet)
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:00 PM   #10
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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True, but do I really want angry people who have clearly shown they don't care. When the drywall is all replaced, it could take a little time for me to know how sound the work was and end up being more more expensive and a lot more trouble. This is the heart of my quandary, angry people do not do their best work. If I force issues, no doubt that is what I will get, angry and disgruntled workers.

They can keep the deposit, what worries me is they want me to pay more and I think we are at "even" at this point and I STILL NEED TO REPAIR ALL OF THAT CEILING! (Next up, if I allow them to continue, would be tearing out of some wall upstairs and if they tear out an excess there....possibly to NOT have the work done or done properly)
Just be clear on your expectations... you paid for a licensed plumber but instead got a two-year apprentice who caused more issues than he solved...

Just think of it as if you were GC'ing a job (you are BTW)... be clear on what you expected as opposed to what you received, what happened as a result and what you expect as a resolution (i.e. - repairs done by a licensed plumber)... you've already experienced it the way they wanted to handle it to ill effect, now experience it the way you expect it to be done...

Don't be so quick to write off your deposit ...
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:00 PM   #11
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


BTW: How do I get silicone caulking off. When setting the drain cage & plug silicone was smeared all around the opening on the bottom of the tub. Is there anyway to clean that off?
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:08 PM   #12
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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Originally Posted by KAP View Post
Just be clear on your expectations... you paid for a licensed plumber but instead got a two-year apprentice who caused more issues than he solved...

Just think of it as if you were GC'ing a job (you are BTW)... be clear on what you expected as opposed to what you received, what happened as a result and what you expect as a resolution (i.e. - repairs done by a licensed plumber)... you've already experienced it the way they wanted to handle it to ill effect, now experience it the way you expect it to be done...

Don't be so quick to write off your deposit ...
I am still waiting for his reply as to whether he will send a licensed plumber. If he sends the kid again, I'm afraid we're done talking. I do think the amount of the deposit was earned as I look over the original quote, (damage to ceiling & lack of plumber discounted) I will not pay more for an inexperienced and unlicensed kid!
I will decide what to do after the contractor gets back to me with what he proposes to do and with what attitude.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:47 PM   #13
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
I'm a little lost. Are you having the plumbing company do the wall repair? I sure wouldn't. Leave the ceiling open until you're sure it isn't leaking. I'm doing a ceiling repair now, toilet leaked. I suggested leaving it open until we knew it was the wax ring. Better safe than sorry. (No, I didn't originally install the toilet)
NO! They need to tear out wall to reach plumbing lines. I get to repair the tear outs. I was just saying, Given the mount of ceiling they took out to do minor work, I worry about how much wall they will feel they should remove. The ceiling is remaining opened until I can get the tub plumbing fixed to such a degree that the water will drain out of it at a reasonable rate.
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:21 PM   #14
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


This communication, would, I expect, will be an end to my dealings with this company. It has not been sent yet because I wanted to ask here if it seems a fair conclusion.

Quotes are what the contractor said in the way of excuses for lack of compliance to the original contract. What follows is what I would say now:

...AND I have just had the joy of discovering silicone smeared around the drain opening in the bottom of the bathtub as I was about to apply some cosmetic application to the tub. Silicone will absolutely prevent adhesion!

I also think the "technician" is no where near a competency level to be " dealing with older homes" unassisted where "there are many unknowns". He may be very good at putting in drains and over flow parts on a new build or installing sinks and toilets with no hidden lines. I don't know. (Heck, even I can install a new sink or toilet!) What I do know is I was quoted plumbers rates and expected a licensed plumber.

It has appeared that you do not want to send a real plumber because you must have IMPORTANT jobs for them and I am not such an important client.

I must say, given the reference you got from Mr. *****, this is all very depressing! I will not tell **** how this all fell apart so quickly, nor will I contact the College about the perceived level of training the young man is receiving. I afford all the consideration that I would want. I can be very generous when dealing with companies that show due diligence and proper respect that payment demands; at the same time I have little to no patience for the shoddy or incompetent.

Not having a reply to yesterdays communication I am guessing there will be no further communication and we should both call it quits and cut our losses.

Respectfully, Me

My reference to generosity is valid, the contractor would know that the company who did my roof, **** Structural & Cladding and who had referred this plumber to me, had received $1000 over the contracted price and all the young men he sent to work on the roof each received a $50 gift from me as they were cleaning up. I called this plumbing company because he was referred to me by the Cladding contractor & I was inclined to think water always finds it's level. (Clearly, not always, he had done some good work for Mr. ***** I think.)

I do not dare to contact another plumbing company until it is clear that the current company and I are, in fact, finished.
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:08 PM   #15
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


If you sent that letter to me i would deem it that you are ending our contract without providing me an opportunity to correct any wrong doings.

What does your contract say about disagreements and how they are to be handled?

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Old 02-26-2018, 08:18 PM   #16
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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This communication, would, I expect, will be an end to my dealings with this company. It has not been sent yet because I wanted to ask here if it seems a fair conclusion.

Quotes are what the contractor said in the way of excuses for lack of compliance to the original contract. What follows is what I would say now:

...AND I have just had the joy of discovering silicone smeared around the drain opening in the bottom of the bathtub as I was about to apply some cosmetic application to the tub. Silicone will absolutely prevent adhesion!

I also think the "technician" is no where near a competency level to be " dealing with older homes" unassisted where "there are many unknowns". He may be very good at putting in drains and over flow parts on a new build or installing sinks and toilets with no hidden lines. I don't know. (Heck, even I can install a new sink or toilet!) What I do know is I was quoted plumbers rates and expected a licensed plumber.

It has appeared that you do not want to send a real plumber because you must have IMPORTANT jobs for them and I am not such an important client.

I must say, given the reference you got from Mr. *****, this is all very depressing! I will not tell **** how this all fell apart so quickly, nor will I contact the College about the perceived level of training the young man is receiving. I afford all the consideration that I would want. I can be very generous when dealing with companies that show due diligence and proper respect that payment demands; at the same time I have little to no patience for the shoddy or incompetent.

Not having a reply to yesterdays communication I am guessing there will be no further communication and we should both call it quits and cut our losses.

Respectfully, Me

My reference to generosity is valid, the contractor would know that the company who did my roof, **** Structural & Cladding and who had referred this plumber to me, had received $1000 over the contracted price and all the young men he sent to work on the roof each received a $50 gift from me as they were cleaning up. I called this plumbing company because he was referred to me by the Cladding contractor & I was inclined to think water always finds it's level. (Clearly, not always, he had done some good work for Mr. ***** I think.)

I do not dare to contact another plumbing company until it is clear that the current company and I are, in fact, finished.
The highlighted text in red is the most important part.. focus on that... other than making you feel better, the rest doesn't really accomplish anything if you want them to complete the job and give them a third chance...

Just be crystal clear on your expectations and what needs to be corrected that is above and beyond the original work contracted that originated with the apprentice and that they are liable for...
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:47 PM   #17
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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The highlighted text in red is the most important part.. focus on that... other than making you feel better, the rest doesn't really accomplish anything if you want them to complete the job and give them a third chance...

Just be crystal clear on your expectations and what needs to be corrected that is above and beyond the original work contracted that originated with the apprentice and that they are liable for...
Thank you, again! I will seriously edit this and remove all of the superfluous stuff. After all, he knows where the referral came from and THAT guy is important to him. He also, no doubt, knows I know the regulatory body. (Though I think we may be done, I'm not hearing anything from the contractor yet.)
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:51 PM   #18
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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If you sent that letter to me i would deem it that you are ending our contract without providing me an opportunity to correct any wrong doings.

What does your contract say about disagreements and how they are to be handled?

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Well, one does expect you to get in touch and say what you would like to do, if he does not do that soon, ending the contract would be exactly what I intend! Clearly, he is not anxious to salvage the situation, maybe he is overloaded with work. I can deal with that BUT say something!
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:45 PM   #19
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


Any update?
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:02 PM   #20
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Re: A Visitor From Over In Painting


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Any update?

Yup, we are done with each other. He was offended that I was not content to have the apprentice back to do more work. He sent a final bill (At full plumber's rates!) and I paid it. Man had some nerve, he charged me a full "access fee" for taking out 3'X6' of ceiling (That is like better than a third of my small kitchen ceiling) when the work done only required, at most 2'X2'! I did not argue, I sent the money the minute the invoice arrive and was happy to pay, just, to see them gone! An aside, the inside of the bathtub at both drain and overflow were smeared with silicone caulking, CURED! I was not happy abut that because it got in the way of putting a new finish in the tub. Short of grinding, I'm not sure how clean I can get it. (Solvents work, somewhat on fresh calking but cured...? The plug and overflow cover were the cheapest plastic fixtures it would be possible to get. (I'd love to quote the prices I paid but I suspect that would be a "NO", "NO" here.)

In the end, any old handyman would have been a better choice over this company. I was pretty angry for the last 48 hours. It is companies like this that give plumbers a bad name and make HO paranoid about hiring tradesmen!

I need to get my confidence back before I try and hire anyone else to finish the work that needs doing.

I never sent that last letter. I just waited for him to get back to me.

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