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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings guy's,

I did some work for a friend of a friend and extended some very low prices for te work,.. "ya I know" Anyway to cut a long story short, my work was complete with the exception of a couple little things which I had to do right before another subcontractor (Tile) came in to install a tile backsplash ( I had to rip open a couple walls in the kitchen of a home which was occupied with children) I had asked for at least a couple of days notice before the tile guy would be there. I get a call one afternoon about two weeks later saying bachsplash is going to be installed in the morning. I reluctantly re-scheduled my other appointments for the next morning but had to swing by and get my guys going on one project that morning. This made me about 30 minutes late in arriving. Upon arrival the two Tile guys were there making a material list, I explained to them my situation and they asked if I could perform surgical cuts in the wall as this would save them time so they could simply fill the void instead of hanging new rock. I accomidated, I then found some misc. tiny screws were missing from the UC lights I was instlling and had to go to the local Hardware store to pick some up. The tile guy calls me and asks if I can measure the depth of the rock because he didnt know 1/2" OR 5/8" and it was two layers of 1/2" so I call him when I return and tell him, I also tell him I have about an hour left, he says no problem. I am then finishing up as they return and begin looking at the other side of the kitchen (where I am not working) figuring out there layout, I hear them questioning ono another about design when I hear them agree to take off and return the next morning so I would have time to finish and they would be able to go over the design with the homeowners. I told them I was about done and they said see ya. A few days later I get a call from the homeowner who tells me "the tile guy is backcharging me $400.00 because you were in his way and he had to pull off the job" I was instantly steaming!! I have never held up a project, Complex Commercial or Residential, I have never had a complaint from tradesmen or clients. So I explain to him that it is Foudulent and I would not pay a dime. I told him to have his crook of a tile guy try and backcharge me!! Over a month goes by and I have not been paid, I finally get a hold of the homeowners and he says "oh yeah no problem, but how do you want handle that back charge?" It so happens he only owes $650.00 so you can see the convience here. I know the tile guy and him are aquantances at least and maybe friends. I am waiting to respond because I am again very angree over this. I already did the job to cheap and know they are trying bamboozal me. Even if I retired of that job my oulook would be the same, its Froudulent!!! Any advise? Thanks guys
 

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Is the home owner acting as the CG? if he is, he sounds like he can't schedule the subs for worth a sh!t and he needs to take responsibility for running his own job.
 

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That's what I was thinking. 24hrs notice, isn't a lot of notice. I was wondering if the homeowner thought it should of been done without prior notice of the tile guys coming. If so, they might have a point. Still, $400 back charge would upset anyone.
 

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Google trade stacking. It is the project managers responsibility to properly schedule. Well unless they can find fault on you for not keeping up with the schedule. Was a schedule discussed with you? Take it to arbitration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry for rambling I am new to online tools like this.

There was a GC for everything except the backsplash, that the Homeowner coordinated alone. Yes I told him I needed notice.

Moreover,

In the time it would have taken the Tile guy to roll out his tools I would have been gone and the other half of the kitchen was not occupied.

According to the home owner the Tile guy says I told him I would be done by a certain time, which at this point is a malicious lie.
 

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If I were the HO I'd call the tiller on it. The reasonable thing to do for this situation would have been for the tiler to stick with the schedule, account for any loss of productivity that you (powerman) may have caused him and compensate him accordingly. That is of course if he actually incurred any real loss of productivity.
 

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I'd just go talk with the tile guy who is hitting you with a back charge and kick him in the nuts. :blink:

That should settle things.











But then....I'm not an electrician. :D
 

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Any kind of contract in place, stating when you where expected to be done?

If there was, it should back you up in small claims court. Even without a contract, you probably still have a presentable case.

Chances are the customer will pay as opposed to court. But, its going to cost you points in customer relations.

Personally, I'd chalk this up as a learning experience. Settle for whatever they'll pay, and move on. Stiff drink, and figure how to best avoid repeating that scenario.
 

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Business and pleasure don't mix, so cutting your cost on the job a friend or not.

I hope there is a contract, which I doubt there is, and it sounds like the work was done without permits, so don't waste your time, unless you have a contract and work was done legit...then maybe there is a chance you get to collect.
 

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I agree with jaf. Just get what you can, but make sure you never do this again no matter what. And let the home owner know that you will remember the tile guy's name for future reference. I myself am writing off about $250.00 from a deal with a contractor who was in with a home owner.
That is the first time in 18 years I have been stiffed. Yes shame on me.

Gary1
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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I would confront the tile guy directly and ask him to explain himself. For all we know, this could be something that your friend the homeowner made up. But either way when you eliminate the messenger, you get to the bottom of the situation much quicker.

But let's say that the tile guy is trying to stick you for the $400 and he's using the homeowner as his spokesperson. When you confront him directly you can remind him of what had taken place. It's amazing how quickly people cower and back down when their sillyness is confronted.
 

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I would keep mailing him invoices for the $650.00, including late charges when they become applicable, and keep the ball in his court. If he eventually pays you the whole amount, well then you are set. If he mails you a check for $250.00, then it is time to consider weather or not it is worth it to go to court over this.

People can threaten back-charges all they want, but once it is time to put things in writing, sometimes they reconsider. No sense worrying about it until they do so.
 

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Of course we only have your side of the story to go on. But be that as it may...

If that happened, and the tile guy decided that he would rather not start the job because you were in his way for a short time. He made the decision to leave, you were not in his way. Plus the HO calling you on short notice and him stacking the subs is not the way things should be done.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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One other thing that I forgot to mention.. I don't know what the laws are in your state but where I live, licensed contractors have the power to file a mechanic's lien against a non-paying home owner. That's what usually protects us from shenanigans like this.

Hypothetically speaking, let's say that you were in the tile man's way and forced him to leave as the result of your own stubbornness. The home owner would STILL have to pay you what he owes and this principle would hold up in any court of law. Then he would have to come back and sue you for the back charge but the HO cannot legally refuse to remit what he owes you.
 

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Legal and right are not always the same thing. Laws are written to create a benchmark that everyone can agree with (hopefully) and ultimately if this were to go into a courtroom, my guess is that the tile guy would lose.

Now comes the question of "right". This is a subjective term, and thus the tile guy can feel that he is "right" since he showed up and could not work-whether or not he was man enough to say that to your face, he evidentally left feeling like you were in his way. I would call that a scapegoat technique, but nonetheless, he justified it somehow.

On the other hand, you feel "right" in that you did everything possible to meet an expedited schedule and held up your end of the bargain. In the matter of right, both you and the tile guy are in the "right" and the homeowner is clearly in the wrong.

Outside of a courtroom, the homeowner should be paying the tile guy $400 for wasting his time by scheduling him too early. The homeowner should also give you a "tip" for dropping everything in an attempt to bail out their poor planning.

In summary, going to court, the homeowner walks and the tile guy gets nothing. In lieu of court, I say get everyone in the same room, discuss the matter as professionals, and the details will iron themselves out. In the end the only one who should be paying any money would be the homeowner. Just my opinion.
 

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If we were in this position, we would perfect our lien and file send a final invoice with demand for payment with net on receipt terms, and a 'failure to remit within 15 days will result in us exercising all of our legal rights including reporting slow pay and no pay to all three major credit reporting folks and going to court.

We of course would have spoken to our client about this back charge in the first place. We would have also called the tile man and told him our side of the story, including the point of the folks not being ready to install because of design issues.

If you don't tell the whole truth, the first time you're asked, then you're just setting yourself up for being doubted. If its 650 and its not going to make or break you, then tell your friend that its over, and he can work with his tile setter for all future electrical work, because you're firing him as a client.
 

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your pride is on the line son. its not the 650 bucks,its the fact that someone is trying to beat you. gotta get a bit tough and let him know you don't get beat. simple as that; use your imagination and get that money.
 
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