An Article About Cowboy Clients (Yes, Clients!)
Some people are just plain bad, they set out to defraud, there’s nothing can be done to prevent this. A builder has very little recrimination in these cases. He will realise too late what has been going on right in front of his eyes and know he’s stymied.
Court action against a “professional” is destined to be protracted and expensive. A man can be broken by it and if a builder tries to literally undo his work, he then risks a criminal damage claim which he will loose as well.
Some people however, possibly because they have half a dozen synapses that just never got joined up, genuinely can’t come to grips with a situation. Remember, the builder has seen it all before. If he tells you something you don’t want to hear, it’s not because he just can’t wait to have a shouting match in your kitchen, which results in you throwing him out half way through a job still owing him £500. It’s because it’s the truth!
I once couldn’t lay a concrete greenhouse base because the forecast kept predicting rain. This went on for a week or more and of course on some days it didn’t rain. The client couldn’t understand that once cancelled in the morning, the mixer wagon then couldn’t just turn up when it turned out fine later on. In the end I told them I would lay the concrete tomorrow no matter what the weather, so long as they took responsibility for the outcome. Obviously that was a “no go”. They sacked me and I never got paid for the preparation work, or the skip.
My point is here, I wasn’t making it up. I wanted to lay the blessed stuff as much as they did. Much as I hate to say this, it’s you the client who is very much in charge. Builders are seriously out on a limb, having to keep you happy, very often through gritted teeth until the glorious moment when you deign to pay up.
One last gripe
Clients always say they will get everything ready for the builder on his starting day but they almost never do! I have gone to fit a kitchen and the people said all the cupboards would be emptied etc. etc. so I could rip the old one out.
Emptied! The washing up was still in the sink from the night before! and they had gone to work. It cost them 2 hours work to move everything (£65) which they didn’t like one little bit AND complained that I should have put the thousand bottles of larks tongues in aspic or whatever in a better place than I did. I nearly told them where I wish I had put them but then I would have only reinforced their opinion of the primeval slime that is the “British Working Man.”
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