matt jonathon and dom seem to relish confrontations with cowboy builders and quite rightly so, but we do not hear enough about the customer from hell. we have all had dealings with them. why is it that some people relish being confrontational and difficult. anything for an easy life.
I may well have been the punter from Hell for the shower that messed up my job but even my protestations hitherto have come to nowt. The problem is that anyone can call themselves a builder. When anyone from the Gas, Electric or Water Company comes to our door they show an I.D. card that at least means something. Bob the Bodger could have been let out of Broadmoor the day before they knock on your door and start to ruin your property and finances. Bringing back proper apprenticeships should help, longer college courses and something that can be won by proving skills and shown to the punter perhaps?
I think it's fair comment that there are probably as many "rogue" customers as there are builders, though a rogue builder probably gets to snare more victims numerically. But for a small firm or one man operation, one rogue customer could destroy the business. Not sure what the answer is, as there is too much legislation in the UK anyway and adding more and more all the time is surely not the answer to everything. It's a good point that any old toerag or criminal can set up and say he's a builder - I worked for the police force for many years and we used to see known crooks setting up all the time. Most times doing groundworks, driveways, gardening etc, and there is nothing in law to stop them. It must drive the good legitimate guys mad in getting tarred with the same brush, and when these cowboys also can undercut them of course.
But surely a Cowboy builder knows he is trying to pull a fast one? Hence the multiple victims? Isn't a cow boy builder literally some one who does little work and leaves with your deposit? What benefit would the customer see in being a 'cowboy' it would only be a loss to their own finances if they hampered you to the point where you said ''I'm not doing the job any more'' I suppose I could understand if a customer caused unreasonable legal hassle to your business, but surely other than outright attempting to sabotage your business (surely very very rare) the customer is most likely just being pushy or simply doesn't understand what your doing.
With that being said I see the time = money point, but the customer would be charged for your time? I'm a part time DIY'er not a tradesman so i'm probably very wrong ;)
[quote="HullDoItYourself" What benefit would the customer see in being a 'cowboy' it would only be a loss to their own finances if they hampered you to the point where you said ''I'm not doing the job any more'' [/quote]
Most tradesmen will come across a rouge customer eventually. Luckily, I've mostly managed to spot the possibility early, and either turned the job down, or allowed extra in the quote to cover the hassle.
Changing the design part of the way through is a classic problem. Often requiring extra work and materials as well as undoing completed parts. I installed a row of built in wardrobes once. The lady watched me all day, then announced at 5pm she wanted them moving 6" further to one side.
Unforseen works can be a minefield too. Who pays for the extra?
Then there's the picky customer. I once had one who complained about the number of knots in real wood doors. I ended up changing one of the doors FOC because it had three knots in when the others only had two and they didn't match!
And those immortal words - "While your'e here", "It worked before you came" and "you've damaged the.....".
What you must remember is the customer doesn't pay until the job is finished so can withhold payment. You can't just walk off a job part of the way through especially if materials have been bought. Lets not forget about negative reviews either!