All Topics / General Property / sick of greedy plumbers & electricians

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  • Profile photo of diclemdiclem
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    Badgers,
    Try getting your tradies through "word of mouth".
    The best tradies aren't in the yellow pages.
    If you manage to get one of these tradies referred to you and you still have problems, it might be time to reassess your own attitude towards the trades.

    Profile photo of Badgers_R_UsBadgers_R_Us
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    diclem wrote:
    Badgers,
    Try getting your tradies through "word of mouth".
    The best tradies aren't in the yellow pages.
    If you manage to get one of these tradies referred to you and you still have problems, it might be time to reassess your own attitude towards the trades.


    Thanks for the advice, but really my point was that tradies are notoriously unreliable. As far as my attitude goes, I take people as I find them.

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    I had a tiler turn up once. He had one look at the job and said it was too hard and complicated for him and he didn't want the hassle. This is after I described it to him in detail over the phone and gave him ample opportunity to not quote at all. Surely he would have had some idea if he could do the job then. I told him thanks for waisting my time, and he had the gall to say that I had waisted his time. I proceeded to kick him out of my home ASAP and wrote his name on my black list 'never to be used again'.

    The next tiler turned up and said 'not a poblem' and even did the job that very same day – a damn good job too, and he charged extactly the same and the previous idiot. I wrote his name on my 'use again' list. This tiler was a mature gentleman, whereas the other idiot was a young upstart, looking for easy jobs to stuff up. Glad it wasn't mine.

    Profile photo of Badgers_R_UsBadgers_R_Us
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    Sounds very much like the same person that ran away from my job. I got 3 quotes to install a bathroom.  I supplied the tiles. I chose one of the quotes and before I bought the tiles I asked the guy if it made any difference which type we supplied. He said no.  It was an old Vic Terrace and in keeping with the house I got a mosaic tile. After kicking-off the job he’d been there a few hours and asked for the tiles. When he saw my choice he had a major fit telling me that these tiles were a specialist job and he'd have to make some calls.  He told me that it would cost me another $1,000 on top of his quote!  I told him that I just could not see how it would take more than additional day of anyone’s time.  He told me he'd go to his car and work out some costings.  About 10 mins later he had not returned. I looked outside and his car was gone.  I called him and he was half-way home and told me he didn't want to do the job!

    Anyway, that was just the start of more disasters. The mob that did end up doing the job left the house without a back door for 4 days, took 6 weeks when they had quoted 3, wanted to charge me extra for cleaning up at the end…..

    I'm sure we all have some great stories of real idiots.  I think the best I heard from a friend of mine was about a tradie he had on a job in the UK. This guy put fiberglass in his Wellington boots to keep his feet warm. His feet reacted with the irritant, got all swolen and he had to go to casualty and have his boots surgically removed!  A Wellyectomy.

     

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
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    heard a lot about bad tradies but not much about scumbag customers………

    dont all jump up and scream "racist !!!" but as a tradie Ive found there are different cultures treating people in different ways………

    if for example, I smell curry, I know the client will be an absolute pain in the butt and getting paid will be very difficult. They will stand over me and watch everything I do (which causes me to lose concentration and take longer costing them more). Ive even had some insult me in ways I wouldnt use against my mortal enemy. I doesnt matter how pefect a job you do, they will always complain and demand a discount.

    if I saw a lexus in the driveway and a family of ten in the house with the latest electronics everywhere, I know they will be fair and reasonable. They are usually appreciative and ask for your card. They might seek a discount during the quote process but will never argue about money when the job is done. Often they pay in cash without you even asking them for payment. these people are my kind of customer.

    then there are others who get 10 quotes for a 5 min job and waste tradies time. they want something fixed TODAY but yet wait 3 months to pay the bill. Ive had repeat customers who do this and I say "I can get around to it in a few months"………they ask why it takes so long and I say "Im quick to get to the job if you are quick to pay up"

    Profile photo of Badgers_R_UsBadgers_R_Us
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    crashy wrote:

    dont all jump up and scream "racist !!!"

    I think you'll find it's call stereotyping. It's a form of racism.

    Profile photo of Badgers_R_UsBadgers_R_Us
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    Badgers_R_Us wrote:
    crashy wrote:

    dont all jump up and scream "racist !!!"

    I think you'll find it's called stereotyping. It's a form of racism.

    Profile photo of Badgers_R_UsBadgers_R_Us
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    crashy wrote:

    dont all jump up and scream "racist !!!"

    I think you'll find it's called stereotyping. It's a form of racism.[/quote] [/quote]

    Profile photo of Badgers_R_UsBadgers_R_Us
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    Dont know what happened there. Can someone remove the duplicates please?

    Profile photo of SIMMO2702SIMMO2702
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    Hello

    I suppose I can comment on this topic as I am a plumber. I do agree that some tradies charge too much (but how much is too much) but we all have the option to say no to the work or ask for a quote.

    I have found with myself that if you get to know your tradies and use them as a regular, it seems to help keep the cost down as repeat business is much cheaper than one off jobs.

    My only concern with people slagging tradespersons (some are women) is they usually do not know how much it costs to run a business. I started my business in 1995 and I did not realise the amount of costs involved to run my own business. The cost of downtime is huge, overheads, licensing, vehicles, fuel, tool insurance, tools, machinery, professional indemnity, mobile phone, software, advertising, continued training (night school), etc etc  

    Sometimes I have asked my customers how many quotes they have got to do a job and they have said 5. That is 5 people to go and quote one job and there is only ever one winner. I have sometimes quoted 30 jobs in a week that take an hour per quote only to win 15 jobs. And some jobs only take an hour.

    Unfortunately there has been major changes in the plumbing and electrical licensing systems in Australia which has led to very heavy increases in regulating by government authority. When you do a job, you have to put in paperwork in to the authority. There is a 5% (1 in 20) jobs that are audited by an inspector, which you have to go back and meet them on site to go over the job (who pays for that).  

    I have been doing plumbing for 18 years and I still learn new things everyday. I do not suggest for people to do their own work as many children and adults have been burnt by hot water, caused explosions by gas leaks, allowed sewer gases to enter their properties, flooded their whole home from doing their own tap washers, dishwashers, toilet cisterns etc, blowing up split system air conditioners by not knowing how to install them and the list goes on and on and on. 

    If you ring your insurance company and ask are you covered if you do your own plumbing or electrical work – I am sure I know what the answer will be. 

    The funny thing is when you go into someones home when they have done their own work and you see the following.

    A simple tap washer replacement that has now wrecked the wall and the vanity cupboard
    A simple cistern changeover that now leaks on the floor and causes the tiles to pop the gyprock to swell and the arcs to swell.
    A simple hot water unit changeover that has not been installed properly and voids the warranty.
    A simple flickmixer changeover and it gets metal filings in the cartridge and it drips the same as the old one
    A simple dishwasher install that has the wrong water pressure and blows the unit up
    A simple skylight install that leaks and causes the ceiling to fall in
    A simple water filter cartridge install that cracks the cannister due to too much pressure and floods all 10 floors of the building you live in.
    A simple upright oven changeover that has not been chained to the wall and falls on the child when the door is opened and the hot pot of liquid and the oven falls on them causing 3rd degree burns and in some cases death
    A simple LPG cylinder changeover that has the safety blow off valves facing towards the house, which burns the side of the house down insted of the fence
    A simple shower rose replacement that the teflon has been put on backwards allowing it to leak in the wall (big repair bills)
    A simple sink install with no silicone which allows the bench to swell (new bench required)
    A simple home brewery install that pollutes your house and the whole street with a fermented water supply
    A simple new tap at the back of the house that has no backflow prevention which is left in the backyard pool which also leaves you all with a poisoned water supply
       
    (These are all real stories in our industry)

    I think you get my point. Being a tradie is not simple. I have had guys who have done a 4 year apprenticeship and it takes me another 3 years to get them to a point where they are a fully competant tradesperson who knows many aspects of the trade. 

    I have had many many customers who I have had to get out of trouble – it is often a time to have a chuckle amongst the guys at the end of the day to share the stories. 

    I am sure the time is coming when it will no longer be a chuckle but a statement will be required to be filled out at the police station as we will be required by law to refer you to the authorities. Already places like Bunnings are being taken to court as they are giving people advice on how to do their own plumbing etc. Which is an offence under the law to do so.

    Hope this is an insight into a simple tradies life 

    Profile photo of Badgers_R_UsBadgers_R_Us
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    I'm not sure people are complaining so much about cost (I think most reasonable people are prepared to pay a fair price for a fair job), its more that the level of quality and consistency that disappoints.

    I think one reason why people get so many quotes is that they do not trust tradies, so feel the need to "test" the market in order to get a realistic idea of the real cost. 

    Profile photo of L.A AussieL.A Aussie
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     On the 'quoting of jobs' merry-go-round;

    I once rang a sparky to come and do the electrical work for one of our renos. He was a local bloke, and my usual guy was unavailable for a while (too busy as usual he does great work, on time, no complaints, fair rates and I pay him immediately as we should).

    The local guy asked what I needed doing, I told him, and over the phone he gave me a flat fee for each type of job he would be doing.
     
    There was no quoting; just a price per item. Take it or leave it. For example; any power point was say $15 (not sure of exact price now). I said; "but what if it is a pri*k of a power point and takes twice as long?"

    He said; "some are easy, some are hard; they all even out".

    I knew my price before the call ended, he told me when he could start, there was no surprises and he did a good job. He did all the power points, wall lights switches, sconces, and a stack of other stuff.

    Great stuff.

    So, my point here is, maybe look at a flat rate costing on a job, don't negotiate and be honest about the likely start time. This will save you guys many hours of wasted quoting time at potential customer's houses. You may lose a few, but you'll end up with a more productive week I'm guessing as most of the quoting will be on the phone and not in the work van.

    Profile photo of Tysonboss1Tysonboss1
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    I don't think tradies charge to much,… I think most people expect to pay to little,

    when you factor in the traveling time, working time, materials, taxes, fuel wages. they have alot of costs, and it can be qutie gruelling work. 

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    Some tradies DO charge too much, hoping that their potenial client will either be in a hurry to get the job done or not have done his homework and obtained other quotes – just read my post on 2 Nov and you'll see what I mean.

    Also, as many others on this thread have said, its not only the price – if you do your research you will get a competitive price – its the quality of workmanship, or lack of it, out there. Again it pays to do your homework and get references, go and have look and some of the tradies previous jobs, or get a good recommendation., or all of the above. This way you will generally weed out the so-called tradies who just won't do a proper job, take short cuts etc.

    Sometimes, unfortunately, you only find out the hard way, but sure as hell you won't be using or recommending that particular tradies ever again.

    Profile photo of Tysonboss1Tysonboss1
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    Its like anything,…. not just tradies,

    I mean what the price of a burger,… a big mac is $3 or you go to a cafe you can spend $13. weather it is value is up to you,

    some tradies have to travel futther,… some spend most of the day doing a great job time on the job others will rush it so they can fit 2 or 3 jobs into their day,… some use quality materials others will cut corners,

    I just got a quote for two differnt lock smiths the one 5 streets away charges a $25 call out fee the one 5 suburbs away charges a $80 call out fee does this mean he is over charging,…. no,.. not with sydney traffic and toll ways. You do have to shop around but generally for the hours they put in, I don't think tradies over charge.

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    Be my guest and pay your tradies what ever you want, even if they overcharge.

    By saying that tradies don't overcharge, and anyone else for that matter, you're making two incorrect assumption here;

    1. all tradies are honest and will only charge a fair and reasonable price 
    2. tradies are somehow different from the general population and will never be oportunistic when it comes to pricing

    the truth is that;

    1. tradies are part of the general population, believe it or not, and like some sections of the general populationn, some tradies are dishonest and/or will overcharge if they can get away with it
    2.some  tradies, again like some sections of the general population, are opportunitic when it comes to pricing

    These these traits don't only apply to tradies – its human nature

    I can't understand why some people on this thread get so defensive when these facts are put in front of them, and insist that all tradies are honest and a distinct breed from the general population.

    Similar threads on the same subject could be on real estate agents, lawyers, engineers, politicians, used car salesmen, police etc – the same principles apply.

    Profile photo of Tysonboss1Tysonboss1
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    All I am saying is that singling out tradies is wrong,

    And when ever hear people talking about quotes and the like tradies have given them they always complain about the price, and say they must be getting ripped of.

    I just think alot of people expect things two cheap, when you factor in all the costs.

    Offcoarse there are rip off merchants,…. but tarring every tradesman is just wrong,…. and even if there are big differances in prices you have to examine the reasons before you just say " well his ripping me off and he's not",… there are alot of variables that will affect the price,….

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
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    Seriously guys, do you actually understand the scope of work or the cost of a loaf of bread today or are you happy paying Coles & Woolies the $3.60 ish each day when you can pick up the identical no frills loaf for a dollar less? Are you happy about paying $6 for a dozen free range eggs or do you prefer $3 from the farm gate?

    Sparkies & Plumbers have always been expensive trades (always have the highest charge out rates & award rates of pay) – why? They deal with stuff that requires a great deal of skill (can kill) or will leave you lying in a pool of sh!t.

    With plumbing supplies there is only one major manufacturer Caroma, not quite a monopoly but they have absorbed a number of manufacturers over the years including Fowler, Watson Crane, Donson and others.

    Electrical supplies on the other hand we have to deal with wholesalers (who in turn buy off importers and the manufacturers).
    I find it hard to believe that Sharlene can get that scope of work completed for sub-$400 including the supply of materials (most fluoros are either 2' or 4' so unless they were extermely 'special' or 2nd hand they would not have been cheap (I have been involved in the industry for a number of years), by the sounds of it there was a full day's work an at a normal chargeout rate labour would have exceeded the $300.

    I'd agree that ttman had paid through the nose – a downlight complete with magnetic transformer can be bought for less than a$30 (electronic transformers are considerably more expensive but cheaper to run). A single downlight would not replace a traditional light fitting – you would need at least 2 or more in the room to get the same coverage as they are a  50W narrow beam light.

    A database of pricing is useless unless you know and understand the inclusions – you need to compare apples for apples. As investors you should understand this. If I said I could sell you a house returning 15% you would check it out. (is it nett, gross, combined rent/capital growth etc). Check out your subbies, get a quote don't just rely on 'yeah, he's a mate etc he'll do the right thing'.

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    My point exactly, do your homework, when using these guys. You only have yourself to blame if you pay no than you need to and the tradie has the extra money in his pocket instead of you because you didn't scrutinise him poperly.

    You're not obligued to use any one tradie, or any other business or profession for that matter. There is still a lot of choice of tradies so don't feel pressured into grabbing the first one you come across.

    Market forces will decide what price is charged, when atradie's wiork dries up because he's always trying to overcharge or too expensive then he'll either drop his price or go out of business.

    Profile photo of Tysonboss1Tysonboss1
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    Scott No Mates wrote:
    Seriously guys, do you actually understand the scope of work or the cost of a loaf of bread today or are you happy paying Coles & Woolies the $3.60 ish each day when you can pick up the identical no frills loaf for a dollar less? Are you happy about paying $6 for a dozen free range eggs or do you prefer $3 from the farm gate?

    .

    Yes I am Happy paying an extra $1 a loaf if the bread contains extra vitimins, calcium or omega,

    and yes I am happy paying an extra $3 for eggs if I don't have to drive an hour to the farm gate.

    as you said you have to look at what you are getting,. for your money.

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