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

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  • Profile photo of units4meunits4me
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    Ok.This  is getting ridiculous. All these people bitching about trades, many of whom are making a fortune in the "non trades" side of investing.
     Take a look at yourselves. Do you knock back that ongoing commission, fees based on % of property's worth, tripling of property's value etc. based on ethical grounds.
    I didn't think so.
    It's all about supply and demand, in trades and other areas of the PI industry.

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    I've just finished a major renovation, so I think I have pretty good first hand knowledge in dealing with tradies.

    My general experience is that plumbers are generally the worst culprits when it comes to reliability, price and workmanship. I used about five plumbers in my reno and only one had any idea of customer service and charging a reasonable price. All the rest where basically out to rip me off and do as little as possible, basically to get away with as much as possible. I ended up in court with one of them, the case will be heard next month.

    As for the rest of the tradies, the builder I used was slow, but very good. The sparkie was extremely good, cheap and reliable. I also used door and window repairers, tilers, concretors, roof and gutter repairers, tree loppers, landscapers, termite treaters, etc. All in all they were very good, charged a reasonable price and had come form of cutomer service skills.

    Don't get me wrong, I had to do a lot of research and phone calls and went through a lot of crappy tradies, but it was worth it. Once I found a good, reliable tradie, I struck with them for good.

    The backyard tradies out there who rip off inexperienced people and do a shoddy job, and there are a lot of them, will continue to get work simply due to the demand. But let me tell you, what comes around goes around and when the economy goes off the boil, and it eventually will, these backyarders will be on the dole queue. People like me will remember them, and will not use them ever again.

    So whatch you crappy tradies, your days are numbered

    Profile photo of diclemdiclem
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    How'd you manage to use 5 plumbers in one renovation?
    You didn't get quotes for the entire plumbing works?
    Just called a plumber to do a little job here and get another to do something else?
    Tradies hate that. And you're getting yourself ripped off because of all the travelling time, etc that they have to factor into every little job each one does?
    Are you asking to see their licence? (In vic it has a photo and a list of all areas that they are licensed in)
    Or are you just assuming they are qualified plumbers because they say so?
    You said you had a builder, why wasn't he organising the tradies?
    Sounds as if you went for the cheapest price, perhaps the plumbers that "were out to rip you off" actually knew what they were doing and priced their work accordingly?

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    Diclem

    The reno was sufficiently separated that the building work was carried out prior to and in a totally separate location from the plumbing. The previous plumbers I used were before I started on the reno and it gave me an opportunity to see what was out there, thank god I did that! The cowboys out there was scarey.

    I prefer to trial some tradies on maintenance work prior to giving them the nod. Also, unless your swiming in money, one way to meet a budget (have you heard of one) is not to give the whole job to one person so that he just marks up the other tradies working under him.

    Diclem, it sounds as though your'e willing to take anything that comes your way, or are you a plumber in cognito, speaking up in their defence?

    Profile photo of diclemdiclem
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    In earlier post I stated that I am a plumber's wife….

    By building work I guess you mean carpentry? So it was a carpenter and not a qualified builder running the job. I see that now.
    I understand that you might not want to employ a builder to put a mark up on the tradies prices, however a quality builder has a trusted group of tradies that he is able to co-ordinate and ensure a smooth running of a reno.

    There are cowboys out there and many of them call themselves plumbers when they are not. That is why I asked about checking for licences. I also should mention that you would get a certificate of compliance for the plumbing work should one plumber have done a large portion of your reno. (this is in Vic not sure other states) That's a six year guarantee.

    Many young plumbers come out of their time (4 year apprenticeship) and think they can make it on their own. This is rare as they don't have the experience, that's why I don't see how they can shorten an apprenticeship, they don't learn nearly enough in 4 yrs!

    Your best bet to find a tradie though word of mouth.

    We have been running our small business(plumber & 3 apprentices) for 6 yrs and have never advertised anywhere, all our work is word of mouth and we are pretty much booked to Christmas.

    Ask around, you'll do much better.

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    I only use qualified and licenced tradies, be they builders, plumbers etc. I check that they are registered with the QLD BSA, which requires them to be fully qualified and registered. The QBSA website also has a register revealing any previous or current diputes or rulings against them. All domestic building work or renovations done by these registered tradies comes with a 61/2 year warrantee and is fully backed up by the commercial and consumer tribunal if the tradie defaults in any way.

    The builder I used was registered with the QBSA, so I could and did easily check him out. His contract did include electrics and plastering as this work is best done at the same time as the building works itself. But the plumbing, as I said before, was totally separate and in a different location and was best done at a later date.

    The problem with some tradies is that they think all comsumers are niave idiots and don't know a hammer from a bar of soap and treat the comsumer as such, thinking they can put one over them. In many cases they get away with this behaviour. That is not the case with me as I work in the construction industry and deal with tradies all the time at a commercial level. We use exactly the same due diligence when selecting a tradie at that level.

    The plumbers I used were all registered with the QBSA and I checked them out as well. Unfortunately, nothing is foolproof and you sometimes only learn through trial and error. My backup method was to trial the plumbers on small minor works, until I found one i could rely on.

    Profile photo of MasterRELMasterREL
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    blogs wrote:
    There certainly does seem to be a re occuring theme of the tradies being very 'sensitive' and overly defenssive. On one side there is an argument about sub standard work being provided and people being ripped off, and yet the tradies who all reply seem to ignore this totally and reply in defense of their self worth and right to make a living and that they are not second class citizens etc-seems to be some deep seated issues there fellas……therapy anyone??

    Bit of a tosser thing to say.

    Profile photo of JayroJayro
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    ah well seeing as though your so on the ball with dealing with tradies on the "commercial level" and with your "construction industry" knowledge behind you im sure no silly trady can slip anything past you jfiori. Good to see you have it all sorted.  I just love how as soon as someone gets a price they dont agree with then that just means the person was out to rip them off, lol. You want to pay for the cheap and nasty then thats what you are going to get. Simple fact.

    Like Diclem has said and im sure most would agree word of mouth is the key. This really comes down to any line of work, be it accountants, builders whatever.

    I would have thought being in the construction industry you would know plenty of good tradespeople to do the work for you??? Let alone go through 5 plumbers to find a good one. What no good plumbers on this construction work your in???  As like many others on here im working in a trade and have done for yrs. I could pick 5 great sparky's, 5 great plumbers, plenty of good air con and fridge guys, plenty of good builders etc, all without any difficutly at all. Sounds like you were playing more russian roulette than anything else to go through 5 plumbers on a reno.

    Jayro!

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    You obviously haven't properly read (or understood) my previous post Jayro. So just for your benefit, I will explain it to you again like a two year old. The only real problems I had were with the plumbers. Most were very arrogant, pricey and rude. I initally trialled a few of them and managed to get hold a very good one, and stuck with him.

    When a plumber (or anyone else for that matter) charges up to three times as much as others, then I'd say that's pretty much a rip off , wouldn't you? Or do you just naively pay that because you think he must be very good if he charges that much. Believe it or not, there are some very good and honest tradies who don't over-charge, its just a matter of looking for them and being patient.

    I'm glad you know so many good tradies Jayro, your my hero. You shouldn't have any problems then should you.

    Profile photo of blogsblogs
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    MasterREL wrote:
    blogs wrote:
    There certainly does seem to be a re occuring theme of the tradies being very 'sensitive' and overly defenssive. On one side there is an argument about sub standard work being provided and people being ripped off, and yet the tradies who all reply seem to ignore this totally and reply in defense of their self worth and right to make a living and that they are not second class citizens etc-seems to be some deep seated issues there fellas……therapy anyone??

    Bit of a tosser thing to say.

    And why is that? Can you add anything other than calling me a tosser lol I think its very clear that the majority of tradies that have replied seem to have some sort of a complex

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
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    what………you dont like being called a tosser? according to some you are suppose to say “thanks, I appreciate your criticism & I will try to be less of a tosser in future”

    so tradies have a “complex” because we defend our industry? should we slash our wrists instead?

    we all acknowledge there are some bad tradies. we just take exception to being painted with the same brush.

    Profile photo of JayroJayro
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    Somehow I think it maybe wasnt the plumber who was the orrogant one but maybe it was the know all champ trying to run the show. Anyhow you stick to your trial and error show of going through 5 plumbers on a job and ill stick to my method. Imagine how many tradies you would go through on a real construction site with your methods to find suitable workers. Take yrs you get through a 12 month job id imagine. Anyhow glad I can sleep tonight knowing im your hero. Thank you for the complimant champ, your doing well in your world mate thats all that matters.

     Time this thread got put to bed me thinks. ANyhow thats it for me, im here to try and learn about the investment world regarding property and to take advice from those that have done well. Not here to try justify why myself or other tradespeople should get paid what little money we do get paid.  At the end of the day people can say as they like about tradies. If you can do a better job do it your self, its that simple really.

    Jayro!

    Crashy is on the money. We never said all tradies are great we accept that like all industry does. Just find the attitude labelling us all the same a bit rude.

    Profile photo of jfiorijfiori
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    Poor Javro, he's a real "battler" isn't he, my heart bleeds. i've come across his type before – they're called C.U.B.'s (Cashed Up Bogans) trying to pass themselves off as battlers being hard done by but in actual fact ripping off everyone in sight. Beware of the C.U.B.'s.

    I'm sorry that Javro is the one who lowers the reputation of all decent tradies out there. What with his lack of reading and comprehension skills on this thread who can blame him.

    And did I say hero, on reflection a more apt word for Javro would be ZERO.

    My method has worked out just fine and and I WILL stick to it thanks.

    You'll get a taste of your own medicine Javro when you need to hire someone who's skills you don't possess.

    Profile photo of Jon ChownJon Chown
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    blogs wrote:
    There certainly does seem to be a re occuring theme of the tradies being very 'sensitive' and overly defenssive. On one side there is an argument about sub standard work being provided and people being ripped off, and yet the tradies who all reply seem to ignore this totally and reply in defense of their self worth and right to make a living and that they are not second class citizens etc-seems to be some deep seated issues there fellas……therapy anyone??

    I did make one comment early in this stupid thread and have since just sat back and read in amazement as the posts have just kept coming.   Blogs, I think that you are suggesting therapy for the wrong people.   I'm possibly on my own here, but I just can't believe the number of so called investors who seem to believe that everyone owes them a living so that they can go on to be self made millionaires.   At anyone elses expense but their own – Just look at the posts that suggest Agents are overpaid and do a lousy job – Mortgage Brokers are ripping people off – Tradies charge too much – Lawyers and Conveyancers are too dear – Don't pay for advertising –    It seems to me that people (read investors) need to learn economics before attempting to create IP's.

    My 2c worth on this boring subject.

    Jon

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    Jon Chown wrote:


    I did make one comment early in this stupid thread and have since just sat back and read in amazement as the posts have just kept coming.   Blogs, I think that you are suggesting therapy for the wrong people.   I'm possibly on my own here, but I just can't believe the number of so called investors who seem to believe that everyone owes them a living so that they can go on to be self made millionaires.   At anyone elses expense but their own – Just look at the posts that suggest Agents are overpaid and do a lousy job – Mortgage Brokers are ripping people off – Tradies charge too much – Lawyers and Conveyancers are too dear – Don't pay for advertising –    It seems to me that people (read investors) need to learn economics before attempting to create IP's.

    My 2c worth on this boring subject.

    Jon

    You are a clown Jon-for a topic that is soooo boring to you it seems you have read every post? lol if it is so boring and such a stupid thread how about you stop reading it then Einstien?

    So we obviously need to learn economics huh, this is funny-so what gems of information can you impart on us poor uneducated fools Jon? I suppose you would quote supply and demand? Gee how years of economics did you do to gett hat one covered off? Just because someone charges to much doesnt mean we should be happy about it-how on earth you think what realestate agents charge is fair and resaonable is beyond me. The only reason people pay it is becasue they have very little choice, the sooner someone starts up an agency that charges realistic fees the better-and they will be overcome with business!!!

    As for the arguments in this tthread I think its quite simple-people are complaing that when paying professional services fees they are not recieving professional services in return. Hell I would have been happy with paying my painter $3k for the week if it wasnt for the fact he had to come back half a dozen times to fix things that should have never needed me to ask for fixing in the first place…but what would I know-I need to learn economics first before I complain huh….bwahahahahahaah

    Profile photo of m.pulleym.pulley
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    jfiori,
    How many major renovations have yuo done?

    I seriously hope it's more than the one you are claiming before saying you are qualified to make such bold assertions.

    No I am not a tradie, but I do know quite a number of excellent tradies.

    One of them doesn't even bother to quote if when he is played off against other tradesmen.

    Just remember 1 hour of one tradesman's work could be four hours of another's.

    Word of mouth is the most reliable form of advertising.

    But if you have a beef with your tradie? Try to take it up with them peaceably first!

    You'll be surprised at how people are willing to listen when you speak respectfully.

    Profile photo of MasterRELMasterREL
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    blogs wrote:

    And why is that? Can you add anything other than calling me a tosser lol I think its very clear that the majority of tradies that have replied seem to have some sort of a complex

    Actually most have explained why prices differ or are more expensive, or have agreed that there are shonks out there. I wasn’t calling you a tosser (just the statement you made) but you seem to be flame baiting the tradies. There’s a huge amount of people in trades who are terrible at their job. It’s your job to sift through them. Explain what you want and if the stuff it up, don’t pay. If you’re stupid enough to pay for a shoddy job or you don’t do your homework, or are too lazy to follow up, tough luck for you. I don’t go to the shop and buy broken goods and then be pissed off about it.Or I soon take it back if it doesn't work or is not right.Yet you are willing to pay $100 upwards and simply deal with it by flaming.It sounds like bruised ego to me.

    Profile photo of James007James007
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    2. Relax most electrical & plumbing jobs so un-licensed handyman can do. Also open the flood gate to foreign tradesmen
    as tradies in most countries are not as spoiled as in Oz. (In Mexico they have to queue every morning for jobs to earn few
    dollars a day !)
    3. Reduce the length of apprenticeship to one year. There is not much to learn in plumbing and electrical.

    Great attitude!!! I'm a qualified electrician and find your comments disgracefull, i come accross dodgy do it yourself work all the time which endagers my life and the occupiers. Have you ever recieved an electrical shock before ttman i dont think so. Why dont you ring around and go with the cheapest quote you'll be getting shocks off your taps, lights will start falling off the ceiling,no certificate of safety etc you get what you pay for. I would say do your research pick up the phone and start getting quotes its pretty simple.

    Profile photo of diclemdiclem
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    As james said above, we tradies know there are shonky dealers out there as we also have to clean up their stuff ups.
    One of our builders had  two building jobs at once so he used the plumber with the cheaper quote on the second dwelling.
    We'll start with leaking Solar Hws on the roof, two story townhouse 50% plaster ruined. By the way this is a 2.5 million house!
    So we're talking fancy cornices, etc
    There was incorrect sizing of the gas line, shower roses at the wrong height.
    The water meter wasn't placed in the correct position.
    And there was more, but the quote was cheap.
    Of course this guy is now being hounded by the Plumbing Industry commission.
    This was a plumber barely out of his time, and somehow managed to get licenced, and thought he knew it all.
    So, i'd say instead of shortening apprenticeships, you really need more regulation.
    Perhaps the 4 yr apprenticeship and four years of full experience before you can run jobs on your own.
    More experience is needed, not less

    Profile photo of WinterheartWinterheart
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    OK, the following is my opinion and thoughts on this entire thread and the subject it covers
    :
    Firstly, as with all levels of society, trades have their share of ethical issues and interpersonal relationship problems.  If you have a problem with a particular tradesperson, talk with them about it first in a calm rational manner.  You would be surprised how often something that simple can help avoid or minimise problems.

    Secondly, plumbers and electricians are licenced trades for a reason.  If any old person could wire up a house or do the complete sewerage works, how many more accidents and issues do you reasonably think would occur?  Guess what, 240v kills, and so does massively unhygienic situations!  My father was a sparky and he had numerous issues with doing the 240v dance after morons who thought they were sparky's screwed with the wiring!

    Thirdly, I'm guessing no-one seems to be a student of basic economics, namely the rule of supply and demand.  Given the overfocus on university grade education for the last couple of decades, is it any wonder that the trades are stretched thin now?  And what do you think it will be like in another 5-10 years when the older very experienced tradies decide to retire?

    Fourth, if you want a good job done by a good tradie, ask around your friends and acquaintances.  The best tradies I know of all get their work by word of mouth, they haven't advertised in years and don't need to!  They also charge a reasonable fee for their skills and experience, eg. one of the tiler's I've worked with charged a minimum of $60/hr but he was able to actually back it up with the sheer quality and speed of his work.

    Fifth, in terms of insurance, if you get dodgy work done and you later have a problem, a number of insurance contracts I've read have a nice little disclaimer about work that isn't up to the required australian standards gives the insurance company a nice little escape clause, namely, you're not covered!

    Sixth, in terms of tradies having a chip on their shoulder, with some of the attitudes I've been reading in this thread, is it really any surprise that they may not necessarily be as unctuous to you as you want them to be?  If you spent years doing your best in your particular career and you were constantly put down and considered to have a lower IQ, don't you think that might just unconciously get to you after a while?  As has been proven just reading through this thread, there seems to almost be some sort of hatred towards the trades in some respects.  Jeepers people, try and develop some sort of empathy and understanding for each other (and I direct this to everyone!).

    Seven, if you were a sparky or a plumber and you got called out in the middle of the night or on a weekend, don't you think you deserve some sort of recompense for doing so?  If you were a banker and got called to attend the bank and work on a saturday or a sunday, do you think you would do that for say $20 an hour?  Again, this point comes back to supply and demand.

    Eight, yes, the trades do as a whole have their fair share of shonksters, but guess what, so does the rest of society.  I have known a number of tradies who would do a totally half baked job simply so they could go home and drink or do whatever.  Those same tradies are no longer in the trades and are working in the manufacturing and related industries instead.  Again, this comes back to word of mouth which works both ways – builders won't use tradies they know are dodge, and if enough other people know it outside of the trade as well, they find themselves with insufficient work so they leave the industry.

    Nine, have you considered the fact that the trades are for the most part the only one's who will help you maintain your portfolio or your income other than yourself and your financial provider?  It makes sense to me even if it doesn't seem to make sense to anyone else that if you find a good tradie, then keep with that tradie – the ongoing relationship will ultimately be of benefit to both parties, and it gives you another avenue to find more good tradies.

    At the end of the day I guess that human nature will prevail over all else which in some respects is a sad indictment of us as a whole.

    Just my thoughts, comments and opinions

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