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How would you deal with a plumber who didn't finish the job? Login/Join 
Staring back
from the abyss
Picture of Gustofer
posted
A year ago last April I had a plumber come out and do some work for me. The work that he did was good quality and I'm happy with it, but he left the job unfinished. It's not a huge thing that was left undone, and I am able to use the fixture that he did, but it is the principle of the thing. The job is not finished.

In May of this year, I finally received a bill from him for the work (13 months later). So, I sent him an email stating that I'm happy to get him paid off, but that I would like the job finished before I do. Several days later he emailed me back apologizing for the long delay and explaining that last year he had been hit by a car and pretty badly injured. He has been recuperating during that time and is now apparently back at work.

This guy is a friend of a friend. His story sounded a little fishy so I checked up on the story/excuse and it turns out to be true.

So, he asked when I would be available to have him come out and requested my number so he could call and set up a time. I emailed back explaining that I'd be available any afternoon that week or any time the following week. I also included my number.

Crickets....

That was now over a month ago and I've not heard from him again. Yesterday, I received another bill from him for the previous work.

I'm rather tired of his apparent flakiness and quite tempted to just pay the bill and get another plumber to finish the job for me, letting him know that I will be doing this and why.

But, part of me wants to stick to my guns here and make sure that he finishes the job before he gets paid.

What would you do?


________________________________________________________

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 12517 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
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I'd pay him 50% or 75% with the explanation that he can have the balance when the work is complete. If you think he will never come, then adjust the payment percentage to the percentage complete or less what another plumber charges to complete the job.

It's not fair to him to not be paid, and not fair to you to pay twice.



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 9038 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When you say that you are able to use the fixture, what is it that he didn't do? Any way to come to some sort of percentage arrangement with him for the work that he did do (pay him 70% of the bill or something)?
 
Posts: 631 | Registered: July 06, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not
Picture of Ronin101
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I would call him directly or go to his place place of business and talk to him directly..screw emails and such.

how much money are we talking?
 
Posts: 6292 | Location: Bismarck ND | Registered: February 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of bendable
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ask the friend what he would do





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 44121 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
Picture of RHINOWSO
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I would ask for an updated invoice for services partially completed and negotiate from there.

I don't reward stupidity or incompetence.




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Posts: 34872 | Location: Around | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Smarter than the
average bear
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Email, so you have a record, that if he doesn't finish the job within X days/weeks that you will pay someone else to finish the work, and deduct that amount from his bill. Then do that.
 
Posts: 2072 | Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana | Registered: June 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
Picture of Gustofer
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quote:
Originally posted by Palm:
When you say that you are able to use the fixture, what is it that he didn't do?

It's the relief blow off port/pipe/valve(whatever it is) on my tankless water heater. Works fine without it installed, but at some point it does need to be done.

I expect that he was working by the hour rather than the job (although it's been so long I don't remember), so I do owe him the money for the work he has done to this point. I have no problem paying him what he is due, but like I said, it's the principle of the thing.

I want to get him paid, but I also want the job done.


________________________________________________________

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 12517 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of YellowJacket
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A flaky plumber? You don't say...



"The frost on the ground probably envies the frost on the trees."
 
Posts: 7721 | Location: Marietta, GA | Registered: February 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by honestlou:
Email, so you have a record, that if he doesn't finish the job within X days/weeks that you will pay someone else to finish the work, and deduct that amount from his bill. Then do that.


I think this is a good idea.
 
Posts: 631 | Registered: July 06, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Gustofer:
quote:
Originally posted by Palm:
When you say that you are able to use the fixture, what is it that he didn't do?

It's the relief blow off port/pipe/valve(whatever it is) on my tankless water heater. Works fine without it installed, but at some point it does need to be done.

I expect that he was working by the hour rather than the job (although it's been so long I don't remember), so I do owe him the money for the work he has done to this point. I have no problem paying him what he is due, but like I said, it's the principle of the thing.

I want to get him paid, but I also want the job done.


That is something you should be able to get a quote over the phone for. Get a price and then do as honestlou suggested.



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 9038 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't pay until the job is finished.
 
Posts: 634 | Location: East of the Rockies | Registered: October 07, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Palm:
quote:
Originally posted by honestlou:
Email, so you have a record, that if he doesn't finish the job within X days/weeks that you will pay someone else to finish the work, and deduct that amount from his bill. Then do that.


I think this is a good idea.


Yep, was going to type this same thing, then saw someone else had.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15631 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of bigdeal
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I've dealt with a multitude of residential contractors over the past ten years, and my suggestion would be to hire another plumber to finish the work, pay him, and call it a day. You gave the first guy plenty of chances to make it right, and he blew you off. If he's not interested enough to finish the work, I wouldn't be interested enough to bother with writing him a check.


-----------------------------
Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
 
Posts: 24651 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: April 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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I'd call him again. Ask him if he planned on finishing up this year or next.

Let him know the check is at the house. He can pick it up any time. Finish the job at the same time, please.

Fill out the check, have it sitting on the counter, but do not sign or date the check.

The relief valve would have to be there for safe operation. Do you mean the drain from the relief valve? Do you want the discharge piped somewhere? Here we pipe them to the floor. A ¾" pvc male adaptor, an elle maybe, and a few feet of ¾" pvc and it is done. $8 in material. Although I do them in copper because I do not carry pvc.
 
Posts: 5395 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would send another email and tell him you are happy with the work he has done so far and ask if he is healthy enough to finish the job. He may still have issues if he was hurt that badly. If he is not up to finishing the job ask if he will suggest someone to do the remainder and pay him off. If he plans to finish himself tell him you will pay him when the job is complete.


A poor widows son.

 
Posts: 1954 | Location: See der Rabbits, Iowa | Registered: June 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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@Woodman. Nice avatar for a fitter.


A poor widows son.

 
Posts: 1954 | Location: See der Rabbits, Iowa | Registered: June 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
Picture of Gustofer
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Woodman:
Do you mean the drain from the relief valve? Do you want the discharge piped somewhere?

Yeah, I suspect that that is what it is. But again, it's been so long now I don't really remember exactly. I just know that there were things that he did not finish. He knows this and what those things are.

As I recall, it needs to be drained a certain way in order to be code and I'm not there now.


________________________________________________________

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 12517 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Corgis Rock
Picture of Icabod
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Gustofer:
quote:
Originally posted by Woodman:
Do you mean the drain from the relief valve? Do you want the discharge piped somewhere?

As I recall, it needs to be drained a certain way in order to be code and I'm not there now.


Think this means you need to have an inspection to close out the permit. He did get a permit, yes?



“The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful.”
― H.L. Mencken
 
Posts: 4455 | Location: Outside Seattle | Registered: November 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
THE SIGGUY
Picture of SIGGUY (THE 1ST)
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Palm:
quote:
Originally posted by honestlou:
Email, so you have a record, that if he doesn't finish the job within X days/weeks that you will pay someone else to finish the work, and deduct that amount from his bill. Then do that.


I think this is a good idea.
+1 That is how I would handle it.


-------------------------------------------------------2/28/2015 ~ Rest in peace Dad. Lt Commander E.G.E. USN Love you.
 
Posts: 4584 | Location: Great State of NH | Registered: January 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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