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Discuss first real complaint, advice appreciated in the Tiling Forum area at TilersForums.co.uk.

  1. Gnrbytile

    Gnrbytile Active Member

    Location:
    Ng31 8ld
    IMG_20180201_120933335_HDR.jpg IMG_20180201_120933335_HDR.jpg IMG_20180202_105308502_HDR.jpg Hi guys,
    sorry for long post, just after a bit of advice regarding my first proper complaint from a kitchen splashback i done a couple of weeks ago, and am at present both gutted and pretty annoyed.
    Customer called me as they had removed all old tiles from wall and made a mess of the wall, therefore needed the kitchen wall sorting.
    Popped round and quoted them £250 for 2 days work including adhesives and grout.
    Customer had a plasterer in to sort walls out before tiling but plasterer had back bonded them but said they were fine for tiling.
    Turned up on first day and walls were pretty messy, cust had also pva'd walls on plasterer advice. I advised that pva shouldnt be used, so i scrubbed walls and stuck Bal primer on them.
    Cust also told me that 2 separate worktops were not same height (15mm gap) difference from one worktop to another. advised him that one side would use 3mm spacers over a few tiles to make the gap up from one unit to the next where i used 2mm spacers.
    All agreed by both.
    Anyway struck up good rapport over 2 days with customer and managed to do what i thought was a decent job.
    Received payment, however 3 days later wife contacted me to say they were pretty unhappy with work done. At no time over the 2 days did anyone intimate the work was bad, quite the opposite in fact, so much so that i was asked to re do the bathroom which they werent happy with from the last tiler who had done that.
    One complaint was regarding plug sockets as i had tiled under the edge of the sockets which i had left in a "dangerous and avoidable" condition. I admit maybe one was borderline tight but the rest were no different to numerous splashbacks in the past.
    Also some of the tiles were not 100% flat in places, I explained that because the wall was so uneven with differences of 20mm from place to place it would be hard to get everything completely flat, along with the fact that 75% of the tiles had a small bow in the middle.
    I agreed an amount to refund with the customer to cover this, which even the customer stated if this can be settled this would conclude the matter.
    A week later however i have been messaged again stating the whole job was shoddy and they are completely disgusted with it. Now they are stating it is so bad that they are looking to claim from my insurance, have me pay all the money back or take me to the local courts to settle.
    My query lies with a few things:
    1. apparently the cust has spoke to solicitor and got 3 quotes from diff tilers to fix which were vastly cheaper than my initial quote of £250. how much does a splashback more or less cost nowadays for 2 days work. Apparently my initial quote was at the top end of pricing for a kitchen splashback.
    2. during 2 days work the husband was constantly saying how happy he was with the job, but his wife wasnt overly enamoured because the tiles looked like "tiles in a doctors bathroom". Am i being taken for a ride here because they dont like the tiles which they bought??
    3. apart from the sockets, they werent happy that i left a 2mm gap under the wall cupboards (which were filled with matching silicone), does anyone else leave a gap under cupboards?
    4. has anyone ever dealt with a cust who nothing is ever good enough for, now im not bitter about this and the reason i mention it is because, the customers complained that their bathroom was terrible and was getting re tiled, the plasterer had done a bad job and the customers could have done a better job themselves, the electrician who moved the sockets in the kitchen had done a shoddy job, basically everything that had been done was done badly by various different tradesmen.
    5. regarding courts and insurance i believed under the sale of goods act if you werent asked to return to fix anything you could agree to a settlement. if we had agreed as mentioned can you then ask for more money back etc...

    sorry for the long winded post but really could do with some help.

    added a few pics also before and after

    IMG_20180201_120945201.jpg IMG_20180202_105317460_HDR.jpg
     
  2. Plan Tec Tiling

    Plan Tec Tiling Administrator Staff Member Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner

    Location:
    Wimborne, Dorset
    Have they asked you to return to rectify the issues?
     
  3. Gnrbytile

    Gnrbytile Active Member

    Location:
    Ng31 8ld
    Nope. Just said that they wanted to claim the remainder via myself, my insurance or county courts. Texted me at 5am this morn saying to text his wife with what i intend do do as he doesn't want to deal with it unless in writing, messaged both of them at 0800 asking for email details, full address etc.....no reply
     
  4. Plan Tec Tiling

    Plan Tec Tiling Administrator Staff Member Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner

    Location:
    Wimborne, Dorset
    They need to offer you the opportunity to right the alleged wrongs first. Scare tactics from them I say
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  5. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Lancashire
    The simple fact that they paid you, means they accepted the work.
    I suspect you have guessed the motive - marital "differences" over the tiles. She's not prepared to live with them (He probably chose them) so rather than fork out again, they'll rip off the tiler.

    For the sake of your reputation, write them a nice letter expressing your regret that they are unhappy but you acknowledge their right to take it to mediation or small claims. Then leave it be.
    They are trying it on, plain and simple.
    A solicitor wouldn't entertain them, so point 1 is a complete myth.

    Do not enter into retrospective price debates.
    They accepted your price, you did the work.
    You got paid - indicating acceptance.
    The end.

    Forget them and move on.

    I had one a few years ago who stained her grout with hair colour.
    She expected me to replace it all and denied any fault.
    I even had to mess about getting Mapei to visit. They threatened legal action, demanded my insurance details blah blah blah.
    What happened? Their house was flooded by the local river and utterly destroyed.
    I smiled :)
     
    • Funny Funny x 8
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen Metro specialist & forum entertainer! Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner

    Location:
    Gloucester
    Send them an email telling them your more than happy to work with them to resolve the issue, but a full refund is out of the question....
    If they take you to court they wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Gnrbytile

    Gnrbytile Active Member

    Location:
    Ng31 8ld
    Thanks for the responses guys, much appreciated
    . Gonna pop down to citizens advice tomorrow anyway just to cover myself. Tbh I was shocked this morning when I got the message. As mentioned because one of the sockets was ‘tight’ going in they said they had to get a sparky to fit it right, so as mentioned I agreed to give them a refund which they paid the sparky as a gesture of good will. Even the lady said via text that the matter was concluded.
    What I cant get my head round without alarm bells ringing Is that someone would pay for a solicitor or small claims over £200 which they clearly want back, and I still don’t see how someone can do a 4 wall splashback for £250 including materials......I just paid a decorator £250 for papering my front room over a day!!!!!
    The guy even tipped me at the end of the job
     
  8. Dave Mitchell

    Dave Mitchell Active Member

    Location:
    Pembrokeshire
    Try and contact the other trades if you can find out how they got on ? You get em all the time if it wasn't for the customers the job be great
     
  9. Localtiler

    Localtiler Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    On a side note, why did you tile the walls if they were in such a bad state? and bonding coat, you shouldn’t tile on.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. jcrtiling

    jcrtiling Professional Tiler TTA Member

    Location:
    Salisbury
    Get them to put actually complaints in writing . Not that it's just shoddy .
     
  11. Gnrbytile

    Gnrbytile Active Member

    Location:
    Ng31 8ld
    I agree with you, to be fair I should have walked from the beginning. hindsight is a wonderful thing though. They weren’t shocking, just not great, I told the guy it should be skimmed to which he agreed. As I haven't dealt with back bonding, before I began the job I spoke to him regarding the bonding And specifically asked him if the plasterer agreed it was ok to be tiled on. Maybe a bit naive of me, but if a plasterer says it’s fine to tile on then I’ll take them at their word. Lesson learned
     
  12. Localtiler

    Localtiler Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler JOTM Winner

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    But he’s a plasterer, and your a tiler!
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  13. pdc

    pdc Living the dream..... Professional Tiler

    It also doesn't look like it's had primer on it to me.
     
  14. jcrtiling

    jcrtiling Professional Tiler TTA Member

    Location:
    Salisbury
    If it doesn't sound right check with manufacturer's . Be adhesive, plaster,backerboards,ufh etc and dont accept unless you have it in print .
     
  15. impish

    impish Trusted Advisor Professional Tiler

    Location:
    Lancashire
    ...and £250 for 2 days including materials?
    You're selling yourself WAY too cheaply!
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 3
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