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What would you do? Unauthorised work


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#1 GingerbreadWoman

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:17 AM

Hello EB,

I have a what would you do question!

A few weeks ago I organised for a tradesperson to quote on some home repair work (outdoors). They came and quoted, for which they charged a call out fee (fair enough), which I paid. Today I have received an invoice (emailed) for the work, which I had not asked them to do. I have contacted them, and apparently the work was booked due to an ‘administrative error’ and has been completed.

They have given me two options, they have offered either a (very small) discount on the bill, or to go back and remove the new parts they used, at no charge. However removing the parts will result in a completely broken thing (sorry don’t want to be too identifying) which was actually working prior to the unauthorised repair, just not as well as it could be.

I had organised the quote in order to budget for the repair to be completed later in the year. It isn’t a small amount of money, and I was intending to get a second quote to compare costs.

So what would you do?

Pay the bill, ask for a bigger discount? What are my options?

#2 eponee

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:22 AM

This is weird.  

So these people came to your property and did some repair work without you even noticing?

#3 SeaPrincess

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:23 AM

I would first confirm that the job has been done if that’s possible without just taking their word for it. When do they say it was done?

Would fair trading be able to advise? They will be trespassing on your property (again) and causing damage to the point of non-function if they remove the parts.

If it was done, I’d probably just pay it, but if you could get away with paying for the parts, which you’ll be keeping, but not labour, that would be a good result.

#4 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:25 AM

Maybe get another quote anyway so you can see if what they are proposing to charge is reasonable?

#5 luke's mummu

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:27 AM

Gosh I’d be expecting a 50% discount! I agree with an early poster, contact fair trading to ask for advice

#6 MooGuru

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:29 AM

Are you sure they've done the work?
Surely you would have noticed them doing it or that it had been done?

I would be seeking advice from your state's consumer rights group.

#7 seayork2002

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:31 AM

I would be calling the department of fair trading, yes it happens.

#8 Ozquoll

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:32 AM

I'd give THEM one option - to p*ss off! They did work without you asking or consenting, and now they want to be paid for it? 🤬

Also pretty cheeky charging you for a quote IMO, unless a very token amount like twenty bucks.

#9 Meelah

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:35 AM

I would get advice from Fair Trading first.
My thoughts would be to tell them to remove their parts but they would need to "make good" any damage they have done in the process.
ie: they need to return the property to the condition it was in prior to them completing any work.

Or I would offer to pay for the parts but no labour.  They have admitted that it was a mistake on their part so they need to take responsibility for that.

#10 CallMeFeral

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:38 AM

As per Meelah. You could offer to pay for the parts (if you can verify that that IS the cost of the parts if you sourced them elsewhere - not them bumping up the parts cost to cover labour), or you can let them know that if they want to take the parts, they need to make good the device to whatever condition it was in before they touched it.

In the meantime I'd probably get another quote, just in case it turns out that their quote plus discount IS the cheapest, so you don't end up paying more.

#11 lizzzard

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:45 AM

Personally I would
1. Inspect the work and decide if I’m happy with it
2. If you are happy with it, seek 1-2 quotes in writing that don’t  that don’t involve paying for the quote
3. Offer to pay the firm the lowest of quoted amounts and negotiate a payment plan over the period you were planning to save for it.
4. If they don’t agree to the above, or you’re not happy with the work I would say you want them to pay to have it put back the way it was (ie, you’ll take them to small claims court if necessary).

By the way, I would take a conciliatory approach and not be nasty about it, but it was their mistake and they should wear any resulting costs to put right.

#12 alias grace

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:46 AM

View Posteponee, on 22 January 2020 - 11:22 AM, said:

This is weird.  

So these people came to your property and did some repair work without you even noticing?

No, not weird at all.  Depends entirely on the nature and location of the repairs.  I recently had $1,500 of roof repairs done in less than one day whilst I was at work.  The repairmen arrived after I’d left for work and had cleaned up and gone by the time I’d arrived home.  I wouldn’t have noticed the repairs either unless I was specifically looking for them.

OP, I agree with other posters re: contacting Fair Trading and getting a second quote for comparison purposes.

#13 seayork2002

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:46 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 22 January 2020 - 11:45 AM, said:

Personally I would
1. Inspect the work and decide if I’m happy with it
2. If you are happy with it, seek 1-2 quotes in writing that don’t  that don’t involve paying for the quote
3. Offer to pay the firm the lowest of quoted amounts and negotiate a payment plan over the period you were planning to save for it.
4. If they don’t agree to the above, or you’re not happy with the work I would say you want them to pay to have it put back the way it was (ie, you’ll take them to small claims court if necessary).

By the way, I would take a conciliatory approach and not be nasty about it, but it was their mistake and they should wear any resulting costs to put right.

I thought no work was done nor agreed too?

#14 luke's mummu

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:50 AM

View Postalias grace, on 22 January 2020 - 11:46 AM, said:



No, not weird at all.  Depends entirely on the nature and location of the repairs.  I recently had $1,500 of roof repairs done in less than one day whilst I was at work.  The repairmen arrived after I’d left for work and had cleaned up and gone by the time I’d arrived home.  I wouldn’t have noticed the repairs either unless I was specifically looking for them.

OP, I agree with other posters re: contacting Fair Trading and getting a second quote for comparison purposes.

Yes I agree. We have a regular plumber come once a year to unblock drains in the backyard (long story). I just arrange via sms, he lets himself in the unlocked back gate, does the work and leaves. I check the pipes are working before I pay him.

Edited by luke's mummu, 22 January 2020 - 12:00 PM.


#15 born.a.girl

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:51 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 January 2020 - 11:46 AM, said:

I thought no work was done nor agreed too?


Quote

I have contacted them, and apparently the work was booked due to an ‘administrative error’ and has been completed.




Done, without it being agreed to.

#16 Caribou

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:52 AM

Not sure I'd agree to pay for something that wasn't broken in the first place!

I'd contact fair trading. I don't think you can be expected to pay for work that you didn't agree to. it's like tree loppers coming in and cutting a tree down and expecting you to pay them for the work when you only asked for one branch to be removed.

#17 Apageintime

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:54 AM

yeah no, I would absolutely not be paying, and abs*utely not accepting that the fix doesn't leave you with a working item!

I would contact your local fair trading

#18 lizzzard

Posted 22 January 2020 - 11:56 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 January 2020 - 11:46 AM, said:



I thought no work was done nor agreed too?
It wasn’t but the OP says they got the quote so they could budget to have the job completed later in the year. Assuming that they still want the job done by someone and are happy with the quality.....the above approach puts them in the same position they’d be in by getting it done by someone else.

Edited by lizzzard, 22 January 2020 - 11:57 AM.


#19 Nasty Bunsen

Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:02 PM

If you are happy with the work they’ve done I’d offer to pay for the parts.
While it would be good to have other quotes to compare it to, it isn’t fair to ask another tradie to quote a job they aren’t going to get, it costs them time to quote

#20 seayork2002

Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:04 PM

Ok if the work was done you never requested it

if the work was not done but they got materials/organized for it you still not agree

I know work can be done without the occupier there I have had it done myself but it was all agreed to with me and them.

so yes in your state I would be contacting the state relevant body.

View PostNasty Bunsen, on 22 January 2020 - 12:02 PM, said:

If you are happy with the work they’ve done I’d offer to pay for the parts.
While it would be good to have other quotes to compare it to, it isn’t fair to ask another tradie to quote a job they aren’t going to get, it costs them time to quote


Yeah if the work is done there is no benifit to the other tradies so would not waste their time

#21 Minka1313

Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:06 PM

That is crazy that they make an error and their solution is to leave you with something that is not working!

Like others have said contact your local fair trading.

Also make sure all of your correspondence with this company is in writing! If they call you, email them after and say "as per our phone conversation ...". Hopefully this will cover you!

#22 Dadto2

Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:07 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 22 January 2020 - 11:32 AM, said:

I'd give THEM one option - to p*ss off! They did work without you asking or consenting, and now they want to be paid for it? ������

Also pretty cheeky charging you for a quote IMO, unless a very token amount like twenty bucks.

I agree. I've never heard of people being charged for a quote. A call out fee, is when they are called out to do work, not to quote.

If in the unlikely event it was a genuine mistake, and there was work needed to be done, the work was completed to a satisfactory standard and for a reasonable price, I would pay. However, I don't believe it was an "admin error" I suspect this is a common ruse to ensure they get the job and it doesn't go to a rival company.

For the time being, I would refuse to pay. Ask for more information on the "admin error", obtain some other quotes for comparison. No need to contact Fair Trade, you don't owe them a cent.

Edited by Dadto2, 22 January 2020 - 12:08 PM.


#23 ausfarmerswife

Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:08 PM

I’d not be paying to be honest, you never agreed to the work so never agreed to the quote/price. If you took your car for a service and they replaced the engine without asking would you pay?

Currently similar issue. Had a tradesperson complete a job, I’d paid a deposit only, the job has been completed but not to a satisfactory standard eg. 1 part doesn’t work properly. I’m not paying the remainder till completed properly, business won’t fix without payment.

#24 born.a.girl

Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:10 PM

View PostCaribou, on 22 January 2020 - 11:52 AM, said:

Not sure I'd agree to pay for something that wasn't broken in the first place!

I'd contact fair trading. I don't think you can be expected to pay for work that you didn't agree to. it's like tree loppers coming in and cutting a tree down and expecting you to pay them for the work when you only asked for one branch to be removed.

I don't think that's really comparable.

It would be like getting a quote for a tree lopper, planning on getting other quotes, definitely planning on getting the work done, but them coming and doing it without you giving the o.k.

They've done the work as per the quote, just weren't given the go-ahead.

If it was as you say, it would be a lot simpler.

#25 seayork2002

Posted 22 January 2020 - 12:11 PM

View PostDadto2, on 22 January 2020 - 12:07 PM, said:

I agree. I've never heard of people being charged for a quote. A call out fee, is when they are called out to do work, not to quote.

If in the unlikely event it was a genuine mistake, and there was work needed to be done, the work was completed to a satisfactory standard and for a reasonable price, I would pay. However, I don't believe it was an "admin error" I suspect this is a common ruse to ensure they get the job and it doesn't go to a rival company.

For the time being, I would refuse to pay. Ask for more information on the "admin error", obtain some other quotes for comparison. No need to contact Fair Trade, you don't owe them a cent.

I work with tradies in my job not often but sometimes they do charge for a quote as they get sick of time waters (I am not spekaing of the OP!!!!!!) so I get there reason sometimes on this

and yes we have had some do work we have not agreed to becaue of 'admin errors' or 'computer glitches' not everyday but they do stand out




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