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Old 25.05.2011, 11:21
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Swiss contractors

What's it with the contractors here?

We had our cellar fitted with wood panelling, a Sauna and a shower. After having waited for ever for the plumber to get done, he finally showed up to fit the shower curtain rail and the curtain. To make a long story short: he measured incorrectly, now the shower-curtain doesn't reach the floor. Needless to say, he had already drilled several holes in the tiles and it was impossible to move the curtain rail further down without exposing a bunch of fraking ugly holes.

Well, mistakes happen and one would think he'd get that fixed. And by fixed I mean: get the damaged tiles replaced and re-fit the rail. Not so in Switzerland - the guy said that all he can do is order us a custom-made shower curtain directly from Spirella (meaning that we'd have to re-order one of those each time we have to replace the thing - custom-made curtains cost around 250 Fr.). When I told him I'd get a lawyer, he said it's my fault anyway as I was standing next to him when he fitted the rail.

anyway, I don't know what to do - hiring a lawyer will cost me 3x the amount the tile replacement would be?
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Old 25.05.2011, 11:27
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Re: Swiss contractors

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What's it with the contractors here?

They don't use their brains at all.

We had heated towel rails swapped over by them so the opening ends (over which you slide the towels), were against the walls.

The taps for the shower and bath were swapped as well so the batch one had an outlet for a hose that wasn't connected and the shower didn't have a hose outlet. And they didn't notice.

When it came to other ancillary fixtures, before they had a chance to fix them, I grabbed the whole lot and said we'd do it ourselves at a later date.
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Old 25.05.2011, 11:29
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Re: Swiss contractors

Just out of curiosity... what criterias did you use to choose the contractors?

I mean, there's got to be a few good ones out there, even if they have to send them from England, no?
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Old 25.05.2011, 11:29
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Re: Swiss contractors

We got the parts from Sanitas Troesch and they chose their own contractors.

If we were going to do it again, we'd use a smaller family firm like the ones who fitted our kitchen so well.
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Old 25.05.2011, 11:32
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Re: Swiss contractors

And the extra holes in the tiles where the towel rails originally were are hidden behind the rails of the towel rail.
If they had been visible, I would have tried to get them to replace the tiles.
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Old 25.05.2011, 11:33
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Re: Swiss contractors

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Just out of curiosity... what criterias did you use to choose the contractors?

I mean, there's got to be a few good ones out there, even if they have to send them from England, no?
We only knew which ones not to pick (we had a few good ones during the house construction process and some horrible ones). There aren't that many plumbers in our area so the choice was rather small. I guess for next time it's even smaller :-/
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Old 25.05.2011, 11:36
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Re: Swiss contractors

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And the extra holes in the tiles where the towel rails originally were are hidden behind the rails of the towel rail.
If they had been visible, I would have tried to get them to replace the tiles.
In our case, you can see them (he removed the rail and held it where it was supposed to go - and the holes were clearly visible).

The only thing we can do now is to get the tiles replaced ourselves :-( Our legal insurance doesn't cover construction law (I guess they know why), so we'd have to hire a lawyer ourselves.
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Old 25.05.2011, 12:06
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Weve been dealing with two parties for our house renovation - one general contractor and a kitchen architect.

We've had a few issues with the general contractor, one in a case where something was mismeasured and now you also see holes in the tiles. It was going to be a huge job to fix so we just had them plug the holes and it's fine. I was mad but I'm over it. A few other mishaps happened but they were fixed. All in all he's been pretty good.

The kitchen architect however has been a disaster and we have lawyers involved. I'm not ready to name and shame yet. Pieces were not measured and installed correctly, it was 2 weeks late, the list goes on.

Sadly it seems it's just the way things work here.
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Old 25.05.2011, 12:22
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Re: Swiss contractors

The reasons things are so expensive here is because of the excellent quality of products and services here in Switzerland!

No, wait, I got that wrong ....
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Old 25.05.2011, 12:26
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Re: Swiss contractors

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When I told him I'd get a lawyer, he said it's my fault anyway as I was standing next to him when he fitted the rail.

anyway, I don't know what to do - hiring a lawyer will cost me 3x the amount the tile replacement would be?
If that's his defence - the words "candy from a baby" come to mind.
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Old 25.05.2011, 12:45
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Re: Swiss contractors

Just don't pay him until he fixes it? That's what I'd do.
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Old 25.05.2011, 14:04
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Re: Swiss contractors

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Just don't pay him until he fixes it? That's what I'd do.
Write him a letter you don't accept the extra 'false' holes in the bathroom walls. Then deduct 500 frs from his final bill.
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Old 25.05.2011, 14:09
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Re: Swiss contractors

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Write him a letter you don't accept the extra 'false' holes in the bathroom walls. Then deduct 500 frs from his final bill.
legally, there's little I can do. If I deduct money from the bill, I'll probably end up finding a payment summons / Betreibung in the mail. Don't want to risk that :-(

the reason why the Swiss contracts are so bad is the unfair legal situation: the law very unfairly favors businesses over private citizens in this country.
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Old 25.05.2011, 14:16
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Re: Swiss contractors

btw., this just proves my point:

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/sto...izen--26172369

business here can do whatever they want and are always protected by law, while the interests of the private citizens are completely ignored.
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Old 31.05.2011, 17:16
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Re: Swiss contractors

There is so much construction going on here for so many coming for low taxes
Hence one reason shortage of good workers and many imported from other places

The workers here are so slow and appear largely incompetent
One reason I am anxious to leave is that one would have to move out for any renovation as workers are so slow
If it takes a day to roof a house in New Orleans, it would take three days in Arkansas and 3 months plus here and job here would be bad
People in New Orleans are not considered speed demons either...
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Old 31.05.2011, 17:29
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Re: Swiss contractors

The deal here is do the minimum and get the maximum, if anything goes wrong insist it's NEVER their errors
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Old 31.05.2011, 20:50
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Re: Swiss contractors

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anyway, I don't know what to do - hiring a lawyer will cost me 3x the amount the tile replacement would be?
Sometimes you have to be pragmatic. Getting a lawyer involved for something as small as this isn't worth it and right now your estimate of 3x the cost of a few tiles and a rail is low balling it. It sounds like the guy's a prick but at the end of the day you need to get the problem fixed at the least cost to you. Don't go with the special order curtain. It'll eat away at you overtime you take shower. Order the replacement tiles and a new rail and either get the tiler who did the tiles or somebody else to fit them (no need for a plumber). Be there when the fitting is done so you can be sure it's done right this time.

You have right to be peeved. And no doubt you want to give the guy a good kicking. Hold out a bit if you feel like and push for a reduction in your bill. But if he digs his heels and doesn't rectify his mistake willingly, then a lawyer might get you what you deserve, but at a cost that's out of proportion to your claim, not to mention the delays and emotional drain. If the sums involved were big enough, that might be worth it. Doesn't sound like that's the case here.
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Old 31.05.2011, 22:47
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Re: Swiss contractors

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Just don't pay him until he fixes it? That's what I'd do.
I would do the same, don't pay him until the job is done properly.

If he doesn't want to comply, document the damages, and set a deadline till he has to repair them, by letter to the company/himself.

If he still doesn't fix them and prosecute you to pay the bill, then contact the Ombudsman. You have nothing to loose, he is in breach of contract.
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