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Old 05.07.2012, 23:24
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Dispute with Handyman!!

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Pls help!!!

I recently got some work done by a handyman and paid his invoice in full. A month later (in March) I asked him to arrange a garden grate for my backyard and he said he could arrange something for me and took the measurements and came back and gave me a quote and I told him to proceed. The grate took 8 weeks to be delivered as it was custom made. In May, the grate was delivered to our house without our knowledge when we were not at home and left outside our house. The grate was so heavy that it could not be moved nor be taken upstairs where it needed to be fitted. I called the Handyman and he said he would come and sort it. He came and said it was too heavy for him to move with my help and he would call the company that delivered it to sort it. This didnt help as the company only makes it and outsources the delivery and do not fit it. This really hacked me off as the handyman said he cant do anything about it and I let off some fumes. Finally end of June he said he will come with some blokes and get it fitted and it was finally done. I sent him a thank you msg for getting the wrk done which took nearly 4 months and not to mention the grate cost 30% more than the initial quote given by the handyman. 3 days later after the grate was fitted, I got an invoice from the Handyman for nearly 500 CHF for the cost of the blokes he had got to fit the grate!! I was shocked and called him and he said that was the hourly wage for each guy. At no time did he mention a cost for fitting the grate. Besides when I ordered it, I expected the quote to cover everything. The grate cost me 30% more and the cost of fitting it cost me 50% the cost of the grate!!! I feel cheated especially after 3 of my friends have also used his services and do not want to pay him.

What are my options? How can I contest it? Do I stand a chance?

Help is much appreciated. His invoice states that if I do not pay within 10 days then the cost will go up by 15% (his terms and conditions!!!)
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Old 05.07.2012, 23:28
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

As a general rule people don't work for nothing - especially in Switzerland. What I'd you expect that your handyman and his posse would do it for free??
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Old 05.07.2012, 23:34
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

No I never expected it to be done for free but firstly when i ask for a quote I expect the quote provides end to end service. Secondly when you finally come after 2-3 months to fit it which is basically lifting it and placing it in place, I dont expect a bill for it especially since he ordered it and he knew what he was doing. At the point of ordering he would have known how heavy it is etc and should have liased with the company when it was being delivered etc! If it weighs nearly 200 kilo's he should have made provisions and advised me accordingly. Quote for the grate was indicative but it cant be off target by 30%! I hear you that nothing is free and I realize that in the 6 months I have been here but I need to know if I can contest it and where should I go
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Old 05.07.2012, 23:37
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

Next time ask for a detailed written offer. (Detaillierte schrifftliche Angebot) You usually have to pay for writing the estimate. The cost is usually credited if you accept the offer, but it does avoid headaches like this. The hire of 4 men to lift 200 Kilo upstairs, including travelling time, looks reasonable to me at CHF 500,--

I can't see how you can avoid paying him in full, within 10 days.
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Old 06.07.2012, 01:36
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

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As a general rule people don't work for nothing - especially in Switzerland. What I'd you expect that your handyman and his posse would do it for free??
No, but he knew the thing was heavy. He should have quoted a right price from the beginning.

I say, f* him, if you have a chance of not paying him, do it. Otherwise everyone would just quote very low prices and then just charge you whatever they want for services which should have already been included.
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Old 06.07.2012, 03:05
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

Was it a written quote for the cost of the grate?

As a quote is often an estimate of the work to be done, many things can happen during a job that would cause the cost to differ, as it appears in this case.

An invoice is definitive as it states the cost to be paid for work already undertaken, a quote is almost always an estimate, unless it states explicitly that it includes all costs of manufacturing, delivery and fitting!

Although you should have been contacted if the cost was more than initially stated.

I would also advise in the future the signing of some sort of work contract/agreement that enlists everything you are willing to pay for, and the services expected to be undertaken. This will then ensure clarity in the future.

Unless you have written proof that you were not to pay extra for the fitting services or that it was to be completed within a certain timeframe, I would say that you are in an obligation to pay him.
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Old 06.07.2012, 07:47
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

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What are my options? How can I contest it? Do I stand a chance?

Help is much appreciated. His invoice states that if I do not pay within 10 days then the cost will go up by 15% (his terms and conditions!!!)

it is normal on this forum that when anyone gets a bill or questions the amount of the bill there are screams of PAY, PAY, PAY! all without question.

It has been shown a few times to be incorrect, spend a bit of time with a lawyer at least you will know EXACTLY your rights especially relating to the 15% extra.. hey why not just write 1000% extra if not paid in 2 days... ? it is still an unfair percentage and unless you agreed to that before work started I dont see how it can be enforced.
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Old 06.07.2012, 08:34
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

jesus there are some helpless people on here, seriously 2 of you couldn't lift it!! you dont have any friends who could have helped you?

you had the quote, does it mention fittng, liftng, a possie? no, then pay up
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Old 06.07.2012, 10:15
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

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I feel cheated especially after 3 of my friends have also used his services and do not want to pay him
Well there are four of you, so I guess you can help each other move grates for free

One thing that confuses me slightly...

Your garden is upstairs?
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Old 06.07.2012, 10:34
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

We had a dispute with a handy man when we got here.
Had to hire some help to put our furniture together when we arrived as husband was away and i was left with three kiddies.
They charged a fortune, which is normal for switz, but they failed to state previously they wanted paying in cash, so they had to wait.
They then had to wait longer once i realised they had made my daughters bunk bed and my own bed wrong and so had to call them back to fix it.
I at least thought at their extortionate rate they could at least do the job properly.
And the person who noticed bunk bed wasnt right and told them how to do it, was my 8year old!
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Old 06.07.2012, 11:17
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

I had a dispute with a handy man once. Turns out he didn't have any hands, but he was very useful with his feet .....
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Old 06.07.2012, 11:18
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

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All



I recently got some work done by a handyman and paid his invoice in full. A month later (in March) I asked him to arrange a garden grate for my backyard
Sorry, I'm the dumb one here. What is a garden grate?

I know what a grate is but one specifically for gardens and so heavy?
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Old 06.07.2012, 11:33
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

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it is normal on this forum that when anyone gets a bill or questions the amount of the bill there are screams of PAY, PAY, PAY! all without question.

It has been shown a few times to be incorrect, spend a bit of time with a lawyer at least you will know EXACTLY your rights especially relating to the 15% extra.. hey why not just write 1000% extra if not paid in 2 days... ? it is still an unfair percentage and unless you agreed to that before work started I dont see how it can be enforced.
It looked to us Rob that she had a verbal contract, but no witnesses. So how is she to enforce her rights? I agree if she had a written estimate, then she could have probably avoided 30% of the final bill. Even if she goes to the best lawyer in the land, without a witness to the verbal agreement, she won't get a penny back.
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Old 06.07.2012, 14:33
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

there is a written invoice though
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Old 06.07.2012, 17:04
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

Since you have used this handyman before you probably know his hourly rate. You could use that as an indication to estimate the costs for the labour ( hrs) he and his team have put in.

In terms of the T&C, a 15% increase if payment is not made within 10 days is ridiculous rate of interest. 15% per year?

I would suggest reply to this invoice asking for an explanation for the 500 CHF, stating the concerns / points you have raised in your posting. I guess you have to pay for services rendered but not blindly what is being demanded.

Next this make sure you get a detailed quote. Good luck.
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Old 06.07.2012, 23:31
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

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it is normal on this forum that when anyone gets a bill or questions the amount of the bill there are screams of PAY, PAY, PAY! all without question.
...
A little strange, yes. Maybe because they fear for Betreibung or whatever difficulties in finding a new landlord, and maybe that's why some strange invoice get away with it.


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...
It has been shown a few times to be incorrect, spend a bit of time with a lawyer at least you will know EXACTLY your rights especially relating to the 15% extra.. hey why not just write 1000% extra if not paid in 2 days... ?
...
That's another point that makes the whole thing stink.


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jesus there are some helpless people on here, seriously 2 of you couldn't lift it!! you dont have any friends who could have helped you?
...
Well OK I admit I don't even really know what a grate is,

in any case if it was no big deal to lift it up with a couple of friends without any safety or health risk to anybody, no fixing techniques involved, OK, I give you credit.

If it was however a big deal, the producer/handyman cannot expect their clients to fix it themselves, which might even be illegal or contrast guarantee or whatever.


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I would suggest reply to this invoice asking for an explanation for the 500 CHF, stating the concerns / points you have raised in your posting. I guess you have to pay for services rendered but not blindly what is being demanded.
...
Good avice. Speak to him friendly, making your points and stating your good relation until yesterday. Maybe double check with a lawyer among collegues or a consumers' office, but don't tell him. Use your weapons only when you really need them, not before.

Had a similar case a couple of weaks ago with my heating system, only that it was more money involved, but I was forcing myself to keep calm and friendly also when I got no real answer in the first place ("Yeah yeah I will tell xyz, we will think about it ..."), finally the company told me to just throw the invoices in the waste paper box.
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Old 07.07.2012, 23:56
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

Ok the world is full of wrongs and this thread notes a few. Handymen by and large are cheaper than normal business' or normal tradesmen here, so if he was so bad why? (and in defence of handyman generally)
1. Hire him again and recommended him to a few friends - now he is an ass?
2. Every job can go to sh-t, so somewhere in the middle there is a fair way for all
3. We live a life of risks, if you want fixed/locked/guaranteed offer you WILL alway top dollar to cover this contingincy, if not then there is always a bit of plus/minus.
4. Given you hired a Handyman rather than a Swiss Company, you are trying to save a chuff or two, nothing wrong with that but keep an eye on the big picture, if you want a SWISS Guarantee you need to pay for it.
5. He is a guy who probably has a family to feed as well, so bring on the Lawyers and give him a flogging, do you pay the full cost for all your miscalculations at work??

More wrongs.
He took too long - agreed
He did not communicate properly - agreed
15% after 10 days, wrong - agreed
Was he trying to find a cost effective solution - probably (exactly what do you think a crane would be to hire to lift it into place, given that there is actually access for a crane?

Sorry to be a bit harsh but a lot of this comes down to poor communications from both sides. Definately make a meeting to discuss the issue with him in person but first look at your grate/gate - is it what you wanted/do you like it??? answer yes or no, if the answer is yes, then 500 is not woth the stess, if the answer is no then the 500 will piss you off but still not woth the stess.
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Old 09.07.2012, 12:24
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Re: Dispute with Handyman!!

All

Thank you for your inputs...have decided to pay and end the matter. But again will not use the guy again and have advised him so.

Much appreciated

Rgds
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