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Old 11.02.2020, 11:50
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Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

About 1.5 years ago, I contacted a tradesman . His website is (removed link)
He installed sunshades for my neighbour. He came to do some measurements on the Terrace and make an offer for what it would cost to have new sunshades installed.
After pondering back and forth I confirmed that the offer was OK. He came back to me and said that he would need a signed contract before he orders anything. During this time, I bumped into another Tradesman who offered the same sunshades, but cheaper. Naturally, I went for the cheaper offer.
I politely wrote to Mr and said I no longer wish to go ahead with his offer. He said he still wants to be paid for making the offer. I told him this was not correct as nowhere on his website does it say that he also charges for just making an offer! He agreed and that was the end of it, so I thought.
1.5 years later, he drove past my place and saw that I had new sunshades installed from someone else. This did not go down well. He was furious with jealousy. He even took a photo and sent it via email. That was nervy, knowing someone had come to my place and taken photos. He sent the bill again for the offer that he made 1.5 years ago. This guy is crazy, aggressive and threatening in his emails. I never signed a contract. What do I do? Has anyone ever had experience with him?

Last edited by roegner; 11.02.2020 at 12:57. Reason: Removing link and name
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Old 11.02.2020, 12:02
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades (www.slack.ch)

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About 1.5 years ago, I contacted a tradesman. (Link removed)
He installed sunshades for my neighbour. He came to do some measurements on the Terrace and make an offer for what it would cost to have new sunshades installed.
After pondering back and forth I confirmed that the offer was OK. He came back to me and said that he would need a signed contract before he orders anything. During this time, I bumped into another Tradesman who offered the same sunshades, but cheaper. Naturally, I went for the cheaper offer.
I politely wrote to Mr and said I no longer wish to go ahead with his offer. He said he still wants to be paid for making the offer. I told him this was not correct as nowhere on his website does it say that he also charges for just making an offer! He agreed and that was the end of it, so I thought.
1.5 years later, he drove past my place and saw that I had new sunshades installed from someone else. This did not go down well. He was furious with jealousy. He even took a photo and sent it via email. That was nervy, knowing someone had come to my place and taken photos. He sent the bill again for the offer that he made 1.5 years ago. This guy is crazy, aggressive and threatening in his emails. I never signed a contract. What do I do? Has anyone ever had experience with him?
Write to him via registered mail that you never made either a verbal or written an agreement to pay charges for any offer. Also remind him that it has now been 1.5 years since he made the offer and he verbally agreed that it was not needed and never once chased you for the offer amount.

Tell him that you also do not appreciate him coming to your property to take photos and that if it happens again you will contact the police.

The End (hopefully).

Last edited by roegner; 11.02.2020 at 12:58. Reason: Removing link and name
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Old 11.02.2020, 12:07
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades (www.slack.ch)

My advice: anonymize the post.
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Old 11.02.2020, 12:16
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades (www.slack.ch)

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That was nervy, knowing someone had come to my place and taken photos.
Coming to your place sounds like trespassing (unlawful entry) and taking photos without your consent might have a "privacy laws" angle. Then, sending you proof of the possibly illegal actions. Certainly, not the smartest guy in town.

Either he's under severe financial stress or has a screw loose. Hope it's financial stress and not a deranged individual.
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Old 11.02.2020, 12:20
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades (www.slack.ch)

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My advice: anonymize the post.
I think 3wishes tried to, but his name is still there and the link is still active in my post where I quote the OP.
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Old 11.02.2020, 12:58
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades (www.slack.ch)

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I think 3wishes tried to, but his name is still there and the link is still active in my post where I quote the OP.

Yea, overlooked that, now done
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Old 11.02.2020, 13:28
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades (www.slack.ch)

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Yea, overlooked that, now done
Apart from the fact the company name is in the heading of every reply to the OP since.
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Old 11.02.2020, 13:34
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

the domain name should have tipped him off
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Old 11.02.2020, 13:40
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

After negotiations you reach an agreement, and than you walk to another company.

Sure he is pissed off.
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Old 11.02.2020, 13:58
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

Hmmm. Last I knew, a verbal agreement is legally binding in CH. He is would have been within his rights to take you to court and charge you for wasted time. Especially as you went elsewhere. Be more careful about agreeing for something and then backing out. Next person may take you to the cleaners.

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Coming to your place sounds like trespassing (unlawful entry) and taking photos without your consent might have a "privacy laws" angle. Then, sending you proof of the possibly illegal actions. Certainly, not the smartest guy in town.

Either he's under severe financial stress or has a screw loose. Hope it's financial stress and not a deranged individual.
Trespassing? That’s an assumption on your part.
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Old 11.02.2020, 14:00
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

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After negotiations you reach an agreement, and than you walk to another company.

Sure he is pissed off.
That's part of the job. Making an offer doesn't mean the potential client will accept it. Its called free market.
He has every right to feel frustrated, but no right to threaten the client.
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Old 11.02.2020, 14:16
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

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That's part of the job. Making an offer doesn't mean the potential client will accept it. Its called free market.
Irrelevant since this client already accepted the offer, part of the job is getting money when agreements have been made.
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Old 11.02.2020, 14:37
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

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That's part of the job. Making an offer doesn't mean the potential client will accept it. Its called free market.
He has every right to feel frustrated, but no right to threaten the client.
The tradesman made an offer and if I understood the OP correctly, he accepted it:

"After pondering back and forth I confirmed that the offer was OK."

AFAIK that a legal and binding contract right there. There are only a few contracts in switzerland which require a written form.

Last edited by Elu; 11.02.2020 at 14:40. Reason: changed pronouns
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Old 11.02.2020, 15:09
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades (www.slack.ch)

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.

Tell him that you also do not appreciate him coming to your property to take photos and that if it happens again you will contact the police.
don't do that bit!!
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Old 11.02.2020, 15:10
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

I think these extracts from the CO apply:


Art. 1 A. Conclusion of the contract / I. Mutual expression of intent / 1. In general

A. Conclusion of the contract
I. Mutual expression of intent
1. In general
1 The conclusion of a contract requires a mutual expression of intent by the parties.
2 The expression of intent may be express or implied.

Art. 2 A. Conclusion of the contract / I. Mutual expression of intent / 2. Secondary terms

2. Secondary terms
1 Where the parties have agreed on all the essential terms, it is presumed that the contract will be binding notwithstanding any reservation on secondary terms.
2 In the event of failure to reach agreement on such secondary terms, the court must determine them with due regard to the nature of the transaction.
3 The foregoing is subject to the provisions governing the form of contracts.


Art. 8 A. Conclusion of the contract / II. Offer and acceptance / 5. Publicly promised remuneration

5. Publicly promised remuneration
1 A person who publicly promises remuneration or a reward in exchange for the performance of an act must pay in accordance with his promise.
2 If he withdraws his promise before performance has been made, he must reimburse any person incurring expenditure in good faith on account of the promise up to the maximum amount promised unless he can prove that such person could not have provided the performance in question.

So it appears that the tradesman may have a valid argument.
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Old 11.02.2020, 18:31
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

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I think these extracts from the CO apply:


Art. 1 A. Conclusion of the contract / I. Mutual expression of intent / 1. In general

A. Conclusion of the contract
I. Mutual expression of intent
1. In general
1 The conclusion of a contract requires a mutual expression of intent by the parties.
2 The expression of intent may be express or implied.

Art. 2 A. Conclusion of the contract / I. Mutual expression of intent / 2. Secondary terms

2. Secondary terms
1 Where the parties have agreed on all the essential terms, it is presumed that the contract will be binding notwithstanding any reservation on secondary terms.
2 In the event of failure to reach agreement on such secondary terms, the court must determine them with due regard to the nature of the transaction.
3 The foregoing is subject to the provisions governing the form of contracts.


Art. 8 A. Conclusion of the contract / II. Offer and acceptance / 5. Publicly promised remuneration

5. Publicly promised remuneration
1 A person who publicly promises remuneration or a reward in exchange for the performance of an act must pay in accordance with his promise.
2 If he withdraws his promise before performance has been made, he must reimburse any person incurring expenditure in good faith on account of the promise up to the maximum amount promised unless he can prove that such person could not have provided the performance in question.

So it appears that the tradesman may have a valid argument.
That suggests that the OP may have to reimburse the tradesman for any expenditure (time is not expenditure) that he incurred on account of the promise. I read that to mean that the OP should repay any money that the tradesman spent on account of the expected installation of the sun shades after the verbal contract was made. That doesn't include the quote (for which no money would have been spent, except perhaps a little bit of vehicle mileage and a scrap of paper).

So what expenditure could the tradesman possibly have made after the verbal contract was sealed? None, is my guess.
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Old 11.02.2020, 21:00
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

I would say that is for the lawyers to argue (if it goes that far) but in principle it appears that the tradesman is in his rights to ask for compensation.


OP should ask his legal insurance for advice here and not us laymen.
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Old 11.02.2020, 21:34
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

This thread sounds so déjà vu. Didn't we have a similar thread, not so long ago? I can't seem to find it, though.
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Old 11.02.2020, 21:41
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

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That suggests that the OP may have to reimburse the tradesman for any expenditure (time is not expenditure) that he incurred on account of the promise. I read that to mean that the OP should repay any money that the tradesman spent on account of the expected installation of the sun shades after the verbal contract was made. That doesn't include the quote (for which no money would have been spent, except perhaps a little bit of vehicle mileage and a scrap of paper).

So what expenditure could the tradesman possibly have made after the verbal contract was sealed? None, is my guess.
Of course time is expenditure as time is generally charged to a client (and the tradesman could have charged time to another client instead), causing a loss of income.
Or imagine the tradesman would have subcontracted someone to do the job.
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Old 12.02.2020, 06:44
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Re: Tradesman Complaint: Sunshades

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This thread sounds so déjà vu. Didn't we have a similar thread, not so long ago? I can't seem to find it, though.
Here's the other thread that seems to be about something along somewhat different yet similar lines.
https://www.englishforum.ch/other-ge...r-almirah.html

Both these similar threads seem to be from customers asking what to do once they have agreed to having work done, and thereafter changed their minds, and then the tradesman charges for the costs he incurred up until the customer chose to terminate the arrangement.


  1. BEFORE you arrange for a service provider to come to your premises to give you a quote for work to be done, ask whether or not there is a fee, and if so how much, for the work of making the quotation (his drive to your place, site inspection, his taking measurements, discussing materials with you, perhaps going away to calculate and sending you any documentation or samples, etc.).

  2. Even if there is no fee charged to you, be respectful of the fact that this person is using up his business hours to talk to you, and that his petrol and time are not free, to him. Remember that parallel to seeing you, he may possibly be juggling his time, trying to negotiating appointments with existing clients, and with other tradespeople or site-managers depending on their availability in other projects he may be working on, or for other contracts he may be trying to land.

  3. If you verbally agree to the quote (saying yes, it's okay, let's do it, go ahead and get the materials, I want to give the job to you, I'm happy with your suggestions, I agree to what you say, etc.) then your word binds you as a YES, and from then on you owe him for every part of the work he does.

  4. Bear in mind that he has to do quite a lot of work behind the scenes that you don't see, for you, so that he can start the actual physical labour on your site. This may include perhaps getting permissions, or confirmations, or building plans, etc. for your project, drawing sketches, using his infrastructure (workshop, tablet, CAD software, etc.) to build real or virtual models, instructing his juniors or sub-contractors, making calculations, quantifying the materials needed, shopping for or ordering materials.

  5. If you decide, before he even starts, or if you wish to exit from the contract once it is already running, keep your and his costs down by doing so without delay, as soon as you’ve decided, both by phone (because that's polite and direct) and also in writing (by letter is better).

  6. Know that the tradesman will be within his rights to send you a bill for the part of the work done, and you will probably have to settle it.

  7. If the bill is not detailed and itemised, do a rough calculation for yourself, taking into account the work he did so far (at an hourly rate), including the work of the quote, plus his work for you in his workshop, plus buying materials, plus his km price and his time for every time he drove to suppliers and to and from your place, plus phonecalls and mails with you, plus the wages he will have had to pay his helpers, etc., and round that amount up.

  8. If the bill seems way, way too high, then ask for a detailed bill, and consider trying to negotiate. If the bill roughly covers the amount of your calculation, or once you reach the negotiated amount, then write and say that you will pay it but could he please first confirm that your payment will be accepted as termination of the contract and as full and final settlement.

  9. As soon as you have this confirmation, pay the bill promptly and in full.

  10. File those papers, especially the record of payment and the letter confirmind that that is a full settlement. Keep them for many, many years, to protect yourself against any unjust claims which may come later.

The exception to this, of course, would be if the tradesman were not doing what he said he would, and that to which you agreed. But that’s a different story, and not relevant to this situation, I think.
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