Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Other/general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05.12.2018, 10:18
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Cham
Posts: 2
Groaned at 6 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
MarkInZug has become a little unpopular
advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

We recently moved into our own apartment in canton Zug and we asked an electrician to come over and have a look at the place to add 5 extra plugs/sockets in the bedroom. He told us by phone that this would cost 200 each socket. When he came over on Monday I asked him when he could start and he said 2 days later at 9am. Problem is I asked him to call my wife first. I wanted to speak to her first as he seemed like a bit of a cowboy electrician and we instead wanted to get a quote from another company that did the entire electrical work for our apartment previously.

2 days later he comes over which I wasnít expecting as he didnít confirm in writing and didnít speak to my wife either. I said there has been a misunderstanding and that he has to go but he got aggressive. There has been a misunderstanding here and he said he didnít hear that part. We just had a heated argument in the apartment and he threatens to bill us 750 for the lost day as he said he had to cancel other appointments and he said also for the materials he ordered which he cannot use elsewhere (I donít understand how he canít use a simple socket in another apartment). What do we do? He seems angry and could get violent over the situation if he loses a battle on it. We had no written agreement (no email, no texts) and would expect to have at least some written quote first before starting the work. He claims that the price quoted verbally to install each socket is binding but when he came to the apartment I told him that he has to hide the wires for the new socket in the wall which is different from what was first discussed so canít imagine how he thinks the first verbal quote is binding before he saw the place.

Also there was a painter working in the place at the time he first came around who heard me ask if he can start on Wednesday but unfortunately he didnít hear me ask him to call my wife first as he kept moving from room to room. Now heís trying to say the painter is a witness to the agreement.

Any advice is much appreciated.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank MarkInZug for this useful post:
The following 3 users groan at MarkInZug for this post:
  #2  
Old 05.12.2018, 10:45
Sandgrounder's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 13,374
Groaned at 123 Times in 114 Posts
Thanked 24,101 Times in 9,317 Posts
Sandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Tradespeople don't normally "confirm in writing" that they'll show up so I don't think the lack of that will help you much.

Basically it's his word against yours. Asking him to call your wife first doesn't really say "Don't come until you have spoken to my wife".

You arranged a day and a time then added the request to call your wife afterwards.

Don't know where you stand legally, but I doubt either of you has a case.
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank Sandgrounder for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 05.12.2018, 11:07
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 7,812
Groaned at 475 Times in 397 Posts
Thanked 13,475 Times in 5,367 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

My advise - stop wasting tradespeoples time, its not their job to call your wife ffs.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 05.12.2018, 11:09
EastEnders's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: former Biennoise now in Belp
Posts: 1,804
Groaned at 10 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 2,382 Times in 915 Posts
EastEnders has a reputation beyond reputeEastEnders has a reputation beyond reputeEastEnders has a reputation beyond reputeEastEnders has a reputation beyond reputeEastEnders has a reputation beyond reputeEastEnders has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

I second Sandgrounders advice and comment.



For further dealings with any kind of handyman, ALWAYS ask for a written 'Offerte' as it is called in German.


Although as Swiss law states a verbal agreement is binding as well, but inthis case as Sandgrounder said, it is his word against yours.


https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...009/index.html
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank EastEnders for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 05.12.2018, 13:10
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ZŁrich
Posts: 7,323
Groaned at 312 Times in 208 Posts
Thanked 9,729 Times in 3,419 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

...and CHF200 per socket is quite reasonable for post-fitting. We paid CHF100 extra for each before the house was even built.

I would have thought CHF200 would be for external cabling not in the wall...
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank AbFab for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 05.12.2018, 13:31
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 11,595
Groaned at 649 Times in 477 Posts
Thanked 15,483 Times in 6,074 Posts
Chuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Quote:
View Post
We recently moved into our own apartment in canton Zug and we asked an electrician to come over and have a look at the place to add 5 extra plugs/sockets in the bedroom. He told us by phone that this would cost 200 each socket. When he came over on Monday I asked him when he could start and he said 2 days later at 9am. Problem is I asked him to call my wife first. I wanted to speak to her first as he seemed like a bit of a cowboy electrician and we instead wanted to get a quote from another company that did the entire electrical work for our apartment previously.

2 days later he comes over which I wasn’t expecting as he didn’t confirm in writing and didn’t speak to my wife either. I said there has been a misunderstanding and that he has to go but he got aggressive. There has been a misunderstanding here and he said he didn’t hear that part. We just had a heated argument in the apartment and he threatens to bill us 750 for the lost day as he said he had to cancel other appointments and he said also for the materials he ordered which he cannot use elsewhere (I don’t understand how he can’t use a simple socket in another apartment). What do we do? He seems angry and could get violent over the situation if he loses a battle on it. We had no written agreement (no email, no texts) and would expect to have at least some written quote first before starting the work. He claims that the price quoted verbally to install each socket is binding but when he came to the apartment I told him that he has to hide the wires for the new socket in the wall which is different from what was first discussed so can’t imagine how he thinks the first verbal quote is binding before he saw the place.

Also there was a painter working in the place at the time he first came around who heard me ask if he can start on Wednesday but unfortunately he didn’t hear me ask him to call my wife first as he kept moving from room to room. Now he’s trying to say the painter is a witness to the agreement.

Any advice is much appreciated.
You essentially verbally agreed a time with him and why then did you expect him to consult your wife first? That is your job, surely?

You should do all of your research and consultation on a tradesman, as well as get other quotes, before agreeing (or giving the impression of agreeing) a date for them to come over, that is just basic common sense. From his perspective of the argument, you have just lost him 2-3 days work that he uses to put food on his family's table.

You handled it clumsily and I guess you will just have to hope you can successfully reason with him or settle it without it getting to Betreibung levels.

Last edited by Chuff; 05.12.2018 at 15:04.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Chuff for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 05.12.2018, 14:41
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Cham
Posts: 2
Groaned at 6 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
MarkInZug has become a little unpopular
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Thanks for the all the feedback. The guy appears to be a bit of a self-employed cowboy. A Swiss friend called him to argue and appears as if he will back down since he had given us no official quote in writing and just jumped on the opportunity to take us for a ride. This was after he pretended to have an invoice department that would would us a bill.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank MarkInZug for this useful post:
The following 3 users groan at MarkInZug for this post:
  #8  
Old 05.12.2018, 15:04
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 7,812
Groaned at 475 Times in 397 Posts
Thanked 13,475 Times in 5,367 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

what a cowboy wanting to be paid for his wasted time
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05.12.2018, 15:06
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 11,595
Groaned at 649 Times in 477 Posts
Thanked 15,483 Times in 6,074 Posts
Chuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Quote:
View Post
Thanks for the all the feedback. The guy appears to be a bit of a self-employed cowboy. A Swiss friend called him to argue and appears as if he will back down since he had given us no official quote in writing and just jumped on the opportunity to take us for a ride. This was after he pretended to have an invoice department that would would us a bill.
I didn't know it was a legal obligation for them to give you a quote in writing before you could ask them to come to conduct the work, so that's news to me.

Anyway, glad you got it resolved. Next time be much clearer in how you speak to people (especially when English is not their native, second or even third language) to make sure they understand that you are not giving a work offer, you are just finding out information.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Chuff for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 05.12.2018, 15:11
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 7,812
Groaned at 475 Times in 397 Posts
Thanked 13,475 Times in 5,367 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Quote:
View Post
I didn't know it was a legal obligation for them to give you a quote in writing before you could ask them to come to conduct the work, so that's news to me.

Anyway, glad you got it resolved. Next time be much clearer in how you speak to people (especially when English is not their native, second or even third language) to make sure they understand that you are not giving a work offer, you are just finding out information.
and then be prepared for the invoice for the quote to appear in your postbox
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 05.12.2018, 16:34
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 10,873
Groaned at 166 Times in 144 Posts
Thanked 15,422 Times in 6,236 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Quote:
View Post
..., it is his word against yours.
...
So... he wins or he loses?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05.12.2018, 17:21
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,426
Groaned at 246 Times in 209 Posts
Thanked 8,943 Times in 4,684 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Quote:
View Post
I didn't know it was a legal obligation for them to give you a quote in writing before you could ask them to come to conduct the work, so that's news to me.
It isn't. They had a binding contract as work to be done, time and day, and price had been agreed upon. That kind of contract requires no particular form so the spoken word is enough. Even concluding action alone (nodding your head, say) may suffice.

The problem is proving what was agreed upon. As OP says himself he changed what needed doing by adding the wiring. The price doesn't need to be agreed upon beforehand, in such a case the electrician would simply bill according to actual hours worked and materials used - obviously that's the basis for big (usually negative) surprises.

The painter's confirmation that OP asked if Wednesday was Ok and the electrician actually showing up may be enough, but the electrician probably doesn't know about the painter.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Urs Max for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 05.12.2018, 18:05
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 4,116
Groaned at 105 Times in 89 Posts
Thanked 4,550 Times in 2,169 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: advice needed: electrician wants to sue us

Quote:
View Post
Thanks for the all the feedback. The guy appears to be a bit of a self-employed cowboy.
The two of you are well matched. Learn from the experience.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Jim2007 for this useful post:
Reply

Tags
betreibung, electrician, legal advice, threats




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Uk electrician wants to work in switzerland mikecurly Employment 12 15.03.2019 18:51
Advice needed for visa / permit process of family reunification (US to CH) Taran Permits/visas/government 13 05.06.2016 10:46
Advice needed - flights CH to US Moorsholm Daily life 27 05.05.2016 08:23
Advice needed re who can come with us to switzerland Britmumabroad Permits/visas/government 14 08.09.2014 11:31
lawyer needed to sue credit suisse PTKate Finance/banking/taxation 2 01.05.2009 18:26


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:30.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0