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What can be done about shonky tradesmen?

By tomH - 12 January 2011 26

I’ve just had a horrible experience with a tradesman who took most of the money and has left the job half finished.

My lawyer says that I should call him and beg him to come back and finish the job as taking him to court will just mean more legal bills.

Does anyone have any ideas how I can get the message out there so that other people aren’t burnt by the same guy?

What’s Your opinion?

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26 Responses to
What can be done about shonky tradesmen?
spinact 11:41 pm 14 Jan 11

T1G3R said :

Name and shame. People like this give other tradies a bad name.

Break it down……….

T1G3R 6:39 pm 14 Jan 11

Name and shame. People like this give other tradies a bad name.

cleo 2:05 am 13 Jan 11

Ring consumer affairs, or Fair Trading.

six_by_nine 9:25 pm 12 Jan 11

We had a similar experience with a paver late last year. We engaged a tradie at the recommendation of a local paving supplier and it turned into a nightmare. The first sign of rain and all the paving washed away. We couldn’t get the paver back to fix it, and when we did finally get him on the phone he suggested drilling into the neighnbour’s wall for drainage. We ended up cutting our losses and getting a second tradie in to fix the mess.

I wish there was a forum for naming and shaming, but I know RA won’t.

Instead, I’d like to take the opportunity to recommend All Rock Landscapes & Constructions. Todd was amazing, took the time to explain everything, his quote turned up 3 days after the visit, and they did the whole job the next day. He put in some decent drainage, and fixed up the paver pattern so it’s better than the original job.

John Moulis 5:44 pm 12 Jan 11

Thumper said :

Name and shame.

Can JB afford the legal bills?

Golden-Alpine 5:39 pm 12 Jan 11

Judge Judy.

Deano 12:37 pm 12 Jan 11

The problem with Small Claims Court is that even if you get a judgement awarded in your favour, there is no guarantee on getting your money. Whilst the property which can be seized to settle the debt is quite broad and includes land, cars or any other property of value but does not include necessities for living or tools of trade needed to provide a livelihood. It does not include items which are subject to lease or hire purchase agreements.

Unless the tradie has gone out and bought a new plasma TV with your cash, it is unlikely he will have any assets worth seizing. In most cases like this, the money has been spent on paying previous debts.

Grumpy Old Fart 11:54 am 12 Jan 11

Small Claims Court is the best option if the claim is under $10,000. It is not a complex process other than needing to know the details of the tradesperson and where a subpoena can be served. You are better of representing yourself as you know the facts. Just make sure you have as much information recorded as possible including photographs if applicable. Write your version of events down so that when you are in mediation or before the magistrate you have you story correct. Take your time when responding and don’t let anyone push you around.

Also lodge a compalint with consumer affairs and the master body for the particular trade if available.

georgesgenitals 10:42 am 12 Jan 11

Tooks said :

Thumper said :

Name and shame.

Yep, agreed.

Another vote from me for name and shame.

dtc 9:49 am 12 Jan 11

troll-sniffer said :

. Note that the small claims court does not require absolute legal proof of your case, you simply have to convince the referee that your claim is valid and the other party’s case is not.

Technically… the standard of proof, as for all civil cases, is ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

The Small Claims Court is good, but if the tradie refuses to turn up then it can take a while – however, in the end you will get a judgment if he doesnt show and a Small Claims Judgement is just as enforceable as a judgement from any other court ie you can send the sherrif in to seize a computer or a car or something.

Its quite an easy court to deal with yourself (its designed that way), it just takes a bit of time.

KB1971 9:34 am 12 Jan 11

Do the work yourself………

troll-sniffer 9:03 am 12 Jan 11

Small Claims Court. If your case is legit, and not just a case of you expected too much for too little money, the court will invariably find in your favour. You will also be required to attend mediation initially which is where the tradie has the opportunity to agree to a suitable arrangement.

If you do get a judgement in your favour and the tradie refuses to pay, you will then have the option of using the sheriff to grab possessions to be sold, or going through the magistrates court and hoping the verdict includesa ll your legal bills as well as the original debt.

Last time I checked it was $41.00 to lodge a small claims court action, which is added to the tradie’s if judgement is in your favour. Note that the small claims court does not require absolute legal proof of your case, you simply have to convince the referee that your claim is valid and the other party’s case is not.

Tooks 8:59 am 12 Jan 11

Thumper said :

Name and shame.

Yep, agreed.

Thumper 8:48 am 12 Jan 11

Name and shame.

Swaggie 8:43 am 12 Jan 11

You’re posting on a site that reaches the majority of the people in Canberra and asking “How do I put the word out?”……nuff said really.

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