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How to deal with bad contractors?

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[OP]
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Jul 5, 2003
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How to deal with bad contractors?

I ordered a custom item from a contractor a month ago. I gave him a depsoit and he provided with a receipt indicating that it will be ready in 5 days. 5 days past and the item was not ready - I was understanding and said we can wait. Over the course of the next two weeks, the item was done but he became very difficult to reach and did not respond to my emails / voice mails to arrange a pick-up. He was always very pushy about us not picking it up and for him to deliever since he didn't want us to break it .. which is fine. But after 5 missed appointments, I am frankly fed up. I took time off work to wait for him .. drove downtown to pick it up .. stayed home on a Friday evening.

Today was the last draw - stayed home all morning waiting for him. In anger, I left a voice mail saying he was a poor communicator and it was unacceptable. He finally wrote me an email saying I can get my deposit back but of course I don't even know where to pick it up. The address where we dropped of the money was a private residence. He is a legitment business.

There isn't a lot of money involved but I am pretty upset about the whole situation. All the wasted time and energy! Any advice on how to proceed and what course of action I could take - I am suspecting nothing. I just feel lucky that I never used him for renovation jobs .. I wonder how he treats his bigger clients.
48 replies
Deal Expert
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Dec 19, 2001
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Fernando Po
Don't you watch Holmes on Homes?
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Jan 11, 2008
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If I were you I'd look at the Consumer Protection Act since you are in Ontario:

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/e ... 0017_e.htm
"If the supplier does not make delivery within 30 days after the delivery date specified in this agreement or if the supplier does not begin performance of his, her or its obligations within 30 days after the commencement date specified in this agreement, you may cancel this agreement at any time before delivery or commencement of performance. You lose the right to cancel if, after the 30-day period has expired, you agree to accept delivery or authorize commencement of performance."

It's easiest to call the Consumer Protection Branch of the government and ask them how the Act applies to you, since it is legal talk and easier to find out if it applies to you by calling:

Consumer Protection Branch - They answer telephone inquiries and mediate written complaints between consumers and businesses:

Call:
Toll Free: 1-800-889-9768
Toronto: (416) 326-8800
Deal Addict
Sep 11, 2006
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KELOWNA
I'd email him back and ask for the address and for a day when the money will be ready for you. He obviously hasn't done your work or he wouldn't be avoiding you and be so willing to give you your money back. Too bad you just didn't pay with a credit card so you could simply cancel the charge and save any more hassle.
Member
Sep 24, 2007
288 posts
19 upvotes
Do a negative review on him at homestars dot ca...at least other people can be warned about him.
[OP]
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Jul 5, 2003
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I won't be doing anything until I get my money back. I am so sick of following up that I am surprised he isn't so sick of it that he just pays me back.

We were suppose to meet on Monday to get my deposit back. Of course, he didn't even give me an address on where to pick it up. He didn't pick up my calls or my emails. His co-worker did send me an email to state that he is at another client emergency. His co-worker said he will email transfer the money to me in 2 hours => well .. 10 hours later .. I am still waiting.

With all their "client emergencies", I wonder how crap that work is.
Member
Jan 10, 2007
252 posts
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It might be time to call the police on this, if the guy has taken your money and you have received nothing back he is committing fraud. Take $500 from 10 people and all of a second its 5Gs. I would mention to him that if your next meeting fails to bring satisfactory results, you will contact the police. Just don't call 911.
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Oct 30, 2001
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Cops will do nothing,
If you want to pursue it you will have to go to small claims court.
Member
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Aug 15, 2005
293 posts
Toronto
I'm currently dealing with a similar situation. How was this situation resolved?

It's been over 2 weeks that I've been waiting for this guy to install a new furnace! He claims that he has all the parts ready, but he has been busy with other emergency calls. I responded by saying that I understand and that I would appreciate a call if they weren't coming. I hate waiting around !!!!

Any advice?
Member
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Aug 15, 2005
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Tried calling them today, no answer, voicemail is full.

Tried going to their small store, it was closed, lights were off.

Not sure how to proceed from here, all I want now is my deposit back!!
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Aug 20, 2007
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misskaren wrote:
May 5th, 2009 8:05 pm
Tried calling them today, no answer, voicemail is full.

Tried going to their small store, it was closed, lights were off.

Not sure how to proceed from here, all I want now is my deposit back!!

Did you get it worked out?

Did you have a signed contract?
Sr. Member
Sep 19, 2009
796 posts
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Toronto
Does the consumer protection act apply if there isn't a signed contract? but rather the payment was made via cash..
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Aug 9, 2004
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gotridet wrote:
Jan 29th, 2011 10:41 am
Does the consumer protection act apply if there isn't a signed contract? but rather the payment was made via cash..

Did he give you any receipts for the cash?

Verbal agreement is hard to enforce, but not entirely meaningless. I just think it would be limitted to what you could get in small claims court.


I'm currently having a problem with a contractor.
He has been building a 3rd floor addition on my rural cottage. Its fairly small, about 8x20, totalling about $25k. Throughout the project he has been badgering me for advances on payments based on what he feels the work has entailed. I paid him for materials (which I think was overinflated anyways) and a little over half the labour.

A couple weeks ago he hits me with a an extra bill for about $4k based on additional materials costs and his favorite catch-all "necessary improvements to structure". At no point did he warn me of the additional costs nor did he show me any pics of why the additional work was necessary. We argued heatedly, and I agreed to pay him for about half of that amount.

Now that the project is mostly finished, he is claiming he is done, even though there is no siding on the addition (our contract is vague and refers only to "exterior decor finishes" but in the drawings he provided, clearly shows the addition finished in the same siding as the rest of the cottage. Also he did not finish the roof with soffits/fascia or eaves which in fairness, we only discussed verbally, as I had thought these were standard items for an addition which requires a new roof. I dont see how anyone could consider leaving it in just Tyvek to be finished.

I'm pretty pissed off right now and sent him an email that I only wish to communicate with him in writing and expressed the above, and that if he doesnt complete those items, I'll simply estimate their costs and deduct them from the final labour payment.

what do you think, am I in the wrong/right here, do I have a chance if he takes me to court if I dont pay him the full remaining amount?
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
Good-bye.
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Dec 31, 2005
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stealth wrote:
Jan 29th, 2011 1:48 pm
Did he give you any receipts for the cash?

Verbal agreement is hard to enforce, but not entirely meaningless. I just think it would be limitted to what you could get in small claims court.


I'm currently having a problem with a contractor.
He has been building a 3rd floor addition on my rural cottage. Its fairly small, about 8x20, totalling about $25k. Throughout the project he has been badgering me for advances on payments based on what he feels the work has entailed. I paid him for materials (which I think was overinflated anyways) and a little over half the labour.

A couple weeks ago he hits me with a an extra bill for about $4k based on additional materials costs and his favorite catch-all "necessary improvements to structure". At no point did he warn me of the additional costs nor did he show me any pics of why the additional work was necessary. We argued heatedly, and I agreed to pay him for about half of that amount.

Now that the project is mostly finished, he is claiming he is done, even though there is no siding on the addition (our contract is vague and refers only to "exterior decor finishes" but in the drawings he provided, clearly shows the addition finished in the same siding as the rest of the cottage. Also he did not finish the roof with soffits/fascia or eaves which in fairness, we only discussed verbally, as I had thought these were standard items for an addition which requires a new roof. I dont see how anyone could consider leaving it in just Tyvek to be finished.

I'm pretty pissed off right now and sent him an email that I only wish to communicate with him in writing and expressed the above, and that if he doesnt complete those items, I'll simply estimate their costs and deduct them from the final labour payment.

what do you think, am I in the wrong/right here, do I have a chance if he takes me to court if I dont pay him the full remaining amount?

I don't understand why it wasn't clearly defined from the start.

When we had our dug and finished, everything was spelled out. There was no question.
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stealth wrote:
Jan 29th, 2011 1:48 pm
Did he give you any receipts for the cash?

Verbal agreement is hard to enforce, but not entirely meaningless. I just think it would be limitted to what you could get in small claims court.


I'm currently having a problem with a contractor.
He has been building a 3rd floor addition on my rural cottage. Its fairly small, about 8x20, totalling about $25k. Throughout the project he has been badgering me for advances on payments based on what he feels the work has entailed. I paid him for materials (which I think was overinflated anyways) and a little over half the labour.

A couple weeks ago he hits me with a an extra bill for about $4k based on additional materials costs and his favorite catch-all "necessary improvements to structure". At no point did he warn me of the additional costs nor did he show me any pics of why the additional work was necessary. We argued heatedly, and I agreed to pay him for about half of that amount.

Now that the project is mostly finished, he is claiming he is done, even though there is no siding on the addition (our contract is vague and refers only to "exterior decor finishes" but in the drawings he provided, clearly shows the addition finished in the same siding as the rest of the cottage. Also he did not finish the roof with soffits/fascia or eaves which in fairness, we only discussed verbally, as I had thought these were standard items for an addition which requires a new roof. I dont see how anyone could consider leaving it in just Tyvek to be finished.

I'm pretty pissed off right now and sent him an email that I only wish to communicate with him in writing and expressed the above, and that if he doesnt complete those items, I'll simply estimate their costs and deduct them from the final labour payment.

what do you think, am I in the wrong/right here, do I have a chance if he takes me to court if I dont pay him the full remaining amount?

That's horrible and I think anyone in your situation would be angry. I agree that dealing with him in writing from now on is probably for the best.

I would be concerned about this contractor based on the fact that you said the initial contract is for $25,000 and he hit you with an extra bill of $4,000. If you look at this, it says that:

http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/Documents/050457.pdf
The final cost cannot be more than 10 per cent higher than the original estimate; however, a contractor and consumer can agree to change the estimate if additional goods and services are required.

It certainly doesn't sound like you made any agreement to change the estimate by requesting anything additional.

Of course it is always best to have everything clearly spelled out in a contract, but as a customer if I was given drawings of what my completed project was going to look like, I would expect the finished product would look like the drawings - that would be a reasonable assumption.
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