I am a Tiler that works on high end tiling projects.
A couple of years ago all the work I was doing was through Fired Earth and I built up a solid reputation. They called at the end of last year and asked me if i would help them with a job they had undertaken that gone "horribly wrong". Two separate contractors had undertaken work on the bathroom and the customer wasn't happy with either of their efforts.
My specification was to remove a shower screen, toilet, shower head and mixer, remove all tiles, make good the wall, re-board it, re-tile it and refit the screen, toilet, head and mixer. The agreement was that I would receive my day rate of £200, which is my normal rate, and that I would get a plumber/bathroom fitter to do that side of things. I would send a 50% invoice for my labour and fuel costs as agreed halfway through and the remainder they would pay on completion, plus any extras, materials and the rate for the plumber/bathroom fitter.
The first payment was made without any fuss at the agreed rate (plus the fuel cost).
We had a small cosmetic issue on the last day (Plumber fitted the toilet brackets the wrong way) and they are now disputing all costs.
We offered to go back and rectify this, which their client agreed to, but they (fired earth) refused and recruited another contractor to rectify the issue.
At most, this would have taken a day.
After sending my invoice in, they made me a heavily reduced offer which i refused as the work was perfect bar that small error.
I would have been happy to pay the costs of rectifying it from outside contractors, had they been reasonable. It now seems they are using this as an excuse to reduce their overall cost due to mistakes made previously, at my expense.
Below is the last correspondence from them:
Following our earlier conversation about your final outstanding invoice. We are prepared to pay the following:
£181.00 - Material
£405.00 - 2nd 50% Labour for the works carried out minus £95.00 that we had to pay Glass fit to rectify the showerscreen.
This means that we will pay you in total: £1,136.00 for 5.5 days of work including materials, waste removal and fuel which works out at just over £200.00 per day. I do not think that this is unreasonable.
On a personal note. The tiling that you did as always was of a very high quality and we are happy with your work. I feel that you have charged over the normal day rate on your original costing because perhaps you were feeling that you were doing me a favour. I also feel that charging us £600.00 for the plumber is just being ridiculous. I have asked you to do this work because I trusted you to do it properly. I still ended up with an unhappy customer and further contractors to go out to complete the work. It's unfortunate that your chosen plumber has let you down, but surely you would have had some experience of the quality of his work before using him on a FE job, especially one as sensitive as this one. We are not prepared to pay him and I don't think you should pay him either.
If you can send me a revised invoice so that I have it first thing tomorrow morning, I will put it through for payment this week."