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:
Tiling works only
Labour: £500 (50%, 2.5 at £200 a day)
Extra: £50 (50% of fuel as agreed as its a 100 mile round trip)
Labour: £500 (50%, 2.5 days at £200 a day)
Plumber/bathroom fitter: £600 (3xdays at £200)
Waste removal: £65 (at cost, i have the receipt)
I thought a day off of that (£200) would be fair and i would deduct that from the sub contractors costs. Please be aware I am approaching this in a very calm and collected manner and don't get hot headed about anything but I really feel like I am being taken for a ride.
The toilet bracket issue was very simple and yes, all it meant was turning them around and replacing the tiles that were drilled into previously.
In respect of the plumber "letting me down". The customer rang me up on the way home after we completed and asked us to come back and rectify the mistake made (brackets). I wish i had noticed before we left but unfortunately I hadn't. I rang him up and he told me he had another job to go to but he could return the following Saturday (It was a Saturday evening). I offered to return myself but after a telephone conversion with the customer we agreed that without Chris (the plumber) it would be foolhardy for me to attempt to take the cistern off and replace it as im no plumber. I was more than willing to sort it out on the day but the best I could offer was what the plumber offered me.
They are not paying for him as they feel his work was unsatisfactory, but this seems to be based solely on the bracket error.
The monday and tuesday were spent (by both of us) taking everything out, ripping all the tiles off the walls and repairing the damage caused prior to tiling. He only came back on the Saturday to put it all back in. It sounds simple but this was a two man job as it was undertaken in a fully finished, expensive, designer bathroom. Every day I gave a report back to Fired Earth on progress and costs and there was never any doubt on costs. If there was, and lets say there was two days plumbing and one day just helping, I would happily knock off £95 to sort the screen and a day for a plumber at the same £200
They are deducting fuel allowance, the screen rectification, waste cost and all of the plumbers cost