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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Verbal quote work. All inclusive, "total cost" given

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Verbal quote for roof work. All inclusive, "total cost" given by roofer. Roofer did not start at his stated time but then carried out work on an ad hoc basis, turning up without notice, as and when he wanted to! Finding reasons why he could not start work on a particular area of roof, going to look at another job and then returning later the same day to carry out the work he had originally said he couldn't do.
Finally, giving dates to come back to carry out work and not turning up at all. All email and phone messages went unanswered. We have now called an end to this roofers service and have emailed to stated that we will be paying for work carried out to date on a pro rata basis, based on the original figure verbally quoted, less any work that was not carried out. We have paid this pro rata amount into the roofer's bank account and he has come back with an unitemised demand for costings that bear no resemblance to the work carried out and also adding VAT to this amount where as his original, verbal quote was for 'total cost, job
All materials for this project were supplied by ourselves except for some uPVC sections which he paid for and requests for copy receipt for this material from his supplier, so that we could pay for materials that we did not supply, have all been ignored. We have, therefore, contacted his supplier ourselves and obtained costs and a pro rata costing on work carried out will be added to material costs. This amount will then be deposited into roofer's bank account.
My question is: Is our payment method satisfactory is this situation?
My name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could I have a written answer to my question above, please?
Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act there is an implied term that the roofer will carry out the work with reasonable care and skill. Where he has failed to do so, you are only obliged to pay him a reasonable charge. What is reasonable really depends on your assessment of the amount of work carried out - there is no set procedure for calculating what should be paid, but if a dispute arises you need to be in a position to justify your position. The manner in which you have calculated the cost seems to be the correct approach to me. It might be help to prepare a schedule setting out the figures carefully so there cant be any misunderstanding about your offer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
At the time of the first payment into the roofer's account an email was sent, setting out the areas where work was carried out, in square metres, together with a square meter costing based on the original all-in total cost, less any deductions for items that were not undertaken. Every area that was worked on and the varied work that was carried out on these areas, was given a costing based on a pro rata calculation on the original quote. The area calculation was based on the original, total square metre roof area, which was discussed with the roofer at the time of the quote. The type of work to be carried out on all roof areas was fully discussed at the original meeting. We have never had an answer to these figures, just an email quoting the amount we deposited plus demand for additional, unsubstantiated costings, which we have ignored.
I don't think you need to do any more. Your approach to this seems to be fair. If the builder believes he is entitled to more he will have to justify his claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If the roofer keeps coming back, demanding costs over and above what we have calculated, do we just ignore him or would it pay to send an email when we have calculated the detailed final payment (for uPVC), stating that this is 'full and final payment and no more correspondence of any kind will be entered into'?
I think it would be helpful to clarify everything in one final letter. You ought to set out the entire background to this problem, his failings and the set out exactly how you have calculated the payment. In that letter you can draw a line under your relationship with him. The letter will serve two purposes: firstly it sets out your stance and the exact basis on which you have made payments and secondly, in the event he decides to go to court over this, it will form the backbone of your defence against any claim he may wish to make. If the builder continues to make demands for money you could suggest that a surveyor is instructed to arbitrate on the matter - but that will come at a cost which he must be willing to share.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have just received, in the last few minutes, and email from the roofer stating that 'If the outstanding payment is not made by Friday, the case will be passed to a debt collector and court'.We have, in emails, confirmed to him from 'day one', requests for meetings to discuss project, various discussions on requests to carry out work, details of all times that he turned up or didn't turn up and a detailed breakdown of how we have calculated the pro rata payments.Basically, we have put everything that has or has not happened, in emails to him but only rarely had a response.
I suggest you reply to him immediately in the format stated above. It may be a hollow threat by him - but even if he starts court proceedings at least you will be able to refer back to the correspondence.
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