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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16924
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Had a Glam Pod installed in the garden, on completion

Customer Question

Hi, had a Glam Pod installed in the garden, on completion (Saturday) the contractor became very demanding over money and adopted a very unfriendly attitude to the one he had had, he seemed to take extreme offence to us asking for some corrective action to the rear of the pod (which he did sort). I declined to pay him at the time due to his attitude, in his quote he asked for payment on day of completion, he demanded payment in an hour of he would come back and knock on all the neighbours doors and tell them how dishonest we were. He then went away and went online to the police (he sent a screen shot) accusing me of threatening to kill him (totally fabricated) I check with the police and he didn't file an official crime report. He the made several attempt to harass my wife on social media over the coarse of the evening as well as threats of more to come. We said we would pay him this morning and he has already emailed asking for payment. The work is good and apart from not getting an electrical test certificate (which he argues is not required) we are happy with the work. During the build he messaged us to tell us his previous customer hadn't paid and could we make in interim payment which we did. He now says in an message he lied about that to get the money from us. Do we pay him and move on or do we have some come back over the distressing harassment we have had? especially the (what appears to be a tactic of reporting me to the police. Thanks.
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Sorry, Axminster Devon
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: Nothing other than what I have mentioned above
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thanks.
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need sometime to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online becauseyou will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimeslonger.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I havenot forgotten your question.

is he a Ltd Co or sole trader?

what did he think he could acheive by contacting Police?

what was the total cost and what have you paid?

and how have you paid it?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
He is a sole trader. I think he contacted the Police using their online chat to screen shot and use as a scare tactic. Total cost is 5,400, we owe him £1625. All paid by bank transfer.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 days ago.

You entered into a contract to pay him on the day and therefore, you are not entitled to decline to pay him because of his attitude. I can understand why you were annoyed though.

If he does call on anybody’s door, what he is alleging, then it’s harassment and it’s a matter for the police.

Harassment is defined as a course of action (more than once) which is intended to harass, does harass, is reckless as to whether it harasses, or if the average bystander would look at the conduct and think that it was indeed harassment.

Harassment is both a civil matter and a criminal matter.

If you are being harassed. Go to the police and ask them to warn the ex-under the Protection from Harassment Act. Some police forces take that very seriously and others not so and therefore, you may need to speak to a senior officer or put a complaint in writing to the Chief Constable.

I don’t where he put the allegation of threatening to kill him, but if it was on the public forum, that is harassment and defamation.

I’m sorry to say that I cannot see a reason not to pay him. You have a whole load of other courses of action in respect of defamation and harassment but no excuse not to pay.

In these circumstances, in respect of the money, the police would not be interested.

My advice would be to pay him what you him and then send him a cease and desist letter and ask him for compensation in respect of any of his allegations which he either said or wrote to 3rd parties.

It depends whether you just want to walk away from this.

If is put a bad review on trust. Although beware because they can come back to bite you also.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Please note that my answer is based strictly on the information that you have given me. If you have not given me all the information, then my answer may be incomplete or wrong.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close.

Thank you.

Best wishes.