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How would you handle it

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    How would you handle it

    In the last year and a half I've had a lot of people in my house. A lot. Major renovations, furniture and appliance deliveries, new HVAC, you name it. In the course of all this, several times we have had something damaged or broken by individuals. Our two most recent discoveries:
    - we are getting some painting done and moved some furniture. Discovered behind a sectional a major gouge in the drywall. I am 99% sure this was done by the guys delivering said sectional, but that was 8 months ago, and I have no proof.
    - painter trips and fell into something, breaking it. Tried to rearrange things and hide it, but we noticed after he had left for the day. He's back today, and we confronted him, and he admitted it. We had already sent photos to the boss, so I gather he hasn't talked to them yet. In today's day and age a job is a big deal, and I'm not wanting him fired, but we can't let it just go unreported either.

    In some cases these kinds of things are expensive to fix, in other cases not so much. What is far more troubling than the mistakes that are made are the attempts to disguise them, or not make an offer to take care of it. Have we lost all integrity in the world? What happened to businesses that stand behind their work? How have you handled stuff like this, or how would you if it happened to you?

    #2
    I hate to say it, but we've gotten to where we basically have to supervise anyone that comes in to do any kind of work.

    Had some painters knock over a 5 gallon bucket of paint, right on the carpet, NEXT TO the drop clothes they didn't bother to put down.
    Ended up running them off the job.... That's a longer story.

    If you've used a general contractor to over see all these different jobs, I think you should have a good long talk.
    Otherwise, I think the only recourse for the older jobs is honest online reviews so maybe others don't have the same experience.

    Take pictures before during and after. I think it's fair to give them a chance to correct the mistake, but be firm with expecting quality work.
    I would definitely report damages to my things to their boss.

    Comment


      #3
      Everybody makes mistakes. For me the issue is will you own the mistake and make good on it. If they won’t, I can’t use them again or recommend them. Of course, reporting them to the boss in today’s world could make you vulnerable to retaliation. My mechanic installed wheel bearings that went out within a couple of months of installation. His response was I don’t know if it was a faulty part or the installation, so I will replace them at no charge. Of course it was an inconvenience to me, but I can live with that kind of taking responsibility. I also had a handyman do some good work for me on a couple of occasions. On the third project he took semi responsibility for the job not measuring up to expectations. I can’t use him again.

      Comment


      • Steve B
        Steve B commented
        Editing a comment
        As a 35 year auto tech. We run into this a lot. Everything, and I mean virtually everything, in the auto parts portion of it is made in China. It's frustrating for both customer and us techs. I personally try to use the best of the crappy parts out there to minimalize come backs.

      • rickgregory
        rickgregory commented
        Editing a comment
        "On the third project he took semi responsibility for the job not measuring up to expectations. I can’t use him again."

        However, people need to have reasonable expectations. Perfection shouldn't be a standard. I say this because I have a friend who IS a perfectionist and rides people about flaws that almost no one else would ever notice.

      • LA Pork Butt
        LA Pork Butt commented
        Editing a comment
        rickgregory It wasn’t a perfectionist issue. I know what brushed finish concrete looks like. This was so rough that he took responsibility for how rough it was and didn’t charge me for the labor, but I had to pay for the expensive coating material he put on the concrete to smooth it out some. Thus the semi responsibility.

      #4
      Reflection of the general inability for people to take responsibility for their own actions any longer. My friends and I discuss the subject frequently due to the enormous ripple effect this mentality can have. When did this become the norm? Are people being taught to fear consequences rather than accept them? I don't get it.

      Comment


        #5
        There are two separate issue to me.

        One, the damage. If that's due to a mistake or accident, eh. If it's due to willfully not trying to be careful, that's different. The fact is that if you or I did all of the work they are doing, we might damage something too. Like we would, I'd expect the person who did the damage to try to rectify it, either by actually fixing it or monetarily ("we'll pick up the cost of replacing that section of carpet...."). NOTE: it's up to the homeowner to remove breakables you care about, etc because accidents *do* happen.

        Two, the coverup. WAY more of an issue and an immediate blacklist. You're trusting this person in your house. I'm not saying they need to text your right away if they ding the drywall but actively covering it up.. is not ok. This, though, is conditioned in my mind by it being actual, meaningful damage. If I was moving in a section and put a very minor scuff mark and tiny ding in your drywall behind the sectional, I might not mentioned it simply because I wouldn't consider it worth mentioning. An 8" gouge? Yeah, worth mentioning.

        Comment


          #6
          I feel that too many folks today do not have a proper work ethic, and do not have a sense of integrity or self responsibility. In society today, I feel that folks, especially in the younger generations, have been trained to blame everyone EXCEPT for themselves for their problems.
          Last edited by jfmorris; June 12, 2020, 01:58 PM.

          Comment


          • Henrik
            Henrik commented
            Editing a comment
            Word (unfortunately).

          • Rod
            Rod commented
            Editing a comment
            Bingo times a million!

          • Steve B
            Steve B commented
            Editing a comment
            Sooo true. This younger generation is all about computers and online BS.
            And not do they not have the self responsibility or integrity. They don’t have the training and experience to do what they’re contracted for.
            I can go on here. But I won’t. Not at all about you Jim. It’s About these so called professionals.

          #7
          Contractors and businesses carry, or at least should carry, liability insurance just for this purpose. Regardless, they are on the hook for repairing any damage they cause, but you will usually have to force the issue. As far as the work ethic and accountability issues, well, that's the society "we" have allowed to happen. When everyone gets a trophy there is little incentive to excel. The decline of our society seems to be in a free fall right now and I fear for what it will be when it bottoms out.
          Last edited by CaptainMike; June 13, 2020, 07:57 AM.

          Comment


          • CaptainMike
            CaptainMike commented
            Editing a comment
            Troutman you oughtta see what it's like in The People's Republic of California. I could have had a nice little contracting business if it weren't for the state, it just wasn't worth it for me to be jumping through all of their ever-changing and more expensive hoops.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            CaptainMike Well there's plenty of room in the Republic of Texallance !!!

          • CaptainMike
            CaptainMike commented
            Editing a comment
            Funny you should say that Steve Troutman, my wife is chatting with a fellow court reporter who works in The Great State of Texas about how your courts work and what opportunities might be available. I sure love to read you Texas boys posts!

          #8
          I have been in the trades for more than 30 years. Twenty as a foreman. I have had my share of mishaps and accidents. I find honesty is the best policy. Most of the time if you fess uo, it goes away...The painter should have come to you first. Because he didn't, now there are trust issues. Maybe see if you can get him to repair the gouge on the wall for free...He sort of owes you anyway.

          I was moving a rolling scaffold once and hit a sprinkler head in an almost finished space.....That didn't go over too well....

          Comment


          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Yup, what he said. Chit happens man. It's the measure of a person that matters when it does.

          #9
          The way I read it, the drywall damage and the painter tripping are two separate things. I think the painter's employer needs to be told about this. The employer can decide what to do from there, but the painter may have had a long history of this and has been warned multiple times. I would approach it as wanting to get the damaged item fixed or replaced, not making a huge deal about the painter's actions, but I probably wouldn't use this contractor again.

          Comment


            #10
            I can only comment from a South African perspective and having been in manufacturing for the bulk of my life I can say people's attitudes have changed over the last 30 years.
            People took pride in the past. I was always taught when you do something do it as if you are doing it for yourself.
            Because of the lack of skill and attitude accompanied by laziness towards work the job more than often ends upwith bad workmanship and mishsps.
            If unacceptability is expressed taking responsibility is no longer evident in the class of today.
            It has become the norm to find an excuse or lay the blame elsewhere.
            It is my opinion that the workforce over the last ten or more years falls short of the disciplines of a bygone era.
            I don't see the same frame of mind as the scholars of the good ole days where pride was a valued possesion and an integral part of culture.

            Comment


              #11
              I just paid my painter to re-paint the entire outside of my house, garage and about 20% of the interior. Took off his shoes, asked politely every time he had something to do, didn't damage a thing, didn't spill a drop and did so many extra minor repairs that I gave him a bonus. Of course I give him tens of thousands of dollars worth of work professionally every year, so there's that

              Anyway, I feel everyone's pain, just life. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes he eats you !!! (gee can I take away a bbq analogy from that?)

              Comment


                #12
                Not much I can do about the gouge from the furniture delivery, ancient history. The painter, different story. Yes, breakable stuff should be out of the way - to a point. I don't know how much room you have in your house, but when a guy is doing touch-up work in 4 rooms there's only so many places to stow stuff. And yeah, accidents happen, and if he had said something when it happened, this probably wouldn't even be posted here.

                So his boss called and said he wishes he had heard it first from his guy and not from us. And we were like, yeah we wish we had heard about it from him before finding it. When we asked him about it he said he was "going to talk to us about it today." uh huh. We're both working from home, you had all day the day it happened.

                So they say they will pay for it. That's something, but I don't feel better about it now.

                Comment


                  #13
                  Sadly, this has become the norm. I’m not comfortable with it either. After 13 years in the military and a lifetime of being raised by parents who put integrity first, it’s a great struggle for me. I am always the first to raise my hand and announce my mistakes. I have had various “professionals” that I have hired to do work for me that have either failed, didn’t care and produced substandard results, or tried to hide and deny their shortcomings. Sadly, I usually get very little in the way of compensation. I’ve found that for me, an intelligent and well written letter of admonishment to the most senior individual I can contact gives, at least me, a little satisfaction. I know that they probably don’t care in the least and probably never even read my letters, but I feel better knowing that I have said my piece, swear to never give them my hard earned money again, tell everyone that I encounter of my negative experience, and continue to hold myself to a higher standard. For what it’s worth, I am very sorry that you are dealing with this. I recently had a similar issue with my truck. The original engine failed, I opted to have the dealership install a new factory engine (at great cost but with warranty) which subsequently failed, replaced again, failed again, replaced again, FAILED A THIRD TIME AND REPLACED A THIRD TIME, and have Never been compensated even for a rental car so I can still work. I was told by corporate that the truck is a 2002 model and well out of warranty, so no coverage. Never mind the fact that it was their own major component that WAS in warranty that failed. Repeatedly. Sorry, got a bit off track there. Lol. Anyway, all that to say, keep fighting the good fight. Karma is a huge B-Word!

                  Comment


                  • HawkerXP
                    HawkerXP commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Exactly! Integrity, honesty and work ethics should of all been learned at home.

                  #14
                  Honestly I don't blame "today's generation" as much as I do "lowest price wins." This has a tendency to drive everything down to the lowest common denominator, so even when you don't choose lowest price you don't assure yourself of quality. Not saying there aren't good ones out there, but they tend to have more work than they can handle, so getting them is tough. Why would a good painter come to my house for a $1k job when he has his choice of $4k jobs?

                  I'd probably be better off doing some of these things myself, but I like to pay people who are supposed to be better than me, and I don't want to spend my nights and weekends doing that stuff, so maybe I best get used to this problem.

                  Comment


                  • HawkerXP
                    HawkerXP commented
                    Editing a comment
                    We can't even get the "good" contractors to come and give us an estimate unless you are doing a BIG job.

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