Friday, February 14, 2020

Blinked

So when I last left you, I was preparing for a legal battle of some sort since our former contractor said he wasn't paying anymore bills because we libeled him and didn't pay for gutters which were listed as included in his contract. The bill he didn't want to pay was actually for door hardware from the place where we picked out our cabinets and that too was a line item in his contract of included items. The cabinet place sent him (with our email address included) a bill for the hardware and said that at the end of January, they would start charging a late fee. We didn't reply to the email and filed it away in our folder of evidence.

I didn't hear anything for the next two weeks until today when I received another bill from the cabinet place. By I received, I mean it was emailed to both the contractor and our email address. The person being billed is our last name (misspelled) but with the address of the contractor. Interestingly enough, the majority of the bill had been paid and what was being billed now was the late fee which evidently didn't get paid. So the contractor evidently wizened up realizing he wasn't going to bluff us and paid all but the late fee.

I am a little relieved but am not going to put this behind me just yet. The contractor could still come after us but I feel we have a pretty iron clad case since it is listed in our contract as his responsibility and signed by both parties. Honestly, I really don't understand the logic of the contractor since relative to the total project cost that we paid him, the disputed amount is not even 1% of the total cost. He has lost fifty times that much business probably just from acquaintances of ours that were interested in finding a good contractor and asked us if we would recommend him. Although we always said the work was good, we also cautioned them that he had stopped paying for stuff that was included in our contract after the project was completed and we had paid him for his services. I have no doubt that he still has enough business (as do all contractors in our area) to make plenty of money but he definitely gave up a lot of money trying to extort us for a minuscule amount of money.

I have also learned my lesson. As someone who has mostly been a DIY person all my life and made this one exception in order to get the project done in a more timely manner, not only did I not get it done in a timely manner, but I'm paying the price of having to deal with other people who don't have my same value system. From now on, I will be my own contractor if there is something that needs to be done that I don't have the skills to do but for the most part, I hope to just go back to doing it myself. It was a tough lesson to learn.

7 comments:

Bob said...

What happens with the late fee? I’m assuming it’s not much but will the vendor just eat it?

Ed said...

Bob - Well the email to the contractor and ourselves said it would incur a late fee and legal action if not paid by the end of this month. I can't believe they would pursue legal action for such a minuscule (well below $100) amount of money. But I'm hoping the contractor will go ahead and pay it as he did the original bill.

Kelly said...

What a nightmare. At least it's over now!

Tewshooz said...

I feel your pain. We want to upgrade our kitchen and talked with 3 contractors. Nah...been there, done that. Now, after reading your post today, we are back to sanity and will do it ourselves. Sure, it will take longer, but we can do it and sub contract the electrical. Thank heavens for You Tube!

Ed said...

Kelly - I hope!

Tewshooz - I'm sure there are great ones out there and I thought we had found one despite the lengthy timeline which I was completely able to forgive. But the not paying bills and disputing things that are black and white in the contract and AUDIO RECORDING soured me for sure.

Leigh said...

We haven't had very good luck with contractors either. Not that we experienced anything near the scale you have, but time and time again, we've felt we were burned. You definitely are in the right here, with evidence to prove it, but still, it's a nuisance and ultimately an unnecessary waste of time. Dan's conclusion is the same as yours, we do it ourselves or it doesn't get done. As Dan says, if there are mistakes, at least they are his, not somebody else's.

Ed said...

Leigh - I can live with my mistakes most of the time.