Sunday 21 January 2018

Workers left my gutter in disrepair, now I can't contact them

Q John contacted Smart Consumer about gutter cleaning and repair at his home.

He employed a man who arrived on spec at his door offering a gutter cleaning service. It transpired that part of a gutter needed repair, which the man, with his assistants carried out.

"The job seemed well done," said John, "but the following day a neighbour noticed that the gutter had not been sealed properly and so with some rain it could leak."

He contacted the man. Initially he promised to call out to repair the job, but during further telephone conversations he gave various excuses as to why he could not come back. He then stopped answering John's calls. John wants to know where he stands now.

AIf a service isn't carried out with the necessary skill, with due care and diligence, or if the parts used are not of merchantable quality, you are entitled to a remedy.

The problem here is that John does not know the surname of the man, nor does he have a business address. Such details are crucial. After all, if someone won't answer the phone you have no other way of contacting them or to take small claims action.

The lessons learned here are many. Firstly, if someone calls to the door offering a service, don't feel pressured to purchase there and then. Instead, get details of the service, including price, and take time to think about it. An honourable business will want your custom today or tomorrow.

In addition, it is also important to get full contact details when you hire someone so that you know who they are. Get full price details so you can compare the cost with other service providers.

Finally, once the work has been completed to your satisfaction, get a receipt so that you have proof of purchase. You'll need this if something goes wrong later.

Irish Independent

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