repairman - declines to fix problem but charges for attempt?

Discussion in 'Consumer Issues and Rights' started by TBFrank, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. TBFrank

    TBFrank New Member

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    I called out a registered service engineer to fix a problem with heating. Long story short - he took the job on, visited 4 times, tried something which didn't work, pointed out what he thought the next most likely cause/fix might be, but informed me that he would not carry that out in case he was wrong! He then demanded money to cover the part he had unnecessarily replaced. If he was not unwilling to see the job through I could understand initial misdiagnoses costs - instead he's leaving the problem unsolved, and my house unheated (brrrr). While I hadn't flat out declined to pay, I was trying to discuss if there was any insurance cover or other options whereby I would not be out of pocket for zero benefit when I was interrupted by him declaring that he was going to bring me to the small claims court. Two questions - is there any legal onus to pay for service that is terminated without resolution like this - and - do (self-employed, I think) service engineers take consumers to the small claims court?
     
  2. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    To be Frank

    He did his best. He has spent a lot of time. The diagnosis of the problem is often the biggest part of it. I think he should be paid.

    Brendan
     
    Miakk and Ravima like this.
  3. TBFrank

    TBFrank New Member

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Thanks Brendan. 2nd & 3rd statements are true for sure. But assuming his revised diagnosis is correct - wouldn't doing his best involve acting upon it instead of walking away - which he informed me was his decision before any hint of dispute arose? I guess that's what I found unacceptable, I'm in a different service industry and just could not imagine doing that.

    I think there's about 6 key parts that can cause similar symptoms, so I could conceivably end up with 6 bills (and a freezing house) at this rate...

    Anyway I have booked another engineer - I'll see what the correct diagnosis and remedy is before making up my mind about this first attempt.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  4. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    I agree he should be paid for trying to sort the problem. By the way, it might be no harm if you explain the type of problem you have. Plumbing, like everything else in life sometimes isn't simple to solve, there can be an awful lot of different routes (for want of a better word) to go down before solving something. My own local church had a leak under the ground last winter, brought in water diviners and no luck, used the newest type of detection devices and no luck, dug up where it was suspected the leak was with no luck and all the while this was costing sizeable money. Eventually the whole community became involved, set up groups of three digging holes where pipes were expected to be but not always and finally got there. Just an example of what can happen but all the companies had to get paid even though they didn't solve the problem.
     
  5. galwaypat

    galwaypat Frequent Poster

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    I don't tink he should be paid if he is not competent enough to fix it he shouldn't have taken it on in the first place, no fix no fee in my book.
     
  6. TBFrank

    TBFrank New Member

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    Thanks. The problem is the gas boiler cuts out before it fires up properly. The led display returns an error code which translates to getting an engineer out. I've booked one who will inform me about costs of parts up front...
     
  7. ALEXA

    ALEXA Frequent Poster

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    We had the same problem with the gas heating last month and it needed a new PCB Thermistor. It cost €330 and all working fine now. It was an easy enough diagnosis and hopefully your's will be too providing the engineer is competent. It goes against the grain to pay out when a fault hasn't been repaired but unfortunately this is the norm. When you get an appliance repair man out only to tell you that it would be too expensive to fix and you'd be better off getting a new one and he still charges €60 for his advice. I feel that the next time an appliance breaks down I'll just replace it rather than pay for advice that I probably know myself. These guys probably know the appliance is unrepairable but still offer to call out and check it for a nice little earner!! However, your heating system should be repairable so good luck with the next engineer!
     
  8. NewEdition

    NewEdition Frequent Poster

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    So if a builder quotes you to build a wall and quits half way through, would he get paid?
    Or a car mechanic that tries to fix a problem but fails?
    I dont think you should pay for a job that has not been completed successfully!
     
  9. Dan Murray

    Dan Murray Frequent Poster

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    I couldn't agree more. That was certainly the line I took with my poor deceased wife's oncologist.
     
  10. mathepac

    mathepac Frequent Poster

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    This is becoming a racket. From cars to phones, to heating systems, with consumers footing significant bills and being left with non-functional tech unless they pay more.

    If I get a man in, an expert, I tell him "This ain't working, fix it, or if you can't, give me the name of someone who can." No fix no fee. I don't care if Apple, Toyota, Neff or Panasonic charge you for diagnostic equipment, training and specialist software, that's what you need to qualify as an expert, and if they are legitimate business expenses, offset them against tax. After all, I don't pay for screwdrivers or spanners every time they're used.
     
  11. galway_blow_in

    galway_blow_in Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM
    He absolutely should not be paid

    you dont pay someone to try , otherwise id happily try and cook in a michelin star restaurant and charge handsomely for the boiled potatoes and well done steak i would serve up after an hour
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM
  12. Dan Murray

    Dan Murray Frequent Poster

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    OP,

    Just wondering what did the contract say?

    Was there a "non complete clause"?
     
  13. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    Hello Mr. Murphy,

    What did the contact say ? ... are you joking here ?

    I've never seen a repair man produce any form of contract before work is done and only rarely afterwards. Usually it's little more than the hand out waiting for payment in cash.

    Getting back to the original poster's issue, I respect that people need to be paid for their time but also, I expect a repair person to provide the service they claim to provide. In this instance, I would not pay the full amount requested, but I would probably give them something as an acknowledgement of their efforts (assuming that I was happy that they were genuine etc.).