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Central Heating

Can i refuse to pay a worker who did not fix the problem?


Our boiler recently broke down and we called a plumber to fix it. He decided that a part needed replacing and said he'd come back. We paid him for the labour, even though we still had no heating. When he came with the part the following day, the boiler was still not working and the guy said the part was faulty. He returned the faulty part to the shop and charged us in advance for a new, functioning part. He came back with a new part the day after, but the boiler still wasn't working. The guy then decided that the boiler needed replacing altogether, as clearly that particular part was not the problem. We hired him to replace the boiler and paid all installation costs, but we asked for our money back for the part (a very pricey one). He refused to give us the money back and he refused to give us the part, even though we had paid for it and had an invoice for it. He says that if he gives us the part he will have to charge us labour for the two occasions when he came with the part. I think that's unfair, as he did not fix the problem, and we actually paid him lots of money for replacing the boiler. I think it's not fair that we paid for a service we did not get. The workman will surely sell the part to another client, thus charging two people for the same thing.

I haven't paid the full cost of the boiler yet, so can I just refuse to pay the full amount, recovering my money for the part that was not used?

Thanks a lot.

11 Answers from MyBuilder Heating Engineers

Best Answer

This bloke sounds like an idiot.I hope that hes is qualified to do boiler work? I would be certain that he has added the original labour time onto the labour for the boiler replacement anyway.This as well as you paying the labour for the first visit makes me think that you should owe him nothing,let alone pay him for a part that wasnt needed.His inability to diagnose the problem is his fault.I would deduct the cost of the part from his final invoice and tell him to do one.Maybe you should have sought advice elsewhere once he recommended the new boiler as costs vary a lot and he doesnt sound as clued up as any of the plumbers i know.


Answered 16th Jan 2012


Once you've paid him for the part it belongs to you, either fitted or not fitted. He will only return the part and cash it in.


Answered 16th Jan 2012

If you have paid for the part then it belongs to you! SIMPLE.


Answered 13th Jan 2012

It sounds like he has limited boiler diagnostic skills and mis diagnosed the problem in the first place. This happens sometimes but it is his error not yours. The rare occasion I have made a mistake I obviously have to take the loss. Minus the cost of the part off the balance and tell him you are not paying for his error. Do not accept the part off him. At best you will be stuck with a part you can't sell, the worst he swops it for a knackered one. Tell him to take you to small claims court if he is not happy about it. Keep the receipt for the part. He won't go for it and he does he will lose.
Regards Terry (heating engineer)


Answered 16th Jan 2012

How can he charge you for the parts and he wont even give them to you.
I would just pay for the boiler installation.


Answered 16th Jan 2012

he is trying it on, deduct the cost of the part from his invoice, if he does not accept this you can report him to trading standards and gas safe.

did you pay him cash? because you will need written proof that he is charging you for a part that he has not used


Answered 16th Jan 2012

whatever the part cost he owes you[ he does not sound very competent at diognostics on breakdowns] Dont give him the invoice back as he will take the part back and be quids in.


Answered 16th Jan 2012

He sounds like a real cowboy to me , how can he charge you if he couldn't find the fault, also the part does belong to you if you have paid for it.

Where did you find him was it on My Builder? if so you can give him negative feedback.
As far as the part goes, you can take the problem to the office of unfair trading, even the threat of it may get you a refund.

Good luck.


Answered 16th Jan 2012

Like the other guys have posted , he sounds like a bit of a cowboy and is not treating you fairly , most reputable tradesmen will operate on a no fix no fee and at a push 30 days invoicing . I'm sorry to hear you are in this situation but make you right in deducting the amount for the part from the total invoice . good luck , rob


Answered 27th Jan 2012

You have bought a part, and he has taken it away. call the police.


Answered 14th Mar 2012

It sounds to me like you have had a dodgy heating engineer that does not know what he is doing and has charged you for a new boiler that you possibly did not need. Most parts on the modern boilers are relatively cheap to buy, with the exception of a few components. So a fix could have been a real financial saving. Instead you got charged for a new boiler.

With respect to the parts that you paid for the ownership of the goods are transferred upon recite of payment (They belong to you).Any decent tradesmen would not have charged you for the parts or his labour for failing to correct the problem he was called out to do.


Answered 3rd Apr 2017

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