Bathroom Fitting Question

What to do about an unhappy customer

Have revamped a bathroom and the customer supplied all the major stuff, however there were problems with there shower tray/tiles and furniture among other stuff. This made the job run on for a long time, now finished there saying there only paying a small amount because it took so long and saying there unhappy with parts of the job.Have been back to try and sort it but they are just saying if i want any more money to take them to court.Just wondered if anyone else has come across this. Feel i did everything in my power to get it finished asap so i could get paid! Never had a compaint about my workmanship in over 25 yrs of trading. Do i really have to take them to court to get the rest of my money???

13 Answers

Best Answer

Just to lift your spirits ,you have lost so many hundreds of pounds , they have lost more ,a reliable caring worker , and one day when the boiler breaks down in freezing weather, or the toilet does not flush or there is water coming through the ceiling , they will regret their actions ,so that makes you the winner, one thought shall we start a web sight where we warn traders of these customers and their addresses. My advice is take them to the small claims court ,because if you dont these people will do it over and over again and if you win they get a a court judgement against them it makes their credit history bad.

Answered 11th Feb 2012

sovereign plumbing and heating

Member since 23 Nov 2011

Its a bitter pill to swallow billy ,but swallow you must ,happened to me twice ,i now dont do extra works unless the customer agrees and signs for it,the exact way if an architect were involved like on larger jobs ,also make clients aware if they are supplying and its late or wrong stuff/parts ect there will be extra dayworks for time delay,its all very well having programmes called builders from hell ,now its time to have 1 called CLIENTS FROM HELL ,you could take them to court ,but it takes time and costs to you initially then you have to prove your case ,costs you more in the long run and these a****oles know this,good luck

Answered 10th Feb 2012


Member since 7 Jun 2008

Hi, had one last year from thi site. kept going on about how pleased they were with the work. The day i finished they gave me a list of things they were not happy with, I always ask the customer to let me know asap if they are not happy with anything so i can sort it their and then. after several meetings with them and the list changing every time i went to see a soliceter. He said i could take them to court to try and get the money, but they would only have to say they were not happy with the work and reasons why. Money down the drain, so you may have to let it go or risk loosing even more.
People know about bad builders but not about bad customers.

Answered 10th Feb 2012

Odd job Rog

Member since 30 May 2008

HI it's really sad that people do things like that.

I had similar situation and a lady didn't wanted to pay and she was doing everything to find a reason for so. Finally i left her without finishing the job and i didn't really cary about her any more , she's left negative feedback on internet showing me under bad light.

I don't know what i should recommend you to do however i know that the best option as i did was to not doing nothing with it and have a faith that God will judge us fairly and everyone will get what he deserved for.

I'm really sorry and thinking that your not alone mayby will let you feel bether.

I did loose many customers because her bad feedback about me but i think if i will meet people like her once againg i will do everything to make them happy , than if you think if the money which are being not paid to you for your work will make your customer happy just leave it like it is and you will be clear on your hart which is blessing from God.

Good luck

Answered 11th Feb 2012

Installpro Flooring

Member since 22 Mar 2011

Sounds like you have been done by a "cowboy customer".These are extremely rare and ive never had one but i know a builder that has.If there really are no probs with the quality of the work,then its possible this person never intended to pay the full amount.The guy i know was actually assaulted whilst asking to be paid and i know for a fact that his work is always to a high standard.Like i said,this is unusual but these types of client ARE OUT THERE.Unfortunately court is your only way of getting paid but even a decision in your favour will not guarantee you will get it.You may have to write this off and move on.

Answered 10th Feb 2012

Roc builders

Member since 25 Aug 2011

Hi I had a very similar situation
I undertook a bathroom refurbishment job which entailed knocking the dividing wall between bathroom and airing cupboard installing new shower cubical new shower bath
and Tile complete bathroom.
without going into details to much about my job I was nearly finished the work with only grouting and fitting the shower enclosure and bath panel etc
I finished for the day one Friday afternoon and the customer said we are very pleased with the work tiles look great thanks
I said I would work on the Saturday However when I returned on Saturday they said that they was not happy with some of the tilling. And they did not want me to complete the works and was going to ask another contractor and would not let me in their property. And was not prepared to pay me
They got me to do all the hard work them when the job was nearly finished to a position where it could be completed by a competent D.I.Y person.

I wrote to them and said that i have to be given a chance to correct any defects with my work. Which they Declined because there was nothing wrong.

I then sent them an invoice for the works I had carried out which I eventually got paid. Have a look at the website Below

as a trader you have to complete works to a reasonable and satisfactory standard. with reasonable care and skill and if customers are not happy make changes as required to get it to a satisfactory standard. This is your Rights under the provision of good facilities and services laws.
you should write to them regarding this and ask for payment. And threaten court action if they refuse to pay
If your customer is happy and satisfied with the work you have done and only compliant is it took to long then threaten them with court action.
this is a very easy to do have a look at the Northampton bulk processing centre and you can do it all online.If your customer really has not got a valid reason for not paying this may make them pay.
Hope This Helps Sorry it a long answer.

Answered 10th Feb 2012

April Showers

Member since 18 Oct 2011

Although i've never had to do it a friend and his father both fit bathrooms and have come across similar customers and they simply take them to the small claims court . Put a good case together writing as much down as you can . Its then up to them to prove you wrong . A few jobs over run from time to time but that is no excuse to not pay unless very extreme that I'm sure yours is not .
They will pay you for sure .

"small claims" ! apparently its not hard . and theres alway Judge Judy :)

Answered 10th Feb 2012

Apex lofts

Member since 25 Jan 2012

I would say if you feel that you have done your very best and have been wronged then contact citizen advice bureau and they should be able to advise you. The small claims court is not to expensive so dont back down and inform the customer of your intentions.
Good luck

Answered 10th Feb 2012

CW Domestic Plumbing

Member since 21 Jan 2010

Have you got terms and conditions? Did you get them to sign a contract? If not its pointless trying to take them to court. If you have got t&C's and have a signature then as long as you have forfilled the work your terms should cover you. Get some advice from a solicitor otherwise. I have been lucky but after one bad experience ( she was a mad Woman ) i get every customer to sign a contract. If your work is good and acceptable then take advice but is it worth spending more money to get the remainder... in reality probably not. By the time you build in solicitors fees and court fees you will be out of pocket anyway. At the end of the day your reputation will always get you work regardless of what one person/couple think, you cant please everyone, you are just unlucky especially if you have tried everything in your power to resolve the problems... the majority of people would appreciate this.

One last thing... send them a letter explaining your views in a respectfull manor, dont ask for the money but do ask for a reply. This will help you in court as the judge will see you have tried to resolve the situation without confrontation. But as i said at the begining if you have no T&C's i really wouldnt bother.

Answered 10th Feb 2012


Member since 8 Sep 2011

It's not much help but small claims is one of two options the other is forget it and put it down to experience. There are bad customers out there and a plumber friend of mine had a bad experience whereby a customer accused him of bedding his wife and attempted to blackmail him over it, he said he would drop allegations if he dropped his bill for a new boiler. Laughable but he tried it anyway.
My advice for the future is get customers to sign a contract with terms and conditions and at each stage of the job get them to sign a satisfaction note.
If it's a really big job get staged payments from them. More importantly take detailed notes and photos every step of the way. Log everything they ask for in the way of changes. I do this and I've never had to use them in anger but you never know. I don't trust any new clients until I've been paid.

Answered 11th Feb 2012

P & M Services

Member since 13 Mar 2009

You may well need to take small claims court action. Theres always two sides to every story and they may have valid points, if you cannot sort the issue ammicably then a judge will do it for both parties.

Answered 10th Feb 2012

Local patios and driveways

Member since 24 Jan 2012

If they have supplied all the parts etc, and its unsuitable or involves more work then its the customers fault, they probably brought all the stuff cheap hoping to save a few quid not realising it makes it harder for the tradesmen.
Pop round and tell them unless the invoice is settled you will start legal proceedings.
You can go through the small claims court online instantly, they then contact the customer, this will probably prompy them to pay up.
They wont want the hassle of court proceedings, the fact that they supplied the goods that are unsuitable will be in your favour.

Answered 10th Feb 2012


Member since 29 Oct 2008

I am in a similar situation at this time, not really getting anywhere, offered a £100 reduction off bill for a quick settlement, looks like a court job, regards Terry.

Answered 10th Feb 2012

tm property services

Member since 9 Mar 2011

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