What Happens When Your Tradie Let’s You Down

The problem with relying on other people, is that they are bound to let you down at some stage. Generally it is coupled with poor communication, otherwise, most opportunities to be let down, could easily be changed. I’ve spoken before about how we find that communication is the most important part of a successful project, however what happens when the lack of communication, is not something in your control?


Let me give you a few examples of what we have encountered in the last 2 weeks alone.

  1. Tradesperson makes an appointment to have a look at what is involved with a job, doesn’t show up, no phone call, no contact. What on earth do you do with this if this is someone you had really wanted to work with? I guess the first question to ask yourself is, do you really want to work with someone that is this unreliable at the beginning of the job, because there is a good chance they will be this way, all the way through. Secondly, if this person is someone you want to work with, why not give them a call, and ask what happened, is there a genuine reason? It’s really up to you to decide how you feel about this one. For us on a professional level, if we’ve worked with the tradesperson before, we will give them an opportunity to explain, if not, they won’t hear from us again.
  2. Tradesperson makes an appointment to carry out works, and is late, without explanation. Here it would depend on how late, and if it’s inconvenienced you at all. We do not tolerate our tradespeople being late, even though they are sub-contractors everything they do on that job, will either enhance or tarnish our reputation. We have a management saying that we stick to, time and time again, “It’s not our fault, but it is our problem”. This simply means, we personally may not have created the issue, however as the builder, it is now our problem to rectify. My suggestion, is that you do not tolerate tardiness, once late, often late, stand firm from the outset, and command the respect you deserve. As always, if the tradesperson has communicated a reasonable reason, we do believe in being understanding.
  3. Tradesperson makes an appointment, carries out quote, and disappears. So the tradie has taken the time to turn up, has proceeded with the quote and has even sent through the quote. You’re happy, so happy in fact you’ve excepted the quote and are ready to proceed, tradie doesn’t answer his phone, difficult to pin down or has disappeared. LET IT GO. This advice is so important, no matter how much time you have invested, you will be waiting a long time if you have gotten to this end of the process and it’s difficult. Start a fresh, find a new tradesperson, and begin again, you really won’t regret it.

These are three situations we’ve been faced with in only two weeks. It can be a tough decision to walk away, but we don’t change as people, and if your tradesperson has already shown bad form, it’s probable it will happen again.

Have you been let down by a tradie? How did you handle the situation?

Nicole xxx

4 Responses to What Happens When Your Tradie Let’s You Down

  1. Neets says:

    Oh it’s so frustrating isn’t it Nicole? We’ve had 2 townhouses built next door. The builders approached us about building a new side fence. We used it as an opportunity to get a heap of rubbish removed down the side of the house. They gave us a quote which included the rubbish removal then re-negged on it as they didn’t see the rubbish. The builder confirmed in an email to us that it included the rubbish removal yet the fencing guys refused to do it. So frustrating. We just didn’t pay the rubbish removal component of the quote which incidentally still turned up on the invoice!!

    • nicole says:

      Perfect way to deal with this situation Neets! Love it. It is unfortunate that it happens, but it does. I’m so glad you found a way to make it work xx

  2. Heather says:

    i know what you mean! I truly do. We had been chasing someone to complete an unfinished job of fencing in our backyard. Not a big job, but at least 40m of timber fencing needed. One mob who said the job was too small for them, referred us to someone whose principle is ‘no job too big or too small’, so we ended up getting him in to quote on the job back in April this year. He came back with a quote which we accepted but decided to delay the work as we planned to be out the country until early June. Once back home we contacted the fencer to go ahead with the job, and were told that recent rain in Queensland had held up other jobs, so he expected to start ours within 6 weeks. Six weeks came and went, and we were about to call to remind him that we were still waiting on him when he called us to say he had been sick, which further delayed him and that he expected to be on the job within the next three weeks. That was nearly seven weeks ago!

    What do you reckon? Is he using delay tactics with us, or is he just not interested? I think it’s time we shifted into next gear!! The problem is that sourcing tradies for small jobs in SE Qld is a nightmare!

    • nicole says:

      It’s hard to say Heather. Regardless of his intentions, it doesn’t sound as though he is being completely truthful with you. You are right, it is difficult to find tradies to do little jobs, though this one sounds simple enough. If you’ve not signed a contract, you are free to change tradespeople at any time. This is your choice as the consumer. Let me know if I can help in any way. Feel free to email me if you need anything at all. [email protected]

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