View Full Version : How do I make this guy pay up?

5th May 2013, 12:02
I had some security screens fitted and the tradie managed to shatter a window. He assured me he would pay for it.

Well he hasn't. He has left the company with which I had contracted the work, and their small print says that they will not be responsible for any damage caused by their employees etc, so chasing them is a no go - or is it?

I have the tradie's mobile no. and email which I sent the invoice for the replacement window, and it seems he is now working for himself (email address is [email protected]). I have also found out where he lives.

After several calls (yeah, the company was stuffing me around with my final pay etc) and most recently it goes to voicemail and no return call I am wondering what my options are. Do I get a solicitor's letter and threaten him with legal action? That could be a long drawn out process with no result.

Tempting as it is to watch his house and break in or send him a photo of his kids being dropped off at school, I think that is best left for the movies!

Any ideas appreciated.

5th May 2013, 12:16
If you do not pay my enclosed invoice within 'x' working days, I will be taking out adverts in (local newspapers/websites/local radio/etc) with the following wording :

On (date) xxxx xxxx of xxx company fitted some security screens and shattered a window. He assured me he would pay for the damage he caused as a result of his ineptitude and clumsiness, but so far has refused to do so, and has not answered my calls or emails.

I would suggest you think very carefully about contracting this person/company to carry out any work for you.

Just make sure it does not lay you open to a charge of libel, should you go ahead and place the ads, under your local laws. The claim to the world's most liveable city is used by (at least) Vancouver, Vienna, Zurich, and Melbourne.

5th May 2013, 12:16
Just break his knee caps, that will get the message across that you're not to be dis'd with.

5th May 2013, 12:40
The law on such matters depends on the country you live in. A little clue may be helpful.

5th May 2013, 12:43
Organise a couple of 185cm bikies from the local chapter to pay him a visit, and get them to make sure they don't leave his premises without payment in full.
If there's quibbling, or an offer of a cheque, advise them to refuse any payment except cash, and get them to escort him down to the local ATM and pull out the full amount in acceptable green notes, if necessary.
They don't actually have to lay a hand on him - just the sight of them will probably be enough to let him know you're serious about this recalcitrant behaviour. :)

5th May 2013, 12:50
I and several others are in situation with a cowboy heating company R H Heating
we are owed compensation resulting in their slap happy indifference to their clients,and crap workmanship.I intend to clamp one of there vans next time they turn up on our estate.Legal or not the publicity should have an effect

5th May 2013, 13:34
How much is the window ?

Clare Prop
5th May 2013, 13:53
Small Claims court, has worked for me a few times!

5th May 2013, 14:07
"their small print says that they will not be responsible for any damage caused by their employees etc"

Depending upon the laws of your country, that condition may very well be invalid. It would be worth taking advice on it.

5th May 2013, 14:07
Well he hasn't. He has left the company with which I had contracted the work, and their small print says that they will not be responsible for any damage caused by their employees etc, so chasing them is a no go - or is it?

Your contract for the work was with the company, not the worker who buggered up. They are responsible, as far as you are concerned. Get them into court asap, and then it will be up to them if they chase the guy who doesn't work for them any more.

As far as that "small print" goes, I doubt that would hold water in any claim against the company and may well be kinda illegal due to whatever your local laws are. Call their bluff, they are the ones who were responsible for the work, and damage, carried out by their own employee.

5th May 2013, 14:07
If you are in the UK, you can make a claim through the small claims court.

If the cost is for less than a fixed sum of 100,000 then you fill out a simple online form. Takes minutes of your time.

It will concentrate their attention when the court contacts them.

They cannot contract against their employees liability.


5th May 2013, 14:58
Are you sure about the 100K ? It used to be 5K.

5th May 2013, 15:16
Methinks there was a "fat finger episode" with the 100k comment, the limit for the Small Claims Court as of 01/04/2013 is 10k (3k in Scotland/Northern Ireland)

When should I use the small claims court? - Which? Consumer Rights (http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/when-should-i-use-the-small-claims-court-/)

5th May 2013, 16:24
Tempting as it is to watch his house and break in or send him a photo of his kids being dropped off at school

Sure thing! This should help you cut down on household costs for a while as you enjoy three steadies per day or at least B and B at the local nick. You'll meet some interesting new companions too.

Now, on to the 185 cm bikers, you have the question of maybe meeting consumer resistance in getting the money from them. Notoriously upright in all personal dealings, they should be a dead snip for a solicitor's letter. They will just jump to it, or to the summons from Small Claims.

Or do you think they might work out in their beady little minds just how to take a picture of YOUR wife and children?

If you really feel strongly about this, as you seem to, have you thought of claiming a bad debt allowance against income tax?

Someone asked above how much the window cost? Are you talking Westminster Abbey here, or something smaller? You do not moan about cancer, you do not claim to need a new lung or kidneys, you seem content with your major limbs and joints, no suggestion here of multiple sclerosis, no autistic child, no Down's syndrome, and no old Mum with Altzheimer's.

Grow up! Drop this foolishness and ideas of violence and threats. As the old song used to have it:

Count your Blessings!,
Name them One by one One!
And it will surprise you
What the Lord hath done!

Mr Chips
5th May 2013, 17:06
I was pretty sure the threats of violence etc were, how you say a joke

5th May 2013, 17:24
What was the clue?

5th May 2013, 17:54
But it is amazing at how stupidly resistant firms can be to settling grievances. Often it costs them more, if you persue them in the Small Claims Court or elsewhere.

I've just had a bout with a firm of UK solicitors. No hint of compromise from them on my demand for a reduction of two or three hundred in their bill as compensation for incompetence*, so I used a legal complaints commission which cost me nothing but cost the solicitors four hundred quid to answer and then cut their bill by another three hundred.

* Funnily enough, RAC/OPS, the solicitors' staff member who made the cock-up has also left the firm, the head of which has now stated in writing that the firm feels no responsibily for the departed staff members actions whilst previously working for them.

Firms can't make this sort of claim ? No but they try it on.

Mike X
5th May 2013, 20:01
Do what I did.

Went to his place of work and waited. He pitched and gave me the cash due from his pocket.

All within the law. Simples.

5th May 2013, 21:47
The window cost $490 to replace - I live in Melbourne. I did wonder about the validity of the small print on the company's quote, and I'll check with my solicitor.

All helpful replies, thanks except for maybe Davaar who seems to think if I'm healthy I should let it go. And, mate it was a joke about the kids etc, here's your clue:

I think that is best left for the movies!

5th May 2013, 22:34
That makes it a joke? Let us know how the magic solicitor's letter works out. I hope he takes a retainer "up front", as we say. And that's not a joke.

5th May 2013, 22:37
Outsource the problem!


6th May 2013, 01:17
RAC/OPS - You will find much useful info in the following website. You are a consumer under this claim, and you are protected by consumer law under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (formerly the Trade Practices Act).

I'm not a lawyer and I'm not giving you legal advice - but IMO, the company cannot legally claim, to not be responsible for employee damage. Accordingly, go for the company, not the employee. The company is in the wrong, IMO.

CONSUMER REMEDIES (http://www.lawhandbook.org.au/handbook/ch12s04.php)

See "remedies for Breach of Contract" in the above site, and contact the Consumer Action Law Centre or Victoria Legal Aid for free or low-cost advice.
Unfortunately, despite $490 being a sizeable sum to most working people, costs of pursuit can often outweigh the initial loss to you. Many companies know this and are prepared to reject small claims against them.

Davaar - $490 might be just loose change to well-paid lawyers, but to many people, that's a sizeable sum to lose - particularly when it was quite likely caused by the possibility of a lack of care on behalf of the employee.

Re the 185cm bikies - this was where the humour was added -> :)

6th May 2013, 02:21
Onetrack - thanks for that link, have also spoken to VCAT, and can pursue a claim for a fee of $38.

mickjoebill - bugger of a situation forking out all that money. I spoke to a solicitor this morning and he said that the company probably can be held liable despite their fine print.

I have emailed the gentleman concerned to advise him that he has 14 days to pay up or else he can expect a summons from VCAT.

6th May 2013, 04:23
How much is the window ?

racedo, I think you'll find it's:

"How much is that doggie in the window?"

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window - Patti Page - YouTube

6th May 2013, 04:58
You mean this one with the waggly tail?


6th May 2013, 05:53
Can I borrow your puppy please Slasher?

Loose rivets
6th May 2013, 06:10
Doggie presents himself for evening tooth cleaning.

Solid Rust Twotter
6th May 2013, 06:23
Awwww... Whoseagoodboythen?:ok:

6th May 2013, 06:35
"Doggie presents himself for evening tooth cleaning."

With your forearm :O

6th May 2013, 09:15
Can I borrow your puppy please Slasher?

That is Slashers welcome for flat chested women.

Mr Chips
6th May 2013, 12:04
Looks like everyone else saw it as a joke Davaar...just not you...

6th May 2013, 12:37
That's because you didn't pay him: lofty thoughts about all manner of things are in order, but only an Elder of that ilk can make (free) jokes about the blessed brethren.

6th May 2013, 12:50
Friend of mine found an excellent way of making a rogue pay up. The address he had to get the money from happened to be close to a shoot he was invited to. Now he didn't want to go to the address with the guns in the back of the landy, so he went round to the local police station, explained the situation and requested he deposit the guns in their armoury temporarily while he collected the cash. The police (for whatever reason) declined this suggestion, but said that they would be happy to come along and ensure the guns were safe while he collected the cash. So, they turned up at the door, guns visible in the landy, with the police also at the door ensuring no chances of violence or similar. Result - outstanding cash paid very quickly

7th May 2013, 05:11
As the agent of the company damaged the property, the company IS liable for the negligent act.

I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice but I suggest you look at the small claims court in your jurisdiction. The deciding factor would be the cost benefit of lodging the claim. You can charge them for costs plus damage. The process is easy to follow and best of all for a small claim they CAMNOT be represented.

7th May 2013, 09:01
I like jamesdevice's method. Might get a 3D printer and download me some guns!

Gileraguy, I've looked at VCAT's website, and this seems like the way to go. For $38 it's worth a go even if I don't get expenses!

7th May 2013, 10:48
Not to worry Davaar, I saw "Melbourne, Worlds most liveable city" and thought that was the joke....

Effluent Man
8th May 2013, 13:40
I don't know about Oz but small claims courts work fine here.I had a builder start construction work opposite my garage where I had thirty or so cars for sale.He started shifting topsoil and they were covered within hours.

I politely suggested that he pay for them to be washed daily while his work continued,he impolitely refused.I sued him and got 200,then when he continued I sued again and got 1500.