Lewes Forum thread

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Experience of using local trades people

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On 5 Dec 2016 at 6:21am Perplexed wrote:
1) ring local tradesperson re requirement for job
2) get lucky and someone responds
3) person comes round, agrees to do job, says they'll ring re: scheduling job in
4) wait for call, after couple of days call them - leave message
5) no response to call so leave another message (this step may go on a bit)
6) give up, contact someone else (may loop to step 1 here)
7) contacted by original tradesperson - accused of mucking them around by no longer wanting job done
Is there a better way to conduct this transaction? Am I doing something wrong? This perplexes me because when someone wants me to work for them I either tell them I'm available and complete the job or say I can't do it - Does that make me some kind of weirdo?
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 7:02am Customer wrote:
I rarely get past point 1 so I think you've been very lucky!
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 9:14am Loft conversion blues wrote:
Step 1 for me too, larger the company the worse it's been for me.
But have had a lot of success with 1 man companies, generally pop round the same day and give you a ballpark there and then.
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 9:24am Carole wrote:
I needed an electrician last year.
In the end I had contacted 10 and only managed to get a quote out of 1.
I had only intended to get 3 quotes.
It was the lady electrician (can't remember her name) who quoted and did the work by the way.
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 9:25am Tradesperson wrote:
From the other side sometimes you look at the job and the type of person and just think Naa,this one has trouble written all over it.
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 10:03am Bob wrote:
See my recent thread anout Rip Off Sussex. Its all part of the same problem. Tradesmen, Retailers, etc all looking to max their income with highest prices or most lucrative jobs. Its all too easy for them.
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 10:10am Perplexed wrote:
Tradesperson - just say 'no'! Saves all our time. When I'm not available, I call the person and thank them for their enquiry but say I'm not available- takes a couple of seconds and stands me in good stead for future contracts
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 10:21am Lewes Voter 3 wrote:
A mate of mine born & bred in Lewes is a plumber and roofer and just knows from the voice on the phone if they're trouble or not. If they sound all lar-de-dar and they want a slave he puts his quote up and leaves them. Their usually more trouble than the job is worth. Enough work already.,
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 10:33am Loft conversion blues wrote:
So I send a standard email to 10 loft conversion companies telling them basic information designed not to scare them off:
1. I want ballpark cost only
2. Exact description of the work
Make it know that I'm fully prepared for the cost of the work (50k) and that I'm gathering prices 6-12 months before doing the work (depending on when they can fit it in).
1 reply, how does that equal "trouble written all over it". I just don't get how the service can be so bad...
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 1:02pm Reliable Plumber wrote:
Just following on from the couple sticking up for this side of the fence
I get emails asking for 'ball park prices ' that have obviously been sent to all and sundry. The job costs what it costs so I never reply.
The reasons no one gets back to you are several but here are mine:
You're a weirdo,
You're an arrogant so and so,
You come across as a time waster,
You've no idea what things cost,
You want a top notch job done yesterday for next to nothing,
You're on the Lewes tradesmen grapevine as one to avoid (see above),
You live in a parking nightmare zone,
Your house is a sh1t hole health hazard ,
The job has potential for becoming a can of worms,
Just a few of my 'walk away' reasons
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 1:03pm Clifford wrote:
I've always found Checkatrade useful.

Check it out here »
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 1:25pm KG wrote:
Agreed with Reliable Plumber. My partners in a trade and his lads are always finding people to avoid or just wind up because they've mucked about before or they think there's something else dodgy about them if you know what I mean. Word goes around you know?
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 5:09pm Customer wrote:
I live in central Lewes, have done so for twenty years, though not in the same place. Bought a creaky old place three years ago and over that time have hired a plumber (several times), an electrician (three times) a plasterer (three times) and a carpenter (once).
I learned long ago that you get far better service if you contact people out of Lewes - plasterer from Barcombe, electrician from Newick, plumber from Newhaven. All good blokes who don't dick you around.
There is a particular plumber who lives in Nevill, loves Bonfire, but who is a total nightmare. It's a shame because he is technically brilliant - has done a job that previously others said was too much work (too much work!). But he is a total tool in his behaviour when he is in the house, and has never got back to me within a week. So he was jettisoned, bye-bye.
Don't use anyone based in Lewes (apart from Derek the Rayburn servicing chap, and also builder Steve Holford, who is amazing but has a two year waiting list as a result)
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 7:11pm Perplexed wrote:
The electrician who we called from Lewes confirmed it was an easy job, that he was happy to do the work and gave an approx timeframe. Then silence. What possible fun is to be had by then freezing people out like a bad Tinder date?? We are a very long way from la de da, are nice decent people who pay within 24hrs of invoice or cash as required. Sounds like we're not alone!
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 8:27pm Try another wrote:
Perhaps something has happened in his life,keep ringing and I'm sure you'll get one,I've never had a problem getting work done..move on.
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 8:34pm Reliable Plumber wrote:
The most recent numpty to waste my time called and asked a 'how much do you charge to…' question.
After sighing and rolling my eyes (obviously) I informed said numpty of my First Hour charge which I guessed would probably suffice. Numpty then goes apoplectic about how I can charge that much for a simple ten minute job!!!!
Numpty then calms down and then asked when I could attend!!
Strangely, my first time slot was after Christmas.
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 8:43pm Perplexed wrote:
I have taken customer's advice and rung one in Brighton from a personal recommendation - sounds like a lovely guy, gave us some solid advice and said he'll pop over Friday if not sorted - I'm quietly confident! Lewes tradies clearly see most of us proles as below them... I guess when you walk on water, you can treat most of your customers with contempt. Not how I like to operate, but hey - if it floats your boat!
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 8:43pm Dahn From London Innit wrote:
I second that about Steve Holford.
About 10 years ago a friend recommended Steve + business partner Dave for some building work, and I had them quote for a job. He said, between 8 to 10K. When I said that was quite a large breadth of quote, he replied that he was transparent about the hourly charge, but when it came to digging up concrete floors and walls, you never know what you might find and I need to be prepared for that. He explained it very well so we went with him.
Job came in at £7.5K, on time and well-communicated and he got me a trade price on a new floor which I'd had a separate budget for anyway. His mate Tom The Best Carpenter In Lewes fitted that in a day.
Steve doesn't advertise. He doesn't have to.
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On 5 Dec 2016 at 9:18pm Cabinet maker wrote:
@loft conversion blues
How come you needed so many ' ball park figure's when you already had 50k in your head?
The good guys are invisible shapeshifters who make things appear.....and they don't advertise
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 7:30am Perplexed wrote:
I'll also add that I've found a fabulous one man handyman in Lewes. Ex-builder, polite,skilled, honest, turns up when he says he will and returns phone calls - So not everyone treats their customers poorly - he's also very busy! Sadly he's not an electrician
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 7:41am Lift conversion blues wrote:
@cabinet maker, I sent the emails 1 at a time, sent to the top companies on checkatrade (I write their mobile app so know them well). When first company didn't reply (given a couple of days) it went to the second (etc). Had to email 10 to get a reply.
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 11:31am Dahn from London innit wrote:
Email never works. You have to pick up the phone. If a trades person is busy enough with the work that phone calls provide, they will ignore emails.
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 11:43am Concerned housewife wrote:
After reading this thread I won't bother contacting any Lewes trade people in future, reliable plumber I seriously hope you go out of business, you come across as completely vile and your disdain for the people that pay you is beyond belief. Care to share the name of your awesome company (thought not)?
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 11:54am ar10642 wrote:
I bet some of the arrogant tradesmen on here would be the first to complain if an Eastern European were to come and do the job at a better price and not have contempt for potential customers,
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 12:48pm Numpty wrote:
Problem is, Reliable Plumber, people phone and ask you questions because they are not plumbers themselves and don't know the answers. You can roll your eyes all you like, but just a bit of respect for the people who pay your wages might just make you a better person.
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 1:40pm Old Plumber wrote:
I've posted a few times here and, trying not to take sides, as far as plumbing goes. My advice is go with British Gas for all plumbing/drain/ maintenance services. Pay their prices and don't come on here moaning about local trades. Post recommendations by all means - negatives are pointless. I've no axe to grind as I'm retired but I did work for Davey and son. in the early 70's
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 1:49pm British Gas wrote:
Very sound advice Old Plumber, but I thought their prices were actually very reasonable when I contacted them about moving a radiator, fixed cost, no callout, I didn't go with them in the end but cheaper than a one quote I got off a local company (far easier to deal with too).
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 1:50pm Reliable Plumber wrote:
Ok I see your point Numpy though look at it through my eyes
I get calls along the lines of:
"my boiler's making a funny noise, what do you reckon it is?"
"I've got a slight leak, I'm in now if you're free"
"I need a new boiler now, can I pay you in a couple of months?"
"You're more expensive than another quote but we'd like you to carry out the work, can you adjust your price?"
"Do you give free estimates?" (Absolute give away time waster alert!!!)
"I've bought xxxxx part off the Internet, can you come fit it ?"
Getting it yet Numpty?
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 2:57pm @Reliable Plumber wrote:
I don't get your point, I work for a company that provides a service, well over half my enquiries are complete time wasters (70% statistically).
Whoever the client is I deal with them in the same way, calls are answered, emails are answered, free estimates are given (until it comes time to part with money you have no clue which ones are wasting your time).
If you truly are a reliable plumber you can quickly ask a couple of questions and work out roughly what type of noise it is and give the person an indication if it's likely to be a small, medium or large job surely?
You know the difference between a cooling fan and a water pump noise surely... It's not rocket science.
If not get off your arse and go and check out the work (like the rest of the world does)?
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 3:36pm also @reliable plumber wrote:
You sound an unpleasant person. I would not like you in my house...no doubt sneering at me because I don't understand how my boiler or plumbing works. Do you expect a doctor to roll their eyes at you when you ask about a test result or query what a pain might be?
I just wish you would name your company so people can stop bothering you.
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 5:03pm Plumb Duff wrote:
I'd love to know who "Reliable Plumber" is as I wish to avoid ever employing such an arrogant egotistical knob!
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 5:34pm Suspicious wrote:
The plumbers of Lewes are like the bloody Mafia !!!
They all charge approximately the same fees and are all matey with each other. Cartel springs to mind
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On 6 Dec 2016 at 6:00pm Lady customer wrote:
Tom would be an exception. Great bloke, honest, goes the extra mile. Maybe a bit more pricey but worth it.
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On 7 Dec 2016 at 1:57am Shirley wrote:
For electrical work I can highly recommend Amber AC in Plumpton. We've used them twice, once for a one hour job for which they changed about £60 labour, the other time for a three day job. Both times they were responsive, prompt, thorough and pleasant with no arsey class chips, reverse snobbery, ridiculous judgements or other such unnecessary attitude problems.
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On 7 Dec 2016 at 10:35am Perplexed wrote:
Phew! Electrical problems fixed following advice from lovely Ian Sheppard in Saltdean. He deals with boiling & heating. Answered the phone straight away, clearly knows his stuff and doesn't mess people around. I'll know who to contact now if I get any more problems of this sort
 
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On 7 Dec 2016 at 12:55pm Dredd wrote:
@perplexed..nicely done Ian,bit low though.
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On 7 Dec 2016 at 2:40pm Moral of the Story wrote:
If you've found a good tradesman then stick with him
Don't frig him about and pay him promptly


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