Input appreciated

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by AfAqua, 15 Jul 2007.

  1. AfAqua

    AfAqua

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    I know none of us appreciate inferior service, but also understand that peoples perception of service levels are different, and that one persons perception of poor service might differ from another’s. It is in this vein that I would value your input.

    Around the end of last year, 2006, I was in discussion with someone regarding a tank build and after providing him with detailed drawings, received a quote of R3500.00, which I accepted. I deposited an amount of R3000.00, which I consider a reasonable deposit at 85% of the agreed price, into this person’s bank account during the first week of January 2007.

    Soon after this, I managed to source low iron glass and requested the tank builder to not start the build until I had procured the low iron glass at my cost. Unfortunately, he had already got normal glass and I accepted that I would end up with two pieces of glass spare (those that had been replaced by the low iron glass that I bought).

    My low iron glass arrived on 13 Feb 2007 and I alerted my “contractor” to this fact. He said that his tank builder would be able to either accept the glass the next day (14 Feb 2007) or on Friday (16 Feb 2007). The glass was collected on 19 Feb 2007.

    After much correspondence, the tank without overflow was completed in mid April 2007. The problem is, that to date, 16 July 2007, the overflow is still not complete and fitted to the tank, even though the contractor promised to have this done the following week (mid April 2007).

    Further correspondence ensued, and via PM last week, the “contractor” indicated that he would not complete the task until he receives the remaining R500.00 initially retained by myself.

    At this stage he is not taking my telephone calls, and has not responded to my last PM.

    Am I being unreasonable retaining the R500.00 until completion based on the fact that I paid 85% up front, he still has two pieces of glass which I paid for as per the original quote (those that were replaced with low iron at my expense) and around 145 days later, I’m still waiting?

    I realise that the post is pretty long and thanks for getting this far. Please provide your honest opinion.
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    I would have thrown my toys out of the cot long ago.

    If the supplier is of the type that they require a deposit before commencing work then personally I would pay no more than the actual costs of the materials/equipment required to complete the job. Most suppliers that I know of that deal in this manner request no more than 50% of the total cost. Upon completion of the job and upon inspection of the completed job, if I am happy, I would then pay the balance of monies owed to the supplier and take possession of my goods.

    You need to ask yourself, "Why does the supplier want the remaining R500?". Surely this cannot be to complete the overflow first. I would demand that the overflow be completed and fitted, once that is done then the balance of monies owed will be paid and you must demand the other 2 pieces of glass returned to you seeing as you have paid for it.

    Is the tank in your possession or does the supplier still have it?
     
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Also, if you need any advice on business matters, have a look at www.theforumsa.co.za Lots of businessmen on there that will be able to offer you advice.
     
  5. AfAqua

    AfAqua Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your input viper. I realise this thread has the potential to get messy, which is not my intension. I really want to get a feeling of how these matters (tank builds and payments) are generally handled.

    I've had the tank, minus overflow since mid April.
     
  6. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    I'm sure the guys will be reasonable about this.

    Personally I have only ever had one tank custom built for me, it was just a small 3 ft refugium with overflow, nowhere near the expense of yours. The supplier did not ask for a single cent. Once the tank was completed, I went to inspect it and I happily paid the money as I was happy with the work that was done.

    Seeing as you have the tank, if you are happy that the R3000 covers the cost, I would abandon that supplier and pay someone else the R500 to do the overflow.
     
  7. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I must agree with Viper here, at the same time i do realise there are 2 sides to every story and i dont know what went wrong here if anything. IMO for a supplier not to finish a contract after taking such a hefty deposit is ridiculas. I would just like to relate a bit of my experiances here being a contractor. We often get to the end of a contract and the client could end up owing us in the region of R50 000 and tension often arises. Now in the past we would threaten not to finish the job unless outstanding monies were paid up and the client would threaten not to pay unless we hung the last light fitting. It really does get messy and what often happens is the supplier gets a bad name not because of the workmanship but because of something really petty and he looses a potential future client. If i were the supplier i would finish the job gladly after recieving 85% deposit esp as i would be sitting with 2 pane's of glass worth more than that. As a supplier try decrease tension here instead of letting it escalate. Is your name worth it, plus you loose any future dealings or referals from a client all for R500.
    In answer to your question i dont think you are being unreasonable holding onto R500 until the tank is completed, now i dont know you but i would say after paying 85% deposit in good faith its time for the supplier to show a bit of good faith.
     
  8. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i guess viper has said it all.i would never put a deposit of more that 50% down.have you got the agreement on paper?this should carry weight.
     
  9. AfAqua

    AfAqua Thread Starter

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    mekaeel, unfortunatly, nothing of a legal nature. I do have corro stating the price, but not the specifics. I've dealt with the person previously without incident, so let this be a lesson to all. I guess hindsight has 20/20 vision.
     
  10. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    crap.is it possible to go over to the builders place and tell them that you will pay them the R500 and you are gonna stand there and watch whats going on.and you will collect the tank or they are to deliver it while you are present at the time of completion?
     
  11. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I really can't believe a reputable tank builder will let it get this far for R500. Sorry AfAqua i don't doubt your side of the story at all as it looks like you have been upfront and haven't slated the guy at all which says plenty about your integrity. It just leaves me dumbfounded that this is how paying customers are treated.
     
  12. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thats most the problem with most of us,which includes me.we trust people and thats when they end up giving you results like this.trying to figure out how this can be sorted out legally,with no agreement drawn up....
     
  13. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    In my opinion your "contractor" is not being reasonable.

    NAME & SHAME the !@#$%^

    Hennie
     
  14. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I wouldn't worry about legal, i would try speak some sense into the guy as a verbal contract is still considered a contract, but that would be a absolute last resort for R500. Otherwise get someone else to finish the job and pay that person out of the money you owe to the first tank builder and then go collect your glass.
     
  15. Kanga

    Kanga Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I have to agree with the guys, for 15% owin any reputable would have cut his losses and done a decent job to keep his side clean, no it doesnt seem that you wont ay once you get the tank. I cannot see a problem from the builders side of things regarding your Huge deposit, also the time frame is ludicrous, I could have had a house built in that time.

    AfAqua, without knowing the whole story it does seem that you have been done in by this guy, and runing the risk of escalating this to nasty, i would suggest you name this person to prevent it happening to the next MASA member/Reefkeeper.
     
  16. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    this is your best bet afaqua
     
  17. AfAqua

    AfAqua Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the input guys. I've really tried to leave emotion out of this, and only state the facts. I still hold out hope that the situation can be resolved without following the "name and shame" route.

    The irratating thing about this is that the tank was a Christmas present from my wife.
     
  18. phat

    phat

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    only another 5 months to go until christmas though:p

    at least she thinks ahead:lol:
     
  19. AfAqua

    AfAqua Thread Starter

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    LOL, yes phat, that would have been for Christmas 2006.
     
  20. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    oh crap man.can imagine that feeling
     
  21. phat

    phat

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    if you gimme the dimension and where you want the holes drilled i will do it for you
     
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