Contractor substituted inferior products - what to do?

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Posted by: from Halifax
4/11/2012 at 11:46:38 AM

Hi - I feel like I have a real dilemma and am looking for some reasonable advice from some contractors out there.

I received a quote from a local contractor company to do a number of small ventilation-related jobs around the house, installing fans and a central vac and so on. The contractor came, did a detailed inspection and sent me a quote, specifying particular products to be installed. We hired him based on the quote.

He seems very knowlegeble, he is a hard worker and friendly. We like him. He is tidy, and when little things come up, he fixes them (e.g. he found an uncovered junction box in the attic insulation and covered it for us). BUT - the quote specifies a certain range hood, and he installed one that is less than half the price and half the quality of the one quoted. When I pointed it out, he said that he knew of the substitution, but that the office had made a typo and there was no way he could install the quoted product for the price quoted, and pointed out how hard he was working and how long everything was taking and how he wasnt making any money on the job, etc...

How do I deal with this? He is still in my house doing other jobs and I don't want to totally piss him off, but on the other hand, I want the range hood I was quoted.

Any advice??

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time4/11/2012 at 12:43:08 PM

As consumer, you have many rights, one being small claims court. You have a document that is signed and you have a right to get what you paid for. If he is telling you how hard he has been working and that the price of the unit is wrong or a typo, that is THEIR fault and a way for him to get more money in his pocket. Get him to replace it with what has been agreed or you will cease payments and take him to court. Just because he is friendly does not give him the right to take advantage of customers. He might as well be stealing out of your wallet.

Make sure you have a witness with you at all times during the conversation or better yet, record the conversation and you can use it to prove he is not being honest.

Dishonest contractors are everywhere, and if he made a mistake he should man-up and do what is right, it is up to him to correct it, his expense or not! Maybe he took your expensive hood and put it in his own house!

He should have a contractors license number, if he is not complying to the consumer rights act, he needs to be reported.

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Date/Time4/11/2012 at 12:53:35 PM

Hi Sarah, the 2 sides that I see to this story.

1) You hired him based on a quote so you essentially have a contract with him to provide and install certain things at an agreed upon price. If he is a nice, honorable guy like you imply, you could probably force him to agree to live up to his side of the contract, even if it means eating a couple of hundred dollars to keep a client happy. It is a shame he didn't bring this to your attention before he installed it - you probably could have resolved it then with no hard feelings.

2) He made an honest mistake - it happens! If he is doing good work and you are generally happy with him, you could probably work something out with him. You cover the upgrade cost and he covers the additional labour? I'm sure 2 reasonable people can come up with a win / win scenario. Maybe you have to go back to "the office" and get them in on the resolution.

Just my thoughts, for what they are worth.

Good Luck with it.

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman Services

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