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  • #11729
    Avatardavidb
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Just thought I’d raise a couple of incidents we’ve had to deal with lately with regards to tradesmen. It seems tradesmen are trying to pull the wool over the EC’s eyes and just hope that EC’s approve payment without thinking about the work done.

    First was changing some light fittings so we engaged an electrician for that. Standard 3 quotes and choose the one that we thought would be best.

    The second was tree removal. Same deal 3 quotes.

    Electrical:

    With the electrical work they were to replace the foyer push button activated lights with always on sensor lights with emergency backup plus some cosmetic work. They came out fitted cheaper but visually identical lights without emergency function, didn’t close the circuit, didn’t do the cosmetic work and tampered with another completely 100% separate daylight sensor triggered circuit, disabling that and leaving us without any common property lighting for 5 days.

    Then when they eventually came back they got the new lights working but didn’t correctly restore the other circuit they tampered with.

    Next thing we get 2 invoices. One for the full amount on the quote even though they deliberately installed the wrong lights and didn’t do the cosmetic work and another for 2 days on site investigating a “neutral fault” which caused both circuits to fail. Impossible given there is no common wiring between the 2 circuits.

    Now we’re dealing with tribunal threats from the tradie and a strata manager  recommending that we pay anyway. Even though the work hasn’t been done. Crazy.

    Trees:

    As for the trees. We had approval to remove 2 trees in a problem area and it was conditional on planting another tree elsewhere.

    The quote that was approved was for removal of 2 trees and had “options” for removing a third tree (which was rejected because a third tree didn’t actually exist) and also planting a replacement tree (which we rejected because we had one ready to go).

    Tree removal occurs and magically there’s a new tree planted in the yard. A week later we get an invoice for the full amount including the option to remove the non existent third tree and for the planting of a new tree. Both of which we rejected.

    It’s gotten to the point where we will need to fully supervise on-site tradesmen from now on.

    One of our EC members has indicated that he’s heard of it happening to other schemes but for the most part OC’s/EC’s don’t know it’s happening or don’t care. What’s $100 or $200 here and there compared to the hassle of chasing things up?

    Also how many schemes are out there with what they think are fancy led sensor lights with emergency function when in fact they’re just ordinary lights. They won’t know until the power goes out and its too late.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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  • #29830
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    @davidb said:
    Actually I think I’d prefer to pay a bit extra for someone I could trust but that’s often impossible when you’ve got a committee that always chooses cheapest. I don’t know who asked these particular contractors to quote for us but they were probably recommended by the strata agents. 

    I think owners corporations have a legal obligation to only use licensed and fully insured tradespeople. That’s why strata managers have a “panel” of tradies whom they know, who are going to tick all the boxes. 

    You might find, however, that the tradies may have to pay a processing fee to get on the list … and you can guess where those charges end up.

    #29829
    Avatardavidb
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Actually I think I’d prefer to pay a bit extra for someone I could trust but that’s often impossible when you’ve got a committee that always chooses cheapest.

    I don’t know who asked these particular contractors to quote for us but they were probably recommended by the strata agents. Certainly we don’t have a history with them and we have had some major work done in the last 10 years with the entire switchboard having being upgraded.

    #29827
    AvatarFlame Tree
    Flatchatter

    Long established committees do tend to like to use the same guys who have a sense of history with the building and add to their own work. The good side is they can make sense of what they do and can’t blame another for affecting their prior work or warranties. The flip side is they can do some way over-priced work. Apparently, one of our guys wouldn’t come onsite just guess a quote based on what he was briefed on, it was accepted as ‘he does all our work’.

    Work, no matter who does it need to be competitively priced, done in a way that suits the building when finished (paint that grey conduit) and then checked by someone that: your problem has been satisfied, they did what was required, the invoice reflects that which was actually done (not just quoted).

    I like the idea of having a panel of tradies to keep them all on their toes, and asking all regulars what their labour and mark up prices are so these can be compared to others providers and the time invoiced for jobs justified.

    #29826
    AvatarCosta
    Flatchatter

    Quotable quotes:

    “Owners Corporation work is like a license to print money.” — A plumber who once lived in our building.

    “You’re only as good as your Strata Committee.” — Possibly JimmyT, if not he’ll know who 🙂

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