Dealing with poor workmanship issues
01/27/2012 | It is not uncommon for consumers to encounter problems while building, renovating or repairing their home.
We at the Department of Consumer Affairs get numerous calls regarding poor workmanship on big jobs as well as little ones.
If you find yourself in a position where you believe that the work you have had done is below standard and you are looking for redress, here are a few steps that you can take to try and resolve your problem.
1. Start with the person at the top and speak to the owner or manager of the firm you hired as soon as you discover there is a problem.
Have him come to your home to examine the work and to discuss it and be clear and realistic on how you would like to see the problem resolved.
2. If you are not successful in resolving your issue in person compose a carefully worded letter, outlining your complaint and either hand deliver it or have it sent registered mail.
Be sure to keep a copy of all and any correspondences.
You can get the guidelines for writing a letter as well as download sample letters of complaint on the Consumer Affairs website.
3. Be sure to have a paper trail and have all the documents you need to present your case; contracts, quotes, invoices, receipts, letters, e-mails, credit agreements is applicable and any warranty you may have been given.
4. Take pictures as evidence to support your complaint. It is a good idea when you are having work done to take before and after pictures just in case things don’t go as planned, and of course, because if all goes well they are fun to have.
5. In some instances it may be necessary to have an independent qualified expert, who is not connected with the project, provide their opinion on the work - have them put it in writing.
6. If you are not satisfied with the response to your letter, or if you get no response, then you can file a complaint with Consumer Affairs in order to receive mediation.
7. As a last resort, you may have to consider using the small claims procedure at Magistrate’s Court (if the claim is under $25,000).
Consumer Affairs has a free booklet on the procedures and will guide you through this process.