January 25, 2010

Terms and Conditions

Recently I've had some work done by a trades company who, in fairness, seem pretty straight up and did the job reasonably well. A couple of weeks later, we realised there was a problem. From a regulations perspective, a serious one. One, for example I wouldn't be able to sell my house with, if we didn't fix before that time.
Because it was a recently installed job, and the regulations were breached, I made the assumption they would come back and rectify the issue without any further charge.
How wrong was I. Even though I was quoted for the the work being done in full "fixed price", they had their Terms and Conditions to fall back on.

Terms and Conditions

Businesses use them to cover their arses in the event of something going wrong or guarantee or income. In the odd case, and probably forced upon most businesses, they provide cover to the purchaser for screw ups or otherwise.

So thanks to Terms and Conditions, I've been presented with a Bill for the additional work performed to (in my opinion) complete the job satisfactorily. Up to now I've refused to pay it due to my opinion of the nature of the work. The Vendor has come back to me with a series of excuses as to why they need to charge me, and anyway Term 7 says;
"No allowance has been made in this quotation for any unforseen circumstances or extended delay due to forces beyond xxxxxxx’s control. The quote is based on reasonable consideration of the required site preparation and earthworks. Additional work is costed at an hourly rate; equipment hire is at market price."
Pretty wide ranging, you'll agree.

Their major claim is some of the previous work they needed to interface with was non-standard, unforeseen and impossible to detect. I personally call their site survey lazy and half-arsed incapable. I've now got a completed job, an unasked for xxx, some half removed xxxx and a bill for the labour involved in finishing the job to satisfaction.

All thanks to a wide ranging term expunging them from all responsibility for an incorrectly completed job.

Is this standard practice? Do you know any other service which gets away with that? I'll pay the bill, because I imagine the legal costs associated with them chasing me down for a few hundred dollars would be more. But I'll let them know I'm doing it under protest, and I'll certainly be checking the terms and conditions more closely the next time.

And perhaps writing a few of my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment