Protocol with Handwerkers

13 posts in this topic

Over the last 6 weeks we have had 7 plumbers come, inspect and then not turn up for the job. Finally we find plumber number 8. Hes actually a handwerker who does plumbing and electrics.

Friday, he can´t make it. Saturday he comes but is 2 hours late. He makes an inspection, tests pipes and we pay him €50. He is to return Monday after giving us a final price.

Monday he says that he can not get all the parts and therefore can not give a price. He will come Tuesday. I wait. Then I get a message saying that he will give the price on Wednesday and come at 10 am.

He doesn´t come and we have no message.

He doesn´t reply to anything.

Wednesday PM I re-run my ad and get a reply within a couple of minutes. However I do not give our address, just a basic run down of the job and also that I would let him know next week if he is needed. He´s persistent and I have to say that he can not come.

We carry on trying to contact plumber 8. No reply.

This morning I get a very angry email from plumber 8 saying that he has bought all the pipes but I have set someone else onto the job who asked him to help. He says he has spent a lot of money.He tells me we are blocked and he will not speak with us again.

Plumber 9 has told plumber 8 that he is doing the job.

I immediately apologise and ask a neighbour to help. He telephones from his phone

I am told that I am at fault because I should have just waited. Plumber 8 said that I gave plumber 9 the job and the address. This is not true.

However Plumber 8 has decided to forgive me but I must wait until he is ready next week sometime. Also he is going to bring another person with him to the job. I suspect the price is getting higher but we are desperate.

He then sends me another message saying that because I made a big mistake he is prepared to accept my apology and we can start again.

Opinions please

 

 

 

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You didn´t illustrate the extent of the work you need to be done. Did none of these plumbers give you a quote in advance of acceptance of the work? Why would six previous plumbers not be interested in the work? Is it emergency work for example or just fitting something? You are talking about the space between Saturday and the following Wednesday for the plumber who you then wished to hire. You spoke with him on Monday. I will accept he was on poor form not to reply in the following days and of course you are within your rights to find someone else if there was no formal agreement between you, but it sounds a little as though you have attempted to be all over the guy (who I imagine has many other jobs to attend to) in a relatively short period of time. Rather than simply wait a little more time so he can cover the bases so as to be ready to work on your project. i would say a rush on your part and a little lack of communication on his part (not unusual for germans, sadly) are what we are looking at here. No more and no less. Hope you get it fixed, whatever it may be...

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The work is reconnecting pipes upstairs in a landhaus. the previous owner had removed radiators, cut water pipes and cut toilet soil pipe. the reason the other 7 have not attended is because in the village , locals will not work for outsiders.

The rush is that the painter who is booked will start next week and I do not want to out him off again. 

My way of thinking is that if an appointment is made then it must be kept or an explanation given.

A firm appointment was made for Wednesday at 10. all messages , emails and phone calls were ignored. He now says that he can not get pipes to do the work. He´s a plumber ?

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Also I ran a business for years. there is nothing more annoying that a customer who does not turn up. I am sure that if the boot was on the other foot he would know what it is to sit and wait.

Men often believe that women are quite happy to do nothing but wait

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Well that context certainly sheds some light on it. Yes, I would agree that the appointment issue gave you the right to look elsewhere; however as you say, you have limited options as to who you can get to do the work. I´m not castigating you, just implying sometimes its better to bite the bullet and work with what you´ve got, even if it may be somewhat frustrating communicating with German Handwerkers...believe me i do know.

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Oh I´m biting the bullet I have had to apologise 3 times before he decided to forgive me. he still has not given a price for the job but claims he is going to employ another person to help and has bought the items for the job. I think he´s full of bull but as you say we are desperate.

He also lied and I don´t do liars in any country.

we have roofers and a painter in next week also. they have managed to give firm prices and they turned up on time to give their estimates

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Where I live, there's no problem getting plumbers who show up and show up on time and get the work done without a problem.  Roofers however are a nightmare.  I have contacted several.  Some say they will get back to me, they'll come by, they'll make an offer and I never hear from them again.  Out of those who actually came, two had a look and did not make an offer.   Third made an appointment to come back but last minute he texted that he's ill.  He probably died because I never heard from him again.  Only one made an offer and pretty high at that but without guarantee.  I emailed him that I would like to see how much is the offer including guarantee and never heard from him again.  A friend was getting his roof done and actually found roofers that came and did some of the work but took off and left it half done.  A month later, they came back and wanted to complete it but they wanted more money.  He said they could only get the rest of the money when the job was finished so they left again.

 

Where are you finding plumbers?  My hammer or somewhere like that?

 

 

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LeonG we are up on the north coast and we have no problem with roofers or painters. your roofers sound like our plumbers. First we started out asking the previous owner. One came looked and went away. then the seller recommended another bloke. he looked and left promising to return. the next lot were the ones who did the original work. they gave a date and time twice but didn´t turn up. Number 4, 5 turned up and didn´t have a clue. number 6 came, saw left, said he was busy and to contact him later in the year. Number 7 came twice, really hadn´t got a clue but made a date to return and didn´t. number 8 was full of promise. everything was "no problem"

painters have been great. on time and the estimate within 2 days. We have a lovely painter who is starting next week.

roofers are a team from dusseldorf. They are good, fast and cheap which is a bonus because the roof was meant to be in good   order when we bought. I don´t like the team leader but I don´t get that up close and personal. He can only work on the house when my husband is here as he´s a bit slimey.

We now have a price from number 8. it is a good price. I have allowed him to save face by not pointing out his big porky pie and I have apologised like the silly little woman I am. I have made out it was all my fault to allow communication to continue between the plumber and my husband with no awkwardness.

The plumber knows we have a friend who speaks plattdeutsche and meanwhile i´ll just go and stand in a corner and give myself 50 lines

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My impression is that any work from any Handwerker is overpriced beyond reason in Germany. This could be either because they have a system to fix prices so that nobody offers lower than agreed, or because there is actually too much demand for their work and not enough supply.

 

As an example, which blows my mind (!), my Hausverwaltung sent two carpenters last year to replace the <12 m2 terrace wooden panelling with new panels and to put protective lakier. The whole job took them less than two working days. Guess how much the bill paid by the Hausverwaltung (with owners' money) was? ... just over 2700€. Wikipedia reports a net average monthly salary in Germany of 2315€. You tell me if that price for such a job is not out of this world.

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29 minutes ago, cfq said:

As an example, which blows my mind (!), my Hausverwaltung sent two carpenters last year to replace the <12 m2 terrace wooden panelling with new panels and to put protective lakier. The whole job took them less than two working days. Guess how much the bill paid by the Hausverwaltung (with owners' money) was? ... just over 2700€. Wikipedia reports a net average monthly salary in Germany of 2315€. You tell me if that price for such a job is not out of this world.

 

It's not out of this world.  The last time I hired a handwerker, he was selling his hour for 50€.  Two guys for two days means 32 hrs. so the bill just for work is 1600.  The other 1100€ could easily be material, driving cost, sales tax etc.  Now we will talk about why 50€ an hour is not out of this world.  From the 50€ an hour, half is already gone to the tax man and 15% for health care.  From the rest, they have to figure in saving up for down time, for vacation and for being sick.   Even if they are not self employed, they'd have an employer who has to figure that in.

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22 minutes ago, LeonG said:

The other 1100€ could easily be material, driving cost, sales tax etc.

 

Then this part is out of this world.

 

I appreciate your attempt to make sense out of that price, however, assuming the rest of your analysis is acceptable (by rounding some numbers, e.g. the number of man-hours was less than 32, since the second day was more like half a day of work) there is no way that less than 12 m2 of wooden panels can possibly cost 1100€, even after removing VAT and driving costs, especially when this is clearly not top grade wood since it's full of knots / holes.

 

They could command a high price just because the client was a large condominium and, since the owners pay (!), the Hausverwaltung agrees to whatever price they are given.

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Depending upon the type of wood for the panels was used, sealant, lack, screws or nails, it would very easily be 100€ per SQM. 

The Handwerkskammer and other guilds estimate the costs of various handwerkers per hour in Germany, depending upon the field.  These are hourly rates and tend to be minimums.  Aye, they can go up or down, but generally to a minimal degree and local costs of living are worked in.  As a leather worker in the Allgäu, I tend to stay just below the minimum suggested.  If I lived in Munich, I would most like increase the hourly cost as me overhead would be higher. 

But to suggest they can charge whatever they want is not correct.  If a schreiner was going to charge me 150€ per hour I'd tell them to fook off...and off they will fook.  Because OBI, Hornbach, Baywa, or whoever charges 100€ per SQM for material, I expect the schreiner is going to add 10-15%.  That is normal and I do the same.

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Its always amusing to me how people who have never trained years to do any manual skilled labour in their lives, costed jobs, dealt with clients persistant calls, tastes and often their stinginess too;  imagine every Handwerker is charging incredible prices and living like a king on the cost of their rather small two-day job...For perspective, just try hiring a lawyer, or doing anything with a notar or makler. then you will find out exactly what extortionate really means here...

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