• Welcome to PlumbersForums.net - The international free plumbing advice forum. Professional plumbers sharing advice with fellow plumbers and DIY alike. Register for free today! - Checkout the Plumbing Advice forum and then our Plumbing Videos area which still needs populating.

Discuss What are my responsibilities? in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

PPCPLUMB

Messages
4
Very short version.
Im a sole trader of only 10 months, but an experieced Plumber of 30 years.
Installed a bathroom for a customer, they wanted me to source everything for them and have it delivered directly to them, which l did, once everything had been received by the customer, they then paid me for the goods.
The bath had to be inspected on delivery and refused if damaged, customer inspected and signed as all was fine.
I inspected and fitted it 5 days later.
Bath was first thing to go in, and day after installation the customer started using it, despite the bathroom not being completed until a few days later, this didnt matter to me as they had allowed the silicone to set..
This particular customer was an absolute pain right from the get go but you put that aside and act professionally regardless.
Once they had been quoted, they then started making lots of demands about the fixtures and fittings not having this, but must have that etc, annoyingly none of this was mentioned when l went out to quote...
One of the things they were adamant about, was it had to be a very good bath, because they had damaged one once and it was a nightmare to get sorted...
On to the problem.
Customer inspected the bathroom, very happy, paid in full the same day, absolutely over the moon.
2 days later, 6 days after the bath had been installed and used several times, customer gets in touch to say its cracked and the shower is faulty.....I go over the next morning, the shower isnt faulty, it was user error and the bath isnt cracked, theres a little air bubble in the bottom left corner at the tap end, around the size of a 10p.
Told her ld never seen that when fitting, they said theyd not noticed anything all week either, it was just " there" that night.
Said l would get in touch with supplier, see if we could get a replacement.
3 weeks later, supplier has said no replacement or refund as they believe the bath has been dropped (😡), lve insisted on a manufacturer report and still awaiting that.
Customer is getting increasingly pushy.
I should replace and refit for free, its my responsibility etc, theyve reported me to trading standards, endless emails..
Ive explained lm trying to still get a replacement bath, its still ongoing.
Ive also offered to refund them for the price of the bath myself plus £100 for their disappointment, but none of this is acceptable to them.
My predicament is, what if the customer has done something to the bath?
What if the supplier refuses to replace, do l have to replace and refit for free?
I charged for supply and fit, both of which l have done, and on completion inspection the customer was happy and paid!
Theres a supposed 25 year warranty on the bath, but if the supplier says its been damaged they get out of that dont they?
Any advice appreciated.
Sorry for the long post..
 

scott_d

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
5,963
Do you have a picture?
Have you looked under the bath to see if it’s a dent or surface imperfection?
If it’s a dent from above - something dropped and it wasn’t there during fitting or when the bath was inspected it sounds like they have caused it or possibly the tiler if it wasnt you
 

PPCPLUMB

Messages
4
Do you have a picture?
Have you looked under the bath to see if it’s a dent or surface imperfection?
If it’s a dent from above - something dropped and it wasn’t there during fitting or when the bath was inspected it sounds like they have caused it or possibly the tiler if it wasnt you
Hi
I inspected it myself the day after and its a small bubble in the acrylic that can be pressed in and out.
Its still intact, doesnt leak, no marks or damage whatsoever underneath the bath, l checked it over before l fitted it, and looked under again to inspect for leaks, its fully useable.
I was the only one to fit the bathroom, l do them alone, they had cladding not tiles, nothing was dropped in it when l was working in the area and l removed the protective film the day after fitting and cladding so that they could use it. It was perfect!
Sent photos and a video to the supplier, but its so small and so shiny that its hard to see, l had to rub a bit of dirt in it to make it show up..
 

SimonG

Esteemed
Plumber
Messages
20,515
If it's just the surface of the acrylic then polish it out or find one of these magic men who repair this sort of thing.

First though I would want the supplier/manufacturer on site and be there at the same time. Then go from there.

I know the horse has gone but your smart phone is your friend. Pictures of rooms under bathroom before you start, pictures of the room before you start, pictures as you progress and then lots of pics at the end.

As for customer being a pain, then get yourself a pad and pen and document any requested changes from the original estimate and get them to sign it.

Hope you get it sorted.
 

Chuck

Esteemed
Messages
2,339
From the information given I think it's a manufacturing defect.

I've seen a number of cases like this over the years. The bottom line is that the unhappy customer can, and probably will, sue you in the small claims court for supplying a defective bath. Whether the root cause was your installation or the faulty manufacturing is irrelevant; if they get a supportive independent report they'll almost certainly win case against you and the judgement will include the costs of removing and refitting the the bath and bringing all the finishes back up to whatever standard a reasonable person could expect bearing in mind the price paid and what you promised.

From your point of view, you're entitled to a free replacement bath from whoever supplied it to you but expect them not to want to cough up for the labour needed to perform the transplant. From a business point of view the amounts involved are not going to be worth fighting over. The bath manufacturer may make you a good-will payment if you can find someone with responsibility for their reputation to talk to.

My advice is to not get tunnel vision and turn this into a fight between you and the customer. "The bath turned out to have a manufacturing fault that appeared after installation but the plumber got it replaced and reinstalled it out of their own pocket." is a customer experience that will boost your reputation and encourage them to recommend you to others.
 

PPCPLUMB

Messages
4
If it's just the surface of the acrylic then polish it out or find one of these magic men who repair this sort of thing.

First though I would want the supplier/manufacturer on site and be there at the same time. Then go from there.

I know the horse has gone but your smart phone is your friend. Pictures of rooms under bathroom before you start, pictures of the room before you start, pictures as you progress and then lots of pics at the end.

As for customer being a pain, then get yourself a pad and pen and document any requested changes from the original estimate and get them to sign it.

Hope you get it sorted.
The supplier has stopped replying since 3rd May after l requested a manufacturers report and after requesting they sent an assessor out.
I have pictures of before during and after installation, always do, but not of the room below.
The customer is fixated on a new bath, not a "repaired" bath.
All requested changes were done in writing via message, so l always have that written down.
Its really strange, but since they told me before l even went to work there about them cracking a bath before and it causing no end of problems..I felt uncomfortable. And l think if they had insisted on all the specifics at quote time, l wouldnt have put in a quote. Alot of them were very bizzare and took hours and hours to locate.
I took advice yesterday and was told that if the Manufacturer says its been caused by damage, then lm not liable, because the customer has always stated theres a problem with the bath, not that they think lve damaged it in some way, they are adamant that this bubble " just appeared " a couple of days after l had left site..
 

PPCPLUMB

Messages
4
From the information given I think it's a manufacturing defect.

I've seen a number of cases like this over the years. The bottom line is that the unhappy customer can, and probably will, sue you in the small claims court for supplying a defective bath. Whether the root cause was your installation or the faulty manufacturing is irrelevant; if they get a supportive independent report they'll almost certainly win case against you and the judgement will include the costs of removing and refitting the the bath and bringing all the finishes back up to whatever standard a reasonable person could expect bearing in mind the price paid and what you promised.

From your point of view, you're entitled to a free replacement bath from whoever supplied it to you but expect them not to want to cough up for the labour needed to perform the transplant. From a business point of view the amounts involved are not going to be worth fighting over. The bath manufacturer may make you a good-will payment if you can find someone with responsibility for their reputation to talk to.

My advice is to not get tunnel vision and turn this into a fight between you and the customer. "The bath turned out to have a manufacturing fault that appeared after installation but the plumber got it replaced and reinstalled it out of their own pocket." is a customer experience that will boost your reputation and encourage them to recommend you to others.
I appreciate your advice and reply.
One of my worries about jumping too early, is that if l just go ahead and buy a new bath and fit it, and then the supplier or manufacturer agree to replace the faulty one, then I have a bath at the customers address ( which they will highly likely refuse to take delivery of anyway) that l cant do anything with!
 

SimonG

Esteemed
Plumber
Messages
20,515
This is a situation where my 40% on materials comes in to assist. Helps cover returns to replace something under warranty.
 

IND_Nick

Esteemed
Gas Engineer
Messages
290
I would agree with above about it possibly being a manufacturing fault. However a lot of manufacturers seem to spend more time finding fault with anyone/anything else. I often wonder whether the warranty is worth it as they always seem to blame the installation, sometimes justly sometimes not.
I would definitely try to keep communication open and explain you are in contact with the manufacturer, if it goes further the fact you have endeavoured to resolve goes a long way. My only concern would be as you charged for 'supply and fit' it may be the contract for the customer is with you and not the bath manufacturer, hence your responsibility. While hindsight is a wonderful option, especially with particular customers I would always supply them with a materials list and let them deal with it directly. That way failed deliveries/damage/change of mind etc is not on you.
Just remember it is a business you now run, deal with it in business hours, professionally and try not to let it effect other jobs or out of hours time.
 

Chuck

Esteemed
Messages
2,339
One of my worries about jumping too early, is that if l just go ahead and buy a new bath and fit it, and then the supplier or manufacturer agree to replace the faulty one, then I have a bath at the customers address ( which they will highly likely refuse to take delivery of anyway) that l cant do anything with!

Your contract is with whoever you paid to supply the bath. This is likely to be the stockist not the manufacturer who will normally be involved only as a matter of courtesy. If the manufacturer is not being helpful, you have to tell the supplier in writing that the bath they supplied is being rejected because it is of unsatisfactory quality. If they refuse to replace it you can sue them.

Although you'll have a winnable case expect to have to spend the equivalent of a couple of days seeing it through. (Collecting evidence, sending recorded delivery statements of claim, etc.) You need to make a business decision about whether this is a good use of your time and, unless the bath was very expensive, it probably isn't.

Local FE Colleges often have a "Setting up your own business" course that you can take as evening classes. They are not expensive and, if you haven't already taken one, you might want to see if there is one in your area.
 

Reply to What are my responsibilities? in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

Similar threads

J
The copper pipe dosen't look like its square in the fittings to me and whats happened to the pipe above the stop tap? I can see water on a lower...
Replies
14
Views
1K
moonlight
moonlight
Radian
    • Like
They came from Pimoroni They supply Raspberry Pi computers and all kinds of other electronics. No there's no switches attached but if you were...
Replies
6
Views
501
Radian
Radian
elvis80
Replies
7
Views
1K
elvis80
elvis80
A
And difficult to see scale build up in such a short time to cause any problems. I have seen pictures of HW Cylinders - 1/8th full of limescale...
Replies
7
Views
682
John.g
J

Newest Threads (Please Reply)

Search Forum

Top