Tell us a trade horror story (for a not-so-scary prize…)

  • Lauren's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Hi all,

    We know that our members offer top-quality services with outstanding results, and we’re proud for you to be a part of Checkatrade.

    Unfortunately, not all tradespeople boast the same workmanship and ethics that you do – and some homeowners out there have had some horrifying experiences.

    🎃In honour of Spooky Season this October🦇, we want to know about any nightmare stories you’ve encountered over the years. Whether you’ve saved the day by putting a dangerous job right or experienced a terrifying tale from a customer, we’d love to hear about it.

    Share your story in the post below and, to thank you for being ‘one of the good ones,’ we’ll enter your name into a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon Voucher.*

    Even if you don't win... you could be in with the chance of getting your business a shout out on Checkatrade - or even in a national newspaper! Our PR team are working on some exciting articles about why our members are the cream of the crop, so if they enjoy yours, they may be in touch!

    We look forward to reading your horror stories and our faces to look a little something like this...
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    Good Luck 🍀

    *Entries close on 18/11/21 at 5:00pm. The winner will be drawn at random on 22/11/21 and contacted via telephone or email address.
    Last edited by Lauren; 26-10-21 at 09:31.
  • 12 Replies

  • Sean's Avatar
    Level 20
    Recently was asked to go and look at a wallpapering job that the last painter totally messed up.customer has the replacement wallpaper on order so will sort it out when it arrives. They were recommended this decorator to do the job then when he messed it up they turned to Checkatrade and found me. I have attached some pictures of his work!!!
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    basically he’s damaged every piece he’s hung.nightmare
  • Georgia's Avatar
    Community Manager
    @Lauren @Sean - I have one from when my partner bought his house - we paid to have the spare room re-plastered and decorated, and when they were taking a look at one of the walls in preperation, they discovered a HUGE hole (about the size of two large paint tins put side by side) that the previous owners had attempted to fill with cheap filler meant for small holes...

    Safe to say my partner was NOT happy with the massive hole in the wall and the extra cost! 😲
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  • Sean's Avatar
    Level 20
    @Georgia that sounds like a real bodge job.
  • Georgia's Avatar
    Community Manager
    @Sean ah it was a nightmare! There have been a lot of things we have found in the house that the previous owners had done or did themeselves - but the glued on toilet seat has to be the winner!
  • S4G Drone Services's Avatar
    Level 15
    "Spot The a vulnerable mans money was spirited away"

    I was called to assess a roof by drone of an elderly gentleman by his daughter. He had had his door knocked and:

    - Advised by the tradesperson "you need your gutters clearing"
    Elderly gentleman "ok great thanks let's do that"

    That same day they asked for £1,500, turned up with ladders and started 'clearing' the gutters. Later that same day they, there were four of them, pressed the elderly man to say:

    - Tradesperson "When we were checking your gutters we noticed they all need replacing, but more concerning your whole roof is close to collapsing and needs replacing"

    - Elderly gentleman "Oh, no! I can't have that how much will it cost to make it safe?"

    - Tradesperson "£16,000 if we take the order today and we do urgently need to get started"

    - Elderly gentleman "Ok, you better go ahead, I'll get the money to you"

    2 weeks later his daughter visits and is shocked to see her elderly fathers' house covered in scaffold and works partly underway. He explained what happened and she was horrified! Particularly as he needs care and is vulnerable.

    His daughter called me to inspect the completed roof of her father, but more so to compare it to her neighbours roof. Built at the same time of her fathers, same house type, adjoining and never replaced - to compare/contrast if the works ever needed doing.

    I completed the comparative report of the 2x houses and asked my roofer associate to provide an independent quote based on the reports (videos and images). He advised 2 things:

    1. The roof did not need replacing at all
    2. If it did the MAX price would be £9,000 to £10,000

    The daughter has been advised and is now, using the evidence I captured for her, pursuing a claim against the 'tradesperson' (roofing company) to get the full amount refunded or at very least price adjusted down.

    Tradespeople like that really damage the reputation of genuine tradespeople. Meaning that most people are wary of having works done. I can re-assure householders by independently capturing details of the roof and asking my associate (or one of you other fine people here on Checkatrade) to assess and quote based on the images captured.

    A horror story for the daughter and vulnerable elderly gentleman which will hopefully have a happy ending!
    Last edited by S4G Drone Services; 02-11-21 at 11:25. Reason: Adding photo
  • Lauren's Avatar
    Community Manager
    @Scottish Cleaning Se @dave plasterer can you share your stories here please :D
  • Simm Electrical's Avatar
    Level 7
    Being an electrician for quite some time I have come across a few HORRORS! With electrics all the customers can see is a nice light, socket or accessory. It’s when we start digging in to the actual installation that is all gets exposed. One of the major findings was when I was called to do an inspection on a property from a Checkatrade customer as they said a few things were not working correctly. They had just purchased the house and the previous owner said it had been re-wired. I opened up the newish fuse board and found new style cables on all the circuits. I then tested the cables and found faults on them. When I unscrewed the sockets, lights and light switches I found very old black rubber cables that have been obsolete for many, many years. This cable was at every socket and light and had deteriorated so much that the insulation surrounding the cables was flaking off! I then lifted the landing floor boards above the fuse board and noticed that someone had joined new cables on to the old and these new cables only went down the wall 2 meters to the fuse board. Unfortunately all the circuits had to be re-wired to make the property safe. My customer was great full she had someone in sooner rather than later but was not expecting a fairly expensive re-wire just after purchasing the property!
  • Lauren's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Thank you @Sean @S4G Drone Services @Simm Electrical for sharing your horror stories with us for the competition

    @Sean what a bodge job! No care or attention to detail at all for that one is there. Did the customer ask the person to rectify the work before calling you at all?

    Have you completed the replacement wallpapering yet too? It's a very funky design 🐒
    @S4G Drone Services That's really heartbreaking to hear! It's exactly the reason that Checkatrade began - There was a tornado that ruined hundreds of people's homes and roofs down in Selsey in 1998 and cowboy rogue trades from all over the county took their opportunity to rip off vulnerable people. I can't believe that people are still doing this 😓 I have my fingers and toes crossed for a happy ending on this story!

    @Simm Electrical Oh that's awful to hear but I can imagine how grateful they were to know it's completed a new rewire by someone trusted and reputable! Before purchasing a home, are there some sort of checks that people can get to ensure they do not run into a similar issue at all?

    Kindest regards,