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    Getting quotes from companies!!

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    Technician
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    Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Technician on Fri 04 Jan 2013, 6:54 pm

    Hi All,

    I don't know what the hell is going on in this country. We are supposed to be in recession, but some firms are I think taking the p**s out of prospective customers.

    I want a simple job doing. I need a replacement rear door (UPVC). I could buy one and try and fit it myself, but that takes a bit of skill and being UPVC I want it doing properly.

    The door is for the BACK of my garage ( Not a garage up and over door ) but a normal back door which I put on when I removed it from my kitchen before I had an extension built, so I re-used my old door on the garage, and its had it now...So. simple to get a door then??

    I sent a general e mail via a trade site and 4 firms contacted me. One failed to turn up when an appointment was made.

    Two were local. One quoted me 495 and showed me a sample of the door they would fit ( they asked me to pop into a local showroom, but have not measured it yet, but 'will come out in the new year' ).

    One firm sent a bloke round who gave me the 'bullshit spiel' about I need this and that and should have the other etc...He has failed to quote me, but says it might be about 400....I do not need the whole house doing. I have UPVC everywhere else, I just want ONE DOOR !!!

    The I get contacted by Safestyle Uk. Some guy from a head office phones me and has trouble finding where I live. I give him the postcode 4 times and I am told someone will contact me. Later in the day a guy phones and I arrange to see him that day ( he said anytime ). Then he says he can't make it. He will phone me back

    Another phone call. What about the next day at 10am ??. Fine says I. He phones on the appopinted day...Could we make it 1pm now ???.

    Fine says I. 1 pm comes and another no show!! 35 mins later he phones...He is running a bit late, but its just a door I want???

    Yes, says I, a garage door, a back one; just a simple UPVC type. Oh he says he can give me a 'staff discount' price, as he has some doors that will suit.

    Do you not need to come as arranged and measure it ???. No he says, its just a door. How much I said, with the 'discount'??.....He quotes me 700 !!!!

    So I tell him I am after a door not a ruddy mortgage!!!. Just what the hell has happened to 'service' in this country???.

    How the hell can you get such a wide price variation, and more importantly how can Safestyle UK quote me that price without ever having come out to see what my requirements are and measure for the damn thing!!!!!!!!

    Typical no doubt, but so frustrating. I sometimes think some people just don't want work, or that my small job is just not worth bothering with

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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Guest on Sat 05 Jan 2013, 9:23 am

    As a builder Tech I can tell you that distance from the job is the main factor and size the second. You do not give enough detail on your choices, but I would not quote a job that was not in my home town, especially if it was a small door replacement. The same rules apply to 'double glazing' companies who would only visit if you wanted the whole house doing and would not be economical out of area.

    Yellow Pages used to be the best way to find a tradesman as it doesn't charge for listings (note listings, not adverts)

    Clapco

    PS WTF do you want a uPVC door for anyway when wood is both cheaper and environmentally friendier?
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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by papa_umau on Sat 05 Jan 2013, 12:25 pm

    Hi again Technician. Nice subject-matter for ROB !

    I think that what Clappers said is good advice, ( I hate to admit Sad ), but what he says is right.

    I think that your first mistake was trying to get quotes through a generic trade site as they always use the information given to trigger responses from many companies that might not - as you have already said - be willing to fill your specific requirements.

    I always advise that before any such enquiry should be made a bit of local knowledge and recommendation from previous customers is a good way to start.

    Being a joiner myself and curiously one who - after coming out of the Civil Service - spent a fair bit of time specialising in the installation of one-at-a-time bespoke hardwood doors, ( no longer doing that now that I am forcibly retired again due to arthritis ), I think that it might be good to find someone like myself to do that kind of a job rather than a largish company.

    There are many one-man businesses out there - either in or out of yellow-pages - that are willing to do such small jobs; I guess that the hardest thing is finding them.

    It is a shame that you have had such hassle but I always say that we learn by our mistakes. I certainly do.

    I do hope that you get your garage back door saga dealt with quickly.



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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Guest on Sat 05 Jan 2013, 12:52 pm

    I know a good chippy in Solihull but I don't know where you live - msg me off list if this is any use.

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    Companies

    Post by Technician on Sun 06 Jan 2013, 8:48 am

    Hi All,

    Thank you gentlemen for your advice!!. much appreciated. I posted more to outline the 'attititude' of some of the companies!!!.

    Unfortunately the fantastic local builder who built both my extension and garage has retired, otherwise I would have contacted him. The note about 'distance' by Clapco makes perfect sense.

    I have got the quote from the local guy near me and its fine, so I shall go along with that and it seems they do some good work and are well established. As for wood, then perhaps it is more environment friendly, but I have all UPVC, including all my soffits and guttering, so I am keeping the style.

    Thanks for the comments

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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by papa_umau on Sun 06 Jan 2013, 11:57 am

    Actually Technician there is still an argument raging as to whether wood is more environmental than UPVC.

    Wood is obviously better so long as it is grown and harvested in an environmental way but nowadays many of the hardwoods - and softwoods - that are used for building do not come from sustainable sources.

    The way that UPVC is often better is that it's environmental hit is smaller as long as the factories that are making it use sustainable energy to do so. The source of UPVC is via chemical-engineering - SEE THIS and this has little effect on the sustainability of nature.


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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Guest on Sun 06 Jan 2013, 12:12 pm

    "many of the hardwoods - and softwoods - that are used for building do not come from sustainable sources."

    Paps you really love talking out of your arse don't you? You have obviously never so much as touched a piece of wood in years despite your claims to be a time served carpenter. Suppliers have to jump through huge hoops to ensure their products are from sustainable sources - timber so supplied will be marked with the FSC logo or equivalent.

    With ill -thought comments like yours I really can understand why people don't even bother to use responsibly sourced timber when all it takes is some self proclaimed expert in one sentence to render an entire industry's efforts to foster responsible sourcing worthless.

    You are an embarrassment to consumerism Paps

    Capco
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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by zathrus on Sun 06 Jan 2013, 1:01 pm

    I don't know whether Paps is right or wrong here, but I am sure that many people try to get round the regulations that purport to be protecting scarce wood-based materials.

    I don't think it is the companies that follow the rules here that are the problem, I think that it is the companies and individuals that feel the need to get round these expensive rules that are causing the environmental damage.

    Just like ivory and turtle-shell products which have been banned since any produced before 1937 there are bound to be people who will still trade in illegal wooden materials.

    I think that you are acting very naively Clapco if you think that just because there are rules everybody is going to abide by them.

    Here is a site that supports this premise that I found after only one Google search: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/news-and-blogs/news/our-role-in-stopping-the-illeg/

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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Guest on Sun 06 Jan 2013, 3:22 pm

    Zath please don't call me naive when you know nothing about me or what I do. I run a 2milion pa construction company. I know how difficult it is to get dodgy wood and how many safeguards are in place to prevent its use including the local authority building inspector who could tell you to rip out and replace any timber for which a chain of custody certificate cannot be shown.

    I never said people will abide by the rules, what gets my goat is when people with NO EXPERIENCE mouth off about something they know nothing about which undermines everything those of us that do care are trying to do about the problem.

    Let me put it in simple terms - if people are not going to abide by the rules, why have them in the first place? Why waste time money and effort trying to enforce rules? Why bother at all? After all you don't need to put your hand in a flame to know it will burn you. Just make it up as you go along.

    Shiteco
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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by papa_umau on Mon 07 Jan 2013, 11:48 am

    Protecting you own guilty conscience here maybe ?

    I might have been away from my trade for a few years but while I was a joiner - not a "carpenter" BTW - I dealt with many exotic hardwoods including many that are now on the endangered species list.

    Just pop the words "exotic hardwoods" into Google and you will find how many protected woods - both deciduous and coniferous - that are still being openly offered for sale.

    This is one subject that I do not need to glean knowledge about from outside sources as it is one that I specialised in for a number of years.

    Sorry that the topic has worn off a bit Technician, but that is sometimes how it goes on forums.


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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Guest on Mon 07 Jan 2013, 7:40 pm

    Like I said - there has been a lot of water under the bridge since you laid down your tools. Follow the links if you like, but tell me how any reputable manufacturer could include such products in his portfolio and get away with it. Certainly not "many" as you claim. A tiny few perhaps - clearly you admit to using them without any scruples.

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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by papa_umau on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 12:23 pm

    The difference here is in the number of companies that ADMIT to using protected woods and the ones that DON'T are very difficult to pin down.

    I know for a fact that the policing of the protected-species laws is abysmally poor and that many people/companies who might want to supply exotic woods to their customers know that if they do it is unlikely that they are going to be found out.

    I just hope that your company is not one like that !

    But then again, if you are supplying and erecting softwood buildings there are many types of softwoods that are harvested in a safe, legal and correct manner.

    The likes of the ubiquitous Sitka Spruce, ( which is one of the "sustainable sources" woods ), is planted and harvested very quickly because of it's high-speed growth capabilities and as long as the harvesters and producers stick to these types of wood-species they know that they cannot go wrong.

    One thing that is always going to be safe to say, and that is that thousands of acres or softwoods and hardwoods are clear-cut and burned all over the world and if we do not ALL stop trading in these woods we are going to see the words of that song: ( "They cut down the trees and put them in a tree museum, and charged the people a dollar and a half just to see em" ), coming true.

    I want nothing to do with that kind of trade and that is why I support the modern production of UPVC plastics in building.

    YOU..... Please yourself.



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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Guest on Tue 08 Jan 2013, 2:37 pm

    "You know for a fact"

    Ah hahahahahahaha don't make me laugh. You haven't a clue because your experience in the timber trades finished when most of the trees standing were just seedlings.

    Let me re-educate you. Firstly most companies stopped using hardwood years ago, then much of our manufacturing industry has closed down anyway.

    Sitka spruce is useful only for paper or firewood, it is not construction grade.

    Softwoods are clear felled and re seeded. Hardwoods are burned for farming land (every tin of corned beef from brazil uses 1 acre of forest)

    uPVC generates large quantities of pollutants including dioxins, as well as using oil reserves, energy and chemicals for the fillers they contain. Hardly environmentally responsible - local authority housing ban it from their tenders for example.

    But then "I'm alright jack" always was your motto wasn't it?

    Clappers
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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by papa_umau on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 10:52 am

    You obviously still follow the stuff that puts your mind at ease and you deny that many hardwoods - especially exotic hardwoods - are still used in the top-market part of the industry.

    If you did know anything about this subject you would also know that OAK, ( and not just oak veneers either ), for instance is now being used more and more for making furniture and external doors.

    In fact, it has always been true that if a person is rich enough and does not care about conservation they can usually get doors and furniture made out of any wood that their pockets can stand for.

    To think anyway else is to be truly naive.

    Maybe you should just stick your head back in the sand as it seems you are most comfortable in that position.


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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by TuppenceHapenny on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 11:51 am

    Sorry, gotta ask-when did Oak become an exotic hardwood? Shocked It's pretty common here in the states. OR maybe not. The last time I said anything about something I knew about over here I was told I was wrong so I'm not sure if we have Oak here or not. Maybe they are only grown in the Amazon rainforest now and no one bothered to tell me.
    Tuppence

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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by Guest on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 4:19 pm

    Beat me to it Tups - Are you sure you were a time served joiner Paps and not a stockroom assistant in Travis Perkins? Just how many years did you do?

    Clapco
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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by TuppenceHapenny on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 5:13 pm

    Damn, I was optimistic there for a bit. I have dozens of oak trees on the property, coulda been rich! Embarassed
    Tuppence


    Last edited by TuppenceHapenny on Wed 09 Jan 2013, 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : brainfart?)
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    Re: Getting quotes from companies!!

    Post by papa_umau on Thu 10 Jan 2013, 10:00 am

    TuppenceHapenny wrote:Sorry, gotta ask-when did Oak become an exotic hardwood? Shocked It's pretty common here in the states. OR maybe not. The last time I said anything about something I knew about over here I was told I was wrong so I'm not sure if we have Oak here or not. Maybe they are only grown in the Amazon rainforest now and no one bothered to tell me.
    Tuppence

    Tuppence.....

    I don't know about America, but the oak trees in Britain were decimated during the years when every house had an oak frame, ( mostly seen in the Tudor and mock-Tudor times ), and every ship of Britain's Navy and commercial fleet, ( the largest in the world at that time ), was make of English oak. Now, in Britain, the oak tree is protected from commercial use due to it's very long life to usable size.

    The word "exotic" is in the mind of the user and any wood that is at risk or that is in short supply that is expensive to use can be classed within that description.

    I suspect that our Clapco is resisting my pressure to admit if his company uses such timbers as I am sure that nobody is going to volunteer that they use protected tree species in their commercial products.

    Did you not know the words of the song: ( "They cut down all the trees and put them in a tree museum, and charged all the folks a dollar and a half just to see em" )?

    The person who wrote that song, ( Big Yellow Taxi ), Joni Mitchell, in 1970, obviously believed, even then, like many other people, that eventually there might be no trees left if the people like Clapco keep on using them up at the rate that they do.

    The authorities have put many species of trees under protection that you might not know about simply because many of the species that are being clear-cut are now being driven to extinction by these destructive acts .

    I am an environmentalist and it is because of this interest that I know about and care about this subject.

    I don't think that Clappers gives a damn so long as he keeps making his profits.

    I REALLY don't think that you are one of them Tuppence....are you ?


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