Canadian Contractor

I took him to court for monies owed. He had a lawyer, spent a lot of extra money, and tried to back charge me for the whole job.

Nigel S. thought he had a straightforward job: install the mechanicals at a general contractor's job site. He'd not worked for this contractor before - had been introduced by a mutual acquaintance. It all went sideways really fast.

January 16, 2014
By Steve Payne
Steve Payne

Here’s another entry in our Customers From Hell sweepstakes. Thanks for sending it in, Nigel S, a mechanicals contractor somewhere in Canada.

“Here’s a good one. I met a contractor client through a contractor in another city. I told the contractor to give me a call when he’s ready, I’ll help him out. I was going to do the complete mechanical. Plumbing was completely roughed-in and passed by one of the tougher inspectors in the area: it was a NAFTA house gas boiler (in floor heating) with an HRV system in an ICF home.

I brought in my sheet metal contractor, who has 20 years experience (forced air systems). I am also a TECA member, a Red Seal plumber with a B-gas ticket – and associated with other groups.

I repeatedly requested a schedule to be able to organize this job as well several other projects I had on the go. I had over $2,000 dollars’ worth of material on site waiting for him to clean up so I could proceed with the rough in. He tried to bully me into coming on site to do the install, but when I went to the job site nothing was ready for me to go forward. This happened a few times.


He called another contractor (with no tickets). That contractor said everything was done wrong. So while the contractor was freaking out, I suggested we bring in an engineer. The engineer found there was nothing wrong with the HRV system – so the customer dismantled the whole HRV system! In the meantime he went into my suppliers and bad-mouthed my name in front of other contractors. They removed him from the store!

I took him to court for monies owed. He had a lawyer, spent a lot of extra money, and tried to back charge me for the whole job. He committed perjury in court on every count – made up so much BS I felt sick .The judge threw it out of court. Oh, the contractor sold him on a heat pump, air to water, with electric back-up on ocean front. I heard from the carpenter that his bills were $300 to 400 in the winter. They should be around $100 max. All the extra money he spent, what a shame.

Almost all the other contractors had had the same run ins with this wanna-be contractor.”

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