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Some customers and homeowners want a Jaguar for the price of a Chevette

"We had a case where the homeowner was a contractor and hired us to repair his wet basement. They were to finish capping the windows themselves and regrade the property after their work was completed. Needless to say, the windows never got recapped and our membrane was ripped - by them... Then, they slandered our company on the internet!"


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January 10, 2014 by Steve Payne

On Wednesday we asked for your “Customers from Hell” stories. 

Here’s a good one from DiggerDan, a wet basement repair specialist. 

“Mike Holmes opens the eyes to a lot of trash work, but one must remember some customers/homeowners want a Jaguar for the price of a Chevette. Contractors need to be aware of homeowners deliberately trying to scam the contractor and get work done for free! Even worse is homeowners wanting to save money and then tamper with the contractor’s work.

We had a case where the homeowner was a contractor and hired us to repair his wet basement. This individual was to finish capping his windows and regrade his property after his work was completed. Needless to say, the windows never got recapped and our membrane was ripped (by them). Then they made an absolute mess of the property with garbage from their renovations.

The homeowner never once contacted us about having concerns and was very happy with our work after we left.  Then, on the internet we find that this same individual is slandering our company and advertising wet basement repairs!

Why not have a TV show on how to protect contractors from devious customers? We have been in business since 1982 and have thousands of happy customers. Thank God for those for whom we have saved thousands of dollars and are very happy. We love solving peoples’ wet basement issues while saving them money, if possible. Do your homework! Not all contractors or homeowners are bad…     John 3:16.”

Can you beat this horror story? If you can, please post below or email your story to me (spayne@canadiancontractor.ca). We will give a prize of a Milwaukee FUEL Tool for the “best” (worst!) story.


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine


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2 Comments » for Some customers and homeowners want a Jaguar for the price of a Chevette
  1. doug m says:

    We have all had bad customers but one that really sticks out for me was (name deleted by editor). I told my painter to please finish this job today ,no matter what. I had to get out of this place and she was harping on me to finish even though all the delays were her fault. She had contracted the kitchen and floor guy and was having problems with them. We had redone the kitchen and we were to paint “affected areas”. She had him paint the bathroom because we had used it, all the doors in the place and the hallways because they were dirty etc. He and his helper were there ’till 7pm. Not only did she refuse to pay for the extra work, she deducted $300 from the final bill for the inconvenience of having him working while she was eating. What a cow. She screwed the cabinet company and the floor guys as well. Good one.

  2. Nigel S says:

    Here’s a good one . I meet a client through a contractor in another city told him to give me a call when he’s ready I’ll help him out. I was going to do the complete mechanical. Plumbing was complete rough-in passed by one of the tougher inspectors in the area, A NAFTA house Gas boiler(in floor heating) with A HRV system in a ICF home I brought in my sheet metal contractor 20 years experience (forced air systems) I am also a TECA member, 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 on the go .I had over $2000 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 in to coming on site and do the install 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) the 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 mean time 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 moneys owed. e 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 his bills were $300-400 in the winter should be around $100 max and all the extra money he spent what a shame.
    Almost all the contractor had the same run ins with this wanna be contractor