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Beware of promises by some companies

By unknown | Nov 23, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

DON'T listen to some paving companies that promise to supply, deliver and install quality and guaranteed paving.

DON'T listen to some paving companies that promise to supply, deliver and install quality and guaranteed paving.

Not all honour their contracts and, worse still, some might disappear with your money before service is delivered.

Pam Serras of Oakdene in Johannesburg was left licking her wounds after she paid a R45000 deposit for JJ Lubter of Westrand Paving & Flooring to redo the paving at her house.

Serras said she bought a house at Oakdene, which needed sprucing up to make it suitable for human habitation.

She said she had been renovating the house over the past two years and was left with only a pool and landscaping to do.

Serras said she had saved enough to enable her to start her final project in June.

She employed a company that specialises in swimming pool renovations to redo hers.

But before the fibre glass could be installed, a swimming pool specialist insisted he wanted the edges of the pool to be paved, she said.

Luckily she had already paid a deposit of R45000 to JJ Lubter of Westrand Paving & Flooring.

Serras said her misery began when she called Lubter to do the paving around the pool.

She said it took Lubter weeks to deliver a handful of bricks needed to pave the edges of the pool and since then she had been battling to get him to complete the paving.

She claimed Lubter had since been giving her excuses.

"If the paving material was not sold out, he would be waiting for delivery and if not that he would be just around the corner, or he would be at my house in five minutes.

"His few minutes have turned into months. Most companies will be closing for the Decemberholidays and I really don't know which corners he has been turning since July, Serras said.

She said she decided to employ the services of another company after Lubter demanded to be paid the balance before he could complete the service.

According to Serras the terms and conditions of her contract are one-sided because they allow the contractor to breach the contract and yet deliver services at his own time as he sees fit.

The contract, on the other hand, provides that if Serras were to breach any of the terms and conditions, Lubter was free to cancel the contract and demand the full outstanding payment.

Serras said she had therefore employed another company to redo the shoddy workmanship by Lubter and even paid a further R150000.

Efforts to get comment from Lubter failed as he never responded to Sowetan's e-mails and fax sent to him.

Before you pay your contractor:

l Get a contract in writing specifying all work done - be as specific as possible - and the total cost.

l Quotations are not contracts. Get a contract with terms and cost (example of contract).

l Communicate - talk with the contractor to clear up any misconceptions or misunderstandings before the job starts.

l Any changes or additions need to be in writing.

l Do not pay more than 50percent of the down payment - 25percent is reasonable, with interim payments of at least 20percent or more until the job is complete.

l For bigger jobs or subcontractor involvement, you should hold back 10percent to prevent a lien being applied to your home if the contractor does not pay the subcontractors (usually for 45 days after completion).

l Do not pay for incomplete or shoddy workmanship and do not pay interim payments until the work is complete to your satisfaction, but on the same token be fair to the contractor.


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