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I hired Accord Building and Roofing Services of Moseley, as I needed some builders in Birmingham for a big job: complete gutting and refitting of a bathroom and kitchen. Their advert in the Yellow Pages looked good; the results and customer service were unfortunately not so good.
The advertisment promises everything I needed: all types of work undertaken, written quotations, all work guaranteed. Being a new home-owner, and thus unaccustomed to the flexible promises of the building world, it sounded pretty good to me, so I called them up. The owner, Andy, came to size up the work, promising that no money changes hands until the job is complete and I’m satisifed. What could possibly go wrong, I thought?
Mostly, the work was good quality, but I never received my written quotation, and was asked regularly for “some money to pay the lads”. “The lads” started coming less frequently – or coming at 7.30 in the morning for an hour before going to their main job. Then, when the main work was finished but the clearing up and making it look pretty work hadn’t taken place, “the lads” stopped coming. We owed them less that £100 by this point so there was no incentive for them to return. We were so sick of chasing them and their turning up to do some ineffectual hammering before the kids were awake, that we decided to live with the untidy finish and not pursue them.
Until the new kitchen floor began to fall apart a year later. The floor started to move; the heads of the screws began to push up and mark the tiles, which then cracked and split. I called Accord who grudgingly came and did some cosmetic work (replacing some of the tiles, and glueing pieces of tiles into the unfinished corners), but it all came unstuck, and the floor continued to get worse.
I called them out again; Andy noted that he’d we’d only bought the house to sell (we hadn’t) and that he’d told us that the floor would move (he hadn’t) and suggested we pay him £1,800 to make it good – and we’d have to move out, of course, while he gutted the kitchen again.
Unsurprisingly, we declined, as obviously we couldn’t trust them to do the work properly. I wrote to him asking for a refund of the £300 that his receipt said the kitchen floor had cost us (the floor which was allegedly guaranteed, if their Yellow Pages advert were to be believed).
He never replied.
So, if you want to pay a builder to do work which looks like this twelve months after it’s completed, I can recommend Accord Builders of Moseley.