Commissioner's Blog: How to avoid hiring a shady tradie
Whether you need a qualified tradesperson to tackle a home project or a handyman for a quick repair, it’s important to know the operator you’ve hired is trustworthy and reliable.
While the majority of tradies do the right thing, we are contacted by disgruntled consumers about the minority that don’t.
In the past 12 months, we have received 579 complaints about those working in trades industries, mostly to do with them failing to exercise due care and skill, as well as wrongly accepting payment.
One trader we strongly urge consumers to avoid doing business with is Kyle John Graham Feisst (also known as Chris Johnson or John Miller), a Perth air-conditioning installer and builder of custom vehicle trailers.
Mr Feisst, who advertises under numerous business names on Facebook Marketplace – including Perth Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Repairs; Wat4Now Customs (also spelt Wot4Now Customs); Perth Air Services; and Aim Mechanical – has so far refused to resolve the 42 outstanding complaints we have received from consumers claiming to be owed $62,000 for incomplete or no work.
To avoid being left in the lurch if a tradie fails to deliver or goes broke, we always recommend only paying a minimal deposit of about 10 per cent or, for larger jobs, negotiate progress payments as stages of the work are completed.
Paying by credit card is a good option as it provides the protection of getting a chargeback if the goods or services aren’t delivered.
Pricing and overcharging are other common issues reported to us, so always get several quotes to compare prices and avoid any surprises once the job is complete. Ensure tradies are licensed (if required) or accredited by trusted industry bodies and search online for positive or negative reviews. Verify claims by asking to see previous work and speaking to past clients.
Ask to see a certificate of currency for public liability insurance, which will protect you or third parties against any damage the tradesperson may cause.
Conduct a licence search for professions such as an electrician, builder or plumber, on Building and Energy’s website at www.dmirs.wa.gov.au. More information and advice about hiring tradespeople is on our website at www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au
Commissioner for Consumer Protection
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