Rise in complaints about contractors


25-April-2009

They range from the quality of work and payment issues to problems with the contracts that are signed.

Several consumers have complained that they have not received value for money or a high enough standard of workmanship.
The second issue reported is that some contractors take payment in advance from clients and then do not complete the work, even though contracts have been signed.

Agreements signed before the start of building work are also a major problem raised by consumers. Some contractors do not respect their signed contracts, and some of these are incomplete, Natcof said.

Steve Domingue, complaints handling officer at Natcof, said his office has to liaise with the licensing authority in cases where conditions specified in these agreements are not respected.

He is advising consumers to visit the licensing office to check the list of contractors and get details on them before choosing one.

The public should also check whether service providers have any complaints against them concerning their work. This can be done at Natcof’s office at Orion Mall.

Mr Domingue said clients should always ask for a receipt from the contractor when payment is made.
One vital suggestion from Natcof is to check contracts carefully before signing them, making sure they include such essential features as the timeframe for the work to be carried out. It is important for contracts to have a deadline, said Mr Domingue.
 
Natcof also arranges talks with clients and service providers to help find solutions to disputes and works in close collaboration with the newly formed contractors’ association.

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