So I employed them to do the work,as it was about how much I thought it would be. There were no unknowns and no unforeseen things in the job, it was very straight forward and simple and I was there while they did it.
But the guy was on and off the job for the best part of 4-5 hours. They were just really slow. That included lunch, going back to the shop to get parts, morning tea etc.
So a few weeks ago I get the bill for over $500 which was a shock. If I had known it would cost that I would have got other quotes. It was a very simple job and I had done all the prep work. So I phoned them and told them that I was quoted $150- $200 verbally and why the bill was nearly 3 times the amount quoted. I was told someone would get back to me. Never heard back, so I wrote a letter disputing the account and sending them payment for about $260 odd dollars, and requesting the code of compliance certificate which has never been issued. I paid for all the parts they listed, and 2 hours of labour as was quoted, which I thought was more than reasonable, and the amount I paid was still a lot more than they quoted. I didn't hear back from them. Today I get a letter from their liquidators to tell me that the company is now in liquidation, and they are claiming the balance from me.
To date I have yet to receive the code of compliance, so the contract was never completed by them, and that was the main reason I had paid for the job to be done in the first place. This is required as proof that the job has been done by a qualified professional for anyone buying the house.
Just wondering what people think I should do. As I never got a code of compliance, I am now going to have to pay for another company to check the work done is upto standard and issue this, which is a cost, and whether I can claim this from the liquidator, and become a creditor. I probably have no chance though of getting a refund or the code of compliance from them. Obviously I am going to dispute it now with the liquidator, but again it's another company who won't accept phone calls, and want it all in writing to them. I have already written to dispute the account once, but that obviously hasn't been forwarded to the liquidators.
The thing is that this company I used is part of a major chain, and it is just the local business that is in liquidation and not the entire brand/chain, so that is one possible avenue to explore. But I think they could be a franchise system, so I am not sure how much use they will be.
This is probably another warning for people to always make sure to get quotes in writing. But then again it should have been a small value job, and they have nothing in writing to show that I agreed to pay more than $500 for the job. They also didn't offer a written quote.