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and do give the matting additive a really extensive stirring before you do the mixing, maybe even warm it up a bit first.

............Dave

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50 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Weathershield sold in trade outlets is oil based. Weathershield sold in the DIY sheds is water based.

Paint stripper from trade outlets strips paint too whereas that from the sheds does not.

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5 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

Excellent, what did they use Jim?!

That's exactly the look I strive for with my boats. Except Owl seems to be missing any magnificently peeling paint...

I'd recommend ACF50, an aircraft preservative spray a bit like a gloopy WD40. It dries dull and a bit mucky looking whilst dispersing water and forming a corrosion resistant coating. Doesn't harm anything, in fact keeps it in good fettle, but looks a bit dull. Actually, after bit, rather like owl in the photo!  Motorcyclists use it a lot, particularly pre-winter. Comes off with paraffin or similar degreasants to reveal, well, whatever it coated in the first place. If the boat was a shiny one, that's what it would reveal, but I'm not sure everyone has one of those to start with.

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Update on current situation:

We have informed the painter that we will be arriving on Saturday to collect the boat and requested a full refund.  We have contacted the painter using the following methods

1. Email

2. Telephone where we left message

3. Text message

4. Facebook messenger message

5.  Registered letter sent via Royal Mail signed for.

Complete communication black out from their side.  This is his standard response when things are not going as planned or he knows that we will not be happy.  The stress and anxiety caused by this are heightened by a factor of 1000 when we are treated like this.  I think I have covered all of the bases but if anyone can think of anything else I should do, I would be so grateful to hear it. 

Thank you for the time you take responding to me, we feel lost at times in all of this because we have never experienced anything like this in terms of a service provider.  It really is so ridiculous at this point that its hard to believe.

Thank you

 

Alison

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2 minutes ago, DpEndofShalo said:

Update on current situation:

We have informed the painter that we will be arriving on Saturday to collect the boat and requested a full refund.  We have contacted the painter using the following methods

1. Email

2. Telephone where we left message

3. Text message

4. Facebook messenger message

5.  Registered letter sent via Royal Mail signed for.

Complete communication black out from their side.  This is his standard response when things are not going as planned or he knows that we will not be happy.  The stress and anxiety caused by this are heightened by a factor of 1000 when we are treated like this.  I think I have covered all of the bases but if anyone can think of anything else I should do, I would be so grateful to hear it. 

Thank you for the time you take responding to me, we feel lost at times in all of this because we have never experienced anything like this in terms of a service provider.  It really is so ridiculous at this point that its hard to believe.

Thank you

 

Alison

 

I agree, you HAVE covered all bases. Not sure Register mail was a Good Idea though as he will probably refuse to accept and sign for it, so rather than you being allowed to presume it was delivered (as courts do when you produce a receipt for plain ordinary posting), you'll know it wasn't. 

 

Off topic comment:

The world of canals can be like entering a time warp in my experience. The standards and values of customer service are closer to that from the 1950s than in the rest of the big wide world, and I'm not sure this is a Bad Thing. It's easy to forget its a two way street when we want something. The media constantly teaches us the 'customer is king' and exhorts us to go elsewhere if retailers don't prostrate themselves for us and run around attending to our every need, but this is a very unrealistic in my view. Once we start seeking something specialised, like repairs to a vintage engine for example, or any boaty services, the supplier is often just a solo person just like us and it can come a bit of a shock to find they are human beings and they rank their own needs equally with those of us the customer. I'm reminded of the time in the pub at Alvecote and someone complained about the food and the chef came out to discuss it with them directly, and defended his professionalism robustly in the middle of the restaurant instead of just meekly taking back the rejected dish. I actually find it quite refreshing and a bit of a reality check when this type of thing happens! That nice mrsmelly is another example. Go into his cafe and try to pay by card and you'll be shown the door. He expects you to pay in cash. Period.  :) 

I'm still of the view you've been treated appallingly though. Please don't think that's what I'm saying.  

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2 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I agree, you HAVE covered all bases. Not sure Register mail was a Good Idea though as he will probably refuse to accept and sign for it, so rather than you being allowed to presume it was delivered (as courts do when you produce a receipt for plain ordinary posting), you'll know it wasn't. 

 

Off topic comment:

The world of canals can be like entering a time warp in my experience. The standards and values of customer service are closer to that from the 1950s than in the rest of the big wide world, and I'm not sure this is a Bad Thing. It's easy to forget its a two way street when we want something. The media constantly teaches us the 'customer is king' and exhorts us to go elsewhere if retailers don't prostrate themselves for us and run around attending to our every need, but this is a very unrealistic in my view. Once we start seeking something specialised, like repairs to a vintage engine for example, or any boaty services, the supplier is often just a solo person just like us and it can come a bit of a shock to find they are human beings and they rank their own needs equally with those of us the customer. I'm reminded of the time in the pub at Alvecote and someone complained about the food and the chef came out to discuss it with them directly, and defended his professionalism robustly in the middle of the restaurant instead of just meekly taking back the rejected dish. I actually find it quite refreshing and a bit of a reality check when this type of thing happens! That nice mrsmelly is another example. Go into his cafe and try to pay by card and you'll be shown the door. He expects you to pay in cash. Period.  :) 

I'm still of the view you've been treated appallingly though. Please don't think that's what I'm saying.  

I came to the UK 20 years ago May 29th from a country where customer service is very different.   It took a while not to bring my foreign mentality into a situation when I found myself having problems.  It is not the case that customer service is so bad here and great there, the difference is in the fact that you seem to encounter many more small businesses who are run on a much smaller scale than corporations.  There has to be a different level of give and take when dealing with small firms.  The "Customer is Always Right" mentality could drive a small business into the ground if the business owner simply rolled over every time a complaint is made.   

The thing about this entire situation that gets straight up my nose is the fact that we are frantic trying to find out what is going on and have reached out to this man many many times before it has come to this level of problem and he can not even be bothered to reply to us in any way.  It makes us think of things as so much worse than they probably are.  We have even given him a couple of chances to wash his hands clean of the entire situation and even that is ignored.  I simply do not understand it.  Truth be told, Id still sit down and have a pint with this man, I just would not entrust him to undertake work on my boat.  He has been in business over 25 years and I have not heard a negative word about him which makes me think there is something else going on and you know, we would have worked with him to the bitter end if dealt with fairly and honestly.  And unfortunately, I can not empathize with a situaiton I know nothing about.  But, at this stage, its hard to be very understanding at all especially when we have brought up the fact many times that the lack of communication is our chief complaint.  

I am glad we are going to take her back on Saturday but boy I am dreading what condition i may find her in.  Fingers crossed.

  • Greenie 1

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My experience of Canal related trades people is significantly different to that being experienced by Alison, and the person she is dealing with is, in my view, untypical of those I have dealt with. Yes, timescales are often a little more relaxed on the canals, but the problems Alison is having seem to be down to the individual. I would have ditched him months ago.

 

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On 09/07/2017 at 14:34, DpEndofShalo said:

we have a very well documented case complete with video and photo evidence and correspondance to prove our case should we have to recover the money through the court system

You can only do that successfully if the painter has any assets. If the foregoing posts along the lines of "he may have spent the money already" (for whatever reason) it sounds very much like a hand-to-mouth existence. So are many canal-based businesses.

If the painter is skint you'll get nowt.

1 hour ago, DpEndofShalo said:

have reached out to this man many many times

Perhaps he hasn't the time to answer phone calls and nagging emails (yes, I know he should make time, but it's his business). 

1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

go elsewhere if retailers don't prostrate themselves for us and run around attending to our every need, but this is a very unrealistic in my view

^^  Yes, wot he says.

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1 hour ago, Machpoint005 said:

You can only do that successfully if the painter has any assets. If the foregoing posts along the lines of "he may have spent the money already" (for whatever reason) it sounds very much like a hand-to-mouth existence. So are many canal-based businesses.

 

Yes given the OP's stated line of business, I'm sure they realise it isn't actually possible to "recover the money through the court system" absolutely.

The closest one can get is a series of court judgments and orders for it to be paid, which if ignored allow the creditor to apply for the bankruptcy proceedings against the debtor. None of this makes the money appear back in the creditor's bank account if they don't actually have it, or any substantial assets.

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13 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

The closest one can get is a series of court judgments and orders for it to be paid, which if ignored allow the creditor to apply for the bankruptcy proceedings against the debtor. None of this makes the money appear back in the creditor's bank account if they don't actually have it, or any substantial assets.

I had a similar problem years ago when I was putting a new steel bottom on Owl. To cut a very long story short the welder/fabricator, who was highly skilled, asked me for a deposit to buy the steel. Fair enough.

The wooden bottom had been removed and all was ready for the steel to be delivered. No steel arrived. It turned out that the welder had used our money to pay off some of his debt to the steel stockholder but still owed so much that the supplier refused to let him have any more steel until his debt had fully cleared.

I now had a problem. A boat with no bottom and no steel to replace it. In addition I had already paid, as I thought, for the steel.

What would you have done?  Suing would have been futile for the reasons that Mike gives. I needed the boat water-tight pronto.

In the end I came to a compromise solution with the welder. He agreed not to charge for his labour and I bought another lot of steel myself direct from the stockholder, who was sympathetic to my plight. The result was I was not out of pocket; the welder was able to continue his rather hand-to-mouth business and I had a boat with a very good new bottom.

It was a very stressful period, though, because I didn’t really have any hold over the welder to complete the job. However, he did the honourable thing and the job was finished on time. I am certain that had I taken a tough, uncompromising line, the boat would have languished, bottomless for a long time.

The OP clearly seems to have exhausted the compromise route, so I suppose there is now no alternative.  They have my symapathy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Greenie 2

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1 minute ago, koukouvagia said:

In the end I came to a compromise solution with the welder. He agreed not to charge for his labour and I bought another lot of steel myself direct from the stockholder, who was sympathetic to my plight. The result was I was not out of pocket; the welder was able to continue his rather hand-to-mouth business and I had a boat with a very good new bottom.

Yes, that's probably the best approach (and the only practical one).

A CCJ in your favour still doesn't buy beer -- unless anyone knows of a pub that accepts them as a valid form of credit?

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On 12/07/2017 at 13:24, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Off topic comment:

The world of canals can be like entering a time warp in my experience. The standards and values of customer service are closer to that from the 1950s than in the rest of the big wide world, and I'm not sure this is a Bad Thing. It's easy to forget its a two way street when we want something. The media constantly teaches us the 'customer is king' and exhorts us to go elsewhere if retailers don't prostrate themselves for us and run around attending to our every need, but this is a very unrealistic in my view. Once we start seeking something specialised, like repairs to a vintage engine for example, or any boaty services, the supplier is often just a solo person just like us and it can come a bit of a shock to find they are human beings and they rank their own needs equally with those of us the customer. I'm reminded of the time in the pub at Alvecote and someone complained about the food and the chef came out to discuss it with them directly, and defended his professionalism robustly in the middle of the restaurant instead of just meekly taking back the rejected dish. I actually find it quite refreshing and a bit of a reality check when this type of thing happens! That nice mrsmelly is another example. Go into his cafe and try to pay by card and you'll be shown the door. He expects you to pay in cash. Period.  :) 

I'm still of the view you've been treated appallingly though. Please don't think that's what I'm saying.  

We do live in a world where customer is King and false customer service is an essential learned skill. We once caught a glimpse of the instruction sheet handed at to a supermarket checkout person instructing them on the various conversation openers to be spoken to customers.

But on the cut very often the tradesman is the King. With top shell builder, painters, and engine restorers having a huge waiting list they can choose their customers. I have heard that top shell builders meet the potential customer to decide if they want to build a boat for them.

As big DIY types our only experience of canal services is using drydocks where the service has always been fast and efficient because they need the boat out on time to get the next one in to keep the cash flowing.

The op has been very unlucky, if you give a job to somebody who for whatever reason is not able to do that job then its a very tricky situation. I hope it gets sorted out. I have heard that you should never give work to somebody who you like as a person, but then I don't want to spend my life dealing with people who I don't like.

..............Dave

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4 hours ago, dmr said:

But on the cut very often the tradesman is the King. With top shell builder, painters, and engine restorers having a huge waiting list they can choose their customers. I have heard that top shell builders meet the potential customer to decide if they want to build a boat for them.

 

This can be true in other trades as well, of course. I would say that I generally choose my customers nowadays. Not always been the case, particularly in the early nineties slump. Some people assume that by going to see a project, I am automatically willing to take it on.

When I ordered my shell I pointedly asked the builder if he was willing to do the project, even though he had just quoted me and talked about build slots. I wish I'd done the same when I ordered its door frames. The boat took under 12 weeks from order to completion, the door frames 14 weeks. The company obviously had no interest in my job and knew there was no chance further orders. When I went to collect the frames they differed from the drawings. The foreman said he could remake them in twenty minutes!

Some people actually believe that "The customer is always right." is law and can be quite shocked when they are informed otherwise. By far my worst customer received a reply to a letter she sent me which started, 'Mrs  - - - - - -. You are without doubt the most troublesome and irritating customer I have had in over twenty years of business.' The letter continued in a similar vein. She dragged on her grumbling for several months and eventually didn't even get the snagging done that I'd agreed to because I was forced to tell her that I was ceasing negotiations and would let a judge decide. Thankfully she had paid up in full so it would have been her having to take legal action.

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On 20/07/2017 at 13:15, Old Son said:

So how did it go? What condition was your boat in and have you collected it from the painter?

It went ..... well, very well.  We arrived on site to collect the boat and there were problems but nothing we could not sort out.  We told him we were not angry with him as he had agreed to help us get our boat in a condition to move and refunded our money in part.  He is a nice chap, just not so good at time keeping.

Problems.... well.... they took her right back to the metal which is exaclty what we asked..... but many areas in hard to reach places were left untouched.  Our round windows... porthole windows... all 6 of them were put back in with this horrid black stuff that they were not very careful with, the new painter was appalled.    We found deep cuts in the metal in a few places and they clipped the wire for one of the outside lights so short that it has receded back through the hole :(  They took no care whatsoever when it came to the inside of the boat.  I spent the first 3 hours cleaning up all the paintchips dust and dirt.    Equipment loaded onto our boat did not belong to us.  Items that did belong to us, we had to look for ourselves amongst the mess. 

She has been delivered to the new painter with a bit of rust from having to run her in the rain but we feel so much better that she is where she is now.  The refund that we received was for everything we paid minus the cost of the paint which we took away with us.  So full refund and paint at trade prices wasnt bad.  This could have been a lot worse but you know when you are in the middle of the disaster yourself......its hard to think positively.

You all have been fantastic...... Someone even messaged me to go to the painter we went with in the end.  If we were in the pub, it would be pints all round.... And, if you see me on the cut.... just say how about that pint.... and we shall definately go for one. 

THANK YOU from myself, Tom, and Captain Cery..... (Cery being the 8 month old spaniel that is in charge :) )

Alison

 

  • Happy 1

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So glad to hear you have your boat back, your money back and a clear way ahead. Well done you for being so pragmatic - your blood pressure will be all the better for it! :)

From the state you found your boat in, it seems there are plenty of reasons to avoid this particular painter other than just the false promises and poor time keeping that forced you to pull out. Your experience has certainly left me a little wary as we consider our options for paintwork. 

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10 hours ago, dmr said:

I have heard that you should never give work to somebody who you like as a person,

It`s like trying to work with family. Don`t need to like some one better to respect their ability and professionalism.

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Well folks, here she is, done and dusted.  We did not end up going with the painter at our mooring.  We went with Oxon http://www.oxonboatpainting.co.uk/

Can't state enough what a great job they did.  The price was very fair and the customer service excellent.  They really saved us from disaster.  Very pleased.   Ive enclosed a before picture so you can see her former leisure wear.  :)

Once again big thank you to all of you.  You were wonderful when we really needed it.

Tom and Alison

 

21429682_1253986828064624_4779372833132249088_n.mp4

21430196_10213667285972581_103923160981769611_n.jpg

21317859_10213669832996255_3040417378268627125_n.jpg

21369527_10213669832716248_5315604218545869621_n.jpg

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That looks really good. It's not as though you were looking for a particularly complex paintjob. The original guy really ought to have been able to deliver that in the promised timescales. 

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Pleased its eventualy worked out. Did I read somewhere you only see each other about an hour per day? I hope you resolve this as life is too short to let mere jobs/careers to get in the way and commuting etc is the thing of the devil. Hope to see you on the cut :cheers:

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7 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

Pleased its eventualy worked out. Did I read somewhere you only see each other about an hour per day? I hope you resolve this as life is too short to let mere jobs/careers to get in the way and commuting etc is the thing of the devil. Hope to see you on the cut :cheers:

In the week, Mon - Fri, we see each other an hour or so a day before its lights out to do it all over the next day.  I hope that this will not be our lifestyle for more than a few years and if the right job came along closer to home, I know Tom would jump on it.  I would personally like to see him take a pay cut and work closer to home but I also would never ask him to take a job and spend hours every day doing something he hated.  Weekends are our time and I enjoy 100% of his attention for two full days.   When we take to our boat, its our little haven and now that we have her back, she will be in use every week again :)

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Pretty paintwork! Happy things worked out for the better in the end.

I too originally hail from a land of customer service. It can be pretty fake sometimes in the 'Have a nice day' fashion, but it can also be surprising -- such as when I had a high school student working at an aerodrome-sized shoe outlet explain in considerable detail the features of every trainer I showed an interest in. Clearly, for his week-end job, he had been trained in the shop's products ... and customer service. Another example: nobody across the pond with a little gumption would pay for a restaurant meal they didn't enjoy. (It can be interesting applying this understanding in the UK!)

When I first arrived in the UK in '82, I had to learn the new concept of 'cowboys' -- as in small businesses or solo business persons who offer to do work they are not very good at. Cowboys only existed at the Calgary Stampede in my previous life.

If you are in business -- even as a sole trader -- I don't think it takes a great deal of energy or effort to be responsive to your customers, be polite, and state clearly what you can do and when you can do it. It's not that the customer is king, it is that by approaching you as a business person they deserve your respect. If you don't act this way, you gain a poor reputation. And reputation travels fast and far via the waterways grapevine.

There are a number of boat yards and marinas out there that I avoid, for example, simply because they can't be bothered to answer an email for a week or pick up their phone. To me, like the OP, communication is important and any response to an initial contact is a sort of litmus indicator of professionalism and how well my problem or need might be dealt with. (It's usually a problem, right?!) If it all seems a bit slap-dash, I expect the work to be a bit slap-dash.

Sounds like the OP's boat painter is a nice chap, well intentioned, but a bit wayward and unprofessional and prone to not organising his time well. Unfortunately, sort of unreliable. Certainly not the person I want to paint my cabin sides in a year or two.

Edited by Jim Batty

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18 hours ago, DpEndofShalo said:

In the week, Mon - Fri, we see each other an hour or so a day before its lights out to do it all over the next day.  I hope that this will not be our lifestyle for more than a few years and if the right job came along closer to home, I know Tom would jump on it.  I would personally like to see him take a pay cut and work closer to home but I also would never ask him to take a job and spend hours every day doing something he hated.  Weekends are our time and I enjoy 100% of his attention for two full days.   When we take to our boat, its our little haven and now that we have her back, she will be in use every week again :)

I see you are parked in our moorings here at Heyford, just walked past your boat. You do know its getting rained on now :D

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