Asked on Sep 14, 2012

what to do when a contractor keeps cancelling on you.

Becky P
by Becky P
I have a small project, a 5x6 bathroom tile job, that I had scheduled for my vacation in August. This guy is a late starter, so when he hadn't showed up by 10:15 am., I called him. He said his back was out a few weeks before that and now he was 2 weeks behind. So we rescheduled for Sept. 12 & 14th. Wednesday rolled around and he actually called me this time to say he was going to be late. He then called around noon to say he couldn't come at all and he would do the whole job Friday. Sooooo, Friday is today. At 10:15, still no word, so I called him. Another emergency.
Do I give him another chance? They did my kitchen backsplash a few years ago, the ceramic tile in my foyers last summer and the laminate floor in July. I am tired of using up my vacation days waiting around. I currently have some calls out for estimates from new people in the newspaper. But I am scared! lol
I have to stick around because I have a cat who doesn't like being cooped up in her bedroom all day, and I am not fond of strangers in the house when I am not home.
  10 answers
  • Carroll A Carroll A on Sep 14, 2012
    When you used them before, did they do the same thing? If not I would give them another chance, just because we all have things come up that are out of our control, but if this is normal, I would get someone else and tell him why. In the long run he is costing you money.
  • Becky H Becky H on Sep 14, 2012
    Get your bids and check prepared to let this contractor off the hook, just in case. As you said, this is costing you money; if he actually comes, you might let him know what this job has cost you already and see what he says.
  • Becky P Becky P on Sep 15, 2012
    I have a new person coming on Wednesday to look. Someone on facebook referred him to me. Fingers crossed!
  • If they keep bailing on you they are in financial trouble. What is happening he is paying for his next job with the one prior. This is a very common issue. Or the job is so small and he is not making enough money on it to be worth his while. Be very careful on how much you pay out and be sure to leave enough money to be paid out near the end where you are in control of the project. If you pay out to fast, they will walk near the end of the job and you will not get it done. Lastly, if they keep putting you off, what is to say once he starts he does not come back for several days or weeks after? Get that new person. Be sure you have a really good agreement, This should include start and stop dates and payment terms.
  • Z Z on Sep 15, 2012
    Good luck on the new guy Becky J. I would not give the old guy another chance. He'd have long blown it in my book. Like Woodbridge I'd fear if he didn't finish the first day he'd not come back to finish.
  • Becky P Becky P on Sep 15, 2012
    I don't pay him until he is done. He is self employed, but also works out of a local carpet store as their installer. He was really good the other times, I think he has hit a streak of bad luck.
  • Z Z on Sep 15, 2012
    Well since you have used him a lot in the past and was very happy with his work I can certainly understand you're wanting to give me the benefit of the doubt. Maybe call him and explain that you really need to be able to rely on him because you are taking vacation days expecting him to show. Maybe explaining that you think it is good that he puts his family first, but when you're using vacation days you have to think of yourself too.
  • Chantal Bell Chantal Bell on Sep 17, 2012
    Sometimes better workers are worth waiting on, especially if you get one that does a terrible job.and have to have it redone
  • Fran Fran on Sep 18, 2012
    Don't trust a stranger.........I'd try "Angie's List"
  • Tonya Tonya on May 02, 2015
    Run to another certified contractor as soon as you can. What are you waiting on...Run NOW!!!