Another sad story from a homeowner…

Posted on Posted in Story Sharing

Sad stories like these give us JustHome founders more resolve to help good homeowners and contractors alike.

Hi all,

I’m new to this forum and I would like to tell my experience here. Sad story….

Bought a new house in Setia Indah JB so obviously it’s time to go look for renovators/contractors. This is where my nightmare begins.

When I got my key to my new house I went there to check out the house and at the Taman there were a few contractors/renovators circling there like sharks. One of them saw me inspecting the house and immediately approach me asking if I needed renovation work done and start to offer his service. This contractor introduced himself (I’ll call him Mr. YX) was very persuasive and asked me to follow him to see the house he was doing (80% work done). I see no harm in it and I went with him. After viewing his work I was rather impressed by what he did to that house and casually asked him about the price and he quoted about 60K! I told him then I don’t have that much money and am only looking for modest renovation work. But he said it’s fine and insist we should adjourned to his office which was located in Setia itself to ‘talk-talk.

Now, at that very moment another guy joined Mr. YX which he claimed it’s his staff and handed the guy his company name card which the new guy (we shall call him Mr. A), Mr. A wrote down his name on the name card! I was like what the heck. This Mr. A don’t even have a proper name card but using Mr. YX’s company name card to write his name! So, I asked him how come he don’t have his printed name card and Mr. A claimed he ran out of name cards. Both were quite convincing with their claim and I believed in them. Ok, so I went to their office and started to enquire about the pricing.

Mr. YX did not talk to me anymore but told me his staff Mr. A will help me. Now this Mr. A, everything he quoted me were all super high. Even though I have no knowledge in any renovation work but instinct told me the prices he quoted me were outrageous. Let me name a few example.

Mr. A asked me to put plaster ceiling in toilets which I feel it’s not necessary at all unless you are rich enough and planned to changed them after every 2 years as plaster ceiling will get water stained due to steam from the water heater. Never mind that, for just one toilet he quoted RM750! which was super expensive. Then I asked him about bi-folding toilet door and he quoted me RM1k for that which in actual fact if you order from Onitek will only cost RM330 inclusive of installation! The kitchen which will only consist of 6’x10’ table top with concrete base. Then the below cabinet and wall cabinet which was only MBS material all together will cost me RM9800.00! which later I found out even for almost full aluminium cabinet will cost only that price with almost the same measurement.

Worst thing was this Mr. A couldn’t even tell me the correct name of the kitchen cabinets material which was actually formica but he kept saying omega and formica is really a very basic term in renovation work. Even a grandmother knows and he doesn’t! This raised my suspicion. And after a final calculation he handed me a whopping RM36,000 doing nothing except extension of the front living room by 6 feet. I decided not to use him but did not tell him immediately and told him I will think about it first and I could see that he was already unhappy but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get out of the place immediately and quickly. I thought that was it but my nightmare continued.

The next couple of weeks I went around looking for other contractors/renovators but was unsuccessful. I asked two others not from that Taman to quote me before but both never called me back after going to my new place. I thought perhaps they didn’t bother to quote me as it was very small project only. Then another two quoted similar price to the first one. Odd thing was they asked if anyone quoted me any prices before and I told them honestly. I didn’t engage these two as well as I find it was way above my budget.

The second last one whom I will call Mr. W, was the worst. Super aggressive, super pushy and super expensive. At first he told me RM21k and I thought that was within my budget and I agreed to it but then as we were walking down the stairs in my house he suddenly dropped a bomb and claimed he did not add in the works for porch tiling which was another RM6k not including of tiles which I’ve to buy my own and kept pushing me to agree to it. Firstly I was taken aback with this sudden additional cost and it confused me as also at the same time I was kinda tired going around looking for renovators so I sort of verbally agreed in engaging him even though I wasn’t happy. Now, even though it was a verbal agreement but no downpayment was made (the usual 30%, 30% and 40%). I told him I would need a proper quotation and insist he draw up one which he said ok and will hand it to me a week later. Now a week later he handed me one quotation which was written in Chinese which I do not understand at all and I refuse to agree until he wrote me another in English. He told me no problem and he would hand it to me in yet another week. Two days later someone introduced me another contractor and since I’ve not paid anything to Mr. W I decided to get a quotation from the latest contractor. I as a customer has every right to change contractor if no monies were paid or no contracts were signed. So I got a quotation from this latest contractor, Mr.K and his price by far was the most reasonable and decided to drop Mr. W and engaged Mr. K. I called Mr. W and told him I decided I don’t want to use him anymore and needless to say he was extremely unhappy. He very reluctantly let go and so I signed the contract with Mr. K.

The whole fiasco didn’t just end there. Bigger nightmares were in store for me.

2 days later this Mr. K called me and said he has a problem. Apparently the introducer who was an electrician, the guy who introduced me to Mr.K got threatened by someone engaged by Mr. W and demanded RM3k from him for loss of my account. So, I called up this electrician guy and told him if he wants to pay RM3k to that Mr. W then it was his problem and I won’t be paying him back anything as I felt they might be in cohorts in a scheme to cheat me. He told me he did not pay the thug anything and even suggest to me to help him report to the police and Setia office which I agreed to. So, we both went to make a formal report to the police and Setia Office of such gangsterism practise in their well-known residential area. The Setia management assured me they will step up their security and viewed these kind of incidents seriously. Yeah right :dry: . There was nothing else I could do but to continue my plan. So, I paid Mr. K the first 30% and set the date.

On the very date itself Mr. K came with only one indon worker and the worker had a motor accident a few months back and just recovered but his mobility was rather slow. I wasn’t very happy with such arrangement but I just swallowed that. Later I went off to buy more tiles as Mr. K said might not be enough. I was driving off slowly as i was eyeing some of the renovated houses along my row. I didn’t really pay much attention if any car drove past me or not but from my rear mirror I saw a guy walked into my house. I didn’t think much of it thinking it was someone perhaps enquiring for renovation from my renovator or perhaps a friend of the renovator. So, I drove out of my Precinct but about 10 mins later Mr. K called me saying that someone just went to threaten him telling him that the area I stayed in is under their ‘control’! I was so shocked and mad and drove back to the house immediately :sauer2: which by then the thug was gone. So, Mr. K related everything to me and we decided to report to the police and Setia office immediately. As was like the first time, the police took down our statement typed out the report and gave us their phone number and said to call them immediately if the renovator encounter such situation again and Setia Office once again assured us they will step up their security and blah blah blah.

After that day more nightmares followed. The very next day I went to my house and no one was working on it! I called up Mr. K and he told me the indon worker did not turn up to work because he fell sick due to he had a fall at my place the day before! :sauer2: I was like WTF. So? a worker fell sick but Mr. K should have sent another worker in place to continue working but he said at hand he don’t have anymore workers as the rest were working on other projects! What a bunch of bullshit! He kept assuring me he will have workers to continue the renovation and asked me to trust him so I gave in as anyway it was a Saturday.

Came today and I went to my place again and again no workers! I called Mr. K up and only then he told me his other workers let him down. Told him last minute they couldn’t work but I told Mr. K off that it wasn’t my problem! I paid him and expected work to be ongoing. He should call me instead of me calling him to find out! He said don’t stress him up and to place my trust in him and I was like WTF!!! :sauer2: Me stressing him up? Trust him? He was the one that was stressing me up with no workers and how to trust him anymore when he dropped me the first time and now again! I told him if he was in my shoe how would he feel and he said he understood my feelings. Yeah right! :sauer2: .

Honestly I’ve a feeling I’ve been taken for a ride by all these renovators:-

What I found out was the whole Setia Indah areas all the renovators are in cohorts. They will ganged up and cut-throat all the house owners. That is why all the prices they quoted were similar! Not only that, all the renovating companies in my area will engaged thugs like this Mr. A to help them oversee things like guarding their area from outside contractors or renovators and help to entertain potential customers. That is why I realize actually Mr. A know nuts about renovation things like the terms of items. Another thing I found out, like for instance if company ‘A’ got too many projects and couldn’t handle, they will pass the projects to B or C company which was his gang. That is why all the quotation are high and similar as they need to share their profits. And if house owners get their own contractors outside Setia area the contractors got threatened. The outside contractors need to pay ‘security fees’ if they want to operate in their area and that is why the outside contractors will still quote the house owners a high price because a part of the money will go to the Setia area contractors to pacify them should they decide to take the job! Now thinking back I realize that was why the other two contractors which I asked for quotation never called me back. I guess they didn’t want to get into trouble.

This is bloody blatant extortion on the pretext of renovation. I really don’t know what to do now. But one thing for sure I’m most definitely not going to pay any extra monies to this Mr.K to get things done easier. I just hope someone here can advise me on what to do or perhaps know someone big in the police force so I can really bring this up. Worse come to worst I’m going to write into Star and TNST and the relevant media to expose such gangster practise.

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