Wednesday, 28 May 2014

All's fair....? Obviously not!

If there's one thing that riles me above all else it's unfairness. 

unfair - adj.  

1. characterized by inequality or injustice
2. dishonest or unethical 

Having been subjected to both of those definitions today it's easy to see why people who are put upon can easily rise up and incite revolution.

It would appear that the fencer who damaged our caravan is going to get off scot free. Having presumably considered his options overnight, he's apparently morphed seamlessly from Uriah Heep into Wackford Squeers.

Yesterday, he didn't deny he'd caused the damage, confining himself to stating that he didn't know HOW he could have done it, and leaving us with the words...."OK, leave it with me and I'll see what I can do".

OK.  We have no actual proof he did it, but the circumstantial evidence is compelling. To wit...

1. Before we left on Thursday there wasn't a mark on the side on the caravan.
2. When we returned on Sunday there was.  An almost perfectly round, deep dent.
3. Initially when questioned, he didn't deny it.
4.  The caravan is well back off the road/pavement and the damaged side is 'protected' by the fence.
5. He was working on the fence in close proximity to the caravan using a variety of hand tools. including hammers, bolsters, chisels etc, many of which were scattered around on the driveway for the duration.
6. While we were away he was working on the section of fence right by the damage.
7. Several times I saw him he was bleeding from superficial wounds to his hands or legs, leading to the conclusion that he was either extremely accident prone or cack-handed.**

Today, presumably bolstered by the appearance of the male neighbour, he came out fighting,  absolutely denying he had anything to do with it and accusing us of trying to pin something on him which could have happened months ago.  When we requested that we leave it to his insurance company to sort out, he turned nasty, refusing even to give us his surname, the name of his company or any contact details. (No, his trading details aren't on his van... he drives a private car with no identifying information.)

So we requested that he leave our property and not set foot on it again until our complaint was resolved.

In retaliation he has (apparently deliberately) made the worst possible job of the remaining fencing by the side of our house.  It's appalling.  I only hope people don't think it's our fence and that we sanctioned such shoddy work.

If I were the neighbour I wouldn't have paid him for it, but more to the point, if I were the neighbour, I wouldn't have stood by while someone HE had contracted was so blatantly rude, unhelpful and unpleasant to two of my neighbours with a perfectly legitimate complaint.

In fact, if there had been a complete fence in situ, he'd have been sitting right on top of it.

There was one tiny glimmer of hope, in that the neighbour subsequently dropped round a copy of the letter he had just written to his own insurance company, disclaiming any personal responsibility and saying that his contractor had denied causing the damage and requesting clarification of any liability he might have.

In the interests of complete fairness, I have to say that we've always had very good relations with those neighbours.  Perhaps because of that I expected that they would be more sympathetic and inclined to try to help.  We're not blaming them, we're blaming their contractor, but they have been extremely reluctant to give us any information about him at all.

Whether or not we get any form of compensation via the insurance company (it's probably unlikely) I can't help feeling aggrieved that the bloke who did it is just walking away with a smug look on his weaselly* face.  However, presumably, if the insurance company does take it up, he will have to divulge his insurance details to them, or they may request that the neighbour take it up with him directly.

I strongly suspect that no such liability insurance exists, as if there was, what possible reason would he have not to play nicely and simply put the matter in their hands and let them deal with it?  Isn't that why tradespeople have to have insurance?  Or am I being hopelessly naive?

Either way, we now have a caravan with a hole/dent in the front/side wing and a section of fencing which looks as though a five year old erected it.

I ask you.... does any of that seem fair to you?

*Actually, that's a dreadful thing to say.  It's doing a massive disservice to weasels.

** You might think that No. 7 is stretching it a bit, but circumstantial evidence usually accumulates into a collection, so that the pieces then become corroborating evidence.
I rest my case.....


Anonymous said...

Very probably your neighbour's little fencing man works cash in hand while claiming benefits which is why he doesn't want to be identified. Supposition of course, no proof. You got his registration number, didn't you? I presume your neighbour refused to tell you his name. It is rotten when something like that happens, especially when in the long term it will sour your relationship with your neighbour. Maybe one of those car companies who specialises in pulling dents out of cars could do the work cheaper than paying an excess on your insurance if you end up having to pay. If there is a hole though I expect you know you need to sort it quickly. We got a tiny hole in our caravan and caused damage to the wooden framework and a bit of water got inside, Caravans is delikit kreatures. I do hope you get is resolved though. Wrong that people can cause damage and walk away scot free.

Sandra Morris said...

Unfortunately for us, I suspect that your supposition is probably correct.
Fortunately there isn't an actual hole, although the dent is quite deep. I don't think that it will be able to be pulled out. We're worried that the paint will crack and bubble, exposing the aluminium underneath.
Mostly we are annoyed that he can simply deny any responsibility and walk away.
He hasn't heard the last of it though......