CHOICE membership

Getting a tradie to show up

Anyone got any hints for getting a tradie to actually show up?
Here’s the gist of things:

Electronic gates gave up, no problem, the part that stopped working we removed. We can open and shut manually, it’s just a slight inconvenience for us, a bit more problematic for our disabled son (He uses a mobility scooter)

Recently, the motor on the roller door died. This was the following series of events:

  1. Grabbed a local business card from the notice board at the supermarket and contacted the tradie. He arrived, looked at both roller door and gates, said he’d get back to us with a quote.

  2. After almost 2 weeks, my spouse sent him a text/email (one or the other, I’d have to check) asking about the quote… his response - he didn’t remember coming to our house.

  3. After further contact/chasing up. He arranged a time to show up… but never showed.

  4. Chased up again. Eventually turned up, had a look at roller door, can replace motor.

  5. He has now, after 3 or 4 times, either not shown up, or most recently, said he couldn’t make it and would ‘come on Monday’. It’s Monday, almost 4pm and I’m still waiting. Someone has been home each time and the garage has been rearranged each time to give him access to the roller door motor.

In the meantime, one of us has to be home to open the roller door whenever our son has to head out to appointments as he isn’t capable of raising the roller door manually. As my spouse works on a roster, and I work casually, that isn’t always possible so we are forced to either leave the roller door open or tell our son to call a taxi.

Also note, we are not in a major city, so the choices for any sort of trades workers are often limited to one or a couple of providers or trying to get someone from out of town.

I’m really curious about whether a tradesman stating they will turn up at a certain time, in a text or email, is actually a type of contract. Because perhaps if it was, a lot might start being a bit more circumspect and more realistic about whether or not they have the time for a job or to turn up at the designated time (or just can’t be bothered) if they can be held to account for failure to attend.

After all, some medical providers will charge a patient a fee if they fail to attend an appointment without notice. I can’t see why consumers can’t have some form of protection in respect to tradies making ‘appointments’ that, for a lot of people, means they have to sometimes skip work to be there. At the moment, it costs the tradeperson nothing but it can cost the person waiting for them a day’s pay.

Yes, I am getting extremely frustrated.


After that many failures I would dump that installer and search more widely. I would not have had the patience to persist after the third miss. I look at it this way: this person is either really incompetent or has so much work on they don’t care if they get your job or not, in which case they will quote top dollar because they don’t care if it is too rich. Do you want to employ this person?

Try getting recommendations from friends or neighbours or online on your district local news or buy-swap-sell noticeboard.


I’ll second it is past time to move on and look for another tradie.

If you or your partner was able to remove a motor are you also confident to replace them yourselves? The motors should have a make and model on each, or by referencing the gate and rollerdoor make and model a supplier should be able to identify them and ship them to you. Swapping a motor should not require readjusting the mechanism, but if it does it is not difficult and there is lots of instruction available on the net. My understanding is a sparky is only required if it is hardwired to power, but not if it is connected to a powerpoint.

Alternatively, if you can get the motors or the details of the two you need, you should be able to get phone quotes from the next town for someone to travel to your property, and be prepared to pay enough deposit so the tradie is confident it is a real job, but not so much you would miss it if he emulates your no-show tradie.

Tradies not showing up is a widespread problem, and any promises they make to do so are unfortunately not actionable by the ‘customer’.

As you work through it to get the motors replaced please let us know how you go, and would help ‘us’ to know where you are located as someone reading might be able to make a helpful recommendation.


Roller door and gate mechanisms. If you can identify the brand and model and nearest supplier or state office it may help with parts etc.

We’ve previously received assistance over the phone to identify common faults, or used an on line manual to help resolve. There are good reasons to use a suitable tradie.

In respect of tradies, it’s the sort of work our local electrician would do. Having a copy of the relevant parts manual, user guide etc handy may assist with minimising the labour cost to fault find.

Note that garage door openers are typically mains powered. The same is likely for the gate opener, although the motor actuators may be low voltage.

Would prefer not to say location. It would practically identify the business.
Our roller door motor currently plugs into a power point so it’s not hard-wired.

I’ve checked the door and identified the type of motor so I’ve sent the details to my spouse. Give him something to do if it’s a quiet evening at work.


Since you have removed it, have you thought of buying a replacement part and installing it youself? Would be substantially cheaper and removes the tradie headache.

For the roller door, have you looked up specialist repairers/service technicians in your area…rather than taking a card from a shopping centre hoping the tradie can do the work.

It is possible the tradie which showed but didn’t quote…the work was outside his level of expertise or makes they know and work on.

1 Like