Painting bad job

Hired a painter over the holidays to paint my windows white. the guy seemed to be doing an ok job until it came to clean up time. when he took the tape off the sides of the window frames in several places he pulled the paint off the existing painted walls. i later discovered from bunnings that he must have used a tape with too much tak on it that it didn’t pull free easily enough. he refused to do anything about this. he had also taken my vertical blinds off the windows and dumpled them on the floor supposedly out of the way, which they weren’t really. when he put them up all the blinds had creases in the verticals. he told me they would hang out in a few days. one month later they still had creases in them. he also broke the top railing on three pegs where these verticals fitted into. he also did not want to clean up the mess he made in general on the window glass, there was some paint dropped on the different coloured frame half which was the outside of the window so he conceded to paint one doorstep to match the brown it should have been to cover up the white dribble he left there. anyway all this damage he refused to fix. he said the blinds would come good on their own and for ME to go take some samples off the walls he damaged to touch up the areas he had pulled all the paint off with his tape. he was very rude and my husband was worried he would be violent so i paid him. silly me. cash of course. anyway the blinds did not hang out the creases like he said so i rang the blind cleaning place. after two visits they managed to almost get all the creases out of them. except one that went a bit funny from the treatment they had to do to get the creases out. it wasn’t that expensive so i am ok with that kind of BUT the top railing where he broke the pins i am told will need the whole blind restrung. that will cost $90. also it took three visits to bunnings to try to rematch the paint to the walls where he damaged it. it is still not right. so i complained to fair trading. of course the guy lied through his teeth about the whole thing. fair trading tell me they can do NOTHING. i would need to take it to a tribunal. so what is the purpose of having fair trading? they are useless. they told me that their job is not to adjudicate anything. the tribunal does that. so this is how these useless workmen get away with doing a bad job again and again. its $90 plus probably about another $50 so not worth going to a court about it but why should i be out of pocket. also the guy rang me and threatened me. twice. first time with a lot of profanities and hung up on me and second time with ‘if you dont withdraw the complaint from fair trading you will regret it’. i rang them and all they could say was to call the police. talk about passing the buck. does this fair trading department have any purpose apart from paying a lot of peoples wages who seem to be not helping at all?


Unfortunately this is the system we live in… you get screwed then you have to do all the work to get some kind of justice… the crooks know the system. They know how difficult and time expensive it is for consumers to do anything… If you want any joy from this your best bet is to prepare yourself for a long fight and go to the tribunal as prepared as possible… this is just my opinion of course but I’m speaking from a lot of experience with this type of crap… Good luck :slight_smile:


I think it is so maddening when you pay out good money and get sub standard results . The methodology I have developed to alleviate this is as follows . /

Try and hire from your local area . At first do not be to worried about quoted prices for the job at hand as that can be negotiated later . /

If it is a painter you are hiring , remember any work like this performed does not come cheaply , ask to be taken or given addresses of previous clients of his in the area so you can judge his handiwork . If he is reticent to give you that information cross him off your list no matter how cheap he/she 's quote is ./

It is a system that has always worked for me and “touch wood” it will continue to do so in the future . I hope this has been of some help to you .


Thanks for your replies maxim and vax2000. yes most helpful. in retrospect i should have looked around a bit more. its not worth going to fight just for $90 but this is exactly how such unscrupulous people get away with it. til the next person. sad


They were quite right. Threats made against you are NOT their responsibility. It is a police matter. The offence of “using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence,” is a Commonwealth offence and is contained in section 474.17 the Criminal Code Act 1995.

For information on this: “using a carriage service to menace” search

If you go to your local Police station you can make a complaint. They should take it seriously, particularly if you seem upset when you go in. Any chance you have a recording of the calls? If so take a copy with you as that will make the police’s job much easier.


No no recording of the calls. Thanks for the info. will look it up :slight_smile:


hi - I also recently had a problem with a Painter - I sympathize with you - it is HARD to get a good tradie…
I was left with ‘oil streaks’ all over the glass from the ‘timber oil’ & he did a really bad job on the timber - he did not do any sanding on the Western Red Cedar boards at all …
… anyway, he was paid the $3,500 …
… when I inspected the next day, I phoned and complained … then sms’s, then emails … finally, he said that he would clean the windows …
… and, it cost me an extra $250 to buy more ‘timber oil’ because he had wasted it by ‘overloading the brush’ … hence all the drips …
… about 8 weeks later, he finally showed up with his ‘wife and very young child’ in tow …
… so, yes, they were NOT Cleaned
I will NEVER pay a tradesman at night again - I will ask him to come back during " daylight " so that the work can be inspected properly…
… sooo annoying … he had no sense of pride in his work - but, charged a premium price


post it to his fb or website and put it on google reviews. also you could ask consumer affairs to take up the fight for you if you feel you overpaid him. but i wouldn’t hold your breathe for help from them. they did nothing for me. :frowning:


I have had issues with painters and bathroom renovators too. And the person I used WAS a ‘fully’ qualified, registered, accredited licensed tradesman. In my case I took him to the NSW Dept Fair Trading. They came round and agreed that the workman had done an appalling job. However, the tradesman refused to do anything. I was then advised to take it to what is now NCAT as the Department of Fair Trading could not go further. Despite all the physical threats I received from the tradesman I pursued my case. After several non-attendances, the Tribunal finally lost patience with the tradesman and declared that they would give him one last chance and if he did not turn up they would rule in his absence. He didn’t turn up, the Tribunal ruled in my favour. That’s when I discovered that NCAT has no power to actually enforce their own rulings, you have to take it to court. I did! The tradesman then applied for a rehearing on the grounds he wasn’t given a ‘fair go’! Despite NCAT being a non appeal jurisdiction, and the fact that he had refused to attend all scheduled hearings, had failed to lodge his own case and refused to respond to any and all NCAT notifications and documents, he was granted an appeal and my court case was placed on hold and struck from the books. Back I went to NCAT and yet again the tradesman failed to attend - three times! Again he was the loser in the judgement. Off I go back to court to go through the process yet again - three times eventually ending up at the Federal Court suing ACCC for removing his business registration. I ‘won’ every single case I brought and yet the tradesman simply ignored all court rulings, subpoenas and show cause in three different courts between Sydney and the Blue Mountains. I am left with a judgement in my favour from three courts plus NCAT and yet the tradesman gets away with just ignoring all court orders to pay the compensation he owes.
Ultimately I had to pay someone else to rectify the bathroom installation and redo all the painting in my unit. So much for ‘justice’. The entire system is set up to disadvantage the consumer and protect the shonky tradesman. He continued and continues to this day, to work no doubt inflicting his special brand of pain on others. I eventually discovered he had been in front of NCAT three times in the past and lost each time. Yet still his licence to operate was not revoked. So much for using a qualified registered licensed tradesman. It means exactly nothing. Being registered and licensed does not demote competency. Beware! The system as it stands relies totally on the tradesman being ‘scared’ of Fair Trading and NCAT. When they are not, nothing happens and there are no repercussions at all. And the consumer is left high and dry.


It’s sobering to read some of the experiences here.
Using local knowledge and checking other customers for satisfaction is also on our trades selection list.

With-holding final payment is also a valuable tactic.
Any reputable business will accept payment on 7 or 14 days from completion.

It’s amazing what may be evident a day or two after any job is completed. I have used the excuse the extra cash is in a fixed deposit and it will not be available for a day or two, if needed.

Experience suggests reputable and experienced tradies will go with the flow.

Not paying the final amount, providing the issues with the work are identified promptly, and the tradie informed of the reasons Is not unreasonable. By email, or registered mail or handed in writing in person with a witness.

It’s up to the tradie or his business to make good. Consumer law and or the building licensing authorities in each state have guidelines on what actions you need to take to seek remedy. For anything major getting a quote/s from another business to remedy the defects may ensure you can substantiate the nature of the problems and reasonable amount to with-hold.

The tradie has the option to dispute the claim and ask for payment. However it is up to them to follow due process.

With any cash payment it’s necessary that you receive at the time of payment a properly written receipt including the gst amount. If not the ATO may be keen to know further details of the business and tradie who performed the work. It’s ok to pay with cash. It’s. It not ok for the tradie to exclude gst from the payment.


This is one of the deficiencies of the consumer rights system (both commonweath and state levels) as they are not set up to tackle individual cases of breaches against the Australian Consumer Law. They are set up for more ‘class’ action type scenarios where an organisation or industry as a whole has breached the ACL and action is taken because of this breach.

The currently system relies on everyone, including the service provider acting in good faith. What is shown from time and time again is that many service providers today uphold good faith or the consumer interests.

This is possibly something Choice could champion with the ACCC and the relevant State offices of Fair Trading to have rectified. For the states, an easy solution for you painter would be for OFT/NCAT to suspend trade licences until the work is completed. This is a big stick and would possibly result in quick rectification.


I suggest the problem may not lie with the ACCC, OFT’s/xCAT’s. Those offices are vassals of government rather than power centres. The problem lies with the pollies who pass laws and create feel good agencies that are essentially window dressing that look good, until experiences like @karen_seager’s reveal reality in all its ugliness.

It would be interesting if any of them would dare ask their Minister to close the loop holes and address the obvious failure modes that are legislated in.


Karen. So sorry to hear about your experience. Yes, I have found that in the past also with other things too. Unfortunately you can win in all the courts and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have won anything as you now know. There seems to be no one out there to enforce anything. They should have the power to go and garnish their bank accounts or go and physically take their stuff if they can’t pay and sell it to give you recompense. The whole system is not fair.


I did garnish his bank account but because he was forewarned and due to the constant delays he instigated, he was able to remove all the money from the account. I also got an arrest warrant for the Sherriff to arrest him but he simply refused to open the door. No one cares about the real victim as they are too busy falling over themselves ensuring the recalcitrant gets a ‘fair go’. I do have 12 years to collect on the court orders so I have 5 more to go!!!


Mark. M I did withold the final payment for which he tried to sue and lost!


The whole thing is so sad. Now this is something choice needs to do something about. And the government as the only ones getting a fair go are the people who rip off the public :frowning: