Tradie Test


Story Details

If bad luck comes in threes

It's pensioner Annie Palfrey's unlucky day

Imagine your fridge breaking the same time as a washing machine and an air conditioner

All thanks to thirty year industry veteran, Joe Perone...who's sabotaged her whitegoods

And any tradie worth his salt should be able to get it fixed in no time....and charge little more than the callout fee

We manage to get a wild range of prices from a dozen licenced repairers, that leave Annie asking ..

First up, the air conditioned .. Rendered useless when Joe simply turns a valve to shut off the gas.

Not so simple to diagnose for our qualified tradies

“It's definitely got no gas in it. Unfortunately she's cactus.” Said dodgy tradie

So's her purse, if she follows his advice

“You could waste the price of a new unit trying to repair it. You'd be looking at three grand.” Said Joe Perone

And then .. Adding insult to injury .. An illegal addition to his call out fee if Annie pays up front.

“It'll be one twenty. If you’re paying cash, it'll be one thirty two.” Said Joe Perone

“Why more for cash? GST.” Said Anne and Dodgy Tradie

Any extra is hard to cop .. For anyone struggling on a pension. The next tradie won't provide much relief.

Regassing.. Is no cheaper

Their call out fee is $130 .. And Annie gets this assurance.

It certainly didn't cost less .. A couple of days later this invoice arrives .. And it's almost $70 Higher.

New tradie .. Same story .. Except this bloke kept Annie waiting two hours.

Despite fifteen years working on split system air conditioners, he's missed the closed valve.

But it looks like we've found the culprits

He slinks off ... Leaving Annie without an air-conditioner and in the dark

The washing machines next in line, the water flow blocked by Joe using a plastic seal, from a laundry bottle

But it's enough to confound this repairer.

25 minutes later .. He finds the plastic seal but mistakes it for something else.

After more confusion ..

And after more thought .. He discovers "that" filter's.. A plastic seal.

Problem solved.

This tradesman came to look at both annie's washer and fridge.

The company advertises a senior's discount but there's a catch ..

Finally to the fridge with a loose wire and an element on the fritz.

Nearly 3 years ago, same fault, had this 54 year industry veteran cutting the gas line

Highly illegal and facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines, he was investigated by the refrigeration council

It looks like he's learnt his lesson

“First priority is to remove the gas out of it. That's a hundred and seventy five thousand fine, if you don't.” Said Dodgy Tradie

He quotes $177 to fix the problem .. When Annie baulks .. His attitude changes.

A second tradie .. Came .. Saw and quoted .. A very precise $346.80.

While this very polite and prompt professional quoted .. Three to 400 dollars.-

To pay what's fair, is the trick .. Joe has this advice

“If you haven't been told of something then don't pay it. You can always refuse to pay and then gotta justify why you should be paying the extra.” Said Joe

As for Annie ... She's thankful all systems are back to normal..