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Author Topic: PS3 questions?  (Read 1548 times)

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Offline justme

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PS3 questions?
« on: June 04, 2014, 05:42:26 AM »
Here is the story, the questions follow ...

Our house was a casual family job so it took 3+ years to get to final inspection.  The plumbing was done in late 2010 as a quoted job and paid as due.  During a building inspection in late 2013 the inspector said the hot water cylinder relief valve drain was non-compliant (copper then via the PVC cylinder tray drain before copper to outside).  I got the plumber back to correct that a few months ago, while he was here he also removed the bath spout and mixer for tiling.  After the final inspection, council asked for a PS3 for two plumbing items ... fusiotherm (I just read the thread on that!), and for the wetback part of the woodburner (haven't figured that one out yet).  The plumber sent them a PS3 covering the whole house job, even included the septic system.  He then sent us a bill for correcting the relief valve drain and the spout/mixer removal ... 1 hour + some copper pipe and fittings ($75-odd), total bill with GST of $151-odd.  I disputed the relief valve drain part and he accepted that, but returned an amended invoice charging for the PS3 (2 hours labour) + spout/mixer removal (1/2 hour for 15 minutes work) + mileage this time as well ... new total $214-odd.  We have no problem paying for the spout/mixer removal, but the new charges for PS3 and mileage are a jack-up to pay for correcting the relief valve drain ... he even said so in writing: "I understand your position and accept the drain pipe was to be installed all in copper  however we are talking a 4 year time period here and I am trying to offset costs in regard to this time period. If this was brought to my attention within a reasonable cooling off period or defects liability period of 12 months there would not be an issue with costs everything has risen over this the last 4 years".   Customer relations down the drain for the sake of inflation on $75 of fittings that should have been used in the first place.  As a result I am visiting Citizen's Advice again tomorrow. 

I would appreciate if you can help with 2 questions:
- what does the industry normally charge for issuing a PS3?
- is it normal practice to issue a PS3 for everything when the council only asks for two specific items?

Thanks.


Linkback: https://www.plumbers.co.nz/forum/ask-plumbers-public/2/ps3-questions/1696/

Offline justme

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Re: PS3 questions?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 10:57:28 AM »
I spoke to another local plumber.  He said it usually takes him 10 minutes to do a PS3 and send it in using the form which can be downloaded from the council web site, or 15 minutes if he wrote his own.  He doesn't charge extra if it was "a job worth a few thousand".

How does that seem to other plumbers?


Offline Jaxcat

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Re: PS3 questions?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 12:39:02 PM »
Firstly it's not about the time taken to do the PS3 - it's the responsibility taken when you fill it out and sign it.  On the face of what you have said it is poor customer relations to send an amended bill and try and claw back a cock up you made - or at least to do it so blatantly - the guy has no finesse!!

We include the cost of PS3's in our quotes - they are part and parcel of the job.  To cover the whole job on the PS3 even though the council only asked for two items is good trade practice.  Usually with compliance forms a plumber has a set cost e.g. Gas Certificate $140, Safety Certificate $100, PS3 - $100 (costs are not set in stone, just used for examples).

If it was a charge up job then I think he has a right to charge for the PS3, if it was quoted then I would be tempted to say he should have included that in the job price - however given the length of the job - perhaps it is not unreasonable for him to charge additional for this.

I think the nub of the problem is that you can see, and he has said, he is trying to recover costs of fixing his cock up and just renaming what it is charged for.

Like all disputes, it is often settled by talking to each other - each putting their side - and then trying to come to a compromise.  I always recommend a phone call or face to face chat before launching into writing to each other.

Of course you always have the disputes tribunal at the end of the day, but this will cost you both time and money.
If the Plumber is a Master Plumber then you can use their complaints system
Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you?  Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?  (Walt Whitman 1819-1891)  American Poet

Offline justme

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Re: PS3 questions?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 02:25:32 PM »
Thanks Jaxcat. Your comments are appreciated while I try to get a feel for where I should go with this.  Yes, as mentioned at the beginning the plumbing was a quoted job ... $23,000-odd full house job for which the progress and final payments were made on time as due.  I am a person of principle and have no problem paying on time for an honest bill for an honest job.

Following your point about the responsibility taken when signing a PS3 and working the PS3 'cost' into a quote, were PS3's often required in 2010?  But it really does not excuse what he is obviously trying to do, get me to pay for his mistake on top of what I do feel obliged to pay for (spout/mixer job and a reasonable sum for a PS3 so long after the job).

The other thing with the PS3 is ... he did not sign and date it ... so in that case it is really worthless?  What are the repercussions?  Even though the council pointed out that it was not signed and dated, they didn't pursue it and issued the CCC anyway.  The whole thing is quite bazaar but I understand a PS3 is not a requirement in the building code, just a discretionary mechanism for the council to accept that a job has been done to code.  Have I missed something?

Citizen's Advice on the second visit said to pay what I felt was fair with an explanation, and let the plumber decide if he wants to pursue it further.

At this point I am thinking that if the PS3 has any real value(?), to ask him to send me a signed and dated copy of the PS3 which I will ensure goes on our property file at the council, and in return I will undertake to pay the bill promptly ...




Offline integrated

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Re: PS3 questions?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 05:21:36 PM »
I think the problem here is that if the job had been undertaken in a much more timely matter and within council time-frames which are I believe are 2 years from start to finish then a ps3 may not have been required (read councils interpret things differently in different locales) - I think the council require this as the job has lapsed over the time allowance given for such works - I think it is entirely reasonable that the plumber that has done the job is charging for it  (maybe job done different to what was consented?)


that advice from the CAB is quite worry-some in my opinion - what right do they really have to say how anyone charges a fee for a service?

The plumber has done the job - rectified issues and supplied you a ps3 over and above what would normally be required for such a job well after what would be "normal" time frames for such work - for the amount charged (which is very reasonable) I would suggest you pay it and move on.

 

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: PS3 questions?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 06:54:16 PM »
Councils are asking for more and more forms these days - in essence they are trying to shift the responsibility from themselves for checking the work to the tradesman who did the work.  Of course the tradesman who did the work is responsible, but the council who sign it off also have responsibilities.  PS3's and PS4's (commercial versions of the same thing) are really not worth a cup of cold sick legally - as the Council have pointed out they are not required under the building code and the Council have issued the code of compliance.   They will have all the plumbers details on the Building Consent, including his registration number etc - so I wouldn't fret about the PS3 not being signed or dated.  You could make a note on your copy of the date it was received.  Councils are requiring these more and more, but depending on the Council I would say in 2010 it wasn't common - at least in Wellington.  As Integrated says different councils in different regions require different things.

Again I would talk to your plumber about the bill - tell him you think that the charge for the taps is reasonable, but you are concerned about the charge for the PS3 when the account changed after you queried the remedial work.  Most tradespeople are pretty reasonable, and obviously you have had a good relationship in the past given he did a house lot of work and you paid on time. 

The PS3 says virtually "I did this, at this property, and I did it properly to the best of my knowledge."   Gasfitters have gas certificates that they issue about a job, but plumbers do not self certify as the Council check off their work - the PS3 and PS4 in my mind (and this is just my own opinion) is a version of getting plumbers to sign off their work and alleviate some responsibility from the Council.

I do not know if these Producers Statements (PS3's or PS4's) have been tested in court. 

Again, I urge you to discuss the matter with your plumber before trading letters - CAB are giving advice and perhaps with some legal basis, but nothing beats talking it through.   After all you may want this plumber back at your house to do a job in the future - he knows where everything is and you obviously liked his work if you got him to do such a big job.

Offline justme

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Re: PS3 questions?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 11:31:05 AM »
Integrated ... The two year period you refer to applies to the standard time frame for a building consent, but the building regulations also allow it to be extended another 2 years upon application with valid reason, which was done and accepted.  An extension of time is not uncommon in this rural district where some building projects tend to linger for a variety of reasons.  The final inspection was done within the extended time frame allowed.  I understand the contracts act allows remedies such as the relief valve to be addressed up to 6 years after the job but the plumber has rectified his error so there is no problem there on either count.

Jaxcat ... that plumber will not be coming back here.  There were two other issues during the job which were corrected at the time, but his attitude over this last one stinks (if you saw the tone of his e-mail you would be shocked) ... I even supplied some materials and did part of the digger work that were both included in his quote without concession, so he did quite well out of me at the time but he seems to have forgotten that.  I am not 'cutting my nose off to spite my face', as I was here for the whole build (project manager and chippy's hammer hand) so I know where everything is.

Thanks to Integrated and Jaxcat for pointing out the difference between "time taken" for a PS3 and the "value" of it.  I had similar fixed charges for a couple of things in my business that bared no relation to "time taken", and appreciate the reasons for that with the PS3.  Thanks to the input from you gentlemen my questions regarding PS3 have been answered. 

I have offered to pay the bill as long as he sends a signed and dated PS3 so I have some semblance of value for money.

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: PS3 questions?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 05:32:07 PM »
Hi Justme - I think that is a very fair outcome on your part.  Sometimes the art of finesse and customer service gets lots along the way with us.  If we can visualise someone as a life long customer and not just one job along the way we would all be better off.  I try really hard to see things from a customer's perspective - and how I would look at it if the boot was on the other foot.   If you do this you can usually work through any issues.

If you have been this reasonable and the tradie doesn't front with a signed PS3 then he is making a bit of a mistake.  Word of mouth is the lifeblood of tradesmen and women.  You get so much more business through word of mouth (and presumably you can lose it this way too).  I would imagine this is especially so in rural areas.

Good luck with the rest of your project.


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