By Grant in Blacksburg, VA on 10/16/2008
I laughed the moment I read your entry title "lost my temper..."
Good for you! "Bait and switch" didn't pay off for that sub and hopefully it cost him a fair amount (mobilization/demobilization and lost opportunity costs). Sorry it also cost you your time and composure.
I'm not looking forward to this side of being an O-B. But reading posts like yours remind me why it is going to be necessary and are preparing me and "steeling" me to handle it. I've just got to swallow the fact that it is part of "the job" of an O-B.
I realize that bringing in a sub was a last minute change from your plans to DIY. But your experience does remind me that to save time and aggravation, I want detailed signed contracts "ahead of time" as much as is practical so that yahoos like this realize up-front that such crap isn't going to happen on my project. I don't want such idiots delaying my projects and forcing last minute re-grouping. Too much aggravation.
For most homeowners, the extra $2,000 to get it done while he was there would have seemed less costly than project delays, re-scheduling of subsequent work, and all of the time and aggravation involved. He knew that, and without a signed contract, he thought he'd force you to pay him twice what he quoted. With your unusually flexible schedule, you were lucky that you had the upper hand.
If I was you, with your industry connections, I'd spread the word about his business "tactics" far and wide. Such "scammers" REALLY p**s me off!