Consumer Complaints & Disputes
Unfortunately, problems can and do arise when tradesmen are contracted to complete new or repair plumbing works. The ideal situation is for these problems and disputes to be avoided as much as possible. MPAQ believe the best ways to avoid disputes is to keep communication lines open, always make sure everything is in writing and always make sure you use a licensed plumber, drainer or gasfitter.
As with all industries, in plumbing and gasfitting it is often the case that you get what you pay for and quite often the cheapest option is not always the best option.
Communication is the key to a successful plumbing or gasfitting job, whether it’s a small home repair or it’s a large scale commercial job. The communication methods may change depending on the size of the job but it’s always ideal to keep in regular contact with your contractor to check progress and discuss any queries you may have. By keeping communication lines open you can help to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
Contracts in Writing
If you're doing domestic building or plumbing work over $3,300, you'll need a contract.
You should carefully check the contract details and seek legal advice before signing, to ensure you are aware of your rights and obligations.
However, irrespective of the value of the work, MPAQ recommends entering into a written contract for all plumbing, drainage and gasfitting work before work commences. Having your understanding in writing avoids the potential for there to be a dispute over something that was only agreed to verbally.
If you need to make any changes or variations to your contract, they must be in writing and discussed initially with your contractor. Making sure all changes are documented again removes the potential for disputes.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has a suite of FREE contracts for domestic building and construction (which includes plumbing and gasfitting work). If your contractor isn’t able to produce a contract you may be able to refer them to the QBCC to utilise one of these templates.
In some situations, a dispute can’t be avoided. In the event of a dispute with an MPAQ member, MPAQ staff are on hand if requested to provide advice and assistance. MPAQ staff can help to guide you and your plumber/gasfitter through the dispute resolution process and make recommendations on the best course of action before it turns into a situation that requires a formal dispute management process.
If you are not using an MPAQ member for your plumbing or gasfitting work and find yourself in a dispute situation, you can contact the QBCC for assistance with the dispute resolution process.
Not sure if you have the right information to lodge a dispute with the QBCC? You can use the dispute checklist below to work out what you will require and the steps you will need to follow.