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Old Malaysia

June 2007

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Faye-Oh Bummer

fayenatic in msrants

Don't be fooled

Indeed, thats the lesson learnt, that I've learnt as not to be so easily fooled. Its strange that we need something to 'happen' in order to learn from it. For those home owners or people who reside with their parents, always be aware of 'rogue' contractors who just claim to be doing something for the benefit of your home but ends up ripping you off.

A few weeks ago, the SYABAS (Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor) truck came to dig a hole under the front driveway tarmac. The objective is to repair a leakage of water pipes. It'll be another few weeks before the SYABAS people come back to retar the front driveway. Only just yesterday, I was disturbed from doing household chores when a group of 'contractors' claim that our house driveway needs to be retarred all for the cost of RM350 (pls confirm if THIS is the exact market price).

Without thinking too much, I agreed. A very dumb move actually, because;

1. I did not ascertain whether they WERE sent by SYABAS (you need proof of legalities such as warrants/service orders etc)
2. If they were sent by SYABAS, it would have contacted the house owners first before attempting such repairs.
3. I wasn't the true home owner.

I don't know what prompted me to agree. So lets just say that assumptions are very very dangerous when dealing with total strangers. Now before I go on, I shall be mentioning some racial stereotypes which might offend some people here, so please bear with me.

Mum came home shortly later as the work was carried out in the evening. After it was finished, the 'rogue contractors' whom are Indian promptly demanded RM350 for the work done. Mum thought that if it was work done by SYABAS it shouldn't be charged at all. Thats when I realised that these 'contractors' are not even connected to SYABAS at all.

Then came a climatic verbal stand off scene where the 'contractors' argued that upon the 'agreement' (to which I dumbly agreed to without proper proof) that they should be payed for the work they've done. Mum said fine, they have done the work already but without proper consent and no proper legalities; they are just looking for quick money at the expense of others. A verbal ping pong match ensues and Mum gave a good fight back (while I, meek with sheer guilt stood a distance away).

"Now you tell me that you've done this and you're not even from SYABAS without proper documents. Why should I pay you? But yes you've done the work already, I can't even say anything else. You think I don't know? You just want to make a quick buck!!"

"Come on Auntie, the work we've done is proper and upon agreement from this person here..."

*motions towards me*

"He doesn't know anything because he thought you're from SYABAS and also he is not even the true house owner, I am the one you should be dealing with"

"So now how? Payment must be given. So RM350."

"Nope, RM150 is all that I can give you. Besides the last person who did this a few months ago didn't do a good job and look at the state before, the tarmac has holes in it after a few thunderstorms"

"Are you sure is that all?"

"I'm very sure that RM150 is all that I have on me and nothing else"

"Like this, I'll settle for RM200, I have a mother who has recently passed away"

"With regards to your passed on ones, I understand but then again, you can say whatever you want. But still $50 more is like extortion"

*hands out RM150*

"The money is here. You want it or not? Otherwise, I'll just walk back inside and close the door without paying. If you're not happy and want to do 'something' to my house, I know it is already you. Otherwise, just take out the tarmac again as if you've never done anything at all"

*he promptly takes the money and walks off without a huff*

"Son, take down the registration number, this will be reported"

After they have left, Mum gave me an A-Bomb earful (which the entire neighbourhood would've well listened on to within 1km distance) on well....you know what is already bound to be said. Besides, it was full of Cantonese expletives so I won't go further.

But yeah, it truly made me look like a naive bitch. Lesson learnt. Hard.