Errant contractor faces the music

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

Muhammad Ikram and his wife Sarina had to contend with half-completed renovation of their kitchen and front porch.

JOHOR BARU: A couple were forced to take unpaid leave from their jobs to settle matters after the contractor hired to renovate their house failed to complete the job within the stipulated time.

Muhammad Ikram Othman, a supervisor at a quick service restaurant in Singapore, had hired the contractor from Pasir Gudang to renovate the family’s house in JB Perdana here.

The 28-year-old claimant said the total cost of the work to extend the kitchen and tile the car porch of the double-storey house was RM17,000.

He made three payments — RM4,000 on Jan 11, RM5,500 in early February and RM2,000 on March 18.

“Two workers started work on the renovation on Jan 12 and were supposed to complete works by early March,” Muhammad Ikram said when met outside Johor Baru Consumer Claims Triabunal in Menara Ansar here.

However, they failed to deliver as scheduled and all work was temporarily suspended because of the movement control order (MCO) which came into force on March 18.

Muhammad Ikram said he and his wife Sarina Rahmat, 27, a production operator in Singapore, had no choice but to take unpaid leave, returning home on March 17 before the border closure, to sort out the matter.

“The renovation could have been completed before the MCO, but the company, on many occasions, gave the excuse that no workers were available to do the job,” he said.

Sarina said when the conditional MCO was implemented on May 4, the company did not continue with the renovation works.

“Calls and messages to the company went unanswered and we decided to file a case with the tribunal,” she said.

Sarina said they engaged another contractor to finish the renovation as they plan to go back to work at the end of the month.

Tribunal president Mohd Zahirullah Mohd Taib ordered the respondent to return RM6,000 to the claimant within 14 days, taking into account that the company had completed 50% of the project.

Separately, a purchasing officer who only wanted to be known as Khoo was happy that the tribunal had ordered a travel agent to extend their holiday package credit voucher for two years.

The 32-year-old had booked a 3D/2N holiday to Pulau Redang, Terengganu on Feb 24 for 17 family members for RM10,400.

“We were scheduled to go on vacation from June 4 to 6, but had to postpone the trip because of Covid-19,” she said.

Khoo called the travel agent based in Shah Alam to reschedule as 10 family members from Singapore could not enter Malaysia as the border between the countries was closed.

She said the company refused, and instead offered them a credit voucher which expires on June 4, 2021.

Khoo said she declined the offer and gave the company two options — a full refund or 50% refund from the RM10,400 paid plus a two-year expiry date for the credit voucher.

“We were asking for a two-year period as nobody knows when Covid-19 will go away,” she said.

The respondent agreed to the order by Mohd Zahirullah to offer a credit voucher to the claimant which is valid until June 6, 2022.

Those who need assistance with regards to tribunal matters can call 07-227 2828.

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