Q: Can your Cork Polygraph Examiner help with my builder problem?

I’ve been following your site now for a few months and I’ve noticed that you do private lie detector tests. I’ve recently bought a holiday cottage near Cork and have enlisted the help of an Irish contractor. I was very careful with my choice and he came recommended but I’m now worried the job won’t be finished on time.

I paid €10k up front and gave him a timescale in which to do the work. My friends who live just down the road to my new project say he hasn’t been there much. I employed him in March and I told him I wanted the house finished by September. I’ve visited a few times but I really don’t think he can do it as he’s made no progress at all. I’ve been told that he is working on two other houses in the village but when I confronted him with this, he said mine was the only house he was working on. My friends are saying that he is only there twice a week and I have family arriving in November. We decided we’d all get together for my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary at the property.  My grandmother initially came from Cork and hasn’t been back there for decades. The house needs to be finished by then and I can’t see how it will be.

I’m no builder but from the photos my friends have sent of the cottage don’t look like he’s been there at all. It’s necessary to start thinking about getting some of my money back and getting a new builder who will finish the job on time. I’m wondering if I could get the builder to take a lie detector test to be sure he can do what he’s promised to do. If not the results may help me recoup some of my money. I’m in London and unable to keep tabs on him, what do you think?

J. G., London

Response from Cork Polygraph Examiner

I’m sorry to hear about your problems with your builder.  However, I think the chance of getting him to take a lie detector test is extremely remote. The results would doubtless incriminate him from what you describe.

You haven’t stated whether or not you have a signed contract with the contractor.

Naturally, as a Cork Polygraph Examiner, I can conduct a private lie detector test for you but only if your builder willingly submits to one.  Since I doubt he is likely to do this I suggest you complain under the The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980. This may involve you getting a solicitor and taking the builder to court.

If your builder belongs to any trade organisations you can complain to those. Click here for a list of organisations he may belong to.

You might want to try threatening him with making an official complaint first.  If he is accredited by a trade organisation he may not wish to damage his reputation. It may inspire him to have an honest conversation with you about his capabilities.  You may manage to resolve the problems but if you haven’t got a contract, make him sign one.

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