Bayram is over, beware it’s time to make up for lost sales

It’s an old hobby-horse of mine, griping about the seemingly unfounded prices charged by handymen, builders and plumbers in TRNC. Today though I think is worth giving this breed of stalwarts a special mention. I hope I can underline the folly of their ways and lead them into the light, because at the rate they are going it will not be long before they join the queue for a cosy job strimming weeds with the local Belediyesi.

A friend had a sticky ball cock on his roof tank. The plumber came, borrowed his ladder, climbed onto the roof, took out the defective part and put in a “new” one that he had in his van. The bill 100 TL, that’s 20 TL for the ballcock and 80 TL for 10 minutes work, works out at an hourly rate of 480 TL. I bet the president doesn’t get that much. (If he does, he’s not worth it).

So today I went to the local carpenters. I never seem to lose the impression here that I’m about to be ripped off. I wanted a bit of worktop 80cm long and a small hanging cupboard for the kitchen (small is 60cm x 30cm x 70cm and I provided the doors). The quote was 50 each, OK, reasonable I thought. Then he said to me “you English?” Yes I replied. “Then it’s pounds sterling”. Thanks but no thanks just because he was closed for 10 days for Bayram doesn’t mean I have to make good all his losses with one order. If he didn’t want the work then I would expect him to say so. But offers I can refuse leave a bad taste. Have got three other quotes coming in for work to be done, I wonder how they’ll stack up? Watch this space.

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