Contractors and Consumers

Next to the politicians, (building) contractors are the one who exploit people’s ‘mazburi’ (Hindi word, ‘no other way’; dependency; compulsion) and make their life miserable.  Before getting the contract to construct any project for us, the way they talk will even make a pregnant woman to deliver a baby without any labor pain.  They will talk in such a way by giving all kinds of promises, assurances and even very humble as if they are real angels and guardian of our interest and need alone.  But once we give them the job and (advance) money–that is all.  Then they even become worst than a politician, even than a prostitute.  At least she uses her body though she will think about the money she will get than the service that she expected to give for the pleasure of her customer (sorry for such graphic way of putting things). But the contractors, using our own money will finally make us feel sad for the rest of our life.  It is like getting AIDS at one’s own expense.

Once our tuft is in their hand, then they will make us to dance according to their tune.  It is taken for granted that they will never complete the work in stipulated time and will give all kinds of excuses.  That is why, when we plan, though we give a dead line, we too are flexible in finalizing the date of inauguration of the building (like the way we plan extra money over the budget).  So that part, though irritating, we are prepared to accept.  But when the work is progressing, in stead of doing and making things as we asked them and expect them, they will do some mistake and then FORCE us to adjust with those mistakes.  For example, in our construction, we specifically asked the contractor to design the window in a particular way.  And as usual he made the mistake and after delivering the window, in stead of accepting moral responsibility and correct it, he began to give all kinds of reasons for that mistakes.

The contractors knowing our psychology drag the work in such a way that finally out of frustration we will ask them to complete the work somehow with all the mistakes and disappoints.  For example when we have to move to our own new house as our contract with a rented house would complete soon, I have seen people even doing the ‘grahapravesa’ (house warming ceremony) without the work being completed and moving in the house and allowing the contractor to complete the rest of the work.  Out of compulsion (mazburi) we will tolerate all the mistakes in the construction, but we cannot even overcome the way our spirit will curse them every time when we see the mistakes.  Of course every contractor becomes a ‘proverb’ and when guests and visitors come and we often complain to them the way contractor literarily persecuted us in that construction.  The common words that comes when we show the building to others is: ‘What to do’?

But Contractors forget the sentiment attached with any construction.  Suppose if a parent arranges the marriage for their child, they want to conduct it as a memorable one as it is going to remain a onetime event in their life.  But if they give the entire marriage function to any ‘event manager’ (like a contractor) and if he fails to arrange things properly and out of compulsion if the parents were forced to conduct the marriage in a temple and arrange the meal in a hotel, how they will feel hurt?  Lifelong that will remain with them as a bad experience. In the same way, for the contractors our building is one among the hundreds of other construction for them, but for us it is only one and we want to have it in our own way.  Several times we are forced to do our inauguration half heartedly even the building remain not completed (my neighbor at Mathigiri’s house even the tail flooring was done on the previous night of house warming ceremony) or accept all the defects and learn to live with them.

Well any such lamentation from our side is not going to make them to change as the contractors will never change their ‘religion’. But such lamentations will at least release our frustration a bit.  All the laws to protect the interest of the consumers and consumer courts are not going to server the purpose of common man, as the wheel of the law grinds that much slow that finally the consumer is more grinded than the offenders.  If all the owners began to share, we can even write a separate book on this subject.

Db. 01-04-2010.