kitchen renovation

One of the things I find most frustrating about living in Portugal is how difficult it is to get quotes for work that needs doing. To my way of thinking, it’s in a company’s interests to provide potential clients with the information that they need promptly and with a smile to maximize its chances of getting the business. 

That’s not how things work here, it would appear.

Word of mouth and personal connections go a long way in Portugal so I’m guessing that most Portuguese people can put out feelers within their extended family and social network to rustle up a suitable person for the job at a reasonable price when things need doing.

For expats without such contacts, the ridiculously hard work of tracking down and arranging for someone to work on a property can be enough to make you scream, or at least it has been for me. It’s the reason why, after years of living in a house that needs more work doing, the less urgent jobs are still outstanding – I can’t summon up the energy required to get someone to do them!

Bob the Builder Hi-5!Reply

  • that’s Bob the Builder 🙂

    1. Author

      I know. It was hard trying to find a suitable image but when I saw Bob, I knew I’d found the one 🙂

  • Hi Julie
    I don’t just think the difficulties in getting quotes is limited to Portugal – didn’t have a problem a few years ago, just with the price which was quoted and the additional work we didn’t want carrying out. In UK at present there is also an adversion to get decent tradespeople to get out there and quote. You’d think they’d all won Euro Millions. Perhaps they have and don’t want their neighbours to know.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Nicky. I admit, I’ve never tried to get work done in other countries so I haven’t really got anything to compare my experience with. It’s still a mystery to me why it’s so difficult, wherever you are.

  • Hi, i’m portuguese and living here, it’s the same for the vast majority of us. I had an “odyssey” that lasted 6 months to install photovoltaic solar panels. As you probably know this represents some thousand euros, and even so…

    1. Author

      Oh dear. I thought that maybe it was just my inadequate level of Portuguese and lack of contacts that was the problem. I just can’t understand why it’s necessary to beg and chase people to make money from you.

  • Oh Julie, I also don´t know how business owners who should be eager to get work, don´t bother to get back to you with quotes a few minutes later!! For the life of me I never understood how the system works in Portugal and I´m Portuguese, but it seems no one can be bothered to provide good service or to get much needed work. Still have to pay for the quotes, what a cheek!!

    In Australia people tend to have a different mentality, you call a plumber or whatever and they will be there the next day if possible at the agreed time. At least that´s the experience I´ve had so far.

    1. Author

      So it’s not just expats who have problems getting quotes and work done. I’m not sure if that’s slightly comforting or even more depressing!

  • Over to you. Please share your thoughts in a comment.