The Enquirer has been inundated with horror stories from subcontractors in the wake of our report last week on a new breed of aggressive quantity surveyors employed by main contractors.

Specialists feel they are still being bullied despite years of well-intentioned talk about partnering and looking after supply chains.

As one subcontractor said: “A lot of major firms make all the right noises about looking after the supply chain but then let loose their QSs to claw back as much cash as they can from us.”

The major problem seems to be with the latest generation of QSs who are fresh out of college.

But they didn’t cast off their mortar boards on Friday and suddenly transform into cash hungry monsters by Monday.

They are only doing what they are told by senior management which highlights a growing gulf between the image some major contractors project and how they actually behave on site.

Specialists know who the main offenders are and those firms will eventually run out of suppliers.

As one said: “Working for some main contractors is like skipping through a minefield with your fingers crossed.”

Large construction companies and their trade bodies bang on endlessly about improving the image of the industry.

Paying subcontractors a fair price for doing the job would be a good start.

Written by Grant Prior