Bust builder calls clients “nuts” in accidental email

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
3 Min Read

A Melbourne-based builder has left his clients stunned after calling them “nuts” in an awkward accidental email reply. 

Property owner Don Jollie and his wife penned an email last week following up on the stalled progress of their $479,00 home build to Melbourne-based custom residential builder Holbrook Homes, saying they wouldn’t be making any further payments. 

The couple claimed that they are still waiting for their project, which began in 2022, to be finished and had concerns over the builder now being able to see it completed. 

Talking to News.com, Mr Jollie explained the bank wouldn’t make another instalment on the build until the second floor of his home began construction.

“They’ve all been coming to my house knowing that (the company) has to get it to a stage where I can give them $70,000,” Mr Jollie said. 

With tradies arriving at the property in search of the company’s director, Marcel Nassour, for payments and a port-a-loo being removed from the construction site, the owner had fears work had halted altogether. 

But in a classic case of what not to do when dealing with clients, Mr Nassour accidentally replied with a scathing email originally meant for his engineers.

“I really need your help please, this client is wanting to ensure his frame is 100 per cent up to scratch before he makes any further payments,” the email read, according to reporting form news.com.au.

“Clients have driven me to the brink of insanity because they are scared that if they pay me I will take off. 

“These guys are nuts and I just want to pay my bills and move on.”

Mr Nassour later rebutted Mr Jollies claims over the second floor’s progress, saying payment was “due and payable” as the frame was now complete and denied claims over his business being on the brink of collapse. 

“Once I have finished all my jobs, I must leave the company ‘running’ for the balance of the warranty insurance period,” Mr Nassour said. 

“But I will not be doing any building works, just maintaining the insurance requirements.”

Despite the reassurance, Holbrook’s financial track record doesn’t paint a promising picture for the Jollie’s.

Back in March, a unnamed company received a default judgement order for Holbrook Homes to pay an unpaid $37,000 bill.

Only four months before that, a concrete company registered a $28,000 default payment after Holbrook Homes had failed to pay their debts owed two months prior.

Nassour also lost a court case against two customers in 2023, being ordered to pay $306,000 for the defects found in the homes, and forked out $65,000 to piling claims, according to a CreditorWatch report.

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.