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#186713 - 05/25/09 12:09 PM Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!!
ricker Offline

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 16
Loc: california
During a doctor visit, the MD asked how much a second service would cost, as he was planning on changing part of his house to a rental unit. I told him what I thought it might cost, but suggested he contact an EC for a real estimate. What I told him is that he will want all of this to be legal, not only will it protect him, but the utility will want all of the work inspected before they connect to the service. The price range I told him he might expect was 2500-5000, depending on the conditions of the work. He then asked why it should be so expensive. I tried to explain to him the associated costs, but I don't think he accepted this. I have read similar posts to this, and have seen this reaction before from other people when I have quoted work. Potential customers need to understand that they are paying for work to be installed so that it will not fail over its lifetime, and licensed and insured EC's are the best way to do this, and gave him the numbers of several that I have worked with in the past, and that they can walk him through the process. I thengave him a scenario of what might happen if he hired a group of "we can do it all" day laborers to do this. He can make all of this happen by guiding the work himself, but if it fails inspection, costs start adding up. If the inspector misses something, and problem developes down the road, the lawyers will be involved, then he will see the real cost of getting it done cheaply. Just thought I would sare this with the forum.

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#186715 - 05/25/09 01:19 PM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: ricker]
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6792
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
WElcome to ECN, and thanks for the share.

Was/is the Dr looking for a second meter? Or another service srop/lateral? On this side of the US, firstoff a zoning approval is required to install a second meter, or a 'second service'.

That said, are there circuits that have to be divided? Or is it just for a meter/panel.

Coming from a DR.; I'm not too surprised that he is looking for 'cheap'; from experience....a lot of them lead the pack in shopping for any type of contracting.

I would ask him....can you do the surgery cheaper?; the guy downstairs only gets $150 for a complete physical!...How about a 'deal' on the blood work? $325 seems high!

#186717 - 05/25/09 03:08 PM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: ricker]
A-Line Offline

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 264
Loc: Utah, USA
I had carpel tunnel surgery done on both my wrists.
When I went in for the surgery the doctor told me it would take him about 45 minutes to do the surgery. He was doing several of these that day.

The bill from the doctor was $4,500 for the surgery.
This was his bill only and only included his labor. The materials used were billed by the hospital. That's $4,500 for 45 minutes.

I also received bills from the hospital for the use of the opertating room and recovery room. I also received a bill from the anesthesiologist.

All total the costs were around $10,000 for this.
I was only there for a few hours total.

Imagine if they had to come out to my house to do the work. smile

Edited by A-Line (05/25/09 03:10 PM)

#186719 - 05/25/09 03:31 PM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: A-Line]
EV607797 Offline

Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 756
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Doctors make my blood boil. They are almost as low as lawyers. How come they have a sign at the reception window stating "Payment is expected a the time services are rendered", yet when it comes time for us to bill them, their response is always "just send me a bill". Then of course, sixty days later, they want to call you at 6:30PM to argue about how much you charged them.

I understand that doctors and lawyers go through years of training, but so do we. It might not be as white collar as their training, but we still spend plenty of money and time to receive and maintain our qualifications.

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

#186727 - 05/25/09 06:19 PM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: EV607797]
twh Offline

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 895
Loc: Regina, Sask.
I had a doctor refuse to pay a bill because it was too expensive.

.5 hr service call to disconnect and remove a stove-top
1 hr service call to install and connect a new stove-top
Total bill was under $200.

Her explanation was that she only gets paid for the time she actually sees her clients. Apparently, she thought that I popped into existence on her door step and popped back out when I walked out the door.

#186728 - 05/25/09 07:20 PM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: twh]
dougwells Offline


Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1226
Loc: kamloops BC Canada
I had a doctor that wanted a plug in her appliance garage i said that we have to install a disconnect/switch on the door of the garage she said forget it she will just drill a hole in the garage and plug into counter plug.

#186729 - 05/25/09 07:35 PM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: dougwells]
frenchelectrican Offline


Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
I have one Dr office they asked me to hook up outdoor luminaires for secturey reason and I qouted the price to them I told them it will be 1800 € to install the required luminaires and they told me I charge too much I say no I am reasonable on the price.

I make a note in my paperwork that they declined me for mty bid so if they want me to do it later date { they miss a nice FPN below I qouted " price is good for 90 days " "Le prix est bon pendant 90 jours" in both way so they can NOT miss that once that date passed then I can able put in new price.

Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#186746 - 05/26/09 03:49 AM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: frenchelectrican]
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Different strokes for different folks I guess! laugh

I'd personally find a doctor that asked me during a consultation that I was paying good money for, to come out with a question like that, as rather un-professional, it may just be me.
You are there getting health-care, not to satisfy his home life wants.

I would however give the guy my business card and tell him to call me when I am not on his clock, it works both ways.

Welcome ricker, good to see you, mate. cheers
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#186750 - 05/26/09 08:13 AM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: twh]
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9025
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Apparently, she thought that I popped into existence on her door step and popped back out when I walked out the door.

You should have pointed out this was a "house call" and asked her what her rate was for house calls. She did not sit in your waiting room for 45 minutes with her stove.
Greg Fretwell

#186753 - 05/26/09 08:57 AM Re: Physician asks why EC's cost so much!!!!! [Re: gfretwell]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
At the risk of going off-topic, I find "Doctors" to be almost as arrogant as engineers.

I remember one day at the parts house, where a dozen of us sttod idly by, as a man tied up the counter guy. He didn't know what he wanted, or how to do things... but ever other statement referred to his job as a 'doctor.' I really wanted to grab him by the scruff, and show him the 'wholesale only' sign at the entrance. I waited in vain for the clerk to ask him if he had a 'prescription' from his 'primary care maintenance professional,' or to hand him 15 pages of paperwork.

Otherwise, it seems that "Doctors" here are the class most likely to hire idlers along the river to do their work under their 'homeowner' permits. They simply can't bear the thought of paying more than $8/hr! Which is interesting, because it was the medical profession that showd us all the way to institute licensing. Every "doctor" I've met has been quite able to detail all the sundry expenses that make that office visit a $90 experience. Do they think they live in an alternative universe?

Ultimately, though, "Why do you charge so much?" is a fair question. There are essentially three basic reasons:
1) The costs associated with running a business;
2) The costs associated with your being readily available; and,
3) That they are paying for your training, experience, and judgement as well.

As for comparisons, well .... all are free to look at my truck, look at my home, and compare them to theirs ... then decide who needs to subsidize the other!

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