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#23294 - 03/14/03 07:39 PM Ethical question
wocolt Offline
Registered: 12/06/02
Posts: 110
I did a service revamp for a customer we agreed on a price and inspected, then the poco charged him 95 dollars for the reconnection charge, the customer was furious and insisted that I pay for the reconnection.
I knew ahead of time that the poco does charge for the reconnection and did not tell him. So I did but I dont believe its my responsibility to assume what the poco does or does not do.
I said ok and paid for the reconnection and everything is ok, this must be the appeasement tactic I learned from watching the French on TV.
the power company says we should tell them that up front but I am not the power company and dont see it that way.
The question is am I obligated to tell the cusotmer about this additional charge ? When I have knowledge of it but benefit not from it and also have no control over it.

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#23295 - 03/14/03 07:58 PM Re: Ethical question
WebSparky Offline
Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 138
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
We generally make it a point and disclaimer that the POCO may in fact have a fee for their services and we advise the customer to phone them to find out if one will be charged.
Usually the customer grumbles about the POCO and we shake our head in agreement saying "Yah, those guys do whatever they want and we really have no control over them, but if you can work it out ahead of time, maybe they won't charge ya.
This way, no matter what the POCO does, we told 'em!

#23296 - 03/14/03 08:54 PM Re: Ethical question
frenchelectrican Offline
Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 939
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
dave :
i do agree with you about poco set up and it is the best way to is check with them in advance to make sure what they can do and what is the fee is and i told my coumsters that i charge poco fee seprate i useally let my comsters pay the fee first so that way poco know about it

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

#23297 - 03/14/03 11:19 PM Re: Ethical question
elecbob Offline
Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 141
Loc: WA
expenses for labor, materials, wall restoration, permit fees and poco fees are all part of the cost to the customer. I'm the pro and it is my responsibility to tell the customer what costs he will incur and what his payment to me includes or, more important, what it does not include. Sometimes the smarter they are the dumber they act when it comes time to write the checks. I don't like suprises and niether do they. Eat the poco fee and write it off to experience. (I hope it wasn't too much)
#23298 - 03/15/03 04:00 AM Re: Ethical question
iwire Offline
Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4391
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I would have to agree that as the professional you should inform them of any possible charges, if you do not know the exact amount just tell them who to call.

How would the average homeowner know about any POCO charges.

Sorry you had to pay the $95, but to me that sounds like a good move so that homeowner is not telling his friends not to use you in the future.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#23299 - 03/15/03 02:05 PM Re: Ethical question
HotLine1 Offline

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6776
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
My two cents:
I inform my customers that there "may" or "are" charges from the Utility Co's for work that they perform. For my regular customers, I call the POCO rep, and get either the exact, or ballpark costs.
(Current one is $21K; bless the deregulation)

It's a "service I provide. As to the local POCO here saying "you must do it": not that I am aware of.

In ending, Wocot; we all have to do what WE feel is confortable. If your POCO says "you must" ask them for it in writing.

#23300 - 03/15/03 02:48 PM Re: Ethical question
ga.sparky56 Offline
Registered: 11/24/02
Posts: 558
Loc: young harris georgia usa
Homeowners don't like surprises,You did the right thing by paying the poco bill. Our local poco will give you a schedule of their usual charges for this kind of thing.It can vary sometimes but it's usually pretty close. Russell
#23301 - 03/15/03 05:59 PM Re: Ethical question
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I've been in this boat before,
it was over an Inspection fee for a Nightstore Heater, that I installed in a clients house.
A week later, the guy got a bill from the local power board, he was livid, I had forgotten to tell him that they charge for the Inspection and wiring of the meter.
Don't know how that slipped my mind, I installed so many of these heaters last Winter, that it should have just rolled of my tongue.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#23302 - 03/16/03 07:25 AM Re: Ethical question
wocolt Offline
Registered: 12/06/02
Posts: 110
Thanks to everyone, for all the replys.
I had not thought of it in the context that has been laid out, ie " the customer doesnt like surprises." I and dont blame them and will include this in future dealings.
I was trying to isolate myself from the PoCos business by saying it is their choice to charge a reconnection charge, (their permanent taps)without telling the customer.
These are things they always did as a service to their customers, but thanks to de-regulation they now charge for everything and we as contractors are stuck in the middle (this should not be a surprise to me )

As usual it roll down hill and we happen to be at the bottom and catch it.

as I said above thanks to all who responded, your insight is really appreciated.


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