Here is the situation: A plumber calls you. Over the weekend, some poor soul has had an electrician look at his water heater (nearly new), and the sparky finds $450 worth of stuff to fix, before saying the problem is a bad element, and the guy needs a plumber.
The plumber has called you, as he can find nothing wrong with the water heater.
You get there, and - after a modest amount of checking- that the splices in the LB near the panel have completely degraded. Easy wire pull, wires replaced. All is well.
Now, the customer shows you the bill from the other sparky. A large firm, with many trucks, and a pretty decent reputation. On the invoice, the guy had diagnosed "bad element." He has charged for changing four breakers - for the life of you, you can only see two that MIGHT have been changed. And your bill for actually fixing it is a lot less than what the first guy charged. (Especially when the other guy charged $80 for a $5 breaker!)
Honestly, I hand him my invoice, let him see that we got the problem fixed, show him the bad wire, let him feel the hot water. And let him fight it out with the other company.
If he asks an opinion, tell him the truth. They are a large company, offer good service, etc. However, some of their technicians are more qualified than others. I am a licensed (assuming you are) electrical contractor with x yrs experience, etc.
then I would tell him I made a mistake on the invoice and triple it
I would tell the customer that he should make a complaint to the Better Buisness Buearu. If possible, I would try and give the customer a bit of a break on the bill as well. The customer will remember that the next time they need work done.
[This message has been edited by Luketrician (edited 10-10-2006).]
1. The one thing the BBB can do is start a history on the contractor. Put yourself in the customer shoes, I for one would'nt just let it go without taking some action.
2. Giving this person a slight break on my bill is a gamble I am willing to take. 50$ is still a good bit of money for some, heck even for me! This person may have friends or neighbors that may need work done in the future. Doing this just betters my odds that they WILL remeber me.
3. I never bash another contractor for honest mistakes. It is hard to believe, that it was a 'mistake' installing breakers and an element that was apparently not needed.
Overall this is just my two cents. I respect your views Roger and understand that we all have different ways of doing buisness. Thank you for your views on my initiall post.
I'm not going to badmoutn another EC for an honest mistake but if the guys a total hack then the HO's going to know about it.
Theres no way that the above scenario was just a mistake, he checked power at the WH, realized a leg was missing then starts changing breakers and leaves without the problem solved. After noticing one leg was missing at the WH he should have checked the breaker, he wouldve noticed the breaker is fine, the only thing that then leaves is an open splice or a cut wire.This is very basic troubleshooting, my apprentices would catch hell for doing this.
In my opinion, the first company there tried to pass off a green helper as an electrician.