how can a modern day ec compete with hacks that are out there I am mainly talking about the "hANDYMAN" that are out there that can charge pennies to do a job. we all know that the job that they will do will be non code compliant and potentialy dangerous but how can we atleast win some of the jobs away from them to stay afloat
Looked at some jobs where the customer got rock bottom prices to do work. Talking to the customer or seen quotes you see the proposed work would not pass an inspection. For reasons like the service panel needs to be relocated out of the closet in the middel of the house. You can jump up and down a say how wrong the other person is and even show them in writting local / NEC codes. They say there not worried because it's not getting inspected. You can tell them it's ilegal, the house insurance company may reject any fucture claim, and they could have problems with selling after a home inspection. Tell them the other person may not be licianced, bonded, insured. The customer will still chose the other guy. Because they don't know or care anything except the cheapest price.
Think about it. They probibly got a price that can not be done by an EC to code standards. But they still want an even cheaper guy. So they call the next company in the phone book and say beat Mr.Handys price.
All I can say is don't worry about the undesired customers and don't try to be the cheapest.
I wish there was 1 web site devoted to homeowners and unqualified people that did things wrong. With the desasteris and legal coniquences. Or maybe make a small book to sell on Ebay on how to wire your house. Page 1 says call an electrician. The rest of the pages is devistation pics and stories.
[This message has been edited by Active 1 (edited 01-03-2005).]
#155399 - 01/03/0510:45 PMRe: living with the hacks
The only way to slow down the hacks is to turn them in to those AHJ who will get off thier duffs and fine the hacks out of business. Other than that lets the cheapo jerks get what they pay for. It's a problem that will not go away.
#155400 - 01/05/0507:36 PMRe: living with the hacks
This is an ongoing problem here on LI, NY. The local AHJ, only can do something if the GET THEM IN THE ACT. Also, a problem here, it's the LAW, a Home owner can do his or her own work, even a service change, that is crazy but true. The only way we or us contactors can change this, is to have the insurance companies VOID homeowners insurance claims, if work was NOT done or inspected by LICENSED Parties.
#155401 - 01/06/0512:44 AMRe: living with the hacks
In my Code I class my first semester of trade school, my teacher showed the class a picture of an empty detergent bottle with an extention cord going into the bottom of it and the chord cap sticking out the top...you know what it was for? the homeowner made it so he could watch TV while floating around in his swimming pool....these are the types of idiots we are dealing with....
#155403 - 01/08/0501:45 AMRe: living with the hacks
You will never get an insurance company to turn a claim down for any reason other than fraud. Had a customer with a broken riser on her service due to a falling tree. Repaired the riser but when the inspector came he condemned the service panel because a diy had added a sub panel. On the way out the door he turned to the customer and stated, "And you'll not be covered by your homeowners insurance until that service is changed". Result? The customer (elderly lady) went bonkers and we had to drop everybody else in order to do her job right away and calm her down. I called the state insurance commissioner and asked him if that was possible and the answer was that an insurance policy was a contract and would always be honored, work done by code or not. If the insurance companies could deny claims for these kinds of reasons they would figure out a way to deny all claims. What a mess that would be. Education is the answer. they have to know that they may end up paying twice for the same job if not more since we have to undue the mess first. I hope to cover these situations on my website and get the customers to visit it during the quote process. Active 1 said it right when he stated that we shouldn't waste our time with those customers. We'll see them down the road anyway. Ron
#155405 - 01/09/0503:12 PMRe: living with the hacks
I think the best way is to deal with hacks, on top of turning them in is customer edjucation. When walking through for an estimate, of even in any residential situation is to point out poor work directly to the customer, (Find out if they did it themselves.) and laugh out loud! And say, "I wouldn't let that guy in my house again. Even if you don't hire me to this work, make sure you hire a qualified and licensed Electrical Contractor."
Break down the violations, and hazards to them. Explain some of the little nuances, and consiquences, like it removing value from thier home. Odds are, when thier freinds are planning to some work they'll remember the conversation, and talk their freinds out of hiring a hack or DYI.
I personally think some of the mystery and danger needs to go back into our trade. People are getting too comfy with DIY, and Hire-a-hack.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
#155406 - 01/09/0506:20 PMRe: living with the hacks
When I frist started out I bid on this kind of work (Rat Jobs). unfair business practices and low wages made it very hard to make a profit. my jobs now are 80% public works and 20% small commercial jobs such as T.I. this type of work tends to weed out the hacks . my 2 cents
ps. you can never compete with guys moonlighting or doing side jobs