Bad experience with electrician in Bucks County, PA

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Had a very bad experience dealing with Fagan Electric. They gave me an estimate over the phone and then tried to deny it and charge me more once the work was complete. The guys on the crew were nice and did a great job but when I refused to pay the additional amount, the guy in their office threatened me over the phone and was using profanity. He denied that anyone from Fagan agreed to that estimate. After yelling back and forth, I ended up paying what I know we had agreed to before they came out and the workers left. Bottom line (and I've now learned for good!!!) don't let anyone start work until you sign an estimate. I won't ever do business with them again.
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What kind of work was done?
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It was to change out a light fixture. I called three different electricians and told them exactly what was needed. The guy at Fagan said 'i can do it for $x amount'. He didn't give me a range, he didn't say it could cost more. He said he'd do it for x amount. As I said, I called to get different estimates. I then called Fagan back afterwards and said, if you can do it for x amount, then let's get it done...he said 'OK'. So, I actually got two verbals from the guy for one price. The job was simple and I don't mess around with electricity so I wasn't going to do it. When they showed up, they didn't say anything about the work being more or less. They did the exact work I asked them to do and then they tried to charge me more after the work was done. If the guy thought the work was going to cost him 30% more (that's what he tried to charge me) then he should have said he couldn't do it for x amount. I'm sure if the work was even easier than he thought he wouldn't have taken less than we agreed.
That's why I will never agree to let someone do work in my house without signing for it before. There are so many rip-off artists out there and it's a shame people can't stand by their word.

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Yea Bucks , your a cheap shit idiot, no 2 jobs are the same , especialy since you are bitchin. about pennies x 3
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bucks county resident wrote:

Replacing light fixture is DIY job!
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imho:
Not if you aren't comfortable in doing it. Better safe than sorry.
later,
tom @ www.FreelancingProjects.com
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What exactly was the amount they wanted to charge you after doing the work?
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I am also curious as to the before and after prices.
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On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 02:35:14 GMT, "bucks county resident"

At that point it was converted from an estimate to a quote. True that it was verbal, but except in by statutory exception (e.g. real estate) verbal contracts are binding if you can prove them.
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bucks county resident wrote:

Are you sure you've learned? An estimate is just that. An estimate. If you want an an agreed to price for the job, that should be clearly spelled out in a contract for the work to be done.
You don't specify what the workd done was, but it would be hard to give an accurate estimate for most electrical jobs without seeing it. On the contractor's side of the equation, some people call up and say, about how much do you charge to install a ceiling fan? And they say, well, if its a routine job with the box/wiring already there, it will be $100. When they get there, they find out it's a 24 ft ceiling with no box or wiring. Then folks say, "But you said it would be $100!"
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Phone Estimate?? a joke as you are Mr pissy, your house is probably "Code City" full of violations.
Did you ever consider 2 and 3-4 bids, No , Why Not.
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Both parties are wrong. Yes, an estimate is just that. The contractor should have come in, looked at the job, they said "it is a bit more than expected, it will be $xxx more. Do you still want us to go ahead?"
The guy on the phone is correct that no one <agreed> to the estimate, they just gave one but did not firm up a price after their guy actually looked at the job.
The homeowner should also realize that an estimate is not a firm quote.
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bucks county resident wrote:

An estimate isn't a firm price. If you wanted a firm price you should have asked them to come out, look things over and give you a quotation.
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On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 20:10:31 GMT, "bucks county resident"

Let's imagine something, hypothetically, you misheard the amount. Now your story takes a different turn. You got work done, and now you don't want to pay. That's thieft of services, and I expect the electrical contractor is putting a mechanic's lein on you house, because you stole, and that's why he/she is upset.
Let's get an example that you might even hear in a court room, you pull into a gas station, tell the attendent $5 bucks worth of gas. He hears, 'filler up'. When the final total comes up $30.00 do you have to legally pay?
Just want you to think and maybe figure a way to settle this issue. Plus, it's a lession for all of us, get estimates in wriitting, because verbal is worth the paper it's printed on.
good luck,
tom
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bucks county resident wrote:

Your fault. Put down everything on the paper, the more detailed, the better. It covers both party. Days of making a deal with shake of hands are forever gone. Estimate and agreed upon fixed price is two different thing. Estimate means final total bill can escalate(mostly).
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bucks county resident wrote:

An 'estimate' is just that; an estimate! Not a firm quote. Sounds sloppy on both sides; more so on the customer's side. However I'd be willing to bet that Electric company will put out the word to their employees, if not others in the trade. "Watch out for ........ he seems to think that an over the phone estimate is a firm quote. We sent two guys out there and it cost $XYZ .... to change a light fixture and he felt it was more than 'Quoted'. Some customers eh?" If it had cost twice as much (and we don't know the range of price being discussed) it might be a little odd; depending on the breakdown of the bill. But +30% might be a quite possible and reasonable difference. It might be possible that the store boss failed to tell the crew "We have given the customer an estimate of $ABC. If it's looks more than that call back in." etc. etc.

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clipped

make a permanent record of precisely what you both agreed to. Not what he thinks he said, or you think he said. We all make mistakes, and usually learn from them, which should make me a genius :o)
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Finding the keyboard operational bucks county resident entered:

You failed to get anything in writing. Shame on you and Fagan. If you had signed anything, it would contain a statement that the final price may be higher if there are hidden complications. But what are we talking about? $30.00? $90.00? For I great job as you stated. Call up Fagan and find out why it cost more. Bob
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bucks county resident wrote:

May be so, but the free advertizing you're giving them is probably worth more than that meager 30% you are disputing. One for the killfile...
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I would love to hear Fagan Electric's side of the story. This "bashing" of electricians is getting out of control on this group, if you are such a pro on pricing you should be working as an electrical contractor in Pennsyltucky. You are the main reason why honest people who need an electrician can't find one to even return a phone call, let alone give an estimate. Suck it up Pal, and be a big boy, at least you got your job done, and it is poor of you to post the Company name on this group. If you want to see what happens to people in your area of Bucks County who sign a "legal contract", just check out: www.MySturdyBuiltGarage.com You have been warned! HUGE TIP to all electrical contractors who read this group is to call Fagan Electric and find out who this "customer" is and NEVER go near this guy, and then warn other contractors in the area about him.
Carpenter wrote:

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