ELECTRICAL SERVICE PANEL HUNG TODAY


I put the project together.
Out of the blue, a guy who has worked for me before called on Saturday. I told him the problem and he offered to hang it for free. I would never consider not paying him fairly. So, he hung it in three hours and I paid him $200. He was worth and a master to watch.
As it turns out, I took the panel in for an expert opinion and was told that replacing the meter clip would not have been sufficient to do the project right because there were other things wrong with the 30 year old panel.
Meanwhile, the first guy billed me $340 ($66 per hour) to shop for a clip that would not have fixed the meter because there were other unfixable things (but he didn't catch that.) In case you don't remember the "other guy" he quoted me $1,000 for a $100 panel and $1,000 to hang it (at 3 hrs labor, that $333 per hour, he makes more than an attorney).
Any ideas of what I should be about the $340 bill to shop for the part that would not have passed inspection?
BTW, I got the permit, power cut, signed off on permit, and power on done in just a little over 5 hours. I explained I had someone on a respirator inside. Utilities ever brought out a generator so the house would not be fully operational. Not bad for a broad.
Still, what to do about this $340 shopping bill...
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I had a similar situation with plumbing. I had raw sewage under a rental. I had a company come out. They said the line was broken and they'd have to dig it out and replace it all. I researched the whole thing. The sewer pipe runs 14' underground. They told me it would be $8,000 or more to do the job. It all seemed to "smell wrong". I called another company. They looked and said that some plumber had connected the toilet wrong and raw sewage was just dumping from the toilet. (So much for that plumber!) The first company billed me over $400. I wrote them a nice letter. I said I appreciated their response to my need, but that their assessment was incorrect. That the problem was a pipe that had not been glued properly under the toilet. That had their man actually gone under the house he might have noticed that. That I would give them the money for a call out but not $400+ for a wrong diagnosis. I sent a check and the letter and never heard another word. I'm sure were I to call they'd probably not come, but I'd never call them.
I'd suggest a nice note. Telling the first guy that you had much more significant problems than just the "dellee-bobber" and that an experienced electrican friend came by and helped you out. That the whole job is now completed and has passed inspection. Thank him and enclose a fair amount via check. He can return any purchase and shopping, if he's a pro, should be easy. (He should know what company carries what he needs and he should know where the items are he needs.) He didn't have to actually install anything and he'll get something. I'd estimate shopping time at 90 minutes and pay accordingly. (That should cover his travel time to the store, too.) So I'd probably give him $99. What took five hours? If it really took that long, I'd begrudgingly pay it. At least you saved the rest. He's saying it took over FIVE hours to purchase parts. Maybe call a company and check how available what he purchased is. And if he's including parts, I'd make him take them back. If you have a contract with him, you will owe him a fair amount; but things happen. I've had this come up for me. I wish I had the job, but someone else will do it for less. I bill my time and move on. I've only had one person stiff me and not pay anything when we have a contract.
Explain that the check is for payment in full on invoice #123 (write on the check, too.) and that should be that, especially if he cashes the check. It is amazing what nerve some people have. They think that they can bill ANYTHING. It takes a lot of hours for me to make that kind of money, so seeing it go out for so little is urksome. Good luck.
++++++++++ KaCe
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The utility company pulled the meter clip. The electrian 1 came out, opened the panel, closed the panel, missed the problem, then claim he shopped for five hours for the piece (lower right meter clip with finger) that would not have resolved the problem or would have been a temporary patch after seeing other heat damage to the unit. I doubt it would have passed inspection by the city. Electrian 1 performed below industry standard and is negligence.
Second, I discussed it with the utility company after inspection and when powering back on because Chuck had been involved the whole time. He had a rather sick look on his face when I told him that Tom best electrical supplier in town and my own electrian 2 had both drawn the same conclusion upon closer inspection that it would be been pointless to proceed as he (utility co) and electrian 1 had first assessed. I obtained two additional opinions to the first opinion plus I have the evidence.
Third, I gave a credit card, so they have carte blanche. Interestingly enough, I usually use a debit card but this time, I used credit card. Tom Electrical Supplier and every in the shop who heard this story was aghast. Several said "Call electrian 1's supervisor. Everyone said that there was no way he spent five hours looking for a part. To me it sounds as if the electrian 1 took the morning off Ferris Buehler style and charged me for it. The invoice is not believable or Electrian 1 is dumb.
I figured I was stuck, and that my only resource would be a letter writing campaign to the state contractors licensing board, city, county, and BBB. Then, I remembered, my credit card has some sort of protection against this type of incident.
I had a real bad feeling when electrician 1 quoted me $1,000 for the panel that runs $100. He hadn't yet mentioned circuit breakers which ran another $100 (would that mean an additional $1,000?) plus installation. He wouldn't even estimate labor, I figured labor close to the parts price, so huge money. I withheld the approval he sought to switch out the electrial service panel. He said, "You still owe me for today."
To my thinking, I have two expert opinions and the physical evidence coupled with my credit card safeguards. I just may stick him back. Electrian 1 made these arguments to me to persuade the approval to install for $2,000 +. You're a landlord, you're out of town, you have a tenant on a respirator, you must act now. I really resented some young punk telling me what to do. I discussed the matter with my tenants who were willing to hobble along on 110 until I could resolve it. Fortunately, 110 was enough to keep the respirator going and we still had that much current in the house.
What, if anything, do I owe electrian 1? I will most likely do an accord and satisfaction (what you did is an accord and satisfaction), but I need to determine how much accord will satisfy the obligation.
glassartist wrote:

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Here's my best argument:
The whole job cost $360 ($160 for parts and $200 labor) and this guy wants $340 for looking at it.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

What's more: He could have hung two electrical service panels in the time he wasted looking for a nonexistent part that would not have corrected the problem!
I am now ROFLMO
Issue: is he entitled to be paid for his estimate?
Frankly, the theft negates any rightful standing.
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I tollowed your advice to the "t".
I provided my letter of dispute and tendered $100 as payment in full.
The matter was resolved to my satisfaction.
Thank you very much, Mrs. Clean
glassartist wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

This isn't really on topic, but it reminded me of something that happened a few months ago.
My wife had a lawyer for her business and was once charged an extraneous fee that she thought she shouldn't have to pay. She called to discuss it and after a 10-minute conversation, they begrudgingly agreed to remove it.
The next bill from the lawyer included a $50 charge for the 10-minute "consultation".
She now has a new lawyer.
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Many years ago, we had the old family lawyer draw up wills. The names of the people mentioned in the wills had slightly odd spellings, so we came prepared with the names typed out correctly, and included them with the will wording we had approved in consultation with the lawyer.
When the will came back for signature, the names were spelled wrong. Wha? Sigh. We sent the draft back with the corrections.
They then sent us a bill for $300 for the redraft - which would have almost doubled the total fee.
To which we sent back a polite letter saying that we had taken extraordinary care to ensure that they had the correct spellings from the very beginning, and as such, the mistakes were their fault, not ours, and simply ended the whole process at that point.
Got a new lawyer, and things went fine.
[The original lawyer had just switched from private practise to a multi-lawyer firm, and staff has an incentive to bill for every picky thing.]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Again, and one more time, never get an attorney for stupid stuff like that.
Do it yourself!
Chris Lewis wrote:

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Ah, but here, it's not just wills. There's also two kinds of power-of-attorney you have to do.
I think we got our money's worth, and managed to avoid some pitfalls that weren't obvious.
Certainly, doing it yourself works. Most of the time. But you never know when something unusual will happen, and having a teensy bit of legal advice can save your family a lot of unnecessary grief later.
[As one study pointed out that most of the time "legal will kits" and such wouldn't stand up to serious challenge if someone in your family decided to get nasty.]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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I did the POA from a form I found online, then I had it notarized and delivered to my agent.
I will never pay an attorney. But, maybe I should let you in on a little truth: I have a law degree, practiced 20 yrs, but for the last 15 yrs have worked with disabled children.
Chris Lewis wrote:

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And how many folks in Usenet land will have your background?
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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I would be happy to assist anyone in my neighborhood in avoiding legal fees.
Find someone with a degree (they're like rats on every corner) and ask for their assistance.
In fact, you could easily go to a legal typing service and have these types of matters resolved very inexpensively.
Why waste money?
Stormin Mormon wrote:

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MRS. CLEAN wrote:

I seem to recall an old saw about an attorney who represents him/herself having a fool for a client.

--
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minimize spam. Our true address is of the form snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net.
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It depends on the type of case.
A criminal matter requires representation.
Paper work requires a typewriter.
CJT wrote:

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We have two to do. They're so new, some people don't understand what they're _for_.

You must have paid that lawyer something. Don't tell me you didn't let him have a beer! ;-)
I think that can be classified as cheating for the purposes of this discussion ;-)
Similarly, I'd never pay someone to set up a spam filter for me.
I'm _supposed_ to be good at that. Or, at least management thinks so.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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trbo20 wrote:

Never use an attorney!
I actually wrote my holograph and filled out the pleadings to probate my estate complete with instructions to my beneficiary of what to file and when.
I got a big kick out of probating my own estate from the grave when I die.
This saved $100,000 in statutorily mandated attorneys fees.
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I don't know what happened but this fancy electrian never billed my credit card.
It has been two weeks...
May be the supervisor stepped in.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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