electrician overcharged me!

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I hired an electrician from the yellow pages to replace a faulty Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor (GFCI) in the garage, and install two new ones in the kitchen to bring it up to code.
The guy charged me $261 per GFCI, for a total of $783. He spent an hour to do the job. I told him before I signed the work authorization that this seemed expensive and asked about a discount but he just frowned. Is this really a fair price?
Their yellow page ad reads "reasonable prices" and "complete professional & reliable service" with "30 years experience!!"
I don't think someone who has 30 years of professional experience would say that $783 is "reasonable" for installing three GFCI outlets, with no new wires to be run.
i have no one to blame but myself, but do i have any recourse? Can't i just call the guy to complain and ask for a partial refund? Or can I really win in small claims?
yes, I deserve an award for stupidity and gullability, but i think there's a special place in hell for people like this...
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You got screwed, but you agreed to it before hand! Greg
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You shouldn't have signed the work order. Tell your friends not use that guy and next time don't sign a work order unless you're comfortable with the price.
dv
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than $45 in parts and an hours labor. Add in drive time, and the total would be closer to $200 give or take. I'd say you were overcharged by perhaps $500 or more. Next time, get a least 3 estimates. I'd still call and ask a few other pro's in your area what they'd charge, then go back to the company you hired and ask them why they are so overpriced. If you get nowhere, offer to take your story to the local news "I" team, and see what happens.
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040519 0654 - DaveG posted:

And definitely report this to your local Better Business Bureau...
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This is called Flat Rate.
More at the bottom.

reward the customer by using an average amount of time to do a certain job. Tech A can do this job in 20 minutes, but tech B takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. Average that out and you get 50 minutes. You get charged the 50 minutes whether tech A or tech B come out to do the job.
You have to sign a authorization before you start the job. That gives them permission to do the work at the price on the contract. You can also refuse the work and pay a diagnosis fee for them coming out.
In some areas you are allowed to request a pricing breakdown. Some techs will look at you funny if you ask for the breakdown.
It's also called up front pricing and several other names. It can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing.
I won't have anything to do with it. There are a lot of people in my industry that love it. They say it's really helped the bottom line. I think it's a way to help people that really have no clue how to run a business....
I have more if you want to hear my ramblings......
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wrote:

[...]
I was wiring my basement as it was being finished and when I opened up the main service panel I notice a neutral all burned up. All connections were tight. So I figured I'd call in a guy and ask him his opinion on the matter - cause mainly.
The guy showed up, in a spiffy nice jumpiest, and after discussing the issue of the neutral (and deciding it wasn't an issue), he asked me if he wanted me to have him cut and reterminate the wire. Note that he was called also to give an estimate on installing a ceiling fan box and switch. So I figured that since the guy was here (we were paying for him to come - charges to be removed form any future work done) and in the box already, I would pay a small fee to have him cut and terminate. He whips out a pack of slickly prepared laminated 8.5 x 11 sheets, all nice with colors and pictures (obviously prepackaged) with the rate sked. Let's see, cutting a wire and terminating, $90! They literally had an entry for this. The main reason, the ceiling fan estimate, was over $700!
Needless to say I told him to bolt.
The whole operation had the look and feel of some sort of franchised outfit with some parent corporate entity pushing all the materials and pricing and stuff. It was pretty sad. _________________________________________________________________ JG... Jeff Givens mailto: snipped-for-privacy@comcastXX.netXX
"My hovercraft is full of eels."
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I had a plumber out, same thing , he pulls out a book to quote me a 500 price for what i later paid 210. Scammers.
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The bottom line is you got screwed. But it was your own fault for not knowing the price before authorizing the work. Don't sign a contract until you understand it and agree with it.
RB.
Snoop Drew wrote:

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you were royally screwed. purposefully. flat rate schmat rate. call it what you like, this is bullshit.
sometimes you have to be good to have good karma. other times, you need to be the karma. i think this is one of those times.
this guy deserves to be fished. you gotta get a few fish and place them in his car, under his porch, wherever you can. where they will die, rot, and stink. go in to the workplace to talk about the bill and leave a few fish above the tiles in the bathroom ceiling. be creative. it will take some effort but it will be worth it.
it wont really accomplish anything, but hey. like i said. sometimes YOU need to be the karma.
randy

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How did you pay by ck , stop payment , credit card, call in and dispute charges. I hope not cash. Then negotiate. You signed a deal but so what they are crooks. Forget the bbb
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If you issue a stop payment on a check then you become the crook...
m Ransley wrote:

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yeah, but in the end its not really a 'criminal' offense. you wont be going to jail. at worst you will pay a small fee, and maybe hurt your credit rating a little. plus it will take the guy forever to press any civil charges, and cost him money.
if you want to go this route, its a little better to drain your account so the check bounces. then it doesnt legally appear so purposeful as stopping the check. depending on what has happened the last week this may cause some other check to bounce too, but normally you dont have 3-4 700$ checks floating. this is also why you need at least two checking accounts. one for normal use and one for when you feel like you are taking it up the ass....
but let me tell you a story. <rant on>
when you were a little kid, you were threatened with 'this will go down in your permanant record". as you know by now, it was a lie.
as an adult there is somewhat of an equivelent. your credit rating. business and banks and the government love to toss the ole 'oh but it will hurt your credit rating" out there to keep you in line. well im going to tell you a little secret. dont play this game. screw your credit rating. nobody is really expected to have 'perfect' credit and the banks have their own definition of it and guess what, paying all your bills on time isnt necessarily a perfect rating. insurance companies also use it as an excuse to jack your rates. its all part of the matrix.
credit rating is just another scare tactic used to keep you in line as a normal average american peon. plain and simple. the best way to avoid this is to buy a house. buy it while you're young and while your credit is still ok. once you've got a little bit of equity in a house, your credit rating matters very little. you can ALMOST always borrow what you already have.
ok rant off...
randy

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"but in the end its not really a 'criminal' offense" my wife used to write up the papers for an attorney who went after people who passed bad checks. you can go to prison.
xrongor wrote:

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Everything depends on state/jurisdiction you are in. Also it would be very difficult to
prosecute somebody, who got cheated, "felt bad" and cancelled the payment....
Laws were written to target individuals, who open new account and write number of
bad checks, with knowledge of insufficient funds.
This sounds like civ dispute case.
Don't get me wrong attorneys can always send threats, but this would not be an easy
for her/him case to win. Call 10 electricians get average price. Show that charged price was
unreasonable. File complains, document, document, document....
( And never, ever, ever again sign w/a, w/c if you don't agree with it )
Offer $300 - $400 settlement. Write "full & final settlement payment" on the check. move on.
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xrongor wrote:

Shrimp work better. They stink more, and they are smaller.
HTH, :-) Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Years ago I heard a story (probably apocryphal) about a guy who got so pissed off at the screwing he got from his bank that he placed a raw fish in his safety deposit box and walked away smiling.
I had visions of bank personel in the vault holding a cat up and moving it arond like a stud finder trying to locate the safety deposit box the stench was leaking out from.
Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying."
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wrote:

Even worse are the "bellies" off of a softshell crab...they go ripe in hours. :D
If you want to be a mean SOB toss something in that will juice a bit first...that way it will seep in the cracks. Cat urine is a nasty one.
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Wouldn't that make him liable for damage to other customers property?
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No.

You might be able to sue them in small claims for false advertising. Emphasis on 'might'

No.
You can ask, but it probably won't do you any good.

Unlikely.

If you thought it was unreasonable, why didn't you get a second quote?
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