I vote for outrageous. It took 20 min so we know there wasn't any
oddball things here, it was a straight case. Who cares how far this
guy had to travel? He factored that into the original estimate.
You got jammed, don't ever call him again. But more importantly, I
hope you watched him so you can do the next one yourself. It really is
a very simple job most of the time.
I had a new 220 outlet installed 5 feet from the breaker, and it was
more than $200 (as SWMBO recalls). He had to install a plug as well.
So $160 doesn't seem outrageous.
Are you saying that an over-the-phone estimate is as accurate as an
Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to this account incurs a fee of
$500 per message, and acknowledges the legality of this contract.
An honest business person would say "I thought is was a normal situation.
This is different for the following reasons and will cost more" That gives
the buyer a chance to decide BEFORE the work is done.
Chrome plated conduit?
The problem with threads like this is we never get all the information.
Maybe he was quoted $95 but was not told that was on top of the $70 service
fee. Or perhaps the guy was just an evil bastard that decided to screw the
Easily could have been 30 minutes (not 20 - read the OP) of actual work
commenced *after* an hour of sitting there waiting for the homeowner to move
the stuff that was blocking access to the panel. :-P
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I had a washing machine wouldn't work. Called the repair guy. After
about 45 seconds, he said I had a break in my electrical line. "No
way.", I said. I installed that myself. He chargedme $35 for 45
seconds of actual work.
....I had a break in the line. I really did fix it this time.
What should he have charged for 45 seconds of actual work? Your bill
of $160 might not be too far out of line.
Just goes to show, you should ALWAYS get it in writing when it comes to
estimates when dealing with contractors you have no experience with, be it
by e-mail, fax, or handwritten on a napkin. If they can't write an estimate,
or even a 'NOT TO EXCEED' estimate then consider one of the other
contractors in your area. If he can't figure it out before hand for straight
forward stuff like what you described, I can't believe he can figure it out
accurately afterwards either.
As far as the cost, it is what it is. What other people paid for similar
work is irrelevant - too many variables not taken into account. Personally,
I'd call him and discuss your concerns, and if he doesn't budge or
compromise, pay it and consider the whole thing a $70 learning experience.
If it saves you $700 dollars on a bigger job, it will have been money well
A troll-feeding-frenzy ensues. Hilarity notwithstanding.
160 smackers? For a single outlet?
Rich for Mayberry RFD...cheap for Toronto.
It does remind me of the type of questions I get sometimes. Often in
total earnest: "How much for a counter top?"
I have answered, albeit seldom: "About the same as a car repair!"
On Fri, 24 Jun 2005 22:26:58 -0400, the opaque "Lee Michaels"
It used to crack me up how many people called up the body shop I
wrenched for--to ask for a repair quote over the phone. The most
often asked simple question was "How much will it cost to repair my
fender?" with no hint as to the year/make/model/side/end of the car
OR the extent of damage. Go figure.
= Dain Bramaged...but having lots of fun! http://www.diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
I think they are looking to hear " Obviously it depends on the nature of the
damage, but fender repair is typically in the 100/1000/10000 ballpark."
Yes, there is the risk they will take whatever you say as a quote (as the OP
might have), but they haven't any idea what repairs go for, and just want to
know what they are getting into.
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