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Topic # 112517 11-Dec-2012 16:27
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I had some electrical work done recently, the bill came in a little higher than I expected. Does anyone in the industry or who's had work done thing this is fair?

Work:
 - Replace three hanging bulbs in the dining area with ceiling mounted light fittings (supplied), moving the positions slightly
 - Ditto for a light in one bedroom
 - Ditto for another bedroom, but keeping the light position the same
 - Replacing an outdoor security light with a new one (I could've done that one)
 - Wiring 7 power points into a room, and installing conduit as specified in two places. The wall linings were all off for this. No changes to the main power panel.

Notes:
 - Ceiling is lowered, upper one is still there, so it's a tricky roof space to work in
 - Electrician didn't show up on time, showed up on the wrong days, made a mess he didn't clean up well. At one point I complained to his boss about the quality of the work and when he showed up. The final job is fine though.
 - All light fittings, bulbs, power points, and flush boxes were supplied

Cost:
 - $780 labour
 - $136 parts (not sure what this was for, electrical cable isn't that expensive is it?)
 - $10 travel (that's low)
 - $140 GST
 - $1065 total




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  Reply # 730614 11-Dec-2012 16:31
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It looks like you got a good deal to me, you didn't say how many hours labour.

$136 for parts seems very low considering the cost of cable (copper is way expensive!) 7 power points and a security light.





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  Reply # 730617 11-Dec-2012 16:35
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They didn't say how many hours labour, they just give a total amount.

The lights required no new cable AFAIK. The room isn't that big, if he used 12 meter of cable I'd be very surprised, more likely it was closer to 4m. Half of the power points already had cable to them and he didn't change the cables.




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  Reply # 730625 11-Dec-2012 16:46
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timmmay: They didn't say how many hours labour, they just give a total amount.

The lights required no new cable AFAIK. The room isn't that big, if he used 12 meter of cable I'd be very surprised, more likely it was closer to 4m. Half of the power points already had cable to them and he didn't change the cables.


Either way it's a bad price





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  Reply # 730627 11-Dec-2012 16:48
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So I ask for an itemized bill just for the parts, or for the whole bill?




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  Reply # 730628 11-Dec-2012 16:48
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That seems pretty reasonable to me.

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  Reply # 730634 11-Dec-2012 16:54
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When you say "the bill was higher than expected", was this based on an estimate / quote done by the electrician?




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  Reply # 730635 11-Dec-2012 16:55
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The work was done just pay the invoice!



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  Reply # 730644 11-Dec-2012 17:01
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There was no estimate, I know the guy who runs the company. It was just higher than I expected.

If the work is fairly billed I have no problem paying the invoice. $1050 to install 5 lights and 7 power points just seems quite high to me, and the high materials bill when I supplied almost everything made me wonder.




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  Reply # 730650 11-Dec-2012 17:05
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would be nice to ask them to list how much per hour for the labour cost.
Parts can be cheap. Labour cost can be expensive.

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  Reply # 730652 11-Dec-2012 17:06
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I would guess that labour cost is around 12 hours? Does that sound right?

$136 for parts doesn't sound bad at all. Maybe he used the odd junction box, choc box, piece of cable. You would be surprised how fast it mounts up.


made a mess he didn't clean up well.


This is my only gripe. The labour cost is high and yet you want him to clean?
When people ask me to clean I say sure!.. But I am the most expensive cleaner you can hire ;)

Obviously this is within reason. Half decent sized job where a lot of cutting is done then yea definitely a quick whip around with a vacumn is required - emphasis on quick though.

And you mention you had to complain to the boss of his work quality. I would like to think it was obviously quite bad to make you complain and would hope the cost of getting him back out to tidy things up was not billed on to you.

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  Reply # 730655 11-Dec-2012 17:08
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If you know the guy the owns the company, just ring him and as him to explain the bill to you, 



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  Reply # 730686 11-Dec-2012 17:48
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chevrolux: I would guess that labour cost is around 12 hours? Does that sound right?

$136 for parts doesn't sound bad at all. Maybe he used the odd junction box, choc box, piece of cable. You would be surprised how fast it mounts up.


made a mess he didn't clean up well.


This is my only gripe. The labour cost is high and yet you want him to clean?
When people ask me to clean I say sure!.. But I am the most expensive cleaner you can hire ;)

Obviously this is within reason. Half decent sized job where a lot of cutting is done then yea definitely a quick whip around with a vacumn is required - emphasis on quick though.

And you mention you had to complain to the boss of his work quality. I would like to think it was obviously quite bad to make you complain and would hope the cost of getting him back out to tidy things up was not billed on to you.


Well we covered all the furniture and items in a room with drop clothes, but he didn't turn up the day he was meant to, so we uncovered it as we needed access. He did the work the next day (he had key code) and got dust and wire all over things. He left wire ends in all sorts of places, including on and around an expensive sofa.

I didn't complain about his cleaning up or lack thereof, I complained that:
 - He didn't do the job I asked for properly. I gave him instructions verbally and written and he still got them wrong. I had to spend money to get the builder to some of the conduit work as he needed to close the walls up. As it was the builder was delayed because of the electrician.
 - He didn't arrive when he was meant to, the cause of the delays.

I almost fired him and got someone else in to finish the work.

I have no trouble paying professional rates, I hire good people and pay what they ask. This bill just seemed a little high, the job took much longer than expected, I had to pay for rework, and he didn't arrive when I expected. I won't be using the company again.

I think I'll pay the bill and let them know I wasn't happy with the tradesman  and that I won't be using them again. Though it's a little awkward as my neighbor who I get on well with part owns the company, so maybe I'll just pay it and never use them again.




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Reply # 730688 11-Dec-2012 17:49
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wellygary: If you know the guy the owns the company, just ring him and as him to explain the bill to you, 


More fun starting a thread on Geekzone and wasting our time

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  Reply # 730701 11-Dec-2012 18:08
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Seems ok from me, Sparky myself.
always offer to clean, but always get told no. . . As mentioned we are pretty expensive and average cleaners, sure pick up the big bits of left overs, but tiny off cuts and dust. . . . Will need the use of a vacuum.
cable is not cheap either.

That $10 travel is amazingly good! Would be alot more through most other companies.

One thing that bugs me like it bugged you is turning up at a different time to what the customer was told. Not really in my control, I get a job to do and if it takes longer than the boss expected. . . . . Its easy to get behind, also I only go where I'm told, if he tells me one thing and the customer another. . . . Makes me look slack haha

Hope you get the bill itemized and end up happy enough.

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Reply # 730704 11-Dec-2012 18:11
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johnr:
wellygary: If you know the guy the owns the company, just ring him and as him to explain the bill to you, 


More fun starting a thread on Geekzone and wasting our time


:-)

One would assume one normally gets at least a rough idea about the price before approving any work to commence. 
If you do the maths at 50$ an hour you will rack up 700$ in 14 hours. I know sparkys that charge way more than 50$ an hour. 

Sparkies are made of gold and charge GOLD ! 

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