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Tips to Avoid Electrician Scams

Tips to Avoid Electrician Scams

Finding a reliable, affordable, qualified electrician can be difficult. Find out how Certified Contractors can connect you to electricians you can trust.

No matter how well your meter, circuit breaker, main breaker panel, or transformers have been installed, you will, at some point in time, need an electrician to come out to fix, adjust, or replace parts of your electrical system.  Much of when and what will be replaced depends on how well, or not, it was connected and what said part or parts do. One thing is certain, however, no matter why you need an electrician. You do not need to add insult (in the form of an unreliable, untrustworthy, or dishonest electrician) to injury (the reason you called an electrician in the first place)!

How To Spot an Electrician Scam 

avoid scams

There are several tell-tale signs of an electrician scam.  While some tradesmen are better than others at how they play their con game, there are some tried and true indicators that customers can learn in order to avoid falling victim to a scam artist. Whether an unscrupulous electrician plans on charging more than they should for services rendered, performing work they are simply not skilled to do, or use their status as an electrician as a way to gain access into and then, rob your home, there are ways to protect yourself.

Fast Talkers

Electricians who are worth their salt will take the time to carefully explain what it is that needs repairs, what those repairs will cost, and all in terms that a layman can understand.  An electrician who speaks quicker than you can think in jargon that sounds technical but really is not is someone to be quite wary of. Not only is their shady quick- speak often difficult to keep track of, but it is also usually fraught with technical inaccuracies. Customer anxiety and fast-paced bunk combined can make a simple, easy- to- fix dilemma sound like an utter nightmare.  

Money Up Front

Services are paid for in full after they are rendered.  Period. Anyone who suggests or demands anything beyond a deposit,  or asserts that they will not do any work until the work you require is paid for in full, in advance, has a trick up their sleeve that has nothing to do with electrical systems.  This is a real-life example of someone trying to “take the money and run!” 

Changing Prices

Prices should be discussed, written into a contract, and held steady for the duration of the job being done.  Might there be unexpected bumps along the way? Absolutely.  But lines like, “We only use the best parts and they are expensive,” or “If you want the job done right, you cannot expect it to be cheap,” are red flags.   The services you are quoted should include labor, parts, and allow for very little "wiggle room" for price changes.

Under or Over Charging

Overcharging far above market price is a pretty obvious sign that your contractor is trying to take advantage of you.  That said, costs that seem to undercut the market can also indicate a scam. See, prices may be quite low at first, but once the repairs you “need” are calculated into the total bill, you end up paying way more than the initial quote and most likely, another electrician who can fix the mess this one made.

How to Prevent Falling for an Electrician Scam reliable electricians

  • Ask for a Work Guarantee

Requesting a money back guarantee or a similar policy in writing is a good way to ensure your satisfaction with the work being done and protects you in case you are dissatisfied in any way. If your electrician cannot provide this type of document, it is time to find a new electrician.

  • Get more than one quote

Before signing on with the first contractor you meet, it is wise that you interview one or two others at least, and be up front with what you are willing to pay and what others have quoted.  

  • Vett the electrician

You probably would not hire someone in an office setting without calling their references, speaking with them directly, or questioning their skill set.  You would probably not hire anyone your colleagues had had negative experiences with either. Apply the same logic when it comes to hiring an electrician. Remember, they are working for you.  

  • Ask to see an electrician’s license and proof of insurance

All licensed electricians must be properly certified by state-specific licensing boards.  If an electrician cannot prove that they are licensed or furnish proof of insurance, do not hire them.  Not only may they be unlicensed, but they may or may not even be electricians.

Finding Reliable Electricians

It can be really difficult to find an honest, reliable, and reputable electrician to take care of your electrical needs.  You do not only want good work but deserve to have quality electricians taking care of whatever you called them for in the first place.  Doing this much homework before hiring someone to repair wires or circuits can be tedious at best, but you would do far better to head off these problems than deal with them later on.  

Fortunately, you have Certified Contractors to help you determine which electricians to use, which to avoid, and everything in between.  Certified Contractors can direct you to licensed, bonded, and insured electricians who know what they are doing and do it well. Contact Certified Contractors to connect with any number of top-notch electricians who can provide you with the services you need without being taken advantage of. 

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