We asked McNair electric for an estimate to replace 3 light fixtures in an 8' ceiling, with one of them perhaps requiring going to the attic. They verbally quoted between 3 to $500.00. Since I could replace 2 lights myself, we asked them to do just the dining room light where we thought going to the attic might be necessary. The job was just to move the existing light 12 inches away to a more central location in the dining room. We also figured they would charge between 150.00 to $ 200.00 based on their higher estimate for 3 light fixtures.
The electrician came with one apprentice and I must say, the job was well done without the need to go to the attic and it took 1.5 hours. All & all, I was very happy
But a few days later, we got their very detailed invoice for $336.43 We called them to discuss the bill but they refused to lower the charge to a more reasonable amount and said it was a fair amount for this job. We think it was an exorbitant charge and this was their response.
They claimed 2 men were necessary for the job according to the labour code so that one could hold the step ladder, where in fact, only a step stool was needed. An apprentice was there but never held or touched the ladder anyway. So they charged for a total of 3 hours when the job took 1.5 hours. They also claimed I asked for the apprentice to go 4 Kms away and buy a cover plate for the existing hole when in fact I said I would get the plate myself, but the electrician said it was no problem and the apprentice who was doing nothing anyway could go & get it instead.
I agreed since I had no idea they were going to double the labor cost.
When we first asked them to do the job, they never mentioned they needed to send 2 men and we certainly would not have agreed had we known they were going to charge licensed electrician rate for an apprentice who was not even needed.
Their final 'suggestion' was for us to pay them what we though was fair and they would then decide whether to accept our payment or hire a collection agency, which was a totally ridiculous and insulting alternative. We elected to send full payment instead and resolved to be smarter next time and ask for a written estimate and never again rely on verbal estimates.
Bottom line, they did a good job but charged an exorbitant rate, which is the reason for our one star rating.