Service Panel

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  #1  
Old 11-05-02, 02:31 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service Panel

I recently had my electrical service panel changed by a contractor who quoted $1100-1300 to do it. I signed the authorization with that figure on it.

This panel change was just one of a few jobs I hired him to do. However, he is insufferable to deal with and he opted out of our agreement.

Now he wants to charge me $1200 for the panel change PLUS another thousand dollars for phone calls, his labor time, his project manager's time, etc.

Nothing has been signed other than an authorization for him to do the work involved (insurance paid work) and an authorization for the panel change.

I haven't done any of this before so I don't know what is normal. Can someone please advise?
 
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  #2  
Old 11-05-02, 02:39 PM
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Have you paid him for anything?

Does the work he did do pass code?

I would not pay a nickel until it passes code, and then I would only pay him the $ that was agreed upon. Once you do pay him, force him to give you a contractors lien so his vendor(s) can't come after you for the $ he claims is not paid.

If it is in writing, I see no reason to pay more than that amount.

Sounds ugly, good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 11-05-02, 03:17 PM
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rlrcstrs
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No I haven't paid him anything. The insurance company sent him the check for the TOTAL amount of all the work to be done and it is made out to both of us. He wants to cut me a check for that amount less what he says I owe him - $2100.

The insurance company allowed 10% for profit and 10% for overhead. I am assuming that for the job that he did, since he is charging $1200, that would be +$240. It seems a straight forward calculation to me.

Now, he wants to be paid for ALL the time he put in in working with the insurance company and me for the TOTAL project even though he has backed out. (I was about to fire him anyway).

He is threatening to sue me if I do not pay it. He said he is going to send me copies of every single phone bill, etc.

I am worried sick.
 
  #4  
Old 11-05-02, 03:19 PM
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Check the fine print on the contract to make sure you didn't agree to extra charges. If this is the result of an insurance claim call your agent. He might be in the position to help you as this contractor may not want to tackle an insurance company.

Never pay for electrical work until the inspection has been completed.
 
  #5  
Old 11-05-02, 03:38 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service Panel Change

It was when I told him I would talk to the insurance company that he said he would take the $1200 and would sue me personally for the rest.

I can talk to the insurance company tomorrow.

Did I calculate things right? The 10% for profit and the 10% for overhead? I don't see why he should charge me for labor hours he put in on a job he backed out of, do you? Is that normal?

Who checks the electrical work to see if it is code? Do I do that or does that menace contractor do it?

They also changed two plugs, one of which is still sparking when I put a plug in it. (The inside plug was loose and they told me it is aluminum wire with bronze covering).
 
  #6  
Old 11-05-02, 05:08 PM
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Call your state bureau of construction codes,,, dont be bullied by the threat of a suit,, tell him to sue away and you be glad to be in court,, seeing how he is threating to sue,,, dont pay anything.
 
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Old 11-05-02, 05:28 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service panel

I can report him BUT he's threatening to report my pet to the association. I am not supposed to have it. In other words - blackmail.
 
  #8  
Old 11-05-02, 05:31 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service panel

By the way, HE's got the check, although it is made out to both of us. How can I get it back?
 
  #9  
Old 11-05-02, 06:09 PM
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You don't need the check back, it requires two signitures to be cashed/deposited. If he forges your signiture, then he's got bigger troubles.
 
  #10  
Old 11-05-02, 06:16 PM
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Service panel

I understand about the check but the bottom line is if I don't pay what he's asking he will report my pet!
 
  #11  
Old 11-05-02, 06:26 PM
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You are going to have to make some decisions,, take the pet elsewhere for a bit if thats a real worry. But,,, You did talk to your brother in law,, Bill didnt you ,,, the one who lived with you for the last year of law school,,, what Bill told me he would do if it was him was not pay him anything since he wants to take you to court anyway,, the worst that can happen is the judge can make you pay the 1200,,, and Bill said we gonna learn sone new legal words at the hearing too,, extorsion. Call the bureau anyway and see if they have file on him,,, some guys are well known there. I am in a family business and when someone blows smoke my way I call my brother in law,, the one that my mother teach another year of school to put thru law school,, so I have no worries about lawyer bills,,,, That Bill is the best damm attorney I have ever had,, never cost a cent.
 
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Old 11-05-02, 06:28 PM
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He cannot prove you have a pet, and the association is not going to get a search warrant to look for it. Forget the threat.
 
  #13  
Old 11-05-02, 06:50 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service panel

Actually he can. His workmen saw it, too.

Since the check is made out to both of us and he is no longer part of the project, will the insurance company reissue it in my name or how does that work. Rather than having a general contractor, I thougtht I would just farm out the work piece by piece.
 
  #14  
Old 11-05-02, 06:58 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service Panel

Originally posted by sberry27
You are going to have to make some decisions,, take the pet elsewhere for a bit if thats a real worry. But,,, You did talk to your brother in law,, Bill didnt you ,,, the one who lived with you for the last year of law school,,, what Bill told me he would do if it was him was not pay him anything since he wants to take you to court anyway,, the worst that can happen is the judge can make you pay the 1200,,, and Bill said we gonna learn sone new legal words at the hearing too,, extorsion. Call the bureau anyway and see if they have file on him,,, some guys are well known there. I am in a family business and when someone blows smoke my way I call my brother in law,, the one that my mother teach another year of school to put thru law school,, so I have no worries about lawyer bills,,,, That Bill is the best damm attorney I have ever had,, never cost a cent.
Which bureau would I call? I will have to look up the word "extortion" and find out exactly what it means. This is all new to me.
 
  #15  
Old 11-05-02, 08:33 PM
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It will be the bureau of construction codes in the state you are in. They issue the licenses and recieve the complaints. Thats where the file of them would be.
 
  #16  
Old 11-05-02, 08:36 PM
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Did he actually make this threat or are you just assuming he might. Write all the times and dates down of any conversations and save paperwork.
 
  #17  
Old 11-05-02, 09:13 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service Panel

Originally posted by sberry27
Did he actually make this threat or are you just assuming he might. Write all the times and dates down of any conversations and save paperwork.
He actually made this threat - more than once. You see the carpet was damaged by a leak about two months ago and since they ripped up the padding and put the humidifiers on it it has smelled and my cat is attracted to it. Well, the cat had pooped on it and I didn't see it in time. Needless to say he saw it and now he is saying he will tell the association, the insurance company, the health authorities, etc., etc. He is a real bully. All he wants is his money and he is doing anything he can to get it. he is a rip-off artist, I'm sure.

I actually have the threat in an email message from him, too.
 
  #18  
Old 11-06-02, 06:25 AM
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If you talk to a lawyer you may find you can sue him. That might give him pause to think. I've dealt with this type before. If he did not complete the project his claim would never stand up in court, these type of people get by on bullying clients into paying more then was asked. I think he would not turn in your cat if he thought the act of doing it was going to have him charged with extortion.

Next as it has been said before put the pet somewhere else for a while until it is safe and if they say you had one it was a stray you took in until you found its owner. His word against yours.

In all reality he will most likely back off as soon as it gets to complicated he is relieing on scaring you into doing what he wants.

The thing you should do is get a hold of your local inspection department to inspect the work he did. If it doesn't pass he is really in a bad situation, keep track of all bills you get to make the installation pass that way if it did go to court he would be help liable for the errors in his work.

Good luck
 
  #19  
Old 11-06-02, 11:11 AM
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Angry

with $75 and a half hour of your time, meet with a good lawyer, tell him all the threats, etc. He'll send your "electrician" a pleasant letter that'll straighten the whole thing out.

My wife's uncle was an attorney for the PA Turnpike Commission.
Well, this one time, when a tractor-trailer sideswiped her car on the turnpike, the trucker and his company refused to pay for damages.
We had her uncle send the trucking co. a mere two sentence letter on PA Turnpike stationery. They overnighted a check for damages and then some.
You simply cannot *****foot around with some people.
 
  #20  
Old 11-06-02, 08:50 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service Panel

Thank you.

Well, today was a VERY stressful day but it turned out quite well - so far.

First, I called the insurance company and asked them to put a stop on the check. They had to call the contractor to get a release of authorization. At that point, the contractor called me at work and REALLY threatened to sue me! I ended up hanging up and he called back about six times.

I then called a friend of mine who is an attorney who then called the contractor. At that point, the contractor backed down and said he was not going to call anyone about anything and only wanted to get paid.

The insurance company is "sort of" suggesting that he be encouraged to complete the work sinc ehis company's name is on the paperwork. I am not sure how I feel about that.

I do not have another contractor and the insurance company check has to be made out to TWO parties - me and one other. Until I find another contractor, things get halted.

I was thinking of just getting a flooring person to do the flooring work myself and then another to do the bit of paintwork that has to be done. I don't know if the insurance company will go for the "no general contractor" approach at this point in time. I am not sure what my options are.
 
  #21  
Old 11-06-02, 08:53 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Service panel

Oh, on the building code issue - I called the state to see if the electrician is licensed. There were two that came out here. The first visit was one young man who replaced the service panel. The next visit was the same young man and his father. They both have the same first and last name. There is only ONE registered with the state and it is probably the father.

What does that make the son? He came out on his own on the first visit and did the service panel work himself.

It was his father who replaced one plug in my living room that is not holding the plug and is sparking.
 
  #22  
Old 11-07-02, 05:55 AM
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Good for you,, the fact he called 6 times should tell you something. Dont pay him anything no matter what and find someone else to do the work. Let him threaten till he turns blue,, write down the date and time of the six calls. In fact now you have grounds for suit so dont be intimidated. He will be paying you.
 
  #23  
Old 01-09-03, 06:44 PM
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rlrcstrs
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Current Status

Well a month or so has passed since I last wrote so here's an update on the situation.

I talked to an attorney who in turn talked to this pain-in-the-neck contractor. The contractor would not sign a work authorization release for the insurance company until I signed a waiver releasing him of all responsibility re inspections. Since my intention is to protect my pets, my attorney drew up a waiver.

The insurance company said that at that point the contractor would draft a work authorization release letter and send it to them and then they would issue two checks in place of the first check - which the contractor agreed to return to them.

The insurance company manager initially said she would send me both checks - the one made out to me and the one to be made out to the contractor or to me and the contractor, not sure which it is. This was four weeks ago.

The contractor was out of town for a few weeks, then Christmas and so I finally faxed it to him - with reservation - a week ago.

Now the insurance company is telling me they cannot send me both checks, only the one made out to me. That would have been my only leverage should the contractor decide to tell about the pets. I felt sure if he was going to do something he would do it within a day or so after receiving the waiver and if nothing happened I would go ahead and release the check to him.

Well, I sent the waiver to him at the beginning of this week and so far the insurance company has not received the release letter from him. They said they would let me know as soon as they did.

I have a feeling - from wording in a previous email throughout this entire mess - that the contractor has sent the waiver to the city and to the association for compliance purposes. In the waiver I released him from inspection responsibility, saying that I would get them done myself when the entire project was completed. Are the city and association likely to go along with this?

I get very nervous re the pets when this idiot gets this close to the association!

I am also very disappointed in the insurance company. I feel they took the contractor's side and yet I am their client.

I am worried sick about all this. Not only do I want to get the repairs finished but I want to get this very evil man out of my life completely!
 
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