When having any sort of electrical work done, it can be difficult to tell when you’re being charged fairly for the work, and when you’re being made to pay more. This is especially true if it’s your first time hiring one for any job – whether it’s an extensive one that involves the whole electrical system, or a smaller, more isolated one.
There may not be a single tried-and-tested way to tell if an electrician is charging you more than the usual unless you’ve worked with a few reliable local electricians and already have a good idea of how much they charge for various jobs. So if you want to make sure you’re not paying more than you should, here are some things to look out for.
Big Difference in Price from Other Electricians
When looking for an electrician, it’s logical to call around and ask for pricing, so you have a better idea of how much one job or another would cost. It’s true that different electricians in Melbourne and other cities or suburbs will have different rates for labour and those with good reputations or have been in the business for more than a few years may charge more, but on the whole, there shouldn’t be a huge difference in price.
Disproportionate Price Breakdown
This applies more to bigger projects – for example, a home renovation that involves replacing parts of the electrical system, if not the whole thing. You don’t need a detailed breakdown for the cost, but you should know how much you’re paying for each portion of the project.
If the breakdown makes sense – paying more for labour because there were tricky repairs included, or having to shell out more because a needed part is hard to find and therefore expensive – then you have nothing to worry about. However, if one contractor stands out because they charge a notably higher price than others for at least part of the project, then you wouldn’t want to work with them.
Reluctance or Inability to Explain Pricing
A good electrician will be able to explain what needs to be done in a way you can understand, and most won’t mind giving the reason behind their pricing. However, if you get an answer along the lines of “Just let me do my job,” then that could well be a red flag and you should pay more attention to their work – or just not hire them in the first place.
But what about an electrician you’ve worked with for a long time? There’s nothing wrong with trusting them to do their job and just pay the bill afterward. However, if there’s something you don’t understand on the bill, by all means, ask them to explain. If they have nothing to hide, they’ll tell you why it cost that much.
All in all, don’t assume that an electrician is overcharging just because of a sudden increase in price for an electrical repair job. If the job was more complicated than either you or the electrician anticipated, then the increase is justified. But if you spot any of the above, that’s when you should take a closer look.