My dad’s house water heater wasn’t in working condition. Being considerate, my 78-year-old dad doesn’t want to impose on us on the 4th day of CNY so he took the initiative to flip the Chinese paper’s classified ads and got an electrician to come down.
The electrician arrived shortly with a worker and proceeded almost immediately to change the circuit breakers which were not even the source of the problem. He cited the reason that it looks burnt and it might cause a fire if not changed. No testing was done to ensure if the water heater was back in working condition, and he charged my dad a whooping $950 for his services. My dad’s heart skipped a beat and told him he said he couldn’t afford, and wouldn’t change if he knew it was that much. My dad refused to pay and asked him to put back the old circuit breakers. He immediately lowered the price to $500, which my dad still refused. My dad proposed $250 and they eventually settled for $280. Dad asked for receipt which he refused to give at first. (We always reminded our dad to obtain receipt for every purchases or transaction)
Eventually after some pestering, he wrote my dad a payment voucher with the wrong date. Nothing was done to troubleshoot the water heater problem which was the reason why he was summoned over in the first place and he unnecessarily replaced the circuit breakers. The water heater was still not working properly. Feeling short-changed, my dad noted down his vehicle number when he left. My dad has high blood pressure and did a heart surgery. He was quite aggravated when he was caught in such a situation and felt the pinch that he has to overpay just to have it settled. Poor dad has to pay the conman using red packet money we just gave him.
My dad had no choice but to call me, and I arranged for the trusted electrician I always engage. That was when my dad related the whole story to me, and we consulted the electrician and he commented $280 is overcharging. $950 is definitely daylight robbery.
The water heater wasn’t working as part of the wiring connection was loose, we didn’t even have to change a new one. The job was done with just $50 in 15 minutes.
We did some research and there were complaints made online. He even has a website that states 90 days warranty. We are not even sure if he is a licensed electrician.
Here’s the best part. I called the electrician (who leaves no name card or proper receipt after his job) on CNY Day 6. I asked him about his trip to my dad’s place and he denied saying he did not receive any calls during pass few days of CNY. I quoted his vehicle number and told him he probably did not realized there are 2 IP Cam installed in my dad’s place, and the recordings with conversations can be used against him in a police report. We eventually made him refund $100 back to us.
The next thing I did was to email to SPH Classified ads about the incident and suggested some discretions to be made before accepting his ads in the future.