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    • Froglet123
    • By Froglet123 14th Oct 16, 11:30 AM
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    Froglet123
    Electrician cost my friend money
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:30 AM
    Electrician cost my friend money 14th Oct 16 at 11:30 AM
    Hi there

    Posting on behalf of a friend.

    She called out a local electrician to fix an issue with her property alarm. The electrician spent approx. 4 hours trying to fix it and then said she could not fix it so my friend would need to call BT.

    BT engineer came out, walked in, unplugged something and said "fixed". He was extremely surprised that the electrician could not fix it, and said that he did not need to come out as it was a very simple fix.

    The electrician has now sent an invoice for the hours they spent on site trying to fix it.

    Two things

    1. Can she invoice the electrician for the £130 BT callout fee? This was a totally unnecessary cost that she only incurred on their recommendation, when they should have been able to fix it anyway.
    2. Should she be expected to pay the electrician's invoice?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Froglet123; 14-10-2016 at 12:20 PM.
Page 1
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 14th Oct 16, 12:34 PM
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    Biggles
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 12:34 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 12:34 PM
    Why did she call an electrician for an alarm fault?
    • phill99
    • By phill99 14th Oct 16, 12:59 PM
    • 7,605 Posts
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    phill99
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 12:59 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 12:59 PM
    She may as well have called a pharmacist or a make up artist as an electrician.


    No she cannot charge the electrician the BT Call out fee. She should have called them initially. What did the electrician say about any call out fee.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • Froglet123
    • By Froglet123 14th Oct 16, 1:31 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Froglet123
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 1:31 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 1:31 PM
    Sorry, to be clear...

    She phoned the electrician for advice who said she would take a look at it for her. The electrician spent 4 hours looking at it, and decided she could not fix it.

    The electrician did not say there would be a callout charge for BT.
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 14th Oct 16, 1:37 PM
    • 475 Posts
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    Risteard
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 1:37 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 1:37 PM
    The electrician did not say there would be a callout charge for BT.
    Originally posted by Froglet123
    Probably because she doesn't work for BT. BT should have been asked about any call-out charge.

    Of course the Electrician is owed money and is in no way responsible for BT's charges.
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 14th Oct 16, 2:10 PM
    • 8,701 Posts
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    shaun from Africa
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:10 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:10 PM
    BT engineer came out, walked in, unplugged something and said "fixed". He was extremely surprised that the electrician could not fix it, and said that he did not need to come out as it was a very simple fix.
    Originally posted by Froglet123
    Was it a BT monitored alarm?
    If so, it may well have been something plugged into a phone socket that was causing interference with the monitoring line.

    If there was a problem with the BT equipment then they wouldn't normally have charged for the repair but as this doesn't sound like the case then they are well within their rights to make a charge.
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 14th Oct 16, 3:08 PM
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    TheCyclingProgrammer
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:08 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:08 PM
    The electrician is obviously entitled to be paid for his time to an extent and I would expect a call-out fee to be charged at least, but I think he's got a cheek billing for 4 hours time when he clearly didn't know what he was doing (or he would have fixed it).

    I'd agree to pay half his bill at most. How can somebody spend 4 hours trying to fix something without realising they don't know how to fix it? He should have been honest and given up after the first hour.
    • Froglet123
    • By Froglet123 14th Oct 16, 3:51 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Froglet123
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:51 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:51 PM
    Thanks all for your input - i agree that the electrician should have realised straight away that she couldn't fix it!

    You are also correct that something else was plugged into the phone line which was causing interference - this is what the BT engineer unplugged!

    In response to people saying "why did she get an electrician in", I've been told by my friend that the phone company only cover issues outside of the premises (IE in the exchange, with the line etc), and she was advised to ask an electrician to look at internal wiring issues etc.

    Also, having done some research online, the general consensus seems to be that a competent electrician will have some knowledge of phone lines and should be able to fit phone sockets, fix phone wiring etc.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 14th Oct 16, 4:45 PM
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    rach_k
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 16, 4:45 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 16, 4:45 PM
    Was the problem internal wiring? I wouldn't personally consider 'something plugged in where it shouldn't be' a wiring issue, just a set-up problem with the alarm, but I'm not an electrician or alarm engineer. If not and that was what the electrician was called out to look at and she did, she is owed payment for her time. If I called out a roofer to look at damp but it turned out to be in internal plumbing issue, I would still need to pay the roofer for looking.
    • Biggles
    • By Biggles 14th Oct 16, 5:58 PM
    • 6,965 Posts
    • 4,403 Thanks
    Biggles
    In response to people saying "why did she get an electrician in", I've been told by my friend that the phone company only cover issues outside of the premises (IE in the exchange, with the line etc), and she was advised to ask an electrician to look at internal wiring issues etc.
    Originally posted by Froglet123
    I was really thinking of an alarm engineer - these things are a specialist area.

    If I called out a roofer to look at damp but it turned out to be in internal plumbing issue, I would still need to pay the roofer for looking.
    Originally posted by rach_k
    True, but I wouldn't expect to pay him for farting around for four hours, giving up, and charging the full whack as though he'd completed the job. I would have expected he'd have settled for a couple of hours max if he was out of his depth.
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