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Lalala4

$7K electrician bill??

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Lalala4

Any Qlders with tradie experience? My elderly mother just had an electrician around (admittedly for the first time in years) to replace a ceiling fan, check some external two way switches, check and replace a couple of internal power points, and put in a smoke detector. She's ended up with six smoke detectors and he says he has to come back and replace the whole switchboard because SEQEB or whoever now requires circuit breakers on lights as well as power. So the total quote is more than $7K! And it says the energy company may charge up to $3K on top. 

We're afraid he's taking advantage (big company, whose ads were disguised to look like a local one).  Does this sound reasonable? Is he right about the switchboard? I think she needs a second opinion asap. 

Help please! I'm interstate and can't deal in person. 😞 

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Lalala4

@marple sorry to bother you but do you have any advice? They've charged nearly $200 each for the smoke detectors and a connector. And put $165 for one of those stupid  'memberships'. I'm so stressed, maybe this should be in venting. 

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KwaziiCat

I have just sent you a message with details of my own quote 

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Grrrumbles

Our house is quite large and only has 3 smoke detectors so 6 seems a lot.

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Meepy

That doesn't seem that unreasonable.  The switchboard replacement may need the wiring to the street to be redone and that involves inspection and scissor lifts etc.

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~Jolly_F~
3 minutes ago, Grrrumbles said:

Our house is quite large and only has 3 smoke detectors so 6 seems a lot.

Qld is bringing in new laws that each bedroom must have its own smoke alarm, plus hallways and entrances. You have a few years to do it.

https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/smoke-alarm-legislation

Maybe old mate was getting her prepared. You can call around, see if it’s comparable but I don’t think it’s that unreasonable. 

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knottygirl

Was it a big chain electrical company?

my grandma got one round and they charged her $400 to change a double power point to a quad power point. No wiring change. It was a straight swap over. And they forgot to turn the power back on. 
 

was furious.   So many unscrupulous people who prey on the elderly. 

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Lalala4

Yes it is a big company.  And likewise they seemed to have charged $200 each to replace a couple of powerpoints.

I've drafted her an email to finish the smaller bits but not to go ahead with the  switchboard, and to remove the 'plan' fee. I don't think she'd cope if I tried to fight them about the stuff they did today. I've expressed it to her as peace of mind on such large amounts to get a second opinion. 

Thank you. 

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Lalala4
31 minutes ago, ~Jolly_F~ said:

Qld is bringing in new laws that each bedroom must have its own smoke alarm, plus hallways and entrances. You have a few years to do it.

https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/smoke-alarm-legislation

Maybe old mate was getting her prepared. You can call around, see if it’s comparable but I don’t think it’s that unreasonable. 

Yes, you're correect; it is a rambly house so I think that's the correct number of detectors; but $200 each seems quite a bit more than you could buy them for retail, even with the labour. 

 

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Blossom11

If the company starts with f...i actually asked the guy to leave my house.  I would ring fair trading as they prey on people.  I would also dispute the amount of the work already done.  They charge excessive amounts just in case the job is larger than they think or if they need to come back.  One person told me they had to fix the job that cost the person over $10000.  They said it should have  cost about $2000.  Dont get me started on the membership.  It makes me so angry because i have heard terrible stories.  Put a review on google too.

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can'tstayaway

Yes, Qld has new-ish laws regarding smoke detectors and safety switches.  

We spent a fortune on the electrical of our current house and it was ‘renovated’ in 2010.  It had been a tart up job and there were generations of old wiring that was a fire hazard.  We needed a new switchboard on top of everything else to bring it up to code.   Even if the code didn’t require it, we would have done it anyway because the modern demands on electricity was beyond what the old switch board could safely cope with.

This was quoted by an electrician we had used before and trusted.  A friend who is also an electrician agreed with the assessment of work required but we didn’t ask him about the price.

We also replaced the old smoke detectors with hard wired ones.  I don’t remember the exact cost because we were doing so much other work too.  My recommendation is to get the ones that are not too sensitive and get triggered by steamy showers, hair spray, deodorant etc.  

My parents spent a few thousand dollars updating their switch board, getting fire alarms etc a few years ago.  It’s just one of those jobs that’s necessary in older homes.

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No girls here

We had to have our switchboard replaced last month and it cost $2600 for just that. I think DH was originally quoted something like 5k and rang around to get a cheaper quote. We had to get it done as I don't think insurance would have covered us if we didn't get it.

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Sweet.Pea

I would be getting another quote. If you have Facebook, there are often business recommendation groups from people who have used the service.

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Green Sage

$7k seems unreasonable.

im not in Qld, I’m in Melbourne, So your rules may be different, but we have an old house. When we moved in, we had a fan installed, and a PowerPoint replaced, and our whole switchboard replaced. We went from old ceramic and wire fuses to all new switch style ones. It took him 2 days I think, one day with an assistant. It was roughly $2000 all up, maybe a touch over. That included asbestos disposal for the old switch board. 
 

id get another quote and question the need for the new switchboard. And what is the potential extra $3k for??


there are tradesmen ripping off old ladies and over servicing them left right and centre. My grandma god done by a dodgy locksmith. So don’t let her sign anything or agree to anything. Make sure she runs it all by hour or someone else first.

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caitiri
Posted (edited)

Sounds like a lot. We are in Melb and just had 3 power points upgraded to quads, 1 new one installed, oven and stovetop installation including sorting out the dodgy wiring behind, a light fitted, ceiling fan installed all of that cost us 1700 then we needed the mains power upgraded which cost another 1800, the truck visit from power supplier which involves the wiring for the street to the house  including scissor lift use cost an extra 500.  
 

ETA at the start of the lockdown our kitchen sink tap fell apart meaning we had to turn all the water off so needed emergency plumbing,  we went through a company that sounds similar including the fee and got stung 1600 for a days work replacing 3 sets of taps granted one of them was a PITA due to the house being really old.

recently we had the toilet and sink block and needed some other stuff done to we found an independent plumber of recommendations and he charged us $400 so it’s always worth getting a second opinion.

Edited by caitiri

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hmmph

We had to get a new switchboard, first company quoted I think about $5000.00? And did the ' I can fit you in tomorrow if you sign now...' we got another quote and think it ended up being about $2500.00 from memory. (About 2 years ago.)

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hills mum bec

Here in SA you would be looking at about $2,500-$3,000 for a new switch board and about $150 for a hard wired smoke alarm.  Sounds like this company is trying to rip your mum off.

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Chocolate Addict

sounds like a rip  off. We just had 5 ceiling fans replaced and installation was only $110 per fan (we purchased ones they recommended).

I would definitely call them out.

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solongandthanksfor

were the other quotes similar?

I would have expected a substantial cost too for that work, but maybe not 7k.

if the smoke alarms are wired (not battery) then it would be around that much.

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Lalala4

Thank you all for your input, it’s helpful. We’ve sent them an email calling a halt to any switchbox work. They didn’t reply yet. Supposed to come back next week.

I just want to add we have a high degree of trust and respect for most tradies, and had very few issues - this was a total surprise.

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ghost_cat

Feel welcome to PM me if you need a recommendation for an electrician.  Mine is a sole trader - did our electrical testing at work and was so nice that a number of us engaged him when we needed work on our homes.  Won me over when he went to remove his boots before coming into the house...

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Hypnic Jerk

I had a tradie here today with not only a drop sheet but also a dust buster.  

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Lalala4
Posted (edited)

Edited for accidental double post

Edited by Lalala4

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-Emissary-
Posted (edited)

$200 for a fire alarm? Unless QLD fire alarm is different to the ones we get here in NSW, that sounds like a massive rip off! 

I paid $130 for ours when it was an investment property. 

I’d be getting a few quotes. My rule of thumb is to get at least 3 quotes. 

Do you have any family member near that can assist her out? I organise all the quotes and repairs for my mum as she doesn’t speak English that well but I have never needed to physically be there when they come to do the quote or work as they call me when they’re on site to discuss things. 

Edited by -Emissary-

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kaishra

I'm getting quotes for a heap of things right now, I'm getting 6 quotes (was 5 but one guy who came out reckons he's too busy to bother quoting so he's out). We need a new switchboard cause we want to get solar and have been quoted anywhere from $1250 (moving part of the board and leaving the existing parts there) to $2363 (complete move). Replacing 3 power points is about $200 (and a 4 point one is $85 supplied and installed).  Smoke detectors all depend on the type of smoke detector, I want lithium 10 year, wifi connected ones which are about $190 or so each but there's cheaper ones available that are hardwired and connected to each other.  I'd be getting a few more quotes

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