How To Choose A GREAT Electrician!
PROBLEM: “I need an electrician, and I need one NOW!”
You’ve just had a breaker trip, or worse—the Fire Department just pulled your meter! You need an electrician PRONTO!
SOLUTION: Here’s a quick checklist for proceeding.
(NOTE: This procedure can also apply to other trades, such as plumbing or heating/air conditioning, and even beyond.)
- Ask friends and family.
Over 90% of people trust referrals from people whose opinions they trust and who have had experiences with local service technicians.
- Go to the Internet.
When you don’t know who to call, try a Google search, Angie’s List, or other trusted Internet sites you know of. It’s definitely better to have thought of and checked out some of these prior to an emergency.
- Be sure to pick an electrician who specializes in your particular need.
Don’t call a large industrial or commercial contractor to install a ceiling fan—either you'll pay a premium, or get a poor job—and maybe both! And if you’re needing a commercial electrical upgrade, definitely don’t call “Chuck in a truck.”
- Call and get a feel for how you are treated.
Go with your gut instinct—especially if it tells you NOT to use this particular tradesperson. Great electrical contractors work on EVERY aspect of their “serve,” and that first contact is important.
- Ask if they are licensed and insured and (in residential situations) bonded.
You’ll pay a higher price, but tradespeople who maintain their licensing and adequate coverage are usually more reliable, stay in business longer, and do a better job overall, simply because they believe in covering their bases. And ultimately, it protects you!
AFTER THE FACT: Evaluate what you learned from this experience.
If you had a great experience, advertise it.
If this electrician was the greatest thing since sliced bread, tell them before they leave. Consider giving them a 5-star review on Google, Angie’s List or wherever. Mention it on Facebook. This kind of word-of-mouth advertising is priceless. And if they care about their statistics on the Internet, it matters that you do it in a way that counts in those venues.
- If you had a bad experience, speak up.
Don’t hesitate to complain if things really were not what they should have been. BUT be sure that you are in the right, and try to be fair. If price was the issue, did you make it clear beforehand that it would be? Was their performance or appearance a drawback? You are doing them a favor if you point out ways they could improve. A great tradesperson cares more about bad press than you may think—typically someone is 7-10 times more likely to advertise bad service than good.
Try to prepare for future situations when you need a good electrician—and other tradespeople.
Build a relationship and network that you can depend on—they can be a source for other needs. You would be surprised how often I’m asked if I know a good plumber, carpenter, HVAC repairperson, even roofer or flooring guy! Over the years, I have sent hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe even millions) worth of work to people I trusted.
Ken Stewart, Easley Electric Inc.
We’ll Never Leave YOU In The Dark!