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In Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana

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This company offers electrical lighting repair, troubleshooting, switches, electrical panels, wiring and outlet services.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Mainstream Electric, Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

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Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Mainstream Electric, Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 6 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Industry Ratings Comparison | Chart

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

6 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 4
Total Closed Complaints 6

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

4 Customer Reviews on Mainstream Electric, Inc.
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 3
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 4

Additional Information

BBB file opened: June 18, 2001 Business started: 01/01/2001 in WA Business started locally: 01/01/2001 Business incorporated: 05/16/2002 in ID

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Idaho Office of the Secretary of State
700 W. Jefferson 203, P.O. Box 83720, Boise ID 83720-0080
Fax Number: 208-334-2282

Department of Revenue Washington State
Department of Revenue ( Public Records Division), PO Box 47478, Olympia WA 98504-7477
Phone Number: 800-647-7706

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW , Olympia WA 98501
Phone Number: 800-647-0982

Type of Entity


Business Management
Ms. Elaine Damschen, Owner President Mr. Todd Damschen, CEO
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Elaine Damschen, Owner President
Business Category

Electricians Generators - Electric Switches - Electric Wire & Cable - Non-Electric Fuses - Electric Electric Equipment - Service & Repair Electrical Power Systems Maintenance Wire & Cable - Electric

Alternate Business Names
Zapp Electric

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Complaint Detail(s)

3/28/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
4/1/2013 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: We recently had Mainstream Electric come out to do a bid on some electrical work. We liked the idea of being able to get a guaranteed bid that would never increase no matter what problems they may run into. At first I was very pleased with the process. The young man was polite and friendly and 'seemed' to know what he was doing. I told him I would need to talk over the bid with my husband and would get back to him. Before my husband came home, I called Mainstream with a follow up question and they asked how the consultation had gone. At that point, everything seemed fine so I said I was happy. When my husband came home we went over the bid and my husband said "He can't do that" in reference to the bid. The young man was obviously inexperienced. We told him we needed a dedicated circuit for a fireplace we were putting in and he said we didn't. He explained he could use an existing socket for the fireplace. He apparently didn't realize that both our garage door openers were also on the same circuit. He never even researched to find out what was actually on what circuits while he was here!! My husband called Mainstream and apparently talked to the owner who agreed saying "Well, I sure wouldn't do that". The owner suggested we call and talk to the young man directly which we did and he was VERY rude to my husband. When my husband asked if their policy to bid the job at a price that would never increase meant he would be doing the dedicated circuit at no additonal cost, he argued and argued and then became even ruder and finally said "Well, fine, I'll just do that part for free!!". I am very frustrated at this point. What if I had been a single woman and relied on that young man to 'get it right'? If he had overloaded our system, our house could have burned down. We are VERY dissatisfied with Mainstream Electric.

Desired Settlement: A complete refund of the $49 dispatch fee we paid for the consultation along with a letter of apology for wasting our time and creating frustration for us over this whole process.

Business Response:

Dear *******,

THANK YOU so much for the communication through the BBB!! Although not at all what I like to hear, I would rather have your frustrating experience with Mainstream Electric shared directly with me. Then, it can be addressed and not fester. Rather than attempt to resolve your complaint in writing, I find it much more effective to discuss matters person-to-person, and this is why I promptly contacted you by phone. I'll paraphrase our discussion now:

-First and foremost and as I openly admitted to you, I am APPALLED at the sub-standard service you received from one of our electricians. While we both agreed that he is a nice guy, he failed miserably on two levels. One - he did not conduct a thorough assessment of your home prior to providing an upfront price. Two - he was rude to your husband by phone ... completely unacceptable! Mainstream Elecric would not be in business for thirteen years if it weren't for our wonderful clients. There will be disciplinary action.

-Your refund is in the mail ... again, I absolutely agree with everything you wrote.

-I openly and humbly apologize for your experience and the stress it caused both you and your husband. While this sounds like lip service, my staff and I absolutely pride ourselved on our ability to provide an outstanding service experience ... we are all deeply sorry.

-Finally, I'll wait to hear from you re: the offer I put on the table (no strings attached). You have my cell phone number ... my staff and I are eager to demonstrate a service experience that you should have had in the first place.

Look forward to hearing from you.


******, President

Mainstream Electric


Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

******, The President of Mainstream Electric, is certainly a woman of her word.  When she called me to rectify the situation, she did not make excuses.  She took full responsibility for her employee’s behavior and apologized profusely.  She was determined to turn the situation around and we appreciated her generous offer to make things right.  She sent her top-notch Technician Supervisor, *****, to address our project needs and from beginning to end he was polite and professional.  His 26 years of experience was evident throughout the process and he used our project to further train the young man we had originally dealt with.  I came away with a clear understanding that Mainstream Electric truly values their customers and when they say “100% Satisfaction Guarantee”, they mean it.  I would, without reservation, recommend Mainstream Electric for your electrical needs.

******* ****

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

1/28/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: On January 3, 2013, a Mainstream employee came to my residence in response to a call I made about an outlet and to get and estimate on replacing a light/heat/fan on the ceiling. He didn't even check the outlet and just gave an estimate on the ceiling part. I have been charged $63.78 for a traveling fee that was not told to me at the time of the phone call. I feel that he didn't do anything. We had to have the outlet checked and found a problem. That's what he was suppose to do in the first place. All he said was that whatever was being used was drawing too much power. Been using the same power for years. I should have been told of the $63.78 charge before they sent someone out. I feel this is totally unfair.

Desired Settlement: Send me a check for $63.78

Business Response:

Dear ******:

There  are 2 parts to Mainstream Electric's response to Compaint #9367979.

1. See attached.

2. I will email you directly a recorded phone call between ***** & my office, so please watch for that!!

Happy New Year!!

******, Mainstream Electric Inc.

Office ###-###-####
January 15, 2013
Dear ****** ***** of the BBB:
***** *****’s satisfaction and my firm’s reputation with you are of great importance to me. I am genuinely disappointed to hear of *****’s statement, “I have been charged $63.78 for a traveling fee that was not told to me at the time of the phone call.” All of Mainstream Electric’s incoming phone calls are recorded, as disclosed via recording upon calling our office. I will separately email *****’s recorded discussion with our Customer Care Representative (CCR), Nikkole. As you’ll hear for yourself, the $59 dispatch fee was absolutely mentioned to *****, per company protocol. We inform ALL clients of the dispatch fee up front, so there are no surprises; it wouldn’t be a good business practice not to.
In addition, per *****’s BBB complaint, he stated, “I should have been told of the $63.78 charge before they sent someone out. I feel this is totally unfair.” I will now speak to *****’s word choice … unfair.
1.       Again, the recording of *****’s conversation with our CCR proves *****’s statement is incorrect.
2.       Secondly, the very moment I received email notification of *****’s BBB complaint, I called and spoke with ***** directly. I explained that I own the company, then asked ***** why he just didn’t call me directly instead of going through the BBB over $63.78? After all, business owners are human too, and I happen to LOVE customer service and am passionate about customer satisfaction. ***** simply wanted to tell me how to price my company’s services, so I redirected the conversation and offered to send his money back the following business day by check (although he used a credit card to pay).
3.       However, after what I thought was a productive and direct conversation with *****, my office staff informed me that even after I told ***** I would send a refund … Chase Bank (*****’s credit card company) had called the very morning AFTER our discussion and informed us that ***** disputed the $63.78 charge from Mainstream Electric!
Unbelievable. ***** submits a complaint to the BBB, I call him directly and offer to refund his $63.78 via check, and then he turns around and disputes the charge with his credit card company even after we talked? Perhaps two refunds in the end? Let’s circle back to *****’s word choice of unfair.
I have not sent a check to ***** due to the phone call to our office from Chase Bank in an attempt to get his money back that way. I have also not sent a check as originally promised, since Chase Bank was the last avenue he chose even after our discussion. Am I expected to send a check, although his credit card charge with Mainstream Electric was disputed with Chase Bank? And may have been already refunded that way?
Mainstream Electric has had an A+ rating with the BBB for nearly 10 years. Why would Mainstream Electric also have 65% repeat business year after year if we don’t do what we say we’re going to do? I made every attempt, on behalf of Mainstream Electric, to satisfy ***** *****’s dissatisfaction. 
****** ********, MBA, President
Mainstream Electric Inc.
Office ###-###-####

Consumer Response: [To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID 9367979, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]


***** *****

To whom it may concern:

I am ****** *****, *****'s wife.  I am the one who does the e-mail for him.  We are not at all happy with the response from Mainstream and we will tell you why.  First of all I cannot get the recording of the phone call.  It won't open for me.  If my husband had understood about the dispatch fee he would have never told them to come out.  The pricing invoice calls it a traveling fee.  Which is it?  When the electrician came out he never tested a thing.  He didn't look at the outlet and he never even turned on a switch to see if there was even any electricity coming through.  He didn't do anything!  This is what they call customer satisfaction?  
I made a dispute to the charge on our credit card as soon as it was posted on 1/6/13.  Then we made a complaint to the BBB.  After that is when ****** ******** called us on 1/8/13. How dare she accuse us of a double refund.  Is this her idea of how she LOVES customer service and is compassionate about customer satisfaction by insulting, demeaning, belittling, the customer and jumping to conclusions.  This is how this company works.  The electrician that came out didn't check a thing and yet wrote up an estimate of what he said we needed at an outrageous price according to many electricians that we have been in touch with since.  We have not received any refund from our credit card or from Mainstream.  Chase was NOT our last avenue we chose it was the first.  Somebody needs to check her facts before accusing us of such a devious act.  We may have lost $63, but Mainstream stands to lose a lot more.  She has not made every attempt to satisfy us.  She needs to start with an apology for what she said because it is not true.  She needs to ask Chase when the dispute was made and she will find out it was days before she called.  We are not at all satisfied with Mainstream.
Thank you,
***** and ****** *****       

Business Response:

See attached.

Thank you!!

******, Mainstream Electric

January 21, 2013
Dear ***** and ****** *****:
Again, your satisfaction and my firm’s reputation with you are of great importance to me. This is why I chose to resolve your dissatisfaction person-to-person over the phone this morning, rather than go back and forth in writing through the BBB.
For the record and to reiterate my conversation with ****** *****, here is the course of action I have taken to resolve this matter:
1.       I sent a refund check for the amount requested.
2.       I sent an additional $50 visa gift card as a goodwill gesture for the frustration this situation may have caused both her and *****.
3.       As explained to ******, we do not keep credit card numbers on file, nor do we attempt to call clients’ banks, ever … including date verification of charge disputes. While we also have a side to the story, I apologized for the *****’s entire experience with Mainstream Electric … from the misunderstanding of the dispatch fee that was disclosed up front to their experience with a technician to the frustrating experience (for both us) in trying to communicate in writing.
What I’d like to ask of them in return …. if ever they come across a situation such as this again, please call the business directly first and ask for the person in charge to vent their frustration. Communication is so much easier when working directly with the source. Then if the person in charge doesn’t respond in a timely manner, take the avenues needed to be heard.
While Mainstream Electric has only had a handful of situations such as this in the past 13 years, we continue to strive for outstanding customer service experiences. I want the *****’s to know that I heard them and listened to their feedback for improvement!
****** ********, MBA, President
Mainstream Electric Inc.

Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID 9367979, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 


***** *****

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

12/12/2011 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
12/12/2011 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I own a home built in the 1890's. The majority of the knob and tube wiring has been removed. There is little insulation in the attic of this home because of the remaining knob and tube wiring. In the State of Washington you may insulate over this type of wiring if you have it certified by an licensed electricion.I contacted Spokane Building Services and was told by the electrical inspector that I specifically needed a Letter of Certification before I insulated the attic over the knob and tube wiring. I contacted Mainstream Electric and specifically asked if they did letters of certification for knob and tube wiring and was told by the person answering the phone that yes they did. I told the electricion who arrived that I needed the letter of certification so I could insulate. He didn't even go up into the attic to inspect the wiring, just the quick look. He informed me that you could not put insulation over any knob and tube wiring it wasn't code. Since he was going to charge me one way or another for coming out to the home, I had him give me a bid for replacing the wiring. I contacted the electrical inspector at the city and he confirmed I was correct that you can insulate over the wiring. He then called Mainstream Electric to update them on the code. I then received a call back from Mainstream Electric telling me that they don't do letters of certification for any knob and tube wiring because of liability issues. My complaint is that I was charged $59. for a service call. If they didn't do letters of certification under any circumstance, I should have been told that upfront when I called them in the first place. I didn't really need a bid for replacement.

Desired Settlement: I would like my $59. refunded.

Business Response:

Dear ***** & ***,

I was mortified to find a BBB complaint in my mailbox this evening, so I immediately called *** to have a person-to-person discussion instead of responding in writing.

To my dismay, a simple phone call to a manager (me) at Mainstream Electric could have resolved our issue before involving the BBB. HOWEVER, I absolutely see ***'s position that she shouldn't have had to!!

***'s electrical request is one that Mainstream Electric hasn't ever experienced. (In fact, it was our staff training topic just this morning, and so our protocol was actually just developed today on how to handle a situation such as ***'s. Mainstream Electric has decided not to certify knob & tube wiring for liability purposes). *** called our office, specifically asked our Customer Care Representative if we certify knob & tube wiring so that it can be covered with insulation in her attic, and our CCR answered with a 'yes.' So, *** agreed to our standard dispatch fee of $59 to come out. When the electrician arrived, instead of addressing ***'s request regarding knob & tube certification, the tech priced out knob & tube replacement. Turns out *** knows more about electrical code than our electrician regarding the scenario stated, so that led *** & I into a conversation about our electrician and 'how' he interacted with her. I really APPRECIATE ***'s honesty & straightforward approach because the technician is fairly new to our company, so her feedback is valuable and well-received!! *** shouldn't have even had to pay the $59 dispatch fee in the first place because we didn't even provide a service!! As I told ***, a check will be in the mail tomorrow refunding the full amount that she paid. Mainstream Electric's mantra is to 'positively impact every person we come into contact with,' and we certainly did not accomplish this with ***.

I hope that *** felt our conversation was as productive as I did and is feeling better about the situation. I really appreciated her time & feedback!!

****** ********, MBA

Mainstream Electric Inc




BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

7/29/2011 Problems with Product/Service