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Description

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 13 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 4 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

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Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

4 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 4

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

5 Customer Reviews on Mainstream Electric, Inc.
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 4
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 5

Additional Information

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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
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

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
http://www.idsos.state.id.us/
Fax Number: 208-334-2282

Department of Revenue Washington State
Department of Revenue ( Public Records Division), PO Box 47478, Olympia WA 98504-7477
http://dor.wa.gov/content/Home/Default.aspx
Phone Number: 800-647-7706

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW , Olympia WA 98501
http://www.lni.wa.gov/
Phone Number: 800-647-0982

Washington Secretary of State, Corporations Divison
801 Capitol Way South, P.O. Box 40234, Olympia WA 98504-0234
http://www.secstate.wa.gov/corps
Phone Number: 360-753-7115
Fax Number: 360-664-8781

Washington State Department of Licensing
PO Box 9034 , Olympia WA 98507-9015
https://fortress.wa.gov/dol/dolprod/bpdLicenseQuery/Default.aspx
Phone Number: (360) 664-0116
Fax Number: 360-705-6699

Type of Entity

Corporation

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)

1/21/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: When I made the appointment I asked about pricing. i was told "I would have options". Once the electrician arrived i was told I had to pay $50 for the service call. I needed 2 ceiling fans installed. I was told it would cost $560 for 1 fan and $970 for 2 fans. I did not receive an itemized bill. I had 1 fan installed and then I was told I was paying $65 for a permit which costs $40. I asked if there were any coupons to reduce the price. No, was the answer although he handed me a $50 coupon "for the next appointment. I am very upset that I was lured into doing business with a company that is not straight forward with how much they charge for a service.

Desired Settlement: I would appreciate a refund, an itemized bill for the service and materials and a promise that they will stop deceiving people on the phone.

Business Response:

January 20, 2015

Dear ********* **** of the BBB:

******** ********* satisfaction and my firm’s reputation with you are of great importance to me. My written approach here will be two-fold …

  • First, I’ll address the facts as verified by attachments I provide.

  • Secondly, I’ll talk to the concerns from a human aspect.

  • Quick note: if something is highlighted in yellow in this document, that’ll indicate there’s an attachment to support my statements.

I am genuinely disappointed to hear of ********** statement, “I am very upset that I was lured into doing business with a company is not straightforward with how much they charge for a service.” Regarding this matter, there are a few things to point out here:

1.All of Mainstream Electric’s incoming phone calls are recorded, as disclosed via recording upon calling our office. Included is ********** recorded phone call with our Customer Care Representative (CCR) :
  • As you’ll hear for yourself, the $49 dispatch fee was absolutely mentioned upfront 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.

  • The Customer Care Representative can also be quoted as stating that ******** (& all of our clients) will receive a quote, up front and in writing. And, that quote is guaranteed.

  • The CCR also mentions Options, which is exactly what the licensed journeyman electrician ******* ******** provided during his visit with her.

  • Finally, on the call it is clearly stated, no hourly rate, but a quote down to the penny.

  • How much more straightforward can we be over the phone?? By disclosing what a customer “can expect” during his/her service call up front, this gives that person the CHOICE in which to schedule an appointment with us, or not. ******** CHOSE to move forward with the appointment, as heard on the recorded phone call.

     

2. Mainstream Electric prides itself in providing upfront pricing, or in other words, straightforward pricing. (Straightforward - a word also used by ******** in the italicized quote above). I have included a scanned copy of ********** Invoice.
  • Note that ******** was provided a couple of different Options; these were offered upfront.

  • How do I know? On the Invoice, as indicated by ********** signature, I HEREBY AUTHORIZE YOU TO PROCEED WITH THE ABOVE WORK  AT THE UPFRONT FEE OF $560.53, which was the installation of one ceiling fan as indicated per Option 2, which is also itemized both on the Option Sheet, as well as on the Invoice.

  • In addition, see ********** signature after the work was completed, which is our verification that she is satisfied with the work that was completed – ACCEPTANCE OF WORK PERFORMED.

  • Again, how much more straightforward can we be?? In giving clients Options, this also indicates that they have a CHOICE in the matter. ******** herself CHOSE option 2 and to proceed with a ceiling fan installation. She chose; we absolutely did not lure.

     

3.According to Dictionary.com, the word lure means to attract or entice. Please keep in mind
  • ******** called Mainstream Electric for her electrical need … we absolutely did not lure her in any way, shape, or form to do business with my company.

  • ******** had a discussion with our Customer Care Representative and had a CHOICE to schedule an appointment or not. We did not lure ******** into scheduling the appointment. She was informed and CHOSE to have an electrician out.

  • ******** was given Options by her electrician, and again had a CHOICE to not do the work at all or CHOOSE an option. She chose Option 2 … no luring involved; only straightforward choices.

 

Next in regards to ********** statement, I did not receive an itemized bill. Again, I’ll talk to a few points here:

  • First, as heard on the recorded incoming phone call from ******** to Mainstream Electric, ********* states no hourly rate; quote down to the penny. And, that quote is guaranteed.

     

  • Secondly, because we’re not an hourly company but an upfront pricing company, the quote IS broken down as such BOTH on the Invoice AND the OPTION SHEET:

     

     

     

    -Install Customer Specialty Fan

    -Install UL Approved Brace Box

    -Electrical Permit at $65

    -Standard Dispatch Fee

     $515.67 SUBTOTAL

     $ 44.86 WA EXCISE TAX on parts & labor (required by law)

     $560.53 TOTAL

     

  • As a courtesy, however, see the attachment named Breakdown … this one really goes into detail of ********** ceiling fan installation, as per her request under categorized Desired Settlement on the BBB email.

  • Clearly, there’s more to doing business than just an hourly rate and some material

 

I’ll now talk to ********** Permit concerns; see attached.

  • Yes, the cost of the permit is $40, as was paid directly to The City of Spokane

  • The additional $25 is an administrative fee. Mainstream Electric has a dedicated staff  member whom works solely in the permit process. For example, this person pulled the permit online, then requested an inspection upon completion of ********** job. See the highlights on the permit? The inspector took his time and went to ********** home, and there was no access … maybe no one was home. Looks like **** ****** the Inspector for The City of Spokane attempted to contact ******** by phone on Jan 16, 2015, and haven’t heard back. Now, our permit department will manage the permit to make sure the inspection takes place. The inspector, after all, holds my company (and other electrical contractors) accountable to The National Electrical Code AND The WAC, Washington Administrative Code …. these are LAWS of electrical installation in which we must adhere to as electrical contractors.

 

I will shift gears now, and be less factual and talk to the human side of Customer Service. ********, my personal and business philosophies as a female owner of the electrical contracting company Mainstream Electric:

1. to positively impact every person we come into contact with

2. it’s not what we do (electrical work), but how we make people feel that’s memorable in customer service

 

 

Clearly we did not accomplish these two things, and that is gravely concerning to me. Prior to receiving this BBB complaint, we promptly attempted to call you a few times to have a discussion about your dissatisfaction. You do NOT answer your phone. (I’ve included ********** emails as an attachment, as well). We are human too, ********, and now are as frustrated as you are because you don’t answer or take our calls. A business relationship is two-sided, and so is communication. And to assume that we’ve deceived you in anyway (your words, not mine, per your statement in the Desired Settlement) is inaccurate. Here’s why:

  • You won’t talk with us, although we’ve made every attempt to communicate with you; we could ignore this whole thing & never respond!

  • We have a coveted A+ rating with the BBB since 2003!!

  • If you go to our website: www.866411ZAPP.com, you’ll see that there are 76 customer reviews stating that these wonderful people are satisfied with Mainstream Electric.

  • We’ve been in business for almost 15 years, & year after year approximately 65% of our customers are Repeat Business.

  • As a goodwill gesture, we did not even deposit your check of $560.53. It’s still stapled to your invoice until we come to a resolution.

********, these are not characteristics of a company who lures or deceives its customers. What it does boil down to is communication, which you’ve refused to do.

I’m not sure why the electrician didn’t mention the coupon … honestly, he may not have known there was one online. He is human.

Resolution Proposal:

1. refund $45 + tax for the online coupon. In addition, I will refund $25 + tax for the permit administrative fee as it doesn’t sound like it was clearly explained, and we like to be upfront about your charges. That equals $76.09 refunded.

2. Please follow through and get your ceiling fan inspected by The City of Spokane.

2. In the future, I am asking that you communicate in person or by phone with those whom you have concerns with or about and give them the benefit of the doubt. I believe most people are good and want to do the right thing. They are not “out to get you," and you do have choices.

Look forward to hearing if this offering is satisfactory. If it is, we’ll need to know if you’d like to issue a new check for $484.44?? Call into our office with a credit card for $484.44?? Or, simply deposit the check we have for $560.53, and then we’ll issue the refund of $76.09 to you?? Please let us know.

Sincerely,

****** ********* ***

President of Mainstream Electric Inc.

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

BBB,

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

Regards,


******** *******

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

Sincerely,

******, 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.


******* ****


1/28/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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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. 
Sincerely,
****** ********, 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.]

Regards,

***** *****

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!
 
Sincerely,
****** ********, 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. 

Regards,


***** *****