BBB Accredited Business since

Thornton and Sons Electric, Inc.

Additional Locations

Phone: (509) 487-5859 Fax: (509) 487-7801 11616 E. Montgomery #5, Spokane Vly, WA 99206

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Thornton and Sons 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.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Thornton and Sons Electric, Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Industry Ratings Comparison | Chart

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

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

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Thornton and Sons Electric, Inc.
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: September 11, 2001 Business started: 01/01/1994 in WA Business started locally: 01/01/1994 Business incorporated 01/01/1994 in WA
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:

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

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

Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. Andy Thornton, President Mrs. Sarah Thornton, Vice President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Andy Thornton, President
Customer Contact: Mrs. Sarah Thornton, Vice President
Business Category

Electricians Lighting Consultants Home Theater Electricians - Commercial

Additional Locations

  • 11616 E. Montgomery #5

    Spokane Vly, WA 99206

  • PO Box 2505

    Spokane, WA 99220


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

7/7/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: We entered into a contract to build a new home in March 2013. Thornton and Sons Electric, Inc. were the subcontractors of our builder. They sent one electrician to wire our entire home. The initial electrician they sent was very thorough and seemed very knowledgeable. During this process we requested additional work to be performed that was over and above what the builder was going to provide of which Thornton and Sons would bill us for personally. Near the end of the project, the electrician working on our job was pulled off leaving our house only partially complete. This electrician then quit the company and another electrician was sent to our project. Not knowing what the first electrician did, the new person attempted to finish where they left off but numerous mistakes were made and things were not completed. One of the items that we had requested be done and paid for by us personally was a sub panel for a future generator. We have since learned that this was unnecessary for a whole house generator. The electrician on the job was asked to price a transfer switch for this future generator but at no time was ever asked to order the transfer switch. The owner of Thornton and Sons, ****, took it upon himself to order the transfer switch in case we decided to put it in because he did not have one in stock. When it came time to present us with a bill the transfer switch cost ($1,000) was included on the bill. When my husband questioned this the owner indicated that he could not return it and that we had requested it and put pressure on my husband to pay the bill. My husband indicated to Thornton and Sons that most generators come with a transfer switch at which time they responded that if that were the case they would work with us on the cost. Needless to say we paid our bill in full immediately. Towards the end of construction when it came time to finish the trim out of the electrical Thornton and Sons did not come back and complete the job and due to their own difficulties with our builder refused to warranty the work they had already performed. They never did install the transfer switch and did not even deliver it to us. We had to make numerous phone calls and make arrangements to pick the transfer switch up. We were caught in the middle of the disagreement between our builder and Thornton and Son Electrical. We paid them over and above to do specific work for us which they did not complete. We have since hired an electrician to come finish the job and have found numerous items that we paid for that they never completed. We have already spent an additional $500 to another electrician simply to fix the items that Thornton and Sons did not do correctly and to complete the job they were hired to do in the beginning. We reached out to Thornton and Sons at one point to come finish one of the items we recognized as incomplete and the owner was defensive and argumentative and very unprofessional. A service person was sent out and was able to finish one of the items but conveniently did not have all the supplies on his fully equipped electrical van to complete the job. We never received a follow up phone call to say that they would finish the job they were paid for. I would never recommend this company to complete even the smallest of electrical jobs. We felt they were very unprofessional and unqualified to do the job they were hired to do and even deceptive in that they charged us for items that they did not provide or partially provided. I can not imagine being a business owner when a customer has paid you for a job and you do not have the courtesy to complete that job to their satisfaction and then over and above refuse to warranty the work they performed. If you ever come in contact with this Company, RUN, they are unethical and unqualified to perform even the simplest of electrical jobs.

Desired Settlement: Would like Thornton and Sons, Inc. to take back the transfer switch they order without our approval and return our check in full payment for this item of $1,087.00. $1000.00 for the switch and $87.00 for the sales tax.

Business Response:

My name is ************* and I am the President of Thornton and Sons Inc.  The attached is in response to the *******’s complaint made to the BBB on June 26, 2014.

Thornton and Sons Inc has been a member of the BBB since 2001 and carries an A+ rating.  This is our first complaint.

Thornton and Sons Inc. was contracted by a local builder to provide the electrical on a home to be sold to the *******’s.

In July of 2013 The *******s’ approached my technician on the job and discussed some additional work that they wanted Thornton and Sons Inc. to complete (separately from the work Thornton and Sons Inc. was doing with the builder).  The technician relayed the information to me and I set up a meeting for Mr. ******* and **** Thornton to discuss details.  It was during that meeting that Mr. ******* expressed his desire to have a transfer switch for a generator he might install at a later date.  **** Thornton discussed the option of purchasing the transfer switch up front to save some cost in the installation later.  It is my belief that Mr. ******* did not disagree to ordering the transfer switch at that time and so we ordered it in order to capture the cost savings **** Thornton offered.  The transfer switch was stored at Thornton and Sons Inc.’s shop for safety.  After the meeting I emailed the *******’s with a re-cap of the meeting details.  Mr. ******* responded that he needed to know how much the (other) extras were going to cost before he could accept the transfer switch.  I returned an email with the cost for all the extras.  In that email I also offered the *******s’ an option to set up a payment plan for the transfer switch (interest free) if the transfer switch was going to be a financial burden.   The next email from the *******s’ was that they sent a check for all the extras including the transfer switch.  The attached copy of the email exchange between the *******s and myself supports that no pressure was put on the *******s to pay for the transfer switch. 

We continued to work on the house for the next several weeks.  Unfortunately, over that time the relationship between the builder and Thornton and Sons Inc. deteriorated and another electrician was brought in to finish the project. It is Thornton and Sons Inc.’s policy not to warranty any of our work that was altered by others.  Any work completed by Thornton and Sons Inc., not altered by others, is warrantied as per policy.  Thornton and Sons completed all work that we were paid to complete, as well as, a few extras requested by the the *******s on our last trip.  The installation of the transfer switch was not charged to the *******s because the install date was to be determined.  Thornton and Sons Inc.'s technicians were capable of performing the work we were hired for.

In September 2013, Mrs. ******* came to Thornton and Sons Inc.’s shop and picked up the transfer switch that had been in our possession since July 2013.

In June 2014, Mr. ******* came to Thornton and Sons Inc.’s shop with the transfer switch and requested a refund from me.  Mr. ******* said that he had purchased a generator and it came with a transfer switch.  I asked him why he purchased a generator with a transfer switch when he already purchased a transfer switch from Thornton and Sons Inc. and he said the salesman at the store said that it would be better to purchase them together to make sure they were compatible.  It is Thornton and Sons Inc.’s opinion that the transfer switch purchased from us by the *******’s is compatible with a majority of generator brands.  Mr. ******* also expressed that he felt that **** Thornton had bullied him into purchasing the transfer switch and he felt he had no choice.  I told Mr. ******* that I needed to discuss the return with **** Thornton and check to make sure the wholesaler I purchased the transfer switch from would let me return it.  I also told Mr. ******* that, if the wholesaler would take it back, I would cut him a check and call him when it was ready.  I offered that Mr. ******* could leave the transfer switch with me or take it with him, and he chose to leave it.     

The next day I contacted my wholesaler.  They said they would not let me return the transfer switch because their return policy is 90 days.  They also checked with the manufacturer to see if they would take it back, they would not.  Over the next few days I contacted other wholesalers and consignment shops to see if I could help Mr. ******* get something for the transfer switch.  I contacted Mr. ******* within one week of our meeting and informed him know that I was unable to refund the money for the transfer switch because my wholesaler (and manufacturer) would not accept a return.  Mr. *******s expressed his frustration in not being informed of any return policy.  I explained to Mr. ******* that I was unaware of my wholesalers return policy because I had never had anyone try and return something so long after a purchase before.  I apologized to Mr. ******* for his inconvenience and we agreed that the situation was a learning experience for both of us.  Mr. ******* stated that he felt he should never have paid for or picked up the transfer switch since he wasn’t sure when he was going to need it.

At no time was it Thornton and Sons Inc.’s intention to take advantage of the *******s.  It is the goal of Thornton and Sons Inc. to provide quality work at affordable prices.  I feel Thornton and Sons Inc. conducted business in a professional and respectable manner.  I feel that I personally made every reasonable effort I could to help the *******s with the return of the transfer switch. 

Consumer Response: Unfortunately it all comes down to "he said, she said" as we do not have any written proof of the conversations between **** Thornton and myself, *** *******.  I have attached a copy of the e-mail between myself and Thornton and Sons, Inc. but what the e-mails fail to show is the conversation between **** and myself regarding how he pressured us to proceed with the purchase of the unauthorized transfer switch.

When Thornton and Sons, Inc. electrician started on our job we requested that they do the work to prepare the home for a future generator.  We at no time requested that they order a transfer switch.  We did not know when we were going to be able to afford the installation of a generator and we told **** that it might be months or years before this happened.   ***** indicated in her response to you that she offered us a payment plan to pay for the transfer switch.  At no time was it an issue of being able to pay the bill, but simply that we did not authorize this purchase.  In my conversation with **** about the transfer switch I asked him how he knew that the generator I might purchase did not come with a transfer switch.  He stammered his response, knowing full well that he had already ordered the transfer switch and did not want to return it.  He then responded that if I did purchase a generator that came with a transfer switch  he would "work with me".   At no time in my conversations with **** was it ever discussed there was a time frame on this.  He further stated that from time to time they did that kind of work and could possibly use the switch in the future indicating I could return this item.  I asked **** what  would happen if I chose not  to proceed with a transfer switch at this time.  He stated that it would cost me $250 to hook up as is and make the house functional and when we hooked up a transfer switch at a later date it would cost us $250 or more to complete and therefore would be half way to the cost of the transfer switch which was $1,000.   We have since found that the sub panel they installed is unnecessary.

The reason we went ahead and paid for the transfer switch (against our better judgement) was because of ****'s assurance he would work with us if for some reason we were unable to use the transfer switch in the future.  The other reason is because we were simply trying to move things forward on the building of our home that had already been delayed several months and knowing that we would have to continue a business relationship with Thornton and Sons.   We were unaware of the issues with the builder and Thornton and Sons and as a result were stuck in the middle.

*****'s response indicated that we should not have purchased a generator that came with a transfer switch since we already had one.  When we researched the generator to purchase we found that it was much more economical to buy the generator with the transfer switch included and an electrician told us that it is better to purchase them together to ensure that they are a matched unit.  The electrician indicated that is standard procedure.  This being said, **** should have been aware of this.  We also were relying on the fact that **** had assured us that it would not be a problem returning the transfer switch.

 ***** mentioned in her response that my wife picked up the transfer switch in September.  What she doesn't mention is that they quit coming to the job site which concerned us and we called several times and left messages, e-mailed, all of which were unanswered.   My wife made a trip to their office at which time ***** did not disclose their issues with the builder and did not know where the transfer switch was.  My wife had to make a second trip to finally pick up the transfer switch.
After it became evident that **** was not going to honor his word and "work with me" and make it right I went back to Thornton and Sons to pick up the transfer switch and asked ***** if this was their idea of working with me.  ***** had no response.  I then asked her if the tables were turned and this was happening to her how would she feel and her response was "angry and frustrated".  ***** states in her response to you that she attempted to return the switch to their supplier and was unsuccessful.  The fact that ***** even attempted to return the switch to their supplier indicates to me that she agreed they had told us they would accept this return.  However, when they were unable to recover their cost for their mistake, the burden was passed to us.  I asked ***** what I could do with a transfer switch I couldn't use and she suggested "**********". Thornton and Sons failure to return this item should not be an issue for us since we never authorized them to purchase it in the first place.   Thornton's response in handling this issue is unethical and should not be allowed. 
Attached is a signed statement from Thornton and Sons stating that they would warranty their work at our home, which they have not honored.  This was given to us by our builder after we complained to him that they were not returning our calls and refusing to warranty their work.   After several attempts to get them to return to our home to fix items that were incorrect or incomplete they did return and fix a few of these items but refused on several others.  Out of exasperation we finally hired another electrician who fixed the mistakes they made and completed the projects that we had already paid them for.  


*** & ***** *******

Business Response:

Whether or not the Thompsons authorized the order of the transfer switch, it is Thornton and Sons Inc.’s opinion that they never should have paid for it or picked it up if they didn’t want it.  The transfer switch belonged to, and was the financial responsibility of, Thornton and Sons Inc. until the moment The *******s paid for it.  Thornton and Sons Inc. will not accept responsibility for the *******s actions which were, in their own words, “against our better judgment.”    

Thornton and Sons Inc. fully intended to have a long standing relationship with the *******s and it is unfortunate that the situation broke down so severely.  The accusation by the *******s that Thornton and Sons Inc. refused to warranty or fix our work is unfounded and undocumented.    Communication between the builder, Thornton and Sons Inc., and the *******s became so muddied, I believe the *******s are holding Thornton and Sons Inc. responsible for work we were not hired for, nor paid to, complete.  

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]


I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ******** 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.]

This response from Thornton and Sons clearly displays to us that they know we did not authorize this purchase but they have sucessfully wiped their hands clean of the matter by thier unethical bully tactics with a customer to pay for something they purchased without authorization.
It appears we have only two options, let them get away with this and continue to spread the word about their unethical practices or seek legal action. We would like to see this complaint stay on the BBB website. **** from Thornton and Sons has yet to contact us and look us in the face as he continues to insist this is our responsibiity after promising he would work with us if we paid their bill. Shame on him.


*** & ***** *******