My complaint is that **** ***** was deliberately vague in quoting & billing me to hide excessive charges for both the materials & the labor for the install of one 240 amp outlet in my garage.Quote was for a lump sum of $850, no breakdown of costs.The outlet was installed in the garage only 12' from the electrical panel, with easy attic access in the same area. Materials req'd were 4 items, breaker,25'wire,box,plug. Only exception to the norm was that my breakers were no longer made. **** stated that the breakers could be "hard to find and expensive" when he came to do the quote.When he knew I was getting another quote he said there were plenty of them & they had them in stock.I called ****, said I felt that was too high for what needed done and I was getting another quote.He immediately said $850 was a "worst case scenario" cost. He "repeatedly" reassured me that I would only be billed $850 if there were problems that took more time. A week later when the other guy failed to provide me an estimate, & based on ****'s reassurances that the $850 was worst case scenario,I gave Reitz the job.It was done on 12/1,& to my surprise only took 1 1/2 hrs. I noted the time of arrival & departure.The guy said, "It was easy.We didn't even have to drill a hole, there was already one, we dropped the wire & it went right down without any problems. Couldn't have been easier."Best case scenario not worst case. That day I req'd detail breakdown on my invoice by email. Never got a response. 1 week later I received lump sum invoice for $850! I called, **** was out, **** said I had a "proposal" & they always billed "as proposed" & never detailed them. **** never returned my call. I had to call back a week later, **** had a revised bill to $704.08, still "no breakdown of charges".Per **** I'm being billed 3 hrs 15 min labor. I know onsite work 90 min, drive time 30 min(mapquest),so what about remaining 75 min I'm charged for? I found materials at full retail for $180 (I can prove)-I'm being charged 326.24- Big Markup
**** *****'s failure to return my calls speaks volumes to me as to his intent to deceive me regarding cost. An honest owner would want to clear up any issues. I want revised invoice that itemizes material costs. Mark ups are standard but double retail price that I found them in Eville for is excessive,I have the right to know my billed cost. It did not take 2 men 75 min to pick up & load 4 small items in truck. Remove the "padding" that was added to the labor charges & revise the invoice.
February 12, 2015
Better Business Bureau
5401 Vogel Rd., Suite 410
Evansville, IN 47715
RE: Response to Case # ********* ********* **** *******
To whom it may concern:
Reitz Electric Service, Inc. was not vague in giving this customer a proposal which stated, "Supply and install (1) 240v circuit with a surface mounted receptacle for the kiln in the garage to the left of the window." It is our standard practice to give a lump sum proposal if not requested for when we are on site to gather information for the proposal. The amount of material used to complete the job in question was more than 4 items. I understand that the customer is not a licensed electrical contractor and their interpretation of what is needed to complete a job but there are smaller items that are necessary to meet the National Electric Code and the local ordinances. For this particular job we used: Wire, circuit breaker, tomic connector, junction box, box connector, wire nuts, grounding pigtail, staples for wire, screws, receptacle and the receptacle plate. From our electrician's time sheets; how we track all jobs, two electricians were on this job from 7:30am -10:45am on December 1, 2014. This time would include gathering material and portal to portal travel time.
As for the invoicing for our standard proposal which had an agreed upon price before we start the work we do not break out the labor and material cost. This was how the customer received the initial invoice. When the customer called to discuss the invoice **** informed the customer that he would discuss the invoice with **** and **** would be in contact about the customers concerns. There was miscommunication between **** and **** about not billing this job as proposed, which we corrected then we sent the second invoice for $704.08 with material and labor breakdown calculated using time and material amounts. The invoice had been reworked and was going out in the mail the day the customer called back. The customer requested the invoice to be received by email, which we sent on 12/17/14 by email. If the customer wanted a line item invoice it was not requested at that time. We typically do not give line items invoices without additional fees due to the added administrative time. **** did not contact the customer because it was not requested for **** to call the customer after the invoice concerns were brought to our attention; we thought the issue was resolved.
The required circuit breaker for this job is an obsolete breaker that the manufacture no longer produces. Yes, we had one breaker in stock but to replace the breaker to keep our stock we ordered a new surplus breaker which our cost of this breaker was nearly the amount at which the customer states they "found materials at full retail for $180 locally." As of today 2/12/15 we have sent the customer a line item invoice via email. We apologize for the miscommunication and we hope that this resolves the situation.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Reitz response to BBB didn't address concerns of excessive labor costs. ***** states "as for the invoicing for our standard proposal which had an agreed upon price before we start work"..not true. **** stated on phone I would only be billed proposal amount if worst case scenario,otherwise billed only what job required..which is what I agreed to. My proposal actually states "If less will bill less" which is opposite of what ***** claims in his letter. It took me from 12-1-14 to 2-17-15 to get labor hours billed in writing, 1 written request, 2 phone. So I stand by my complaint of vague & deceptive quoting/billing. I'm charged for 6.5 hrs total labor divided between 2 workers. Of this 4.5 accounts for the physical work at my house & portal to portal travel, which I agree with. Only other item left that is included in labor fees is gathering & loading supplies for my job. Of 11 items on list,6 were small incidentals like screw,nuts, staples,things usually kept by box on a truck. Then wire,1 breaker,1junction box,1 receptacle & receptacle plate. I'm being invoiced for it taking 2 men an hour to do this. Seriously?! I have no problem paying reasonable amount for work but no one likes to be taken advantage of. And this does. I am ok with paying for 1 guy 1hr to do this..and that is generous for the reality of how long it took. That would reduce labor costs by $50 which makes my final invoice $654.08. If Reitz agrees to that, I will pay immediately and consider this resolved. And we will never do business with each other again.
Final Business Response
***** ***** agreed to accept $654.04 as payment in full on complaint #XXXXXXXX from ********* **** *******.