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Avoid Unlicensed Residential Electrician Scams

Devon Fehn - Fehn Electric

Devon Fehn – Fehn Electric

I’ve seen a lot of scammers and con artists throughout my years as a licensed electrician. I feel that it is part of my job to educate clients and potential clients on how to avoid hiring someone who is unlicensed for electrical work. I’m not writing this today because I need the business; I’m writing it to protect you from con artists who are primarily out to take your money. How do you know if your chosen electrician is licensed? Keep reading…

How to Spot a Con Man or Unlicensed “Electrician”

It isn’t like a con man wears a t-shirt that reads, “Hi, I’m not licensed, bonded, or insured, but I will rerun your electrical system for half price.” That would make it too easy to avoid them, right? One look at that shirt, and you’d be Googling for a licensed residential electrician in a hurry. Here are a few ways to avoid a scam:

  • Be cautious of extremely low prices. Licensed electricians aren’t out to rob you blind, but we have to charge a good amount to cover insurance and other necessities. I’ll talk more about insurances in a few minutes.
  • Ask to see a copy of their electrical license or their license number.
  • Verify the license number by visiting the California Contractors State License Board website and performing a search. Try it out. Search by the business name Fehn Electric and you’ll easily find me.
  • Ask to see insurance information.
  • Keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Insurance and Con Man “Electricians”

Obviously if someone is pulling a con, they don’t carry insurance to cover themselves in case of an accident. Consider this scenario – someone gets hurt on your property, what happens? You file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance to cover them, right? What if an uninsured, uninsured electrician gets hurt on your property while performing a job they’re not really qualified to do? You will still have to pay them for their work, however shoddy it may be, and they could place a claim on your homeowner’s insurance. Google unlicensed electrician problems and read the horror stories for yourself.

Newsworthy Issues Surrounding the Unlicensed

Wal-Mart is in the midst of a $5 million lawsuit for hiring unlicensed electricians. Their unfortunate hire resulted in an electrocution death on the jobsite. Maybe they’ll ask to see a license next time.

Craigslist recently banned a group of unlicensed electricians offering their services through the nationally-known website. Nice catch!

I’m not informing you of these issues because I’m jealous of their work. I want you to understand the importance of hiring someone who is fully licensed, bonded, and insured. I am licensed because I strive to be the best electrician I can be. I am bonded to protect you against anything that may go wrong. And I am insured to protect both of us in the case of an accident. I look forward to the opportunity to work with my fellow Californians and building by business as an honest, California licensed, bonded, and insured electrician.