Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Complaints corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03.12.2007, 10:43
deplanck's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
deplanck has no particular reputation at present
Excessive rate charged by electrician

Hi,

We are a young family, new in the Lausanne area and we recently asked an electrician to set up adsl for us in our rental house. It took longer than anticipated, but he stuck around even after I told him that I would finish up the registration etc.

Anyway, he said it would be no problem at all, but now we just got a bill charging us for 2h30 of work at 150 Sfr./hour , thus 375 Sfr. in total. We almost dropped to the floor when seeing a charge like this. It seems overly excessive, both in time and price. Anybody any suggestions regarding rates, how to handle this?

thanks so much for your help!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03.12.2007, 10:52
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: ch
Posts: 2,287
Groaned at 34 Times in 34 Posts
Thanked 1,623 Times in 836 Posts
gooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

This is excessive, given that it really shouldn't take more thgan 30 minutes to get an ADSL connection going if:
  • The line is already active
  • Connect modem/router/wireless
  • Connect computer/s to network
  • Lock down wireless network
I guess it's always a good idea in such scenarios to ask how long it takes and what thehourly rate is.

I would rather source a university student or the neighours kid to do this and give them 50 bucks. By the sound of it, they could do a much better job than this guy.

Bottom line, I think you got taken for a ride.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:02
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 8,529
Groaned at 364 Times in 251 Posts
Thanked 12,754 Times in 4,349 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

CHF150/hour is not excessive - especially if it includes travelling time. 2:30 hrs for that job is.

Labour is expensive in Switzerland. Rule #1 - always get an estimate first....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:06
deplanck's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
deplanck has no particular reputation at present
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Thanks for your reply!

Wow, I am surprised you say 150 Sfr is not excessive, calculating this quickly (and naievely) on a 40h/week 4 week month, that is 24,000 Sfr per month! I guess I should change jobs.
Is there a national or Vaudois standard on rates for plumbers, electricians, car servicemen etc.?

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:11
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Geneva
Posts: 5,514
Groaned at 123 Times in 108 Posts
Thanked 3,297 Times in 1,737 Posts
Shorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond reputeShorrick Mk2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Quote:
View Post
Thanks for your reply!

Wow, I am surprised you say 150 Sfr is not excessive, calculating this quickly (and naievely) on a 40h/week 4 week month, that is 24,000 Sfr per month! I guess I should change jobs.
The fact that not many electricians seem to be living the 24k a month kind of high life should reassure you as far as job choices are concerned...

Quote:
Is there a national or Vaudois standard on rates for plumbers, electricians, car servicemen etc.?

Thanks!
Volvo charges me 150 an hour. My lawyer about 350 when he's in a good mood.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:12
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: ch
Posts: 2,287
Groaned at 34 Times in 34 Posts
Thanked 1,623 Times in 836 Posts
gooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Quote:
View Post
CHF150/hour is not excessive - especially if it includes travelling time. 2:30 hrs for that job is.

Labour is expensive in Switzerland. Rule #1 - always get an estimate first....
What is excessive is that it takes 2,5 hours to setup an ADSL connection.

and 150:- an hour? Shouldn't 90-100 be more the norm?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

The bill you got is most probably made of the following :

- hourly rate of electrician ( the rate depends on the fact if he was
apprentice or the boss)
- travelling fee,this is usually a flat rate fee
- materials used
- VAT

Like Abfab says,it pays for asking around a few shops and asking for estimates and no it does not make for 24'000 a month salary.
I am married to a sparky ( with his own business and employees) and we get by on 5'500.-a month...............
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:16
deplanck's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
deplanck has no particular reputation at present
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Hi Eastenders,

no, unfortunately not, it was just hourly rate and VAT...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:24
Salsa_Lover
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

The first time I got my ISDN line installed I got also a 250 CHF invoice from the electrician.

This seemed me too much, as I am an electronic engineer, I could have done the job myself but you had to get a mandatory authorised by Swisscom electrician, if you wanted the ISDN at that time.

The job consisted in coming to the building, checking if the lines were ok and changing the old plug by the newer ISDN one.

When I complained about this to my Swiss boss, his answer was :


Him : Son, you are happy to have a comfortable and well paid life in Switzerland don't you ?

Me : Yes

Him : Well so do the electrician and all of us... so just pay the invoice.

Me: OK
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:27
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: ch
Posts: 2,287
Groaned at 34 Times in 34 Posts
Thanked 1,623 Times in 836 Posts
gooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond reputegooner has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Quote:
View Post
The first time I got my ISDN line installed I got also a 250 CHF invoice from the electrician.

This seemed me too much, as I am an electronic engineer, I could have done the job myself but you had to get a mandatory authorised by Swisscom electrician, if you wanted the ISDN at that time.

The job consisted in coming to the building, checking if the lines were ok and changing the old plug by the newer ISDN one.

When I complained about this to my Swiss boss, his answer was :


Him : Son, you are happy to have a comfortable and well paid life in Switzerland don't you ?

Me : Yes

Him : Well so do the electrician and all of us... so just pay the invoice.

Me: OK
Difficult to argue with.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:31
grumpygrapefruit's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NL, UK & sometimes ZH
Posts: 6,385
Groaned at 38 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 17,590 Times in 4,500 Posts
grumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Quote:
View Post
Hi Eastenders,

no, unfortunately not, it was just hourly rate and VAT...
Don't forget an hourly rate has to also include the costs of running the business, keeping tools and equipment up to date (and his expertise with training courses etc), financing a vehicle, office, telephone, advertising, accounts, business insurance etc etc...... and he won't be charging out for a full 40 hours a week.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank grumpygrapefruit for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: kloten
Posts: 339
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 122 Times in 80 Posts
Marcashvin has made some interesting contributions
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

touchè.....

Quote:
View Post
The first time I got my ISDN line installed I got also a 250 CHF invoice from the electrician.

This seemed me too much, as I am an electronic engineer, I could have done the job myself but you had to get a mandatory authorised by Swisscom electrician, if you wanted the ISDN at that time.

The job consisted in coming to the building, checking if the lines were ok and changing the old plug by the newer ISDN one.

When I complained about this to my Swiss boss, his answer was :


Him : Son, you are happy to have a comfortable and well paid life in Switzerland don't you ?

Me : Yes

Him : Well so do the electrician and all of us... so just pay the invoice.

Me: OK
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03.12.2007, 11:38
deplanck's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 9
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
deplanck has no particular reputation at present
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

thanks to everyone for such a quick reply, this must be the most active forum worldwide

I'll try to get the bill down to 250 Sfr, I can live with that and hopefully so will the electrician...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04.12.2007, 16:05
NCMustang's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 30
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
NCMustang has no particular reputation at present
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Why he wanted to stick around?

If you finished up the registration and nothing worked, you would have had him come back and fix (even if it wasn't his doing). Better to be there and ensure things work as they should.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04.12.2007, 16:21
Uncle Max's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Züri
Posts: 7,553
Groaned at 164 Times in 105 Posts
Thanked 8,424 Times in 3,486 Posts
Uncle Max has a reputation beyond reputeUncle Max has a reputation beyond reputeUncle Max has a reputation beyond reputeUncle Max has a reputation beyond reputeUncle Max has a reputation beyond reputeUncle Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Quote:
View Post
The first time I got my ISDN line installed I got also a 250 CHF invoice from the electrician.

This seemed me too much, as I am an electronic engineer, I could have done the job myself but you had to get a mandatory authorised by Swisscom electrician, if you wanted the ISDN at that time.

The job consisted in coming to the building, checking if the lines were ok and changing the old plug by the newer ISDN one.

When I complained about this to my Swiss boss, his answer was :


Him : Son, you are happy to have a comfortable and well paid life in Switzerland don't you ?

Me : Yes

Him : Well so do the electrician and all of us... so just pay the invoice.

Me: OK
I appreciate the sentiment here, but the price is still too high to me for the following reasons:

a) Not everyone is well paid in Switzerland and can afford being overcharged, son.

b) Considering an electrical engineer in London (a place of comparative living costs) would cost £35-40 per hour - which comes to around £100 for the time mentioned - in CHF this comes to around CHF230, not the CHF375 / c.£165 your man is charging. It also wasn't particularly complex engineering work, from what it seems.

Ask him to itemise his bill and check with other electricians in the area. Perhaps his costs are competitive. Maybe they're not
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04.12.2007, 16:33
Stephanwolf's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 792
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 583 Times in 317 Posts
Stephanwolf has a reputation beyond reputeStephanwolf has a reputation beyond reputeStephanwolf has a reputation beyond reputeStephanwolf has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Generally you can get an estimate for free. They will most of the time even come to your house and then send you the estimate by mail. That way you know what it will cost you. I ended up doing some work myself because the prices are so high.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04.12.2007, 17:54
swissbob
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Quote:
View Post
Thanks for your reply!

Wow, I am surprised you say 150 Sfr is not excessive, calculating this quickly (and naievely) on a 40h/week 4 week month, that is 24,000 Sfr per month! I guess I should change jobs.
Is there a national or Vaudois standard on rates for plumbers, electricians, car servicemen etc.?

Thanks!
A typical electrician could spend half of that time travelling between jobs .

But it is excessive - ours charges 110 for short jobs and 90 for jobs over 3 hours.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04.12.2007, 18:33
smackerjack's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: U.K/VAUD
Posts: 2,242
Groaned at 14 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 2,691 Times in 1,110 Posts
smackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Well, I just dug my bill out for the electrician who had to check the phone line and it was 215CHF. He charges 172CHF per hour and I note that he has charged me for his apprentice 70 CHF a hour. He charged me for half an hour. Unfortunately I was not there when he called but is it usual to have to pay for his apprentice also? Surely that it a cost that he should pay.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04.12.2007, 19:07
gregv's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: -
Posts: 1,315
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 626 Times in 303 Posts
gregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond reputegregv has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

That's not so bad. I get to do the maintenance on my electrician's windows computers in trade for electrical work. And last time I had to cook pizzas for dinner for his entire family. Okay, so he's family and it's always fun to have the nephews over.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank gregv for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 04.12.2007, 19:37
JVC
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Excessive rate charged by electrician

Travel time can be a killer. When my ISDN setup stopped working one day, I got a contractor sent by Swisscom and it cost CHF 180. Although he did some tidying up of wires in the ceiling, that didn't cure the problem - it was down to bad connections on the main distribution board in the cellar. I was convinced that this was caused by whoever installed the phone for some new neighbours who had just moved in, but couldn't prove that.

For comparison purposes, here are the prices for a local company who will do PC installations and whatnot:

- Travel: CHF 60 / hour
- Private customers: CHF 110.00 / hour.
- Business customers: CHF 130.00 / hour.

These obviously aren't approved telephone electricians, so it depends what needs doing.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electrician, house work, plumber




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanted: Electrician [Lausanne area] capenomad TV/internet/telephone 3 13.04.2010 18:52
Bank charged 50 CHF for the rent deposit account grey_md Housing in general 12 03.06.2008 16:56
I need a phone electrician xaphod TV/internet/telephone 1 02.12.2007 22:38
Vaud: Can you recommend your plumber, electrician, heating specialist, etc? miniMia Housing in general 0 27.11.2007 17:33
electrician lynnecon Housing in general 0 09.10.2007 15:32


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:45.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0