I contracted Hot Wire to do some simple electrical things (e.g. move dining lights from one floor to another & fix the doorbell (which ended up just being a broken chime)), as well as some more complicated things such as upgrading the 2nd floor kitchen by adding an electrical sub-panel, adding more outlets, and then overall bringing more amps into the house.
They did excel in terms of general response rate (i.e. quick to respond to questions). Also, the on-site team was pleasant & polite.
WHERE HOT WIRE FELL APART:
a) initial estimates were based off of info that I sent, rather than doing a proper on-site discussion/consultation (I'm not an expert on electrical; how the hell would I know the best way of upgrading kitchen electricals and where/what sub-panels/panels/outlets to run???) . ON-SITE CONSULTATION WITH NEW CLIENTS SHOULD BE KEY
b) Hanna (the owner?) seemed to never really understand my questions. I was asking for clarity when her description differed from her on-site team; instead, she thought I didn't understand her and then started talking in a rather condescending way. She needs to calm down and listen to the consumer. CALM DOWN HANNA
c) payment terms were immediate upon conclusion of the project (despite deposits being paid upfront). I found this a bit odd in that all other suppliers/contractors/industries I've ever dealt with have 30 day terms. What's more, I know that 95% of the electrical costs are soft costs (i.e. labour), not hard costs (supplies), so 'the need' for full immediate payment still surprises me. However, I suppose it's not a big issue, but it is still worth mentioning. COMPARE PAYMENT TERMS WITH OTHER SUPPLIERS
d) when it came to payment, I felt harassed. I indicated that I was paying by e-transfer, but the team would stay on-site till the transfer was done with Hanna often calling or emailing repeatedly to check on progress. Whatever. However, on one particular occasion, Hanna must have called 2 or 3 times and sent a few emails all in the span of 1/2 hour, just because e-transfer was slower than usual. I called the bank to confirm they could see the e-transfer was taking place, and they verified they could & that the internet was just slow. They were shocked that my supplier was harassing me like that. I even had to finally tell Hanna to back off, in that e-transfer payment was more immediate and complete vs a check would take 5 business days to clear or that could bounce. AGAIN, CALM DOWN HANNA.
e) I didn't find out till after the work was done, that I couldn't put any metal things near where the outlets were that happened to be under the sup-panel - which made the whole project useless. The whole point, as I had explained, was to be able to put a shelf of smaller appliances near the multiple outlets. Shelves have some metal (screws, hinges, other), let alone small appliances (e.g. toaster, toaster oven, etc.). Why was this not shared at the start of the project as I would have put the multiple outlets on another wall? To this day, I'm upset about this - and it all goes back to the beginning of the project where initial estimate should have been done in-person. AGAIN, UPFRONT PROPER CONSULTATION IS KEY.
f) after the work was complete, I also had a couple of outlets spark & burn out. Hot Wire wasn't willing to take responsibility and claimed it had nothing to do with the new main panel being put in. They charged me an additional $325+tax to fix 1 plug (within a month of doing the work), even though I had already paid over $9,000. You'd think they'd guarantee their workmanship better (especially in light of what I discovered about the equipment they used - see #g below)? I had another issue yet another couple of months later, and did reach out to Hot Wire. I could tell they were aiming for another service charge, so I didn't bother. THERE SHOULD BE GUARANTEE ON THE WORK, NOT ADDITIONAL CHARGES
g) Later on, I did have another electrician come to the house, and they indicated that the main panel was not the best quality (ie not siemens (nor even schneider brand)), and that is why I was having problems. Question is: if I'm already paying so much money, shouldn't Hot Wire have explained options and let me choose the brand?!??! YET AGAIN, PROPER CONSULTATION WITH CUSTOMER IS NEEDED
Overall, I was very dissatisfied with my experience with Hot Wire and am baffled that they have such high ratings on HomeStars. I absolutely regret having gone with them vs another electrician.
IN RESPONSE TO HOT WIRE'S COMMENTS:
At no time did I bully; if anything, I felt that I was the one being harassed - which is why I ended up resorting to email, to avoid confrontation over the phone.
I was not 'non-paying'; I paid the full amount BY E-TRANSFER on all 4 occasions. If you read my comments, you will have seen that even the bank (when I called them), confirmed that slowness was due to internet service.
Proper consultation was not given. I think we can agree to disagree on that.
Lastly, the poorly written response is evidence of overall poor communications by the firm. Let the note speak for itself.
- Company Response
dear client while we appreciate all of this feedback I think the failure to admit a few main points that Hotwire did provide a scythe consultations we went over the estimates over and over again however the client was indecisive and not able to pee in a timely fashion which resulted in many phone calls back and forth asking the client for payment as of course you're not a company and we do not have 30-day terms with a homeowner that is supposed to pay at the end of the day and then ran out of funds and not able to pay us so while we understand that we are not perfect by any means we do have to take this review with the fact that the client was indecisive and non-paying so unfortunately the transaction was not very smooth with a non-paying client next time please read the contract that was signed where it stipulates that a deposit needs to be made and full payment needs to be available at the end of the day of the job since you are not on any terms with our company you refused to pay our company which again made the project goes sour
on a final note ... the plug she called about was on her a different floor and has nothing to do with scope of work as can be seen on our esa permit.
Hotwire has been award winning electrical firm for over a decade and when a client ever calls us years after the work we completed... we ensure to correct any deficiencies
what we will not do is ne bullied and threatened to do free work for a client that demands free service calls or threatens with defamation and negative reviews
in relation to the panel change and the workmanship both have passed with two separate permit by the electrical Safety Authority authorizing all the paperwork approving and certifying every single workmanship that was done on this site other than defaming us because the client was not able to pay her bills I'm really not sure where this anger is stemming from and the panel that was installed on this site is an Eaton Cutler-Hammer top-of-the-line panel of which the client called after 3 months asking us why we couldn't install a Schneider or a Siemens panel instead when our quotation and our Communications have always advised that we are an Eaton brand supplier we hope that the client appreciates the amount of work and effort that went into her project and seize the perhaps her one star review is not appropriate given how she transacted herself along the project and how many days and weeks we had to wait for her to find the funds and pay our company
we are sure our stellar reputation will speak for itself and the reviews where there is 1 bad apple will clearly show focus on the truth that transpired with this client
wishing you all an amazing day