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.