Steps to take if you believe you have been subject to an unfair business practice or have been ripped off by a pirate electrical contractor.
You should contact this Approved Electrical Inspection Authority to determine whether the work which has been done complies with the relevant standards.
If the complaint involves the amount of money charged for a particular service where you may have been coerced into payment as a result of after hour’s emergency work, a complaint should be lodged with the Consumer Commissioner in terms of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.
Do not simply consult trade directories for the first available advertising electrical company. Many of these operators do not comply with Registration Requirements and are simply call centres who appoint third party electricians who are not duly registered. You will be asked for upfront cash or credit card payments for emergency work which will seem excessive and in most cases are.
Ask to see proof of registration as an electrical contractor from the person attending to the work and also a copy of his Registration Certificate (License) which is issued by the Department of Labour and make note of all the details. Do not proceed where the above information is not readily available.
Make sure that you obtain a physical address of both the electrician attending to the work and the Contracting Company which advertised the service (these in most cases are different entities and once paid, become untraceable other than through a telephone service).
Consumers should identify reputable contractors before a problem arises and keep their details available in case an emergency arises.
Do not fall prey to unscrupulous and unregistered electrical contractors.
Consult with Consumer Complaint forums to identify previous complaints against unscrupulous operators.