IET logo
 
IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: Whatever happened to
Topic Summary: Installers who care about their client
Created On: 17 March 2013 07:16 PM
Status: Post and Reply
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 17 March 2013 07:16 PM
User is online View Users Profile Print this message



Zs

Posts: 2783
Joined: 20 July 2006

Hello,

you know that theatre? well on Friday I went in to inspect a section of the building of which I had little knowledge. It has been refurbished and was commissioned less than a year ago. Very smart.

At lunchtime on Friday formal testing and inspecting in the EICR stylee was aborted in favour of digging deeper for code 1 safety concerns.

I have spent today writing a report for them.

The code 1's amount to 18. The 2's to 10 and the 3's to 2 ( give or take about 100 3's not noted yet in view of the bigger deals). The only reason I did not issue a danger notice was that by locking the distribution area the public could not get to the exposed live parts. Just shocking if you pardon the dreadful pun.

My point? Whatever happened to installers who care about their client? Why did anyone think this would be ok? His name is Simon and he does a great deal of work for the management company who own the building. I have always revered him and shrunk into his shadow. After all, he runs an Installation company which is tried, tested (I use the term loosely now) and re-ordered by a huge blue chip company. He must know his onions and better be placed to design and install than I....WTF.

Rant over.

Zs
 17 March 2013 09:03 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for stateit.
stateit

Posts: 2131
Joined: 15 April 2005

After all, he runs an Installation company which is tried, tested (I use the term loosely now) and re-ordered by a huge blue chip company


I've a near-ish neighbour who fits that bill.

All his 'lads' were busy doing installs around the country when he wanted his extension wired, so he called me up.

[I thought he sounded an @rse when his first words were 'Are you busy?'. No introductions...]

I gave up two days into the first fix. The way he was allowing his extension to be built made all my alarms go off.


And the moral of this story is....

Well, you know the moral of the story don't you?

-------------------------
S George
http://www.sg-electrical.com
 17 March 2013 09:25 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for dbullard.
dbullard

Posts: 1166
Joined: 02 March 2006

Zs,

I can understand exactly where you are coming from.

As I mentioned some time ago I get to test allot of schools / council buildings and other large establishments for a independent testing company, some of which have had recent works done < 3 years in some cases, now being from the "NOT SO SUNNY" southwest we a fair few large electrical contractors, many of which are no longer trading thankfully, not me I am a "one man band". It would be unprofessional of me to mention any names of these companies

I was amazed at how little care the larger companies have when concerned with the simple but vitally important issues, some of these companies have a turn over of > 1m per year

1. Good Installation practice
2. Correct labeling (if any) on DB'S
3. Giving a sh@t if it is earthed( local college hair dressing section left unearthed and one side of the IT dept left unearthed after some recent works < 1month)

These jobs are from the "larger well established" local firms, I can almost guarantee that these jobs have "made up" test results or never tested. And when I get into a job and see who has previously been working, sometimes they leave a DB chart and certs for reference

I think that the smaller the company the better service and care you get, unless you are a total shark, and lets face it there are a few of those also.

Chin up, Don't let it wear you down


Regards

Daren

-------------------------
..... Dont pee in my pocket and tell me its raining ......


www.quest-electrical-sw.co.uk
 17 March 2013 10:34 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for OldSparky.
OldSparky

Posts: 592
Joined: 28 June 2011

Originally posted by: Zs

Hello,



you know that theatre? well on Friday I went in to inspect a section of the building of which I had little knowledge. It has been refurbished and was commissioned less than a year ago. Very smart.



At lunchtime on Friday formal testing and inspecting in the EICR stylee was aborted in favour of digging deeper for code 1 safety concerns.



I have spent today writing a report for them.



The code 1's amount to 18. The 2's to 10 and the 3's to 2 ( give or take about 100 3's not noted yet in view of the bigger deals). The only reason I did not issue a danger notice was that by locking the distribution area the public could not get to the exposed live parts. Just shocking if you pardon the dreadful pun.



My point? Whatever happened to installers who care about their client? Why did anyone think this would be ok? His name is Simon and he does a great deal of work for the management company who own the building. I have always revered him and shrunk into his shadow. After all, he runs an Installation company which is tried, tested (I use the term loosely now) and re-ordered by a huge blue chip company. He must know his onions and better be placed to design and install than I....WTF.



Rant over.



Zs



not done by a liverpool company by chance?
 17 March 2013 10:38 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for OldSparky.
OldSparky

Posts: 592
Joined: 28 June 2011

forgot to say this is why after mid april i am quitting working for my self..

the customer dosent really care about standards

you dont get paid on time, owed 2.5k from january

the suppliers sell you s**t

so i am getting a job 8 to 5 will suit me fine plus a van plus holidays and no weekend working

end of rant
 17 March 2013 10:45 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



daveparry1

Posts: 6094
Joined: 04 July 2007

You won't like it OS, very difficult having someone controlling you after being self-employed, good luck anyway,

Dave.
 17 March 2013 10:47 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for Martynduerden.
Martynduerden

Posts: 3211
Joined: 13 July 2008

Whatever happened to Installers who care about their client


They are all being used by clients who pay for a quality job.

Amount charged for a job SHOULD not be low enough to do it less than safe, BUT some clients are so set on cheap what they actually get is "Dangerous"

Now dangerous is very different from rough personally I CBA with either, apparently I'm expensive, naturally, I disagree, I think I'm cheap for what my clients get, I do discounts when I need to but never so low as for me to lose interest in the job, after all if one is not interested in the job it will show through and generally be rough.

Dangerous is usually but not always the result of contractors being screwed on price, They cut their prices so low that they need to be out and on to the next in half the time actually needed and because they are so busy and in demand they begin to confuse activity with achievement and quality.

Everybody loses eventually most of all the deceased family.

Clients want cheap and rarely care, contractors need the clients to pay the bills and some will do whatever it takes.

Money is the root of all evil.

My stock answer, I'm expensive? Oh well see you later.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 18 March 2013 05:52 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for ebee.
ebee

Posts: 5664
Joined: 02 December 2004

Wise words Martyn

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 18 March 2013 09:39 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for sparkiemike.
sparkiemike

Posts: 1529
Joined: 24 January 2008

It appears to be not uncommon. My brother works for a well known Italian restaurant chain. The current electrical contractors charge good money to maintain and provide call out services. In one of the returants there are no circuit schedules, and the dimmer power unit had no cover with exposed live parts, it just happened to be next to a shelf where they store stock.

They also decided to install a fridge in front of the DB.

Not sure who was to blame the restaurant management or the electrical contractors - they both seem to apathetic
 18 March 2013 10:42 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jcm256

Posts: 1840
Joined: 01 April 2006

It is difficult particularly if you are soft hearted, and belong to the same club as the offending party. However, it is your duty. In a large report like this, you are a specialist and will have to decide writher your report be written in the specialist language technical terminology if you were communicating with another specialist to save time. In this case, I think not so you will have to communicate to a wider none technical audience. For code I, you please leave on site a preliminary report form this will cover you up until the main report completed at later date. Someone in authority should sign the preliminary report.
Yes larger EICR sometimes are not easy and as you write the report some false of awe or solemnity descends upon you, particularly if the basis of the report leads to a Prohibition Notice which prohibits an activity until remedial action has been taken. .

Edited: 18 March 2013 at 09:48 PM by jcm256
 18 March 2013 11:17 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



MrP

Posts: 831
Joined: 24 March 2006

Mrs ZS
Your looking at this the wrong way
If it wasn't for the nuggets out there they wouldn't need good people like you to put it right you wouldn't be able to buy that goucci bag and heels or beer and skitles on Friday night or a fish supper on your way home.
Bring it on If it wasn't for the nuggets out there I and a lot of us would be out of work

MrP the bigger the nugget the less they know
 18 March 2013 12:20 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19446
Joined: 23 March 2004

My point? Whatever happened to installers who care about their client? Why did anyone think this would be ok?


They generally don't exist in the true sense - it's just that the relationship between some clients and some installers is better or worse than others. Don't forget that a good client paying good money is often subsidisng (from the contractors viewpoint) a poor client paying poor money. You use the good job to overcome the problems on the poor job - result - poor work all round, even for clients who don't deserve it.

he does a great deal of work for the management company who own the building. I have always revered him and shrunk into his shadow. After all, he runs an Installation company which is tried, tested (I use the term loosely now) and re-ordered by a huge blue chip company


Sounds about right - in a former life, I was responsible for "generating" circa £1,000,000 per annum from a Blue Chip client from "problems" in buildings we were being paid handsomely to maintain - from the clients perspective, they were seeing technically and financially astute "managers" who had thier best interests at heart - If I said it was US, then it was US - if I said it was fine - then it was. We made the money (and I wasn't the only guy in this role) from three things:

1 - Not doing what we said we would do for servicing and maintenance - and there are a million and one tricks to make it appear that everything gets done but you spend very little on essentially doing very little - so maximum margin

2 - Inventing, exaggerating or fabricating problems that were simple to solve but very disadvantageous to the client operation - so we would turn up like the lone ranger - save the day and then rinse them for the privelage - my £1 million per annum extras

3 - Employ sub contract labour and really put them under the hammer time and cost wise - and then you live with the "rubbish" that ensues. As long as the lids go back on and it looks "tidy" then no one worries bout the "crap" that's not visible.

So - two points:

1 - Never stand in awe of anyone who talks a good job (and there are a lot of them about) - form opinions on the evidence and weigh that evidence based on your knowledge and instinct.

2 - Never be suprised at finding rubbish work - it's the norm in reality, particulary from bigger operators

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 18 March 2013 08:42 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for slittle.
slittle

Posts: 3456
Joined: 22 November 2007

The problem comes once you get out of the one/two man band and start to grow and I'm sure once you reach a seven figure turnover business it gets a lot worse.

We've got relationships with customers that go back 40 years or more because we care and because we're there 24/7/365 when they need us.

However some of these relationships cost us money over the course of a year and you have to look at them with a cold and clear business head on sometimes.

As we've been lucky to grow through the last few years to the point that I spend a lot less time doing and a lot more time looking and talking, it's become obvious that even with good guys on board keeping standards up requires constant supervision.
 18 March 2013 09:07 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for dbullard.
dbullard

Posts: 1166
Joined: 02 March 2006

Oms,

Some well put points. But the problem in our industry seems that the honest reliable and thoughtfull contractor who is marginally more expensive because the "job" will run over by a few days never ever gets the "cream" so to speak.

I recently priced a large community centre refurb, I priced it fairly with a months timescale allowing for other trades etc to over run, I found out that another company had won the contract at a price that I could just about get the materials for with a small markup, I had priced the job using the correct materials, cable LSF, Firetuff etc as the original install was in LSF, Firetuf etc but what the customer rarely see's is the hard work that goes into a quality job, and not the cheap nasty crap that most companies install or throw cables across cielings. It is a shame that when the poop hits the fan the first contractor has either gone to the wall or gets the money and runs,then most clients call the chap who was marginally more expensive in the first place to fix the problem .........

I recently undertook some testing on a wood recycling power station and the 250a isolators for the £60k+ compressors were actually the cheapest nastiest dross I had ever come across, again installed by one of the UK's major electrical contractors with a turnover of £millions, penny to a pinch of shiete within 6 months these would need replacing as the handles usualy fall of or the handle bar internally shears of under preasure, I know it was crap, the installer knew it was crap, the client didn't know it was crap .

It goes without saying the "you get what you pay for "

Unfortunately we live in a £ driven economy so if people can save a £ and still get the light on they will.


Kind Regards

Daren

-------------------------
..... Dont pee in my pocket and tell me its raining ......


www.quest-electrical-sw.co.uk
 18 March 2013 10:05 PM
User is online View Users Profile Print this message



Zs

Posts: 2783
Joined: 20 July 2006

An interesting day. I am dog-tired so you will have to excuse the spelling and grammar but I'll give this my best shot.

I was on site in london at 7.20 thismorning. at 7.50 the owner of the building called me having received my report and he was gunning in no uncertain terms for a different installer. Talking legal. I advised that it was his installer. He listened and said 'lesson learned, someone will be in to meet you today'.

At 1pm an installer arrived with both barrels pointed at my head. That bit was quite extraordinary. You know I don't like doing technical in public but I had to. I threw the big green book right at him but softly. ' How can I pretend I don't know about this? Show me where it says that this is acceptable' kind of thing.

At 1.20 he actually put his hands up in the air and said " it was a quick job, on a budget and it is wrong. I am glad this came to light. Respect".

Week after Easter it will all be replaced, tested and certificated. I will witness test on the quiet on behalf of the owner a week later.

I don't lose it very often but I am glad I did this time.

Un-ranted

Zs
 18 March 2013 10:48 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for stateit.
stateit

Posts: 2131
Joined: 15 April 2005

Well done.

-------------------------
S George
http://www.sg-electrical.com
 19 March 2013 12:25 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



Richard64

Posts: 231
Joined: 15 October 2009

As has been pointed out, 'Whatever happened to the client that cared about their installer'
It's all about the price. And when it all goes ***** up, the people that care are expected to bail them out of the ***** for pennies.
I've been called a troublemaker, 'Just get the fkn thing done' etc. And heard eyes rolling down the phone when explaining about a proper, compliant job. But I'd rather starve - and it's getting that way - than compromise. Unfortunately the bodgers will always get the work. :-(
 19 March 2013 07:34 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



Jaymack

Posts: 4586
Joined: 07 April 2004

Originally posted by: Zs
Whatever happened to installers who care about their client?

Why single out electrics? Whatever happened to human decency, morals, integrity, professionalism and all the other standards. It's a common problem in the U.K. and other countries, but we call ourselves civilised.

Regards
 19 March 2013 01:18 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for BigRed.
BigRed

Posts: 558
Joined: 10 November 2006

Zs, you only threw the book at him? very restrained.
client courtesy is getting worse, you work on a quote for days, having given them a ball park estimate for their grant application, to be told that your original "quote" was too expensive, and they have gone with joe blogs down the road, who will throw it in and spur the horse on. Sometimes, I give up. Next time someone tells me they can get the stuff cheaper on the web, i'll give them the spec to match and they can buy it.
Statistics

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.