We’ve all been there before. At the worst possible time we lose power in our home, the dryer packs up or the air con stops working during a heatwave. You just want to run your day as you need to. When your next step can be the deciding factor in whether your day gets worse – or better. What do you do?
You Google ‘Electrician’ and click on Gumtree listing
There is no monitoring of Gumtree services to ensure the tradesmen offering services are qualified. This means you’re at risk of receiving work from an untrained, uneducated electrical nobody. The risks are the electrical safety of you, your family and your home. Think: fire, electrical shock, damaged property. Not using a licensed professional could void your warranty on your electrical products and even your house insurance, all in the plight for the dodgy worker to earn a few quick bucks and for you to get a ‘cheap’ job.
How Gumtree works for unlicensed service providers
The anonymity of Gumtree means that a service can be advertised for free in most cases. The person offering those services doesn’t need a website to back up their service offer, or any type of legitimate credential to prove they know what they are doing. For example, you might find yourself thinking an advert like the following is exactly what you need, when, it most certainly isn’t:
“Call Cameron for all electrical work in and around your home. Cheap rates in the local Brisbane area, same day service, can get to you fast.”
While Cameron sounds like a knight in shining armour, the onus is on the consumer to check he’s actually a licensed electrician. When he arrives, be ready to ask for all Cameron’s credentials and necessary back up, you the consumer, would require if he doesn’t do the job he was hired to do. It’s not just the electrical license to ask for, it should be insurances as well.
Made a mistake? We can Help
On the back of many frustrated clients we meet, the team at Safe & Sure often find the jobs we undertake are repair jobs made worse by a would-be electrician. We know how frustrating it can be to lose an appliance when you most need it, so it’s important to know what hangs in the balance if you don’t use the service of a professional, licensed electrician.
Here’s a story we heard recently that got an associate into a tricky spot and how it panned out eventually:
“It was a Friday evening not long back that we were hosting a dinner party for 16 guests and our air conditioner and overhead fan suddenly dropped out. We wanted someone to fix the problem immediately and were backed up against the wall. We logged onto the Gumtree website to see if anyone was offering call out electrical services. We found a guy who offered a fast response, so we called him, and he arrived within the hour, which at the time was great. He ‘fixed’ the air conditioner but couldn’t fix the overhead fan, and left just before our first guests arrived. During dinner, the air conditioner stopped again. Disaster. We made many calls to the guy again, but he didn’t return them, and we realised we’d made a big mistake. That evening, things went from bad to worse when we realised no one had asked him for proof of licensing. The first thing I did the next day was to call my regular electrician and ask him if he’d come out on a Saturday morning to see the problem. He arrived and realised the quick fix had voided warranty on our air conditioner, this meant we were unable to have the warranty cover the repair as it wasn’t carried out by a professional or a licensed person. Luckily, we had it repaired for a reasonable cost- except for a hard-earned lesson. Never again will we be travelling the quick-fix route!”
Four steps to avoiding disaster
We understand that stressful times lead to measures you wouldn’t normally take. If for some reason you do find yourself needing to use a quick fix service, here are the rules to follow to make sure you’re covered:
- Ask the provider for their electrical license number over the telephone
- Perform a search on that electrical license number at: Qld Govt, Dept of Justice; https://www.deir.qld.gov.au/elis/searchPrepare.do?dispatch=prepare OR request that the provider bring the license card with them to the work appointment, there are examples on the Dept of Justice website as to what they look like.
- Be confident to let the provider know that the work can’t be carried out without the license documents.
- Don’t get caught out in a rush. Licensed electricians will never harass you or make you feel uncomfortable about asking for licensing details because we know exactly how messy and unsafe things can get when an unlicensed person goes to town on your electrics.
The team of licensed professionals at Brisbane’s own Safe & Sure provide safe, high quality work for you, wherever you are. If you need work done fast, we prioritise the details that keep you safe and happy. Call us for to book your professional service today!