So you have an electrical problem, and you have asked an electrician to come out to assess and/or fix the problem.  What should you expect when the electrician shows up at your door?  Here are a few things.

1. Punctuality.  The electrician should show up at the agreed upon time.  Of course, things do happen during the course of the day.  But if the electrician is running late, a phone call certainly is in order.

2. A positive first impression.  The electrician should have a professional appearance.  His (the majority of electricians are male; so we are going to assume that) clothing should be neat and clean.

3. Credentials.  The electrician should come with proof that the business he works for is properly licensed and insured.

4. Knowledge.  If you have a problem, whether it is a simple issue such as a bad outlet, or a complex problem such as your wiring infrastructure, the electrician should have the ability to diagnose the problem.  He may ask you a series of questions to help diagnose the problem.  If you brought the electrician to your house to discuss something that is not a problem, such as electrical work for an addition or an entertainment center, you still should expect him to ask you questions about what your objectives are.

5. Plain language.  Even relatively common phrases like amps, volts and ground can cause peoples’ eyes to glaze over.  You should make sure your electrician talks in plain language so you completely understand what the issues are and the plan to resolve them.

6. Price.  For routine calls, you should be advised of the service rates when you make the appointment.  Larger jobs that are beyond standard service work can be verbally quoted at the job.  If you prefer, the electrician should also be willing to provide a written estimate for your approval.  This, of course, may not happen during the initial visit.

7. Supplies.  The electrician cannot have everything in his truck.  But he should have the basic supplies he needs to do most routine jobs.

8. A positive last impression.  The following should happen when the electrician completes his work.  He should clean up.  He should explain the bill in thorough detail.  He should leave any appropriate documentation, manuals, etc.  If there are next steps, he should clearly communicate them.

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