FLASH ELECTRICAL / B RAWLINSON ELECTRICAL REVIEW
26 HAIGH MOOR ROAD, WAKEFIELD, WF3 1ED. MOBILE: 07867 303027
A REVIEW OF WORK CARRIED OUT BY FLASH ELECTRICAL / B RAWLINSON ELECTRICAL
If you're looking for an electrician in Yorkshire, avoid Flash Electrical / B Rawlinson Electrical like the plague. You won't know about their T&Cs initially but you will once they cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage or you complain about the quality and standard of their work, not only will they not provide what you've paid for, they'll hold you to ransom for even more money. We paid £2300 for the work, on time and in full. To get Ben's work to comply with regulations, we either had to pay Ben the £715 ransom money he demanded or pay over £2000 to have the full house rewired again in order to obtain the relevant certificates. Finally, after the threat of court action, Ben finally agreed to have the necessary certificates issued to comply with regulations. We're still £600 out of pocket due to the damage he caused but hopefully this review will give potential customers of Flash Electrical / B Rawlinson Electrical some food for thought before having them undertake work in their properties.
In fact, you may be looking for their Terms and Conditions on here as you've been given this website address on Ben's invoices or estimates. You'll need to head over to the site he doesn't tell you about at www.flash-electrical.com for those. Watch out for that "£500 Discount" clause though as several months down the line, when you complain about the work, he's going to withdraw that discount and try to charge you it in order to answer any questions, as you'll learn later one.
In January 2020, we hired Ben Rawlinson of B Rawlinson Electrical / Flash Electrical to complete an electrical rewire at our property. It is our belief that we did not obtain fully what we paid for, unnecessary damage was caused to our property by Ben or his colleagues whilst carrying out the work and some of the work carried out was not done using "reasonable skill and care" as prescribed in the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
This review is an honest and factual representation of work undertaken at my property by B Rawlinson Electrical / Flash Electrical of Tingley in West Yorkshire. It it not intended to be malicious in any way. All statements in this review are backed up by text messages, emails, or statements by either my wife or myself. Company address and telephone numbers have been provided as they are in the public domain and in order to avoid confusion with other companies of the same names.
Initial contact with Ben by text message. He agreed to look at the job on 29.12.19 as he was going away on the 16th.
For some reason, Ben asked to rearrange for 30th (Can't remember why).
Running late. Arrived at 14.45 instead of the agreed 14.30. Discussion between Ben, my wife and myself. Explained the work that would need doing. Informed Ben that we wanted the ceiling intact as we could not afford to have them re-done, which Ben agreed to. Ben informed us that the cost would be £1700 for the rewire including unlimited sockets and switches and a bathroom humidistat/time extractor fan. He informed us that there would be a £300 “lived in” supplement and an additional £300 charge for rewiring the conservatory and utility room, bringing the total cost to £2300. He stated that he will send us the quote later and there will be burglar alarms, cctv and other costs on the quote but to ignore those as its just what the invoicing software throws together. Ben stated that as our walls are all hollow, there wouldn’t be too much mess.
Ben sends quote(EST0168) at 15.51 by text (incorrectly dated as 13/12/20) for £3945 which consists of what we discussed plus prices for tv aerial points, Ethernet socket, outside light, wireless alarm and cctv system but omits to mention the agreed upon bathroom fan. At 16.08, I informed Ben that we would go for the full rewire including the “lived in” supplement and additional 2 room rewire for the total cost of £2300. Ben states that he will book us in for the 6th January 2020 and that he usually takes a 40% deposit to secure the booking but he will send it across the day after. I told Ben that’s fine and asked if the price included the bathroom fan, to which Ben said he had one on the van and it would be included in the rewire.
At 14.22, Ben sent invoice INV0208 which states is for the “40% deposit rewire 2 bedroom dwelling” at a cost of £920 to secure the booking and stated he usually comes out again before the rewire to discuss and mark up where everything is going. As we had yet to have a proper updated quote for the work that had been agreed, I asked Ben to provide the updated quote before I paid the deposit. At 14.28, Ben sent the updated quote (EST0168) which included everything we agreed including the full rewire, the “lived in” supplement, the additional charge for the two extra rooms and the bathroom fan. We agreed that Ben would come out on the 4th January to discuss and mark up where everything was going. We paid Ben the 40% £920 deposit by bank transfer in payments (£750 and £170 as there was a £750 single transfer limit to a new payee).
Screenshot of amended quote EST0168
At 12.39, Ben informed me that he is running 15 minutes late. In lost messages on WhatsApp, Ben informed me that he would have to come out on the 5th January instead as the wheel bearing or axle on the van had gone. We agreed that he could come out at 2pm on the 5th January.
Ben came and marked up where everything was going downstairs. He said they would be working downstairs for the first few days so could we pull the fridge away from the wall in the kitchen and move the furniture, tv, etc into the middle of the living room and dining room. He said that even though he was due to start on Monday 6th January, could we rearrange it for Tuesday 7th January so that he could get his van repaired on the 6th, which we agreed to. He said he would be arriving around 09.30 and leaving around 17.00 each day. As I arrived home at 16.00 to 16.30, his leaving time would mean that we could discuss the progress of the work. We gave Ben a key and he left.
Before we set off to work, we made sure that we moved the fridge into the middle of the kitchen, and the furniture, tv, etc into the middle of the living room and dining room.
I arrived home around 16.30 and looked around the house to see what work had been done. To my concern, the fridge freezer and separate freezer were both left unplugged, which at 16.50 I texted Ben about, asking how long they had been off, to which he replied that they had been off for a few hours and they were fine for 24 hours if they aren’t opened.
At 15.45 Ben texted me to say that the downstairs sockets were working and the day after on the Thursday , they would be starting the lights and on the Friday, they would do the extension, meaning on the Friday, all downstairs would be done. At 16.00, I arrived home and inspected the work. Shocked that new holes had been created because all the sockets had been moved 300mm above where the old ones were and 450mm from the floor, I texted Ben to ask if it was the regulations that required them to be do high, to which Ben informed me that is was. If the regulations did require them to be so high, I would have accepted it but I later learned that these heights were only guidelines. There were also holes in the walls where cables had been run but these weren’t too bad to patch up.
When I arrived home at 16.00, it appeared that not much had been done so I texted Ben to ask if he had worked on that day. Ben informed me that they didn’t do a lot as they wanted to keep the electric on over the weekend but they’d be back Monday and should be finished on Wednesday.
Instead of coming through to discuss it, Ben texted me at 18.38 to ask me to mark on the walls where our sockets were going as he had forgot all about it. I told him that I’d labelled up the kitchen, passage, utility room and conservatory, to which he also asked that I label upstairs too, which I did.
I texted Ben at 09.09 to inform him that I’d labelled everything up and enquired if the bathroom extractor fan he was going to fit could be wired into it’s own switch so that it would work independently from the bathroom light. Around 09.30, my video doorbell alerted me to activity around the front door so I viewed the live footage. I noticed one of Ben workers enter the house and I noticed their van parked at the side of the house, quite close to the side wall. At 10.41, Ben texted me to inform me that he’d sent his workers to the house but had to pull them off the job as they were confused and that if we wanted the bathroom extractor fan wired how I asked, it would cost extra. I tried to call Ben but he texted to say he was in a meeting all day in London and couldn’t speak. I texted Ben back to explain the labels and to ask how much extra the alternative bathroom fan wiring would be.
At 16.02, I realised that my conservatory keys were missing so I texted Ben to ask if his workers had taken them. At 17.36 Ben replied back stating that they had taken the keys, he was still in a meeting and that he’d call me when he got home or first thing in the morning. I asked Ben to call me when he got home and asked for him to call his workers to drop the conservatory keys off that night as we were having a sofa, a chair and 3 wardrobes delivered from Jysk between 0645-09.00 the next day and had nowhere else other than the conservatory to store the items. Ben provided his worker’s number, which I called several times, left several voicemails and sent several texts to but they never answered, called back or texted back. The keys never arrived and Ben never called me.
At 08.00, I went to set off to work and while walking on the wooden decking at the side of the house, I noticed that several planks were broken in the middle. Remembering that his workers appeared to have been parked on the decking the day before, I texted Ben at 08.05 to inform him that it appeared to have been damaged by his workers the day, was unsafe and to be careful. Ben stated that he would be careful but didn’t offer any apologies or concern about the damage. I also informed Ben that we wanted the bathroom extractor fan wired into the bathroom light as originally agreed instead of having it wired into it’s own switch. At 08.53, I informed Ben that due to his workers taking out conservatory keys, we’d had to refuse our furniture delivery.
I texted Ben to highlight several issues that I had so far, which included amongst other things, a double socket sized hole that allowed you to see from one bedroom to the other, a hole they put in the landing ceiling, conservatory wires not hidden in the wall and just tacked to the wall, the untidy cables in the back passageway being put into surface trunking instead of in the wall, the fact that the workers he had come the day before damaging the outside decking, putting muddy boot prints on the bathroom floor and taking the conservatory keys home. Ben explained that he would use 2 fast fix boxes to install 2 sockets in the hole in the bedrooms, he couldn’t do anything about the trunking as it was an old outside wall so couldn’t put the cables in the wall and he would stay the next later the next day to have a chat about my concerns. He didn’t address the hole in the landing ceiling.
I explained that on the 1st walkaround that we agreed that the upstairs landing and downstairs hallway lights should both have been 2 way as he had only installed the upstairs light as 2 way. Ben stated that the rewire only came with a single 2 way system which is in the kitchen but he did an extra 2 way one for free on the upstairs landing light and if we wanted the downstairs hallway light to be 2 way, there would be an extra charge. That wasn’t mentioned when we originally told Ben what we wanted.
I came home at 4pm so I could speak to Ben about the progress and issues. To my horror, Ben had drilled through all of the bedroom ceilings to move the lights, despite us telling him that we didn’t want any damage caused to the ceilings. The ceilings had artex on them with a pattern, which dictated where the light pendant should go. Putting the pendant anywhere else would mean there would be a circular pattern going around nothing. He had also drilled into and cut a section out of the landing coving to get cables down from the loft and smashed holes in the wall with a hammer to run cables. I explained that we weren’t happy with the socket heights, light switch heights, ceiling damage, coving damage and the holes in the walls. He shrugged the socket and switch heights off as being required by the regulations for disability reasons. He stated that the ceiling damage was also down to regulations because they required lights to be installed central to the room to distribute light evenly. He then stated the coving damage and wall damage as necessary to run the cables. I later found out that the socket and switch heights were only guidelines and wasn’t a requirement unless on a new installation where the end user would be unknown. I also later learned that the lights being centre was also not a regulations requirement.
Later that evening, we noticed the landing wall was wet under where he had drilled through the coving. I went into the loft and saw that a water pipe fixing had been leaking so I tightened it up. I called Ben to ask him if he’d dislodged the fitting while crawling around the loft but he said he hadn’t but would look the next day. We’d never had an issue with the water pipes in the 2 months we’d been in the house yet a few hours after Ben drilled a 1” hole in the coving directly below it, it started leaking.
At that point, the damage didn’t seem too bad but we’d not had any lights on in the house for several days and it was getting dark by the time I was usually home from work so we had not properly seen it until later.
At 11.49 I texted Ben to ask if he had seen where the pipes were leaking in the loft but he said he’d had a look and there was a few loose fittings which he’s tightened up.
Ben texted me at 15.38 to say Friday would be the last day where they would fit the consumer unit and to ask if we wanted the cables running to it under the floor or through the kitchen wall. Because of the mess involved with the latter, we agreed to have them run under the floor.
At 16.51, after I arrived home from work, I texted Ben to ask if he would be putting in the 1 missing socket in the utility room and the 2 missing sockets in the conservatory. Ben stated that as those rooms were complete, fitting extra sockets would incur an extra charge. He also stated that he didn’t make any money on the rewire itself and they usually earn their money on the extras (which we didn’t want, which probably explains the work). I explained to Ben that they were marked up on 4th January and were part of the original walkaround. He stated that he wrote in his diary that we only agreed to have 1 socket but in a text later, he stated that he thought there was 2 afterall.
I texted Ben to ask if the certificate would be left when he finished. He said they send the certificates out once the final payment is received. At 15.04 Ben texted to say they were all done and he’d sent the invoice over later. At 16.53 Ben sent a link for the invoice INV0209 for £1380. At 19.03 I texted Ben to ask where my keys were as I could not find them, to which Ben stated they were just in the letterbox in the front door. Rather than push the keys all the way through the letterbox for security reasons, he decided to leave them in the letterbox itself, between the internal and external flaps, which meant anyone could have out their hands into the letterbox and got them to open the door. I texted Ben to say that I have got them and there was a few bits with the work he’d done that I wanted to sort out. Ben replied back stating that the 17th was their last day and he’d asked the day before if everything was OK so he wanted to know what the problem was.
At 10.28 Ben texted to ask if I’d got the things I wanted to mention. At 15.46 Ben texted again to say I needed to get back ASAP as it needed sorting and that he couldn’t leave me too long without a certificate. I explained that I was putting the stuff together but had been working and been out for the day. Ben texted back to say that if we wanted to leave a key, he could sort the issues out on the 20th. At 19.38, I texted Ben a link to the document detailing the issues we had with his work. At 20.22 Ben said he would type up a response to the issues on the Monday and his Terms & Conditions on his website www.flash-electrical.com would address some of the issues. I replied to Ben stating that he didn’t make me aware of the those terms and conditions to begin with and the website they were displayed on did not appear on any of the quotes or invoices paperwork he sent us. Ben stated that he did not need to show us the T&Cs by law, he just needed to have them in place and he doesn’t know why his paperwork just puts his name on them and not the business name. I also explained to Ben that because of the damage he had caused, we wouldn’t have had enough money to do all of the work we wanted in the house as we would have to pay to rectify his damage and asked him for his insurance details so we could start the claim. Ben replied by saying it had been stressful for them too as they had to move things out of the way even though we agreed to move them. We agreed to move the stuff downstairs which we did but as he couldn’t be bothered to come and mark up the upstairs, we didn’t know when to move that stuff. Had he been on site until 530pm like he originally said or even texted us, we would have moved the stuff but he didn’t. He wouldn’t give us his insurance details as he said he needs to put the claim in and wouldn’t do that until his invoice was paid in full and we only had a week from when it was issued before he would start adding charges. He then claimed that he said on the walkaround that they always centralise lights and there would be a lot of mess, again pointing to his T&Cs. I explained that he told me and my wife on the walkaround there would be a bit of mess but not too much and that we moved what was asked of us. I also again raised the point that again, the T&Cs weren’t even on a website that appeared on his paperwork and he didn’t give us them.
Ben texted to say that he looked through our list of issues and most of it is in his terms and conditions. He stated that the trunking in the back passage was him going the extra mile as he usually just clips it to the wall. We wanted it hiding. Had he explained that he couldn’t hide it in that wall, we would have asked for the switch and socket to be put on the opposite wall where he could have his it. He offered to come and sort things the day after but only a few bits that I mentioned. He also stated that he doesn’t make any money on the rewire itself and they usually earn their money on the extras (which we didn’t want, which probably explains the work). I again told Ben that the T&Cs did not apply as there was no way I could have known of them. Realising that once I paid him he would do a runner, I proposed that he fixed various aspects of his work and left the test certificate and I’d transfer £880 of the £1380 owed then once he submitted our damage claim to his insurance company and they acknowledged it, I’d transfer the final £500. Ben rejected that proposal, again pointing to his T&Cs. He said that he won’t give us the certificate until the final payment is made and he can’t leave us longer than a week without the certificate so he would have to disconnect our electricity. He also stated that his T&Cs state that there is a £500 discount applied to an unlimited socket rewire which he could withdraw and charge us the extra £500.
I texted Ben to explain what work could be done so that we could make payment and what damage we wanted to claim for. The work wouldn’t have made the work acceptable but would be enough to get him paid so we could address the larger issues later Even though he had been searching for a few days, Ben still couldn’t locate his insurance documents. Ben agreed to do the work and would make the claim once we had paid.
I texted Ben to ask who would be notifying his work as I couldn’t find his details on any of the trade websites. He stated he had a QS with Napit. I asked when the QS attended to which Ben stated that he attended at the end and would not be answering any more questions until we had paid the final invoice. At 17.42 Ben texted to say that all the questions I’d been asking should have been asked before the work started. He also said that he was coming on Friday to do the few bits I agreed to to and the rewire is his property until it’s paid for and if there was any complications, he was going to rip the wires back out. I called Ben out on his threat, to which he said if he wanted to be funny, he would add the £500 that we’d already been discounted, taking the bill from £1380 to £1880. I then asked about the QS notifying the work. Ben stated that the QS gets 28 days to notify the work but is usually quite quick at doing so.
Ben arrived at 1630, did the work we agreed upon (apart from a few things that we either agreed to leave or what he forgot to do). Once finished, we paid the £1380 by bank transfer and he sent the test certificate by email. We agreed that I would send him details of the damage so he could submit the claim.
Ben texted me to say that he’d spoken to his QS and he would sort it (I assumed the Part P and notifying) ASAP and would let us know when he had confirmation. He also asked for photos of the damage so he could claim, which I agreed to do later in the week.
Due to work, it took me some time to get a list together of the work that needed doing. I sent Ben a letter detailing the complaints we had with the work and damage we wanted to claim for.
Ben texted me a link to a new invoice with a response to my letter. Even though we had settled the invoice in full on the 24th January 2020, Ben now wished to withdraw our £500 discount and also charge us £215 for the bathroom fan that was included in the rewire. This new invoice INV0216 was for £715 and would not longer reply to any of our correspondence until the new invoice is paid in full. Ben also texted to say that he had also instructed his QS not to sign the work off until the new £715 invoice had been paid. So we had paid for the work in full but once we complained, he demanded more money then held the Part P notification (which we had already paid for) to ransom. The only way we could get the Part P would be to pay his £715 invoice or have the whole rewire done again by someone else at a cost of over £2000.
I sent Ben a letter informing him that if the Part P is not issued, we will be taking legal action. Ben emails a response stating that if his invoice of £715 isn't paid in full, he will, " ring the police for breach of contract and you will be liable for a £5000 fine," and that he, "won't be responding to any more correspondence until the invoice is paid in full stated in out T&Cs."
Ben's "Office Manager" (aka his partner - the number popped up in WhatsApp with a photo which matched his partner's Facebook profile) texted me at 18.14 that their QS (EIC Certificate states a Keith Spear) was happy to make a visit to issue the Part P but as I, "contacted him directly about issues that were not his concern and since I made him feel uncomfortable, he does not wish to make the visit." Now, in a text sent by Ben on 17.01.20, he stated that the QS had already attended, "at the end," so I am unsure as to why he needed to visit again. He even stated on 25.01.20 that he had spoken to his QS and he was going to sort it ASAP. The text messages sent to his QS that supposedly made him feel uncomfortable were just to ask if he'd inspected the rewire at my property and if he'd done the Part P. Nothing in those messages (dated 05.02.20) even mentioned anything about Ben's work. Ben's work was an issue between Ben and myself and I didn't want to involve Keith so I kept my messages purely to ask when the inspection took place and when the Part P would be issued. When I asked if he could remember inspecting the rewire, Keith stated, "No I'm in London at the moment. Can you contact Ben and get information." I heard nothing else from him, including when I messaged him on 24.02.20 and 06.04.20 to enquire if the Part P had been issued. So Keith was the correct Keith Spear as Ben's "Office Manager" acknowledged that I'd been in contact with him.
I sent Ben a letter via email to inform him that this would be my final letter before court action, giving him 14 days to fulfil one of two options; either the Part P (Building Control) Certificate for the rewire is issued or we receive a full refund of the £2300 that we'd already paid him for he work. I made no mention of the damage as I just wanted the rewire to be certified.
Ben emailed back, apologising for the delay, which was due to his admin girl being furloughed. He stated that he was currently isolating with his family as his partner is high risk and he wasn't currently working but would be happy to resolve the issue once "this period had lapsed" if it was agreeable. I emailed back stating that it was not agreeable and I would be sticking to what was outlined in my latter as it had gone on for long enough and he'd had ample chances to sort it out and even though his admin girl was furloughed, perhaps he could enlist the help of his partner Lindsie, who had contacted me prior, claiming to be his Office Manager. Ben stated that due to the current situation , he was not sure that any judge would agree that I enforce my timescale and enquired exactly what I wanted. I responded by telling him what I wanted was detailed in the letter and that while I sympathised with his current situation, he had constantly declined to finish the job, sent additional unfair invoices for £715 and even though a judge may not enforce my timescale, it would be very evident to them that the timescale he'd had to sort the matter out had been very lenient.
I received a reply to my last email by Ben's partner Lindsie (also his Office Manager as she claimed several months earlier). She told me that she had booked a Quality Supervisor (QS) for Tuesday 9th June at 9am to retest the installation and provide Part P certification but when the QS attends, she would appreciate me not taking the attitude towards him that I had previously shown to her. For details of my attitude, please see the Office Manager Text Messages link at the bottom of this page. She also stated that should I not be able to be in when he visits, I could always leave a key for the QS. Yeah, like that was going to happen as I'd already had to change the locks because of her partner.
The QS arrived at 08.55. I immediately recognised him from a Facebook profile as a Keith Spear, who coincidentally turned out to be Lindsie's stepfather and whose name and signature also appeared on the original test certificate issued by Ben back in January. While doing his tests, I asked Keith if he had been to the property before to test and inspect it. Keith stated he had never been here before, which I found strange as I'd got a certificate with his name and signature on, as well as a text from Ben stated that he attended at the end of the work to inspect to it. To be honest, Keith was a pretty nice guy and we enjoyed a good conversation during his testing.
The Building Regulations Compliance Certificate (Part P) is emailed from NAPIT.
The new Test Certificate arrived through the post, signed of by Keith. Strangely enough, the signature on that certificate does not match the one on the certificate provided by Ben back in January so someone hasn't been entirely honest. Either Keith lied about not inspecting the work before (though when I brought it up after he texted me on 12.06.20 to say he'd registered the work with Building Control, he didn't state he was lying) or Ben lied and in fact, the QS never attended and he signed Keith's name himself.
|Five months after the work was completed,
we've finally got what we paid for, albeit out of pocket because we
chose not to actively pursue the damage that was caused when the work
If you're looking for an electrician in the Tingley, Wakefield, Barnsley, Leeds, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire areas, then do yourself a favour and avoid B Rawlinson Electrical / Flash Electrical. You won't know about their T&Cs initially but you will once they cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage or you complain about the quality and standard of their work, not only will they not provide what you've paid for, they'll hold you to ransom for even more money. We paid £2300 for the work, on time and in full. To get Ben's work to comply with regulations, we either had to pay Ben the £715 ransom money he demanded or pay over £2000 to have the full house rewired again in order to obtain the relevant certificates. Finally, after the threat of court action, Ben finally agreed to have the necessary certificates issued to comply with regulations. We're still £600 out of pocket due to the damage he caused but hopefully this review will give potential customers of Flash Electrical / B Rawlinson Electrical some food for thought before having them undertake work in their properties.
This review is an honest and factual representation of work undertaken at my property by B Rawlinson Electrical / Flash Electrical of Tingley in West Yorkshire. It it not intended to be malicious in any way. All facts are backed up by text messages (links below), emails, or statements by either my wife or myself.
Any enquiries can be emailed to me at email@example.com
|Resources Downloads: Ben Text Messages - Office Manager Text Messages - QS Text Messages|
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