Scammed by Unlicenced Electrician from hipages - How to Recover?
Last edited 12/06/2019 - 20:35 by 1 other user
Looking for advice on how to recover the money I paid for a scammer who did a dodgy electrical job and ran away.
Update (12/06): thank you all for your suggestions. I had a heated argument with hipages and they asked the details of payment evidence and ESV outcome and they said they will take it to their manager. But, I have no hope as the payment made through cash (although have text messages confirming the amount he demanded & I paid). Hipages removed the company from their website and no details can be drawn now. ESV advised me that there were already couple of complaints on this gentleman (minor electrical works such as fan replacement etc). If any of you in this group have done electrical works recently, I would strongly recommend to confirm the lodgement of certificate with ESV. He is generally working in Eastern & southern suburbs of Melbourne, but I don’t think he has a limited coverage. If you need further details about him, please pm me.
Tl;dr: I’m scammed by an electrician for a switchboard upgrade paying $900. Later realised that the work done by electrician was illegal and he was not an electrician. Now we will have to pay another $900 for the genuine upgrade work. Any advice to recover the money would be much appreciated.
Detailed description: We have posted an ad in hipages to upgrade the switchboard (which was old fuse system previously). I’ve been connected to three sparkies and one is keen to do the job next day. He came with all tools and said he will start the job for the quoted amount of $900. We accepted and allowed him to do the job. He spent another few hours and fixed a new switchboard on top of existing fuse system and said the existing fuse should be removed by energy provider. We don’t have much knowledge and believed in his words.
After few days, He gave certificate of compliance for the work saying that the safety inspector attended and checked. All good for another few weeks and then we got another electrician to install a new power point in home and he looked at the switchboard and SHOCKED! The switchboard upgrade job was illegal and potentially dangerous to property and occupants.
We then contacted Energy Safe Victoria and they discovered that this gentleman is not a licenced electrician and he could have stolen someone’s certificate of compliance book. Also, they come and checked the work and found that this guy just mounted the new switchboard without connecting to the actual power. ESV said they will take legal action against him, however, can’t help with any recovery of money I paid him. Contacted hipages and no help from them as well. Thinking of going to VCAT, but again , need to spend another $100 for calling and not sure that will help.
Can anyone help with the recovery for my loss? It is quite a lot of money and really hard to forget it. Wake up everyday with the remembrance on this scammer and thinking of how we earn and save money.
Thanks in Advance!