“This weekend we unfortunately lost power to our subpanel as a large breaker tripped on our main panel. After failing to reset it we started calling electricians for help. The only reason for 1 star was that AAA answered and sent someone quickly while most others were closed. Betty the dispatcher provided clear information about the process, including that written estimates for the repair would be shared before work was started and that all supplies should be on the truck. She also noted the $266 emergency weekend fee.
Once the technician arrived we described our problem with the breaker. His quote, without looking at the subpanel was that he would need to do a “diagnosis” which cost $667. This was frustrating as it was our understanding that we would get a quote for the repair, not an outrageous amount to look, with potential additional charges depending on what was found. He warned us that he doesn’t stock the Zinsco Breaker that was our main panel problem, so he would potentially have to go to the store and charge us more, contradicting Betty the dispatcher. Also there was an additional $23 charge for gas on top of the weekend fee, that "the dispatcher forgets to mention". Since we had already paid close to $300 for the tech’s presence and no other help was available we felt cornered into moving forward. After we signed we showed the tech the subpanel, and left him to “diagnose” our breaker that wouldn’t reset.
10 minutes later the power is back on, and we were getting a lesson that you need to “pump” Zinsco Breakers a few times to get them to reset. That was our problem. Something he could have shared or even tried when he first arrived, we were already paying him a hefty sum to be there.
But alas we are now out close to $1,000, but with the knowledge that you “pump” a Zinsco Breaker and to never call AAA Electrical Services.
Additional Note: AAA’s method of signing quotes also leaves plenty to be desired, the tech mentioned that the iPad frequently “double charges” for things like the emergency fee, but to “sign anyway”. This did happen, and thankfully after I caught it the tech did the right thing and removed the double charge. The tech also had us sign that the work had been completed, saying that was how to “approve the quote” on the iPad, making us feel uncomfortable as no work had been done yet.”