Results: Electrician company reverses $1,000 charge for four smoke alarms for 89-year-old woman


PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – Our Better Call Behnken report about Dorothy Ahlquist’s more than $1,000 bill for the installation of four smoke detectors had viewers fired up enough to sound an alarm at Sarasota-based Bolt Electric.

“People you don’t even know were On Your Side, so to speak,” Dorothy said. 

The attention worked. The company has reversed its big bill to zero.

This all started when a Bolt technician told her she needed four new detectors. She says she thought the estimate was $249, but the final bill was $1,010. Her daughter, Karen, looked up the model number and found the alarms selling for as little as $8 bucks.

They knew they’d Better Call Behnken. I called the company, and was hung up on.

But things have changed. Company owner Patrick Thomas is back from vacation and calls the charge…and the threat of lien an error.

He sent this statement: 

“We have been serving the Southwest Florida community for 7 years, receiving multiple Angie’s List Super Service Awards, maintaining a strong reputation and taking our service to the community very seriously. This unfortunate occurrence was the result of a human error and is not a reflection of what we stand for as a company. We recently transitioned to a new pricing system and the price provided for this service was incorrect. We have not collected any of the funds from Ms. Ahlquist nor do we intend to charge her for the service we provided. Furthermore, we have happily refunded her $50 bounced check charge. In taking steps to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future, we are currently in the process of re-training all of our employees to make sure they are thoroughly comfortable with our new pricing system. We are also reviewing our internal communications and collections processes to look for opportunities for improvement. We have reached out to both Ms. Ahlquist and her daughter Karen to make amends and offer this resolution. We have not yet been able to reach Ms. Ahlquist, but it is our hope to personally apologize for this mistake.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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