Monday, June 13, 2011

Bloomingdale resident and neighborhood electrician Wayne Johnson

In a recent Bloomingdale Email, a Bloomingdale resident provided what might be categorized as an unfavorable review of neighborhood electrician Wayne Johnson. [The unfavorable comment is not posted here.]

First, Wayne Johnson provides this response:

[ 1 ] Typo Correction

In response to Bloomingdale resident seeking an electrician , I went to look at this job two weeks ago. To get an estimate to a client on VSt NW. The scope of the work ,started with installing a line for a dryer which was not a problem to installed. In the mean while, of getting a quote back to the client the scope of the worked change . In which I know and you know and if this client did`t NO. now you know . This job needs permits coming from The Department Of Consumer Regulatory Affairs now located in SW Washington DC. I work very hard trying to take care of Bloomingdale Residents and to protect my repetition. A word to the wise. Over the past couple of years, I have help out numerous Bloomingdale residents who had stop work orders place on their home for doing construction with out permits. Fines range from 2,500. dollars to 5,000.00 dollars. So when you call for my services"The Good Electrician That I Am" . IF I CAN'T DO IT RIGHT THEN I WON'T DO IT AT ALL.
One of the first Oath according to the National Electrical Code (Article 90). Is practical safeguarding of person and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.

Wayne Johnson

And two other neighborhood residents have weighed in:

[ 2 ] From Alexa

I`m not sure how the Bloomingdale Listserve works (like whether messages automatically post or you screen them), but I wanted to let you know that I found the posting below rather cruel. I have no strong feelings either way about Wayne Johnson as an electrician, but I would hope that we could maintain a neighborly tone on this listserve. Direct attacks of individual neighbors seems inappropriate and contrary to the intentions of such a forum.

I`m not sure if there is action to be taken, but I wanted to let you, as moderator, know how this felt as a member of the community.

[ 3 ] From Heather Joy

The anonymous response to Wayne Johnson`s letter is mean-spirited, snarky, and not befitting of a community newsletter whose purpose is, in part, to foster a sense of amicability. I do not know Mr. Johnson nor the homeowner involved in this dispute. However, I do read your listserv emails on a daily basis and I am a committed and concerned member of the Bloomingdale neighborhood. A basic sense of respect and fairness are the cornerstones of any healthy community. The homeowner`s response is rude and smacks of disrespect.

Certainly, Mr. Johnson`s response demonstrates that he does not have a masterful command of written English. However, this limitation should not subject him to becoming fodder for an ostensibly better-educated homeowner. Nor does it give the homeowner the right to attack Mr. Johnson in a public forum. What is worse than the homeowner`s rancor is the his feigned confusion and bemusement. The homeowner attempted to put on as if he is genuinely trying to understand Mr. Johnson`s response, when it is obvious from his tone that all he really wants to do is embarrass Johnson by bringing attention to and mocking his unrefined writing. It`s a low blow either way one cuts it.

Bloomingdale is an attractive community because it is diverse, not just racially, but also experientially, educationally, and professionally. Each of us bring different skills and strengths to this lively and burgeoning neighborhood. Homeowner`s thinly-veiled put downs are insulting, sophomoric, lame, and reek of classism and elitism. If the homeowner wants to find someone with whom to have a war-of-words, he should seek out one of the many lawyers, doctors, and other professionals who make their home in this area. As a seemingly well-educated person, he should be fully aware that contract disputes are typically resolved through legal channels not by posting condescending blog responses. If the homeowner believes Johnson breached his contractual obligation, he seek should seek a legal remedy in a court of law. Let`s leave the listserv as a forum for the exchange of ideas, information, and building an espirit de corps for the lovely LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale neighborhoods.


Heather Joy, Esq.


  1. I have hired Wayne Johnson for several jobs at my house: installing ceiling fans, fixing drywall, and repairing a collapsed ceiling. If there is a better electrician out there, I don't know who that might be. Wayne's quality of work is fantastic and his $ rate is an absolute steal. He is an absolute gem and anyone who suggests otherwise is unequivocally and irreducibly wrong.

  2. My husband have hired Wayne Johnson several times. Simply put, he is wonderful to work with. He is a highly-skilled electrician who knows the ins-and-outs of these old houses, he gets the job done quickly, and he has helped us reduce the risks associated with our older wiring. Also his prices are reasonable. I'd recommend him in an instant.

    The snarky anonymous response sparking this discussion seems to be just another example of how the Internet can bring out the worst in people, namely, taking cheap shots, making false statements, and hiding behind the mask of anonymity. Such behavior should be ignored.

    Faye H.

  3. I posted a comment a while back on this blog (can't locate it) but I have had poor experiences (plural) with Wayne. He charges rates consistent with a master electrician (though he isn't one), always takes less time than estimated (but charges the full price) and I was recently told by another electrician that the work he did for us was poorly done. We used him a number of times but finally gave up as prices increased, customer service declined and, of course, that we were told that his work was unprofessionally done.

    (Note that I did not see the original email, so I'm just providing a counter-opinion to all of the glowing (and to me, suprising!) reviews.)

  4. I ONLY use Wayne for all my electrician needs. So he's not Shakespeare. I don't need him for that. I think I know what was making the "homeowner" in question upset. He didn't ask Wayne for an estimate and got sticker shock when he got the bill.

    A good electrician costs money. You get what you pay for and with Wayne, while it seems expensive sometimes, the jobs done right the first time and you will hardly see the guy afterwards. Quit being cheap and taking cheap shots at my homie. He didn't do you wrong.

  5. I too was very upset about the snarky comments from the anonymous neighbor. If the neighbor did not ask for the price, and let Wayne do the work, then it is completely their fault. Surely, he would not do the job if he did not have an indication of that is what was expected of him. I mean, you would not stay at the company to work after you had an interview if you were not offered the job on the spot, would you? He is not cheap, but he is very efficient and his work is great. He came to us after a licensed master electrician came to install the front porch light, and failed to figure out what the problem was when he finished the installation and the light was not working. You see we had purchased the wrong bulbs! And that one wanted to charge us $100 5 years ago!!!! Moreover, he proceeded to tell me that my entire house needed rewiring, and his company would be happy to take on the job for $27,000!!!! When Wayne came before he even installed the light fixture, he knew we had the wrong bulbs! He installed our chandelier too. He is very pleasant to work with and we would hire him again if we needed any work.

  6. I'm not sure if this is directed at me but I posted that I didn't understand Mr. Johnson's message and that perhaps he had a spell check failure.

    I said in the same message that while Mr. Johnson's work was good (actually, we weren’t entirely happy either, but that’s a whole other story and what he did was fine and I didn’t want to be negative as I know he has a lot of fans in the neighborhood) I was surprised and disappointed with how expensive it was -- $170 for the first hour. I wish that this had been conveyed in all the glowing reviews of his work on the neighborhood listserv BEFORE we had him come out.

    I did not comment on whether or not Mr. Johnson does or does not have “a masterful command of written English” – in fact, my assumption was that something went wrong with spell check. I am not the original homeowner that he was responding to and I have no conflict with Mr. Johnson (though I will contend here that if you are promoting your business in writing your communications need to make sense). I appreciate the corrected email however I STILL do not understand. I am not trying to humiliate anyone but I CAN NOT make sense of it. (Yes, I was genuinely trying to understand and rather than jump to conclusions about his education **like the messages** above suggested that it was a computer/spell check failure - are you saying that it wasn't spell check that came up with some of those typos???). Did the V street job need a permit and now he doesn’t want to do it? Or does the homeowner not want to get the permit and he won’t do it without one? Both of these are reasonable approaches, but the email doesn’t make sense. Again, what is it that “I know and you know”?

    I don’t suppose it matters what happened in V street, but my original point stands – we thought that Mr. Johnson was very expensive. If we were overcharged, I would love to know. And if neighbors think that $170 an hour is reasonable I’d like to know that too so that we can adjust our expectations next time we hire an electrician. For the record, we did ask for the price upfront – we asked him to come and give us a quote and when he arrived he told us that he had a call out fee (it was not an emergency) of $85 and would charge $85 an hour ($170 for the first hour – we ended up spending close to $400 for very basic electrical work—mainly changing outlets etc- most of which I could have done myself but was hoping to save time, the two more complex jobs that we really needed him to do because I couldn’t do them just with the Home Depot Electrical 1-2-3 book, he couldn’t or wouldn’t do). He said that he didn’t give quotes (this wasn’t explained on the phone) that he just “started work” including taking time on the clock to work out that he couldn’t do the more important jobs that we needed him to do. Perhaps we should have pushed back or sent him away when we found out the cost but we’d heard such good things about him we went ahead and to be perfectly honest, felt ripped off at the size of the bill and the fact that despite that cost we didn’t get what we needed done. We won’t make the same mistake next time.

  7. I found Wayne's work to be very expensive.

    Also, I appreciate the moderator's willingness to publish comments that are critical. This person feels ripped off and wants to prevent others from having the same experience.

    That's how I feel as well.

    PS - Wayne, please don't take this as a personal attack. You are a businessman and I have no problem with you charging what you want for your services. But there are consequences when you say one price to begin with then another when the bill was presented.