We found an electrician by keeping our eyes open

When we needed an electrician to do about six hours’ work – installation of a heater, power point, and securing a junction box – we tried many different ways to find one.

We live on the outskirts of a small town, within 20 minutes’ drive of two large towns and tried friends’ recommendations first, but found they either had too much work already, or ‘only worked within four kilometres of their home’ (I offered to pay extra, but still no).

Next, local papers and the web, and discovered there were four electricians within 6km. I rang them all – three too busy, and the fourth offered a date four months later!

We pondered on this over the next two or three weeks, and then in our local town, while buying bread, saw on two or three consecutive days a van belonging to an electrician, albeit from the coast about 25km away. I noted his number and checked his credentials on the internet, then rang him.

Eureka! He offered to come on the Monday at 9.00, arrived on time, did the work promptly and efficiently and, although a bit dour, knew his job.

I guess we were lucky, but my advice is: think laterally, as sometimes the obvious points of call don’t always work.

Marilyn Franklin, by email