If the utility company would come out at no cost to isolate the power I could fix this myself in about 10 minutes. This really wasn't a big deal until all parties (government electrical inspectors, the utility company and the electrical contractors) made it so.
All one has to do is disconnect the wires. Lower the box, cut both the meter feed and box feeds down to size, re-strip the wires and reattach them. About 10 minutes worth of work.
There's no way in hell this should cost $800!
It looks to me everyone involved is looking to make a fast buck off these homeowners' misfortunes. (Including lawyers who will no doubt litigate this)
Should I be surprised?