Many people hate calling the plumber to come make repairs on their pipes, hate taking the car to the mechanic, or hate calling Tony the repair guy because the internet broke. Don’t make things harder than they need to be by not identifying when you’re being scammed. The best way you can feel good about calling a plumber will be to learn the tricks that some of them try to play, how to identify those tricks, and how to find the best plumber to get that bang for your buck!
Use this list to spot sneaky plumbers (or other professionals) that might try to get one over on you!
How can a plumber realistically estimate any kind of price or tag a value if they haven’t seen the site?
Don’t accept a quote unless there has been an in-person inspection. Technically, they cannot quote a price without seeing the job, but they can give an hourly rate and a minimum charge. An estimate on time that might be spent on a job is acceptable with predictable jobs. It is important to remember: small jobs can be more extensive than previously thought, and the only way to know is if it is looked at.
If your plumber charges by the hour and brings extra workers, that leaves you paying more, right?
Sometimes it happens where a plumbing company will send out more workers than are really needed for the job and charge you for the extra employees. There are special circumstances where there are apprentices shadowing a preceptor, or when a second guy is needed for the job, but if you find that there are multiple people being hauled into your home, start asking questions.
Do you live in an astute neighborhood and find that your bill is interestingly high?
It is possible, well, very possible that you are getting overcharged based on the type of neighborhood you live in. If you have nice cars in your driveway, a high-end flat screen TV, etc. then they may assume you have buku bucks and jack those prices up as high as 50% or even 100%! Before you agree to any work, you should have at least 3 plumbers look at it, this way you can get a good idea for generally fair prices.
How can you keep the prices in your head?
The truth is, they can’t keep all the prices of labor and items in their head, and when this technique is used, you are probably going to get an invoice at two to three times the original price. It’s not as simple as it sounds because people get busy and they can easily forget. Scam artists use this human flaw to prey on other people. So, if you find that you are having to deal with a person who keeps claiming they will get back to you on prices, even after everything is said and done, on top of not having seen anything in writing, beware!
Do you know what materials your plumber is using? Are they claiming to use the best of the best?
Sometimes good people use materials they say they will use, and sometimes bad people claim they use the best of the best, and end up using junk, only to charge you as if they were using top-of-the-line products. A good way to get around this is to request a list of parts that your contractor will be using, that way you can itemize the parts yourself if you wish to do so, and you can know if they are charging an arm and a leg for parts that aren’t worth it.
Know when you are being scammed and PREVENT IT.
The best way to avoid plumbing scams is to hire a reputable professional! Do this by asking a lot of questions. Don’t feel awkward or scared to know what is going on with your home and finances. If the professional you found wants your business, then they will have no problem answering questions and providing a license that proves the legitimacy of their business. If you live in the Nashville area and need to hire a plumber without a doubt that you are being scammed, give Jack Ward & Sons a call at 615-227-2811