As with any professional service, there's the unfortunate reality that there are some bad eggs in the plumbing business. Plumbing is a complex and difficult profession that requires patience, expertise, and experience, which can lead to some laziness and potential for cut corners - not to mention straight-up scams and rip-offs. Here's a few we've come across and how to prevent them.
Upcharging Due to Higher Perceived Income
This is a classic technique used by every service industry from carpet cleaners to cable company contractors. By seeing a few flashes of wealth in and around your property or simply assuming you've got deep pockets based on the neighborhood you're in, some plumbers will try and inflate their hourly rates by many times over. Before you agree to any work beginning on your plumbing, call around and check out other plumbers to compare rates and estimates to see if you're getting fleeced.
Lower Over-the-Phone Estimates
While it's not a great way to attract repeat customers, some plumbers will promise you the world over the phone and keep your budget, but unless you see solid paperwork to that effect, there's no guarantee that the invoice will line up with your initial call. Get a quote in writing ahead of time and don't allow work to proceed until both parties have agreed to how much will be paid and when or else you may be surprised by the final bill.
More Equals Less
We've talked a lot about polyethylene (PEX) pipes and the benefits of installing them in your home, but the higher price may turn away some homeowners. Unfortunately, that can also turn away some plumbers, too - but it won't stop them from selling it to you anyway. Shady plumbers will tell you the benefits and price of these materials and will be happy to provide them, but when it comes time to install them, a cheaper and lower-quality pipe material goes in instead with the plumber reaping the benefits of the increased price. Beating this scam is fairly easy: have your plumber provide the list of any materials they're using and price match with a couple of hardware stores. If they're overcharging, call them on their scam and report them to the BBB. If they're using low end materials and passing them off as high-end, find another contractor and buy the pipes yourself.
Ready to skip all the tedious research and get started with the last plumber you'll ever need? Pioneer Plumbing and Heating prides itself on professional, hometown service without the games and gimmicks. We'll be upfront, honest, and most importantly, reliable when it comes to completing your plumbing project, big or small. Give us a call today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment for your pipes.