Any big city around the world has probably a few dozen really cheap plumbers who quite frankly sound too good to be true. People hire them because they charge very little compared to other competing plumbers. However, unknown to most people these plumbers may be ripping them off in more ways than one. Many people never find out that they have been ripped off, while for others it’s too late.
So, the best way to avoid getting conned by a clever plumber is to know what they can use against you. Knowing these common cons will mean that you are able to identify one and steer clear of it.
They ask you for money to buy items
There are many plumbers who will try and come across as being extremely helpful. They will want to save you a trip to the local hardware and plumbing supply store so instead of making a list of what they need they will just tell you to give them ‘x’ amount of money for the items. They will just buy the bare necessities and return after having spent just half of the money or less.
They may also return after an hour and in the meantime probably worked for someone else, their excuse would be that they had a problem finding the right items. The hour they were away will obviously be charged since they were working for you. So what may seem to be a really cheap and helpful plumber is in fact ripping you off. Any time a plumber asks you for cash to buy something its best to go with them if you are not a technical person. This way you can keep an eye on what they have purchased.
Use low quality and cheap replacement parts
This is a very common scam and unfortunately there are many plumbers that are using it around the world. The problem with spotting this scam and also why it’s so successful is that the lay person is not familiar with all the different brands of plumbing parts and which are of the highest quality. So, when a plumber says that they are using the very best replacement parts like a washer, replacement pipe etc. the fact is that they are not.
Perhaps one of the ways to avoid this scam is to ask the plumber not to use the replacement parts that they have brought along but rather choose to buy your own parts from a plumbing supply store. This way you can ask the store to give you the best so that you know what is going into your plumbing.
Blowing the problem out of proportions
There are many cheap plumbers who may not charge you as much in the way of their hourly wage because they tend to make up for it by charging you extra by hyping up the problem that you have. For instance, a leaking facet which just takes around an hour to fix in most cases may be quoted as four hour’s work because the pipes leading from the faucet to the main line are also damaged.
They may say things like, “it’s a big job and simply fixing the leak is not going to get rid of the problem for long”, when in fact this is not the case. Whenever you hear a plumber say that you have a bigger problem than what you can see and what your common sense tells you it’s time to bring in another plumber to have a look. Getting a second opinion is the only way to know for sure if that plumber was telling the truth.
Asking for payment upfront
There are some cheap plumbers who will ask you for payment upfront. Usually, the excuse is that they want to buy a few things for the job but in fact they can and might as well simply disappear. A general rule for hiring any service around the world is to never pay upfront and only pay once the job is done satisfactorily. So, if you are asked for money upfront simply refuse and call in another plumber because this person cannot be trusted. Refusing to hire them will save you time and money in the long term.
Mark is one of the leading plumbers in Australia. He has been in the plumbing industry for over a decade and has worked for www.thedailyplumber.com.au. His plumbing experience extends beyond common plumbing installation and troubleshooting which is why he is often consulted on, building projects. He currently runs a plumbing blog which is updated every other day.