Plumbing is costly, but it's not as expensive as you think. With the vast number of plumbers advertising online, innocent homeowners like you, get tricked into hiring a fraudulent local plumber. In many parts of the country, it's required by law for a plumber to be licensed. But does anyone need a license to advertise online? No.
How can you figure out that it's a fraudulent local plumbing service? It's easier than you think.
1. He's insisting on bringing the spare parts by himself
If your plumber is too sweet and generous, it's probably a sugar coated scam. He says that so and so part needs to be replaced and is ready to head to the supplies store and get the stuff.
Some plumbing supplies are costly, but some are very cheap. Unless you have the receipt from the local store with the brands mentioned, you cannot know the real price. So, try insisting getting the parts by yourself or a proper invoice from the shop.
2. He's bringing in more people to work
Are you hiring on an hourly rate basis? Pay attention! At first, he starts working on the problem all by himself. But then he calls in for help. After the problem is fixed, the chances are that he is going to ask more than the decided rates for the "other guy" charges more. You would feel helpless for the work is already done and you can't just refuse to pay. Make sure in advance that you don't get charged extra for the extra workforce or sudden rise in hourly rates.
3. He's not providing you a written estimate
You looked for a local plumber online and called him for a home inspection. He says he has checked the problem and will let you know of the price. He calls you and tells you an estimate. You agree and ask for an estimate.
But he insists on working immediately which is supposedly in your interest and comes in without an estimate. There's a high chance the actual price he would ask at the end of the job would be far greater than the estimate.
And just because you never to an opportunity to have a written estimate, you have no means of figuring out what went wrong until you realize that it was just a way to trick you to pay more!
4. He's creating urgency
Did you plumber diagnose a serious fault in your water heating system? He might have predicted some serious damage or a lawsuit if the error goes unfixed even for a day. Don't panic!
There are high chances that your local plumber is making a fool of you. Just think how can a device go from "perfectly fine" to "just going to blast" in a day? It's better if you look for another opinion.
5. He's advertising online massively
Do you know that one customer can cost around $300 to a local plumbing service that uses the PPC ads? Those ads you see on Google are costly, and they are going to try their best to cover that cost.
So, even if you have a minor issue, expect to pay a hefty bill for your plumber wants a good return on investment.
How to avoid plumbing scams?
Hire a licensed plumber. Make sure you do enough research and pick a local plumbing service listed on or recommended by reliable sources. Be very particular about having written estimates. Try to get estimates from 2-3 plumbers before hiring.