Plumbing services from reputed companies deliver value to homeowners. However, you need to take guard against the bad guys out there. Simply Googling the best service providers may not be the viable way out.
Firstly, you should be aware of the tricks and tactics the scammers deploy. This way, you can be skeptical of the service provider. In this post, you will get to know about some of the common red flags in plumbing. Therefore, when you reach out to a service provider, you can take guard.
Reputed companies like Clover Services hold a decent track record for quality services and affordability. This site is where you can reach out to the experts for your plumbing requirements.
Different Types Of Plumbing Scams You Need To Be Wary About
There’s not one but six types of plumbing scams that you can fall prey to. Read through each one of them carefully to safeguard yourself when the need arises.
Considering the complexity of plumbing systems, it’s virtually impossible for plumbers to give an accurate estimate before inspecting the system. However, some plumbers may offer fixed rates for simple jobs such as removing clogs.
If you find a plumbing company offering you an exact estimate without even inspecting the situation or knowing the problem, they could be concealing something. In case they provide an elusive estimate, they can easily add up to the costs later on.
Moreover, do not go for a verbal estimate. Get a written quote from the plumbing company before commencing with the task. In case you fall prey to this type of plumbing scam, you would end up being overcharged.
2. False Promises
False promises over the quality of plumbing hardware would rob your system of its lifeline. If you’re pragmatic, you should be ready to shell out the extra costs for quality fittings and piping.
However, dishonest plumbers may dupe you over the quality of installations. Most property owners are unaware of the qualitative aspects, and they take the installers for their word. In case the plumbers come up with cheap alternatives like PVC pipes, they would actually be pocketing the price difference.
To avoid this situation, request the plumbing company to list down the spare parts they would need. Personally visit a hardware or supply store to compare the prices. This way, you would be shelling out only the service charge as profit for the contractor.
3. Furnishing Credentials
An established plumbing company would not hesitate to produce their business cards, license number, and other credentials upfront. However, if you find them reluctant to provide these documents, they might be concealing some crucial information.
Take a guard against under-the-table payments and cash-only tasks. Legitimate service providers would maintain optimal transparency while accomplishing these tasks. For every task you pay for, make sure to get a receipt in written form. Also, go for a licensed and insured plumber.
Moreover, the reputed companies do not ask for more than 10% to 20% as upfront payment. In case you find this figure close to 50%, it might be a red flag for you.
4. Too Many Alternatives
You have several unscrupulous plumbers out there in the market, offering you a multitude of solutions for a single problem. Well, this might be a strategy deployed to make the customer choose a particular solution.
In the process, the scammers can ditch difficult questions and situations. Beware of such types of approaches, as established companies would provide you with a concrete explanation of the issue, along with the best solution.
Ask for a second opinion on your plumbing situation. You can ask another plumbing company to assess the problem and provide expert advice about the best resolution for the problem. Many plumbing companies offer free advice through phone calls or chat messages. Check their website for this information.
Moreover, you can also describe the problem in a group discussion through online community forums or social media and get expert recommendations from plumbing specialists.
5. Replacing Pipes
Plumbing scammers often deploy high-pressure strategies for upselling. A classic instance would be the recommendation to replace your pipes, rather than working in a specific fixture.
When you reach out to a reliable plumber, they would seldom provide such recommendations, knowing that the investment would be high. Genuine service providers tend to mitigate their customers’ expenses. Trying to handle unscrupulous plumbers would eventually drain your resources.
Reputable companies implement professional plumbing practices. By checking testimonials or reviews, you can verify if your prospective plumbing company follows the best plumbing practices. Some verified customers share their plumbing horror stories and warn people about dealing with unreliable companies.
You can avoid working with a problematic plumbing company by asking for referrals from your relatives and friends. It’s also good to ask for character references from plumbers. Reputable plumbing companies are more than glad to provide this information and even offer to show their previous projects.
6. The Bundle Games
You might run into scammers offering bundle offers for repairing or upgrading your washroom fixtures. They would try to convince you, demonstrating the value of saving money and time.
However, why would you pay for the additional services when you already have things in good shape? Evidently, you need to read the difference between professional plumbing practices and malicious upselling policies.
How To Dodge Plumbing Scams?
Given that there are several scammers trying to fleece you, you need to be stringent with your approach while choosing the best service provider for your needs. Here are some tactics that would keep you on the safe side.
- Firstly, you need to know the track record of the plumber. Get recommendations from people you know, look out for online reviews and testimonials. This way, you would have an idea about the value they offer to clients.
- Get estimates, quotes, and contracts on paper. Besides, the plumbing company should dispatch a team for an in-person inspection.
- Shop the parts that would be necessary for the repair or upgradation process yourself. Also, get a list from the plumbing company in writing.
- Before they commence with the task, inquire how many people would be working on it. Get detailed information on what each professional would be doing. When you shell out the charges, you have got the right to know every detail, including the hourly rates.
- Do not entertain self-acclaimed plumbers. In case you receive cold calls, or someone knocking at the door and claiming to be a plumber, ask for relevant documents. Reputed companies would furnish their license numbers, insurance details, etc.
- Ask as many questions as you want to verify that the service provider is genuine. Professional service providers would patiently answer all these queries. However, if you find them uncomfortable, it points to their lack of knowledge.
- Do your research and note possible questions to ask your prospective plumbing company. Before hiring a plumber, ask questions related to plumbing issues and troubleshooting tips you already know about just to gauge if the plumber is highly knowledgeable, trained, and honest. This tactic can save you money and time dealing with plumbing scammers.
Choosing a professional plumbing contractor may take you a few weeks. However, it pays to put in your valuable time to research and collaborate with an established company.
With a top-rated plumbing company at your service, you can enjoy quality parts and fittings and industry-standard services. Therefore, take your time to find the best contractor for your plumbing requirements.