That plumbing deal that sounds too good to be true? It probably is.
Plumbing scams are more common than most Perth homeowners would imagine; and they can result in more than simply an un-fixed problem or extra expense; they can actually make the problem worse.
Beyond the most basic of problems, plumbing is a highly skilled and specialised area that requires a qualified professional to deal with it. That’s why some scammers are able to take advantage.
Being aware of the main plumbing scams will help you avoid being the next victim.
The different type of Scams
When fixing plumbing problems like damaged pipes, most home or business owners are prepared to pay for something that lasts well into the future.
A plumber can tell you that they’re using the best materials like copper tubing or the latest polyethylene piping and you may take them at their word, only to find out a year later that they scammed you. Your plumbing system is no place for using cheap alternatives. Don’t think twice about checking with your plumber what parts he intends to use and then checking the prices out online; and also check that what is used is what is on the invoice.
Extra labour costs
With larger jobs, some plumbers agree to do the work and, before long, you find a team of people in your house. Be careful that your plumber isn’t subcontracting out parts of the job and absolving himself of responsibility for the higher hourly rates that these sub-contractors may charge; or using two plumbers for a one-man job and charging extra. The deal you agree with the plumber should be all you pay – and it should be in writing
Inflated hourly rates
If you live in an upmarket neighbourhood then it is not uncommon for plumbers to artificially inflate their rate. The sports cars in the driveways and stylish 6-bedroom houses are often seen as a green light for silly hourly rates that are not charged elsewhere. A little research online should help you avoid this scam. Check out three or more local Perth plumbers and gather quotes from them.
As you gather quotes, don’t fall prey to another common scam: providing verbal quotes that sound like great value but which never actually materialise. A plumber may visit your premises, make notes and say they’ll get back to you with a quote. They call and provide an attractively low estimate. Never accept a quote over the phone unless it is backed up in writing or you may find yourself with eye-watering invoice at the end of the job. Before any work begins make sure that both parties are in agreement about what will be paid and when.
How to choose a reliable plumber
Plumbing is one of those things that most homeowners don’t think about until they have a problem. Then they need a quick fix and may panic. Often they don’t do their homework properly and they become susceptible to scams from unscrupulous plumbers.
Most Perth homeowners can avoid falling victim to the type of scams described above (and others) by finding a reliable, licensed and experienced plumber BEFORE they have a problem.
Gather information and do your due diligence now. Ask the right questions and request proof and documentation for all the plumber’s claims. Until they prove to you they are who they say they are, and that they are qualified and trustworthy, you should not proceed with any work; after all, if they are a professional outfit then they will appreciate you checking and doing your homework.
By preparing for an emergency now, you’ll know who to call when you do have a problem.
Tunnel Vision has been helping Perth homeowners with their plumbing for many years; we are licensed and experienced plumbers using the latest plumbing technology to fix problems quickly and affordably – contact us here or call 1800 631 799 to arrange a quote.