Tools on the ground

3 Plumbing Scams to Avoid

While the majority of plumbers are reputable, the plumbing industry has its fair share of sub-standard contractors who employ shady business practices. Here are the most common problems and recommended cures to prevent a leaky wallet.

At Benicia Plumbing, we adhere to the highest standards in the industry and pride ourselves on being a transparent and accountable company. Beware of these scams and always work with a reputable plumbing company and you will never get ripped off.

Scam #1: Inaccurate Estimates

Tip: Unless you’ve got an emergency situation, take the time to get several quotes and make sure the scope of services is clearly outlined, so you aren’t comparing apples to oranges. Get clarification if a contract is not clearly spelled out, and don’t be shy about asking a plumber why a price is higher (or lower) than everyone else’s price. Most of the time, quotes at extreme ends reflect inaccurate estimations of labor time.

Scam #2: Bait and Switch

Tip: Find out what kind of materials your plumber intends to use and list it in the contract or service order; that way, you’ll be able to hold him accountable if future problems show up. Compare prices of materials at local plumbing suppliers or hardware stores. Most plumbing supplies to complete household repairs cost little – such as washers, gaskets, and O-rings – so you should watch out for exorbitant material fees. While you should allow your plumber a slight mark-up to cover his overhead and operating expenses, stay away companies which consistently charge more than 10 to 15 percent more than the cost of materials.

Scam #3: Markups in Affluent Neighborhoods

Tip: Live in an affluent neighborhood? Expect a markup on pricing from plumbers who will think they can get more out of you. So, always do your homework – call around and get quotes from plumbers based in not-so-affluent towns. Often their prices will be more reasonable and they’ll appreciate the increased business. Caveat: To make sure they won’t charge for extra travel time, keep the commute time down – if they have to travel more than an hour to get to you, expect that to be reflected in the quote.

At Benicia Plumbing, Inc., we’ve been serving our clients since 1975 and always looking  to utilize the latest technology in today’s plumbing world. By providing complete plumbing services to businesses, industry, homebuilders and homeowners throughout the northern California Bay Area, we’ve been able to stay at the forefront of this industry and succeed at a high level.