When you need to have a large amount of plumbing work or renovations done to your home, you are on pace for a long, tedious process of protecting yourself. That is because, if you are not diligent in finding a quality contractor to work with, you may fall victim to an appalling plumber scam.
Continue reading to learn about some of the most common plumber scams, and what you can do to avoid being preyed upon by unethical contractors.
The Bait and Switch
A common and frustrating plumber scam is the old “bait and switch” of plumbing materials. In this scenario, a terribly-unethical plumbing contractor will suggest a high-end list of plumbing pipes and fixtures, charge you for them, but then use cheaper materials to make a secrete profit. For instance, they may sell you on cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping or copper tubing, which are high-quality and high-priced materials, but then when it comes time to install everything, they end up using cheap materials and the homeowner is none the wiser.
To avoid this scam, be sure to always request a specific list of the materials you are paying for, and them cross-reference their price at the local home improvement store. If you see that the plumbing contractor is charging you an outrageous amount of money for something that costs less than your monthly pedicure, it is wise to find another contractor. Likewise, if they are using high-end products, but overcharging you for them, it is important to call them out.
The Price Gouger
Also known as the “Golden Spoon” scam, the price-gouger is a common con that unethical plumbers will use to make more money from a standard job. In this scenario, a plumbing contractor who arrives at a large home in a high-end neighborhood and notices luxury vehicles in the garage may over-charge the homeowners just because they assume they have a lot of money. For instance, your plumber could charge you double or triple if they think you have deep pockets
To protect yourself from being overcharged simply because you have a nice home and live in an affluent area, simply seek out multiple plumbing estimates for the same job. Compare the written estimates to see if there is an average marker. If the alternative estimates are much lower than the initial estimate provided by the contractor, you know you have a price-gouger on your hands. Get rid of them, quickly!
The Evasive Estimate
Another common plumbing scam is not always intentional by a contractor, but it is still irresponsible and bad business practice. Other times, it is completely intentional. This scam is known as the “evasive estimate” because in this scenario, the plumbing contractor can never quite give you a precise estimate on paper until after the work is done. They may go around and tell you everything is “no problem” as they keep a mental tally of all the work needed. Then when it comes time to receive the bill, the mental tally that was talked about before is suddenly tripled.
To avoid this scam, simply be sure to demand a written estimate, upfront, and then sign a contract stating how much will be paid BEFORE any work begins on your home. If the contractor is unwilling, then it is not a good sign and you should move onto another contractor.
Indianapolis Plumbing Service You Can Trust!
Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for licensed Indianapolis plumbing service you can trust. We have been in business for over 100 years because we have earned the trust of thousands of Hoosiers all across the city as a result of our professional service and outstanding results. Call owner, Mark Weilhammer, at 317-784-1870 to request a free estimate or plumbing advice, today.