- 01 Oct
Avoid These Common Plumbing Scams
We at Electric Rooter pride ourselves on offering quality service at an affordable price, and we always value integrity when it comes to taking care of your residential or commercial plumbing needs. For this reason, we would like to help our customers become more aware of some of the most common plumbing scams out there. If someone who purports to be a plumbing professional does any of the following, you should highly consider consulting another plumber.
Asking probing questions
Unfortunately, the elderly and widowed are most often the targets of plumbing scams. Scam artists often ask probing questions such as “Is your husband home?” or “Are you married?” in order to determine whether someone is an easy target. Be wary of anyone who asks you about your personal life.
Offering ultra-low initial estimates
Some plumbers get you by giving you an ultra-low estimate to begin with, only to charge you double that cost at the end for the “additional work” involved. If you find that one plumber out of several you consider is offering you their services at an extremely reduced cost, this should be a red flag.
Requesting a high amount of prepayment
In some states, a plumbing professional can ask for only up to 10 percent of the final cost of a plumbing job before starting any work. If you are asked by a professional to pay 20 percent or more upfront, this could be a sign that the professional is going to take the money and run.
Cash-only or under-the-table payments
Any plumbing professional who takes only cash is likely not paying taxes and probably doesn’t carry appropriate insurance, either.
Showing you archived inspection footage
In-line camera inspections are highly useful for detecting problem areas in residential and commercial plumbing systems, but some scammers use this technology to trick customers into thinking they need more plumbing work done than they actually do. A corrupt technician, for example, might show you a pre-taped inspection of a pipe in bad condition, rather than showing you a live feed of your actual pipes.
Creating fake evidence
Sometimes corrupt business owners use other techniques to make customers believe that their plumbing systems are more damaged than they actually are. You might be consulting with one plumbing professional, for example, while their assistant is “inspecting” your basement pipes, spreading dirt in specific spots that apparently indicate that the sewer pipe is broken and forcing up dirt through the concrete.
Overcharging for parts and materials
Finally, there is the overcharging scam, where a plumbing professional might charge you for higher quality parts and materials and then swap them out for cheaper materials to save on cost. Be sure to ask your plumber what materials they are working with and to list these things specifically in the contract.
When in doubt about a plumber, try to determine if the plumber is using fear or high pressure tactics to get your business. If you live in the Salt Lake area, don’t hesitate to contact Electric Rooter. We pride ourselves on honesty, integrity, and having decades of experience in the plumbing industry.
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