Every homeowner will have to hire a plumber at one point in time. According to the Insurance Information Institute, one in every 60 homes file a claim for water damage yearly. But before you hire the first person that knocks on your door, you need to be aware that not every plumbing company is what it claims to be.
Even though plumbing scams are not widespread, innocent people fall victim to fraudulent practices every now and then. Learn about these common plumbing scams and how you can avoid them in Sugar Land, TX.
The Company Cannot Provide a License
If the plumber cannot provide a license, run. Plumbers must undergo at least four years of training to obtain a permit, and a master plumber must have at least ten years of work experience. Any plumber who cannot provide a proper license most likely does not have the necessary qualifications.
Not only does the plumber need a license, but a plumbing company also needs a business license. This will prove it is a legitimate business and run by experienced plumbers. You should always ask for a permit and confirm it with the local licensing board. The company or plumber should also be part of a reputable trade organization like the PHCC Association.
The Contractor Does Not Have Insurance
Does the plumbing company have insurance? Does it have workers’ compensation? If it does not have both of these, look for someone else. Plumbers often work in dark and tight spaces, and things can go wrong.
If you are not protected, you will be liable for any injuries or damage while the plumber works. You will also be unable to claim insurance should something happen after the plumbing job is done. Always ask for an insurance certificate and check with the insurance company.
The Provider Does Not Provide a Contract
Some scammers will give you an estimate over the phone. Or they may not give you a quote but leave you with a massive bill after the job is done. A good plumber will thoroughly check your home’s plumbing system before they give you an estimate.
Otherwise, how will they know how long the job will take and what they need? Once they are done, they should give you a detailed written estimate. If you are not dealing with an emergency, let it rest and look for another plumbing company or two.
Compare the different documents, and do not only look at the prices. Do they all require the same materials and have a similar approach? If one seems too different from the rest, they are probably trying to rip you off.
The Company Uses Cheap Parts
This scam is, unfortunately, not always easy to detect. A plumbing company will charge you for more expensive quality parts.
When the time comes for installation, they will bring cheap replacements that will not last as long. To avoid this, you will have to counter check the prices and materials in a hardware store. When the plumber arrives, ensure that the parts match.
The Plumbing Contractor Brings a Large and Varied Workforce
A plumbing company may send different apprentices or plumbers to work on your plumbing. Once the job is done, it will claim that you have to pay each worker individually at an hourly rate. Before you hire a plumber:
- Ask them how long the job will take and how many people will be needed.
- Tell them you will only pay for the whole job and not per worker.
- Take note that apprentices are not allowed to work unsupervised, and a licensed artisan should always be on the job.
It’s wise to stick with one or two plumbers for your regular jobs. This will allow the professional to become familiar with your home’s plumbing system and significantly reduce the time needed to locate and solve a problem.
The Company Charges Too Much
Some plumbers might decide to charge you more if you live in an affluent neighborhood, have a nice car or own an expensive home. Others might ask a high price for a simple repair. Always get estimates from more than one plumbing company.
Check on reputable websites for an approximate price range. Ask your neighbors and friends how much they usually pay for plumbing repairs.
The Plumbing Provider Charges Too Little
The same applies to a company that charges too little. Anyone offering to do the work for cheap probably doesn’t know their job.
The Company does not have a Fixed Price.
This happens all too often. Plumbers will be working on something and could say they underestimated the time and amount of work it will take.
The so-called professional will tell you that you will need to buy this, or that particular thing needs to be done, or else the job can’t be completed.
An experienced plumber will know how much a job will cost before starting it. The only way to avoid this is to hire a reputable and licensed plumbing company in Sugar Land, TX.
They Ask for Payment Upfront
The plumbing company may ask you to pay 50 percent or more of the total quote and will often ask for cash. They may also urge you to get all the needed equipment beforehand.
In most states, there are regulations on how much a plumber, or any journeyman, can ask beforehand. Be especially wary if you are undertaking a large plumbing project or upgrade. A shady plumber will take as much money as possible and never return.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston Is the Professional You Need
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston, our plumbers work hard to uphold our reputation for quality and timely service. All our professionals are trained, licensed, insured, and skilled in dealing with any plumbing problem you might face in Sugar Land, TX. You can trust us to do a job right the first time. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today.