Plumbing is a complex job that requires considerable knowledge and expertise. However, the unfortunate reality is that there are scammers disguised as plumbers who will try to trick you. These plumbing scams can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. So, how can you make sure you don’t fall victim to any of these scams? Scroll down to learn for useful tips!
1. Know Who Your Plumber Is
The first step in identifying and preventing scams is to ask for the plumber’s credentials. When hiring a plumber, always ask for his plumbing license, insurance certifications, business card, or other evidence. You should also ensure that the plumbing license is valid. The same principles apply to a plumbing company as well. It is also highly recommended that you do your own research online by analysing the plumbing company’s website, reviews and ratings.
2. Make a Contract
Sometimes, after giving a rough estimate of the job over the phone, the plumber can ask for more money once the work is ongoing. This is a popular method used to scam people by raising the estimates higher and higher each time. The only solution to this problem is to make a proper and legal binding contract with the plumber. Once he is done with the inspection of the problem, ask him to put the estimates in writing and ensure that he is also signing the estimated receipt.
3. Do Your Research
The bait and switch method refers to a scam where you will be tricked into believing that the materials bought are high-grade when cheap and low-quality products were purchased instead. To prevent you from falling for this trick, it is recommended to do your own research online or at a local hardware store and try comparing the actual prices with those from the plumber’s lists.
Moreover, opportunists can intentionally increase their hourly wages if they see that you are living a luxurious life, have a huge house, and the latest sports car in your driveway. Hence, you must ask around and do your research to learn more about how much plumbers actually charge for an hourly rate.
4. Avoid Hiring Anyone
Did you know that nowadays, there are many ‘experts’ disguised in plumbing uniforms who can appear in front of your doorstep? They can also present fake business cards to convince you. However, remember always to steer away from such people!
Besides door-to-door scams, you can also receive unexpected phone calls from plumbing companies claiming to be ‘genuine’. Do not ever give out your personal information and you can report them to the police if they continue the harassment.
5. Asking Questions
The easiest way to prevent plumbing scams is to keep asking questions to the plumber. For instance, to prevent the plumber from bringing his family members and friends on the job, ask him how many people will be working on the site and what are their respective tasks. This will prevent you from cutting checks for additional and unnecessary people.
Other important questions that should be asked are: “How long will this work take?” or “For how many years have you been working as a plumber?”
6. No Full Payment
If you are hiring a plumber asking for the full payment or a significant deposit even before beginning the job, you are making a wrong decision!
Once plumbers have their hands on a huge amount of money, they can easily walk away without even completing their work. Many scammers use this strategy to extort money from people. Therefore, it is crucial only to make the full payment once you have reviewed the plumber’s completed task.
If you were planning to hire a plumber, will you consider these tips? Please share your opinions!