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Old 01-03-2011, 08:57 PM   #16
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Why Call a Plumber?


You call up someone at 3:45a you get charged for an emergency call
I work in IT & if someone calls at 3:45a with something as stupid as this that isn't an emergency they get their ass chewed out by the boss the next day

$20 charge for an office visit...$100 charge for an emergency room visit
The "emergency" charge is not restricted to plumbers

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Old 01-03-2011, 08:58 PM   #17
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I can give another example. I recently had 6 pot lights put in my kitchen by licensed electrician. I like doing things properly so have permits in place, get professionals like you guys in etc. I was charged $1500 for about 3 hours work. $500 per hour...really???

Just recently had a door installed. Door cost me $2100. Final bill was $2700 for about 1 hour work. $600 per hour....really???

Before i get flamed to death by plumbers, my point is meant to be in a more general sense. From my side of the fence, the poor customer, these are huge bills to pay and i cant charge rates like these. I freely admit i have no idea what it takes to run a plumbing shop so maybe these rates are justified but wow they are painful for someone on a fixed income.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:15 PM   #18
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One of my biggest pet peeves was getting calls in the middle of the night saying: (Customer doing his own plumbing) "Hey, can I pick your brain for a minute?" As if it's a 24 hour technical support line. Of course as diplomatically as possible; my response was: Actually, no you can't. I'm sleeping.

Oh and another classic at 2am:

CUSTOMER: "Hello, my husband is replacing our water heater, but he didn't get the right length of supply lines. Can you bring 'em to us?

ME: "I'd be happy to come out and install them. Since I'm nearly 2 hours away however, perhaps we could schedule for morning in case I need any extra parts that aren't on my truck."

CUSTOMER: "NO! We don't want you to install them. We just want to buy your parts. Home Depot closed several hours ago!"

ME: Miss we don't sell parts off of our trucks.

CUSTOMER: "We won't tell anyone. We just need them now! How 'bout if we meet you half way?"

ME: "Again, miss we don't sell our parts. If you'd like me to come out it'll be $xxx."

CUSTOMER: "THAT'S BULL$h!*!!!" Click.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:23 PM   #19
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One of my biggest pet peeves was getting calls in the middle of the night saying: (Customer doing his own plumbing) "Hey, can I pick your brain for a minute?" As if it's a 24 hour technical support line. Of course as diplomatically as possible; my response was: Actually, no you can't. I'm sleeping.

Oh and another classic at 2am:

CUSTOMER: "Hello, my husband is replacing our water heater, but he didn't get the right length of supply lines. Can you bring 'em to us?

ME: "I'd be happy to come out and install them. Since I'm nearly 2 hours away however, perhaps we could schedule for morning in case I need any extra parts that aren't on my truck."

CUSTOMER: "NO! We don't want you to install them. We just want to buy your parts. Home Depot closed several hours ago!"

ME: Miss we don't sell parts off of our trucks.

CUSTOMER: "We won't tell anyone. We just need them now! How 'bout if we meet you half way?"

ME: "Again, miss we don't sell our parts. If you'd like me to come out it'll be $xxx."

CUSTOMER: "THAT'S BULL$h!*!!!" Click.

LOL, good story. I'm still laughing. I guess there are some moronic customers out there and I do pity trades people that take 2am calls in the middle of winter for something as stupid as this.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Just recently had a door installed. Door cost me $2100. Final bill was $2700 for about 1 hour work. $600 per hour....really???

Before i get flamed to death by plumbers, my point is meant to be in a more general sense. From my side of the fence, the poor customer, these are huge bills to pay and i cant charge rates like these. I freely admit i have no idea what it takes to run a plumbing shop so maybe these rates are justified but wow they are painful for someone on a fixed income.
batdude -

I completely understand where you're coming from. Most Dr.'s don't charge that much. In fact a recent trip to "Laser" Dentistry, 3 fillings later, billing showed. $390. My portion was about $70. I spent about an hour there. I bet the equipment, laser, and overhead the dentist had during my procedure far outweighs that of any average plumbing shop.

Nevertheless, I feel as though some services should be billed accordingly. In your own due diligence however, you have the right to get as many bids as you'd like. Certainly cheapest isn't always best.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:38 PM   #21
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Why Call a Plumber?


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Before i get flamed to death by plumbers, my point is meant to be in a more general sense. From my side of the fence, the poor customer, these are huge bills to pay and i cant charge rates like these. I freely admit i have no idea what it takes to run a plumbing shop so maybe these rates are justified but wow they are painful for someone on a fixed income.
I totally get what you're saying. Plumbers and other tradesmen feel the same pains when they see their insurance premiums, payroll taxes, fuel bills, advertisement rates, etc. rise. In order to stay in buisiness, these costs are passed on to the customers. I guess they call it trickle down economics
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:41 PM   #22
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batdude -

I completely understand where you're coming from. Most Dr.'s don't charge that much. In fact a recent trip to "Laser" Dentistry, 3 fillings later, billing showed. $390. My portion was about $70. I spent about an hour there. I bet the equipment, laser, and overhead the dentist had during my procedure far outweighs that of any average plumbing shop.

Nevertheless, I feel as though some services should be billed accordingly. In your own due diligence however, you have the right to get as many bids as you'd like. Certainly cheapest isn't always best.

Thanks for the reply LateralConcepts. And yes, for a plumbing job I am currently doing, I am getting quotes from 3 professional plumbers, rather than making a mess of it myself. A little competition is always good! But given some of the quotes I have seen in this thread, I am scared to death to see my quotes! I cannot afford a $1000 plumbing bill on this project. Up until now, I was on track to spend only $1500 for the complete wet bar/kitchenette project in my basement (got a great deal on some nice cabinets) but with the plumbing bill I now expect that's likely going to be impossible (unless I do the plumbing work myself which I won't).
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:54 PM   #23
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I totally get what you're saying. Plumbers and other tradesmen feel the same pains when they see their insurance premiums, payroll taxes, fuel bills, advertisement rates, etc. rise. In order to stay in buisiness, these costs are passed on to the customers. I guess they call it trickle down economics
Yes, exactly my point. I grew up on a farm - same concerns. The world did not learn any lessons in 2008 and is still run by greed. But i guess I've steered this thread off topic. Sorry about that...
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #24
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yes, exactly my point. I grew up on a farm - same concerns. The world did not learn any lessons in 2008 and is still run by greed. But i guess i've steered this thread off topic. Sorry about that...
2008?
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:22 PM   #25
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2008?
Yes i was referring to the world wide economic collapse of 2008.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:25 PM   #26
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Yes i was referring to the world wide economic collapse of 2008.
Gotcha.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:19 PM   #27
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Why Call a Plumber?


There are good and plumbing companies.

I had a complete stoppage the halted drainage from 2 toilets and some other branches and did not have the tools to correct it. I called a local plumbing company (3-4 trucks).

The plumber showed up and explained it was an initial show up charge of $140. In 10 minutes, he quickly found an old kids plastic toy in the main drain that had always been a little slow. We lived in the house for 4 years and have no kids, so it must have been the causing the variations for years. When he was done he said that I had paid to an hour of time so he wanted other things to do. He quickly repaired and adjusted all the pop-up drains, found some bad washers on the laundry tub sink and did a few other things and we still had time to have coffee and a Pillsbury Cinnebon roll that I threw in the oven when he arrived. - I am not dumb, but learned the "Minnesota Nice" procedure rule when I returned a few years ago and it was a good $140 spent for things I could have done in a month or two, but never had to go out in the snow for the few minor parts necessary. - I have his name and employers number when I want to get my plumbing updated and proper shut-offs installed to avoid closing everything down just to change a faucet that the previous slumlord owner screwed up.

My mother always had coffee for anybody coming, but I was proud of the buns, because the next job will be done quick and right as long as the smell is in the air.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:40 AM   #28
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Wow, thats a great story and its how things used to be done but not so much anymore. I wish we would see more of this type of honesty and pride in ones work.

I called home depot the other day and asked the lady in kitchens to reserve 4 cabinets for us and that we were renting a van at the other home depot and coming over RIGHT NOW. We only were allowed the van for 90 minutes. As we were driving over i told my wife "watch this she'll be on her lunch break". Sure enough when we got there 20 minutes later i was told she was on her lunch break and nobody in kitchens knew anything about us. To her credit she had put sold stickers on the cabinets but without our name. Anorher employee was ripping off the stickers when we arrived ans he proceeded to lecture us about how these were the wrong stickers and procedures were not followed blah blah blah. We had to argue and wrestle the last 4 pantry cabinets out of another customers hands. I could go on and on with these kinds of horrible stories....
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:03 PM   #29
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Why Call a Plumber?


I've got to say I'd had a heater red tagged in my parents house, must've been 15 years ago. It was while they were out of town. It had set off a CO detector, being not sure what to do I called the fire department. They detected that it was coming from the heater. Turned out the bottom of the manifolds had rusted out and the heater needed to be replaced.

So my guess is this guy probably had a CO detector go off and he called the fire department. Sounds like he might've done the water heater install himself.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:11 PM   #30
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So my guess is this guy probably had a CO detector go off and he called the fire department. Sounds like he might've done the water heater install himself.
You'd hope not! If it was a DIY install and it set off the CO detector, you'd think he'd have the sense not to expect a different result by turning it back on. Besides, if he has the "skills" to install a heater, ( even if it was a hack job) you'd think he'd be skilled enough to relight the pilot, or do they do something to actually disable the heater during the "tagging"?

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