Is your toilet clogged or do you have a leak in the bathroom? Then you need to find reliable plumbers. How do you find it and how do you avoid being scammed?
What does a plumber do?
A plumber is a specialized professional who focuses on the installation, maintenance and repair of sanitary facilities. But also on heating installations, water pipes and possibly also sewage. Most plumbers specialize in a particular area.
You can contact a plumber for:
- Repairing clogged or broken drains
- Detecting and resolving leaks
- Fix or replace plumbing
- Maintain central heating system and boilers
- Laying pipes
- Repair or replace gutters
There are many so-called ‘lead companies’ operating in this sector. These are companies that mediate between the consumer and the executive plumber. They sell the job (the lead) to the plumbing company.
Reselling a job is legal, but the brokerage costs are passed on to the customer. This can increase the bill considerably. And in case of bad luck you get a shady plumber at the door who scams you for hundreds of dollars. We have already seen similar practices at locksmiths.
How do you find a good plumber?
Through an acquaintance
Ask friends and acquaintances if they can recommend a plumber. It does not provide a watertight guarantee, but it does provide more security than hiring a total unknown.
Via the Internet
Find a plumber through a search engine, but beware of plumbers who are at the top of Google. These are often lead companies. Look for the smaller local plumbers as you scroll further down. Lead companies also work with regional area codes, not just 085 numbers.
Also pay close attention to the name of the company. Some rogue plumbers use a name that is strikingly similar to that of other (reputable) plumbing and unclogging companies.
Check for complaints
Check Google to see if you can find complaints about the company. We regularly receive complaints about the working method of plumbers. Usually about unclear rates, poorly executed work and (sometimes extremely) high invoices. Often this involves unblocking work.
The plumbers we get complaints about often advertise on the internet. And they catch the eye when you google “plumber” or “clogged toilet”. These advertisements are often from so-called ‘lead companies’. In 2019 we conducted a survey of plumbers and unblocking companies. We received a lot of complaints about:
- Unblocking service24
- Unblocking R-ss
- Certified Plumber
What can it cost?
Each plumbing company determines its own rate and the structure thereof. One company charges a low hourly rate and makes more margin on the materials used. The other does it the other way around. The rates vary by region. A 50% surcharge is customary in the evenings and on Saturdays. A surcharge of 100% usually applies on Sundays, public holidays, and at night.
During the day, a simple unblocking job of up to half an hour costs an average of $191. This is apparent from the survey we conducted in 2019. There are big differences because the rates range from $116 to $294.
Many plumbing companies do not list rates on their website. Call a number of plumbers and compare prices. Note the following:
- Only go into business with companies that already give a clear price indication in the first telephone conversation.
- Discuss all costs in advance, such as call-out costs, emergency rate, evening surcharge, material costs and VAT.
- Rather make an appointment during the day and after the weekend. That can save a lot of money.
- Some plumbers claim that insurance will reimburse much of the cost. That is often not true.
Do you have a complaint?
If you are dissatisfied with the work done, please report this immediately. You can then immediately agree how, and within what reasonable period of time, the shortcomings will be remedied.
In the event of complaints or problems, always first contact the operating plumbing company. Can’t figure it out with them? Then contact the Disputes Committee Installing Companies within 3 months.
Report your complaint on our Complaints Compass. You can submit a complaint about a company for free on this online complaints platform. The approach is that you come to a solution together with the company, constructively. If the entrepreneur does not comply with the agreements, your report will in any case serve as a warning to other consumers.
Another article on this blog that may interest you: