If we lived in an ideal world, we would call a plumber or an HVAC professional and not think twice about it. Unfortunately, a few bad apples ruin the plumbing pie, so to speak. It should be clear to all of us by now that nothing is perfect in this world, which also applies to companies selling plumbing materials. To your misfortune, you might encounter plumbing scam artists who’ll provide substandard work and leave you more frustrated than ever. They’ll even charge you a preposterous amount for something they did not do, or even try to make you believe that you need other unnecessary repairs. You can avoid being lured into this trap by having the know-how in distinguishing the plumbing scam artists from the authentic plumbers and suppliers.
THEY MAKE THE CALL TO “THEIR GUY”
A plumber that tells you that he needs to phone “their guy” is the most notable warning that you are dealing with a plumbing scam artists. Isn’t it obvious that if a company or a professional is legit, they’ll be sending you “their guy” right away since they are already aware of your water heater or plumbing problems? You’ll likely hear this line from a potential scammer: “I just talked to our guy, and he mentioned about replacing your water heater.” First off, their guy is not there with you at the moment. Therefore, he has not seen the kind of problems you are having with his own eyes to be able to make that assumption. He is likely making up a ruse of introducing a fictitious middleman to lure you into buying that unnecessary piece of equipment or extra services.
IF THEY GIVE OUT WARNINGS OVER EXTREME SCENARIOS
Another modus of plumbing scam artists is by telling you of frightening scenarios. It will lead you to buy a brand new equipment or upgrade your existing ones that are still in perfect condition and does not need any replacement yet. For example, upon finding out that you have a leaking water heater, scammers will likely inform you to buy a replacement unit. Or else, you have to dare to live in a ticking pressurized time bomb that can wreck your entire home in seconds. That is a worst-case scenario among extremely defective water heaters but not to all, especially when all your unit needs is to tighten its top nut.
IF THEY DID NOT OFFER YOU A COMPREHENSIVE CHECKUP
Another tell-tale sign that you are dealing with plumbing scam artists is when they give you a hasty analysis of the issue. A lot of times, a plumbing technician doubles as a salesman who will instantly strike a sale during any occasion that the opportunity rises. They’ll sell you a brand new unit or an upgrade of your present one without batting an eyelash. A good inspector will scour all crooks and crannies of your house to look for the cause of the problem. Regardless of a problem as obvious as a cracked toilet bowl, it will take a conscientious inspector a good five minutes to put together his diagnosis. He knows that you might have secondary problems as a result of your initial concern. Likewise, it is also crucial that the plumber inspector to show you the cause of the issue to have the assurance that they are not trying to upsell anything irrelevant to your need.
YOU ARE NOT OFFERED ANY ALTERNATIVE
If you come upon a plumbing inspector or repairman who will only offer you one solution (it is very pricey most of the time), you can start to question their credibility then and there. A good technician will provide you with a handful of alternative solutions after telling you what the problem is. It goes something like this: “we can fix this problem now by soldering the pipes as a whole, but you still likely have to replace it one to three years down the road.” Whereas a repairman telling you that you only choice is to replace all your pipes altogether is most likely feeding you some lies just to make more money. Money motivates scammers to fool innocent and stressed-out homeowners. If you are dealing with somebody who persists in luring you to spend more money than necessary and not offer alternatives, it must alarmed you of a mastermind plumbing scam artists in action.
GET A SECOND OPINION
The finest way to unravel a plumbing scam artists is when you get second opinions over your plumbing issues. Over time, you’ll likely face the reality of having to replace your pipes altogether or require pricey repairs, but it is better safe than sorry. Having at least one or two secondary opinions are enough to let you know the real score on your equipment unless several people or companies are all scammers and are out to fool people. At the same time, if you chose to seek for second opinions but get a different diagnosis, it signals as well that one of them are scamming you or just plain lousy at what they do. Of course, you will never agree with a doctor who advises you to amputate your arms to cure your sore throat in as fast as five minutes. It applies to your plumbing issues as well. Do not accept the first thing they tell you unless given sufficient proof even if they claim to be the best in the field.
WHEN THEY SHOW YOU THEIR LICENSE
If the contractor you’re dealing with immediately shows you his license, your doubts are appeased right away along with your doubts about being scammed. Many short-lived companies are only out to earn quick money and will most likely not waste their time and money to earn a license. Whereas certified contractors are honest professionals and whose careers depend on the good word given by their previous customers to the work they have done. A bad review can make or break their careers. Nowadays, you can do background checks online and even get referrals from close friends and colleagues. You’ll have the guarantee of hiring credible and reliable contractors from the very beginning.
But then, there are those instances that will make you realize that the contractor or company you hired are not scammers, but just plain lousy at what they do. Thus, better contact companies with a good reputation that is backed up by their presence that is always available online. Shady contractors are not real plumbers. They are simply pushy salesmen who have no conscience as they rip you off of your hard-earned money. A good plumber will do a good job because it is their primary goal and will not make a fool out of you.