1.What is your hourly charge?
We actually don’t have an hourly charge. We normally charge based on the requirements of completing the job properly. Clearly, the amount of time it will take to do the job does factor into the cost, but in the end, the experience we have often allows us to complete a job in a shorter amount of time than most and do a better job because we know our reputation depends on the quality of the work we do.
2. Is there a charge for coming to the house to diagnose a problem?
‘Wow, I am glad we found out about that problem when we did!’
We appreciate all the information you may have provided us over the phone about the problem, and you may have done a great job with the diagnosis, however, in the twenty plus years we have been plumbing, we have learned a few tricks along the way that might allow us to fix the problem you have diagnosed at a lesser cost than you had thought. On the other hand, we may also find something that was overlooked, a problem that could eventually end up costing you a few extra dollars today, but save you a significant amount of money by nipping it in the bud before it becomes a big problem with a big price tag… This is what we do every day… we see thousands of houses a year, we are professionally trained, and we take great pride in our work.
3. If the Big Box retailers can quote a price to replace my water heater over the phone, why are you not willing to give me a price?
There are a couple of things that you should think about regarding this question. First, a Big Box retailer charges an average rate based on the cost of a water heater and the average time required to replace a water heater… If your water heater is easily accessible and an easy change out, maybe they are charging you too much!? For a Big Box Retailer there model is based on quantity more so than quality. Big Box retailers more often than not pay a sub-contracted plumber, who needs extra work, a certain amount per install. In the event that the replacement may require special attention, do you want a sub-contracted plumber who is paid per job regardless of how long it may take to complete the job properly taking care of your water heater replacement?
Just as you would probably prefer that a surgeon surveys the landscape prior to replacing your knee, hip, heart, or kidney, and you would likely refuse service from a sub-contracted Doc who has an 11AM tee time, we take the same care to ensure the job is done perfectly every time. Yes, some cases are easier than others and as a result, sometimes pricing quoted to your neighbor may differ from the pricing you receive, but as we do guarantee all of our work, and we do depend on repeat business and referrals to sustain, we will install your water heater so it functions perfectly, we will dispose of the broken water heater properly, and you will be able to enjoy a hot shower again with piece of mind.
4. Can you bill me, or do I have to pay when the services are rendered?
We do everything we can to keep our prices competitive. A big part of that is keeping our overhead to a minimum. We want to utilize the bulk of our time plumbing and keep ‘in-office time’ book-keeping to a minimum.
5. Can’t you just give me a ballpark price over the phone?
It is pretty easy to throw a number out there, even give a low ball quote to improve our chances of making the short list, only to turn around when we get to the job and state that there are special circumstances that will require an increase in cost. Companies that quote over the phone depend on the likelihood that you, the customer, will not turn down their services once they arrive, even if they up the prices. This is the exact scenario that leaves you with that feeling…Did I just get taken to the cleaners? Even though we have twenty plus years in the business, we are not willing to take a guess at the extent of your problem over the phone. There is no point in creating false expectations, or quoting ourselves out of a job without seeing it first. This is not a game to us. This is about providing a service and a great value of which we guarantee.
6. Should I purchase the parts or products from a local vendor or do I have to purchase them from you?
The short answer is either way is fine. In some cases it may be advantageous for us to purchase the products on your behalf as we may receive a significant discount which we can pass on to you… In others situations, you may feel more comfortable going out and purchasing your own product for us to install. In the end, we are not going to try to persuade you to use a particular brand because there is a big mark-up for us. We make money based on the service we provide…which is top of the line in quality guaranteed.