10 Questions you should ask before scheduling a service call:
1) Are your Plumber’s certified?
A lot of Plumbing companies will have fully stocked vans on the road capable of quickly solving your plumbing concern. However, a lot of these same companies will have a 1st or 2nd year apprentice driving the van alone, with no Journeyman on board to teach this inexperienced Plumber how to properly, and safely, solve your problem. A problem solved by a Plumber without the knowledge to properly ensure no further damage is very IMPORTANT. It is important to ask the tech on the other end of the phone this question and guarantee that a certified Plumber will show up at the door.
2) Are your Plumber’s insured and Bonded?
Even a certified Professional can make mistakes( he is after all, just a human). So it is important to know that if damage is incurred by fault of the Plumber, that they are insured and you will have no problems receiving compensation for the damages.
3) What is your hourly rate?
This is an obvious one, but none the less one that needs to be asked before you commit to scheduling an appointment. Because once the work’s done, you are expected to pay what they ask.
4) Can you give me an estimate of how long this job will take?
Not only is it important to have an idea of how much it is going to cost, but your time is valuable too.
5) What is the wait time I should expect?
Now we all know what it’s like to wait from 8am to 1pm for the cable guy to show up. But their is no reason for you to wait hours for your plumber to show up. A lot of companies will give you a 2 or 3 hour wait time, IE: “We will have a Plumber show up between 10am and 1pm.” But if you look hard enough, you will find companies that will give you a 30 minute wait time, or better yet, one that will give you an exact time!
6) Do you charge travel time?
A lot of companies will neglect to tell you this, but they charge a half hour travel time fee to your first hour. Which means that if their hourly rate is $120 then your 1st hour is going to cost you $180!.
7) Is there going to be any hidden fees added to the final invoice?
Hidden fees are a gold mine for a lot of Plumbing Service companies (may be why Plumber’s have such a bad rap). Most people don’t realize that they are subject to all sorts of hidden fees, such as: “gas surcharges”, “van re-stocking fee”, and a whack of other ridiculous charges.
8) What is your Guarantee on services provided?
Self explanatory. Believe it or not, some companies DO NOT offer a guarantee, but most do.
9) Is there any online Coupons I should be aware of?
There is a ton of companies that plaster the internet with “coupons”, mostly for SEO( search engine optimization ) purposes, that you may not know about. And believe me, the company you call is not inclined to tell you about them.
10) Can I read some customer Testimonials?
Now this is a tricky one because it is not hard for a company to falsify testimonials to their benefit. But there are a few tell tail signs of this:
If the Testimonials page only has a few testimonials, then you can bet that they were just added to make you believe that these are from real customer’s.
Another tell tale sign is if you find some online reviews, say on Google Maps or some other site, check the dates! You will notice a lot of companies have written their own “reviews”, and the dates will either be all in the same day, or within a few days of the first review.
And lastly, if there is no Testimonials form on their Testimonials Page, then you can assume that the Testimonials posted came form the author of the site.
So That’s it, simple right? Just ask these 10 questions and you will have a very good chance of finding yourself a Quality Plumber.