How to Avoid Plumbing Supply Scams

Plumbing Supply Scam

How to Spot a Plumbing Supply Scam

In a perfect world when plumbing problems arise we could conveniently make a call, have the issue resolved, and settle up with no thoughts looking forward. As most of us know, the world of plumbing supply isn’t always perfect. Unfortunately there are scammers out there that take advantage of you opening your door to them to either perform shoddy work, bill you for work not done, or attempt to convince and scare you that more repairs are needed imminently. You can get the upper hand and not let these degenerates win by learning how to spot a plumbing supply scam.

If They Call “Their Guy”

One of the biggest red flags about a plumbing scam comes if the person who visits your home makes a call to ‘their guy.’ After all, why is the company not sending ‘the guy’ in the first place if they already know you’re having plumbing or water heater issues. A common rhetoric from a service personnel goes something like “I just got off the phone with my guy and he says it’s sounding like you need a new water heater.” First of all, the person on the other end of the phone hasn’t seen the issues firsthand and this is likely just a way to use a middleman that may or may not exist to get you to purchase unneeded equipment or services.

If They Warn of Dire Circumstances

One way that plumbing supply Edmonton scams work is by using scare tactics to get you to purchase new or upgraded equipment that doesn’t yet need replacing. For instance when checking out a water heater that is leaking, a scammer will often tell you that if you don’t replace it the unit will turn into a pressure backed bomb that will level your house to smithereens. That’s definitely a remote possibility with water heaters experiencing major issues but not indicative of one that simply needs the top nut tightened.

If They Don’t Give a Thorough Inspection

Another good indicator of a possible plumbing supply Edmonton scam is a super-quick diagnosis. Many times a plumbing inspector is nothing more than a salesperson whose job is to instantly sell you on an upgrade or replacement equipment. A quality inspector will cover every area of your home to find the problem causing your issues. Even if a problem is cut and dried such as a cracked toilet, the inspector will take longer than 5 minutes to make the diagnosis because secondary issues might have arisen from the primary trouble spot. Also, it’s important that the inspector or plumber shows you directly what the problem is to make sure they’re not feeding you a line to get an upsell.

If They Don’t Give Options

If a plumbing supply Edmonton inspector or service tech gives you only one option for a fix (usually a very expensive one) then some questions should arise. What a quality technician will do is point out the problem and give you a number of solutions such as “we can solder the pipes together now but we’ll probably have to end up replacing them altogether in the next 1-3 years.” Conversely a plumbing supplier who states that the ‘only recourse is a complete replacement of all your pipes’ is probably just serving with the bottom line as his or her motivator. The common denominator in all scams is money and when service personnel are constantly trying to make you spend more without offering alternative solutions it’s a good indicator that some deceptive practices are in play.

By Getting a Second Opinion

The best way to decipher a scam is by getting multiple opinions on your plumbing supply Edmonton issues. There will come times when a water heater needs fully replaced or pipes have expensive repairs attached to them but it’s best to be sure. Unless multiple plumbing suppliers are corroborating on scamming you a common answer from two or more companies gives you the best answer to your problems. Conversely if multiple service technicians explain to you different problems you’re facing there’s a good chance one of them is being deceitful or is just inept at their job. You wouldn’t trust a doctor that tells you in 5 minutes that amputating your arm is the only cure for a sore throat and you shouldn’t listen to the first thing a supposed ‘trusted’ plumbing inspector tells you either.

By Seeing a License

A great way to tell if a plumbing supply Edmonton company is sincere or just trying to scam you is by seeing their license. A fly by night operation is only out looking to make a quick buck and are many times not even certified to inspect plumbing. Licensed contractors on the other hand no that their honesty and integrity is their lifeblood and bad marks from customers could mean the loss of their working privileges. Checking out a plumbers online reputation or getting word of mouth referrals from friends and neighbors is also a great way to find a quality supply company you can trust.

Now there is a very real possibility that the plumbing supply company you hired is simply really bad at their job. That being said it’s best to do business with a reputable company that is licensed and has an online presence that backs up their work. Fly by night operations are not plumbers, they’re simply salesmen trying to take you for all your worth with no remorse. Quality plumbers care about a job done right and will stand by their word.

August 21st, 2016 by Bob Bies
About Bob Bies

Bob Bies is the Chief Executive Officer for Furnace Repair Edmonton, which specializes in heating, air conditioning and plumbing installation, repair and servicing. For same day 24/7 service, call 587-409-5683.