As soon as you mention to anyone that you need to get some plumbing work done, you'll often hear the words "didn't even show up" or "ripped-off" come up in the conversation. So, to help you get over your fears when faced with a plumbing issue, Shaw Plumbing has put together some useful questions to ask before you make any commitments.......
1. "When can you get here?" - Very often we will take the morning off work only to sit in and wait for a plumber who doesn't even bother to show up. There is nothing more frustrating!! Unfortunately, sometimes these situations can't be helped, especially if the plumber has been called to an emergency job or the previous job has taken longer than expected.
To try and avoid these complications the best thing we can advise is to request a courtesy call when the plumber is on the way or if he/she is behind schedule. Then even if there are hold-ups, you are able to better plan your day or re-schedule the job. At Shaw Plumbing & Drainage, we are more than happy to provide a courtesy call on request to all of our clients.
2. "Does the quote include all costs?" - This might seem like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised at how many things can be mysteriously 'added-on' to your final bill. You should ask if the quote includes things like; the call-out fee, materials, labour and GST. There is nothing worse than having to fork out more money when you have only budgeted for a certain amount.
3. "Do you use a flat rate or an hourly rate?" - What this means is; does your plumber have a set amount that they charge for the job e.g. installing a washing machine or will they charge by how long it takes. Generally, to pay by the hour is cheaper for the client but, for example, if your plumber is relatively new to the trade then he/she could take longer to do the job than a more experienced plumber thus increasing the cost.
4. "When will I be expected to pay?" - Just so you know, payment upfront is never acceptable. If any plumber ever requests this then kindly tell them that you will be going elsewhere. Usually small residential jobs will require payment 7 days after invoicing but sometimes the size of the job may mean that your payment schedule will vary. For example, with bigger jobs payment may be paid in stages. Also, there may be some plumbers who have mobile Eftpos machines (like us!!) and so you can just pay on-the-spot once the job is complete.
5. "Will I be left with a mess?"- Unfortunately there are some plumbers who feel it's not their responsibility to clean up after themselves once the job is done (thankfully we're not one of them!), so it's always best to check that the clean-up is included in the job. Communication is key, so try to have a chat with your plumber about your expectations just so everyone is on the same page. Bathrooms should be left as they were before and old hot water heaters should be disposed of as part of the job.
6. "How long will it take?" - Obviously this depends on the type of job it is. For example, installing new taps would usually have a standard time allocated but something like a blocked drain may not be so easy to estimate due to unforeseen complications. Again, communication is important and so if your plumber is unable to give you an accurate time estimation, maybe find out the reasons why and he should be happy to give you a detailed explanation. You might even learn some plumbing lingo!
There is nothing worse than being kept in the dark by your plumber. At Shaw Plumbing & Drainage we pride ourselves on communication and we love feedback on how we're doing, so if you use us don't forget to leave a review.