There are plenty of stories out there of cowboy plumbers ripping the honest homeowner off, taking longer and charging too much for simple jobs. The sad fact is that 99% of plumbers are genuine people, wanting to earn an honest living, but as always – the minority give them a bad name. What you have to ask yourself, is when you need a plumber in an emergency – how do you find a quality tradesman, and not a ‘fly by night plumber’ ??
The first place you should always start, is by asking friends and family if they have used a plumber and had a good experience with them recently, this way you know that you have a much less chance of being let down. If however you don’t know anyone who knows a plumber, and your toilet is overflowing with water, or you have sprung a leak and you need a plumber quickly, you can easily jump on the internet and be presented with hundreds of local plumbers. The institute of plumber is a registered charity who have a directory of qualified and registered plumbers which you can narrow down in a search down to town area. You can always pick up the yellow pages quickly, or simply do a search on google if you just haven’t got time to wait for a plumber. Start off by making a few calls, but before you agree for them to come over and do a survey, there are a few questions you should ask the plumber to weedle out the good from the bad plumbers:
- Get an understanding of how long they have been trading for (the longer the better)
- Ask if they have any customer testimonials on the internet, or a website where you can view previous work projects they have been a part of
- Check that they are insured, in case they make a hash of your property
- Does the plumber offer a guarantee? If so how long is it for, and what does it cover?
- Are they a member of any registered bodies? If they say they are, don’t take their word for it, pick up the phone to the relevant body and do a check, or check online where you can.
Even if you don’t have time to check all of this information out, you might get an understanding from the plumber by the tone of his voice, or the way he reacts to your questions as to whether he is telling the truth or not. The next step is to give the plumber an exact description of what the problem is to try and get a rough idea of cost, then call another couple of plumbers to see if the price matches up to theirs.
The best idea would be to always ask if you can have a written quotation – if you have the time that is – a price which you can get the plumber to stick to.
By following this guide, you are sure to steer as clear as possible from a rougue trader style plumber and find yourself a genuine one.