Did plumber rip us off?

clarannOctober 8, 2011

My sister is a senior citizen. About a yr ago, she had a plumber come out for a repair. While he was there, he talked her into paying $39 for a service contract. He said if she needed him to come out in the future (2yrs) she wouldn't pay a service call fee, just for the repair. She said okay.

Over the next year, she didn't need to call him. So he calls her and says "you paid for a service contract, so I could come out and make sure everything is working properly."

She said okay and remembered that the handle on her toilet was sticking, so she might as well get that fixed. While he was "checking" everything, he said the bolts on the toilet tank were rusting and it's only a matter of time before they leak and she gets a flood. So she said okay, fix that. He took the tank off and replaced the bolts.

Her bill for all that - $400.

Is that reasonable? Does anyone know what that type of repair would typically cost?

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I would report him so fast it would make your head spin.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 10:17PM
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Not there. Can't tell. However, if the diagnosis and repair were anywhere close to typical, not reasonable. I strongly suspect she got ripped.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 11:28AM
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You can buy a whole new toilet at Lowe's for $200.00, and barring any unexpected issues a real plumber would have the old one out and the new one in within an hour.

But the real point is- toilet bolts are usually rusty, and they usually don't cause big issues. He scared her by using the word "flood" (if he did indeed) when in fact they would leak modestly for a long time before causing a flood. And then he charged her $400.00 for a job that didn't need doing, is my guess.

The $39.00 "service contract" is a dodge to gain entry. He took advantage of her age and ignorance to make money off of her.

Like asolo said, "Not there. Can't tell." But like him, I strongly suspect she got ripped. He owes her $350.00, call it $345.00 allowing $5.00 for new bolts, since she wasn't supposed to get charged for the service call under the terms of the original contract.

Not a plumber and definitely biased, but that's my take. YMMV.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 8:26PM
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