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Friday, November 13, 2009

A Really Expensive Drip!


I sure wish I'd read the book pictured, because we had a plumber in our house last week and it definitely was not fun. At least, not for us.

It all started back before our road trip, when my husband noticed the faucet in the executive washroom had a drip. (I call it the executive washroom because it's right next to the room I call my office, and I consider myself the CEO of this household.) I took a look at it, and thought it just wasn't turned all the way off. I proceeded to give the cold water handle a hefty tug, and it broke off in my hand--the glass part of the handle, that is. No crisis: no water spurting everywhere, just a piece of broken faucet in my hand. We were leaving on our road trip the next day, so we planned to get it fixed when we returned.

After we got back, Hubby went shopping and came back with three sets of faucets. "We've been having trouble with the kitchen faucet leaking, so I figured we might as well have the faucet fixtures replaced in both bathroom sinks and the kitchen, too." Sounded like a plan. He called the plumbing company that had installed our garbage disposal in 1997--we've been fortunate enough to not need a plumber again since then. (Little did we know how fortunate!)

The person on the phone told Hubby they charge $79 for a house call (what other option is there?? We bring our pipes into their office???) and the $79 is applied to the cost of the job. First mistake: Not asking the charge for installing a faucet fixture. Second mistake: Not comparison shopping.

I was out when the plumber showed up. He told Hubby what the charge was to replace each fixture and then proceeded to do the work. Third mistake: Not throwing the bum out when he informed Hubby of the cost. When I came home, said plumber was laying on the floor with his head under the sink in the executive washroom. He pulled his head out from under the sink and greeted me all smiley and perky--I'd have been all smiley and perky in his shoes. too, knowing I was about to make an extra arm and leg on this job!

Hubby told me to go check the master bathroom, as that one was finished and see if I liked the fixture. There was a shiny new, modern set of faucets on the sink. What's not to like? A faucet is a faucet.

After what seemed like a really long time and a couple of trips out to his truck and back, he finished in the executive bath and tackled the kitchen sink. He took time out to tell us what a nice home we have (Puleaaase! It's a mobile home, it's not the Ritz!). On one of his many trips back out to his truck, he stopped to admire the pictures of our kids and grandkids on the walls, and the saber my stepson had mounted in a display case with an engraved "Thanks for the love and support, Dad" plaque when he graduated from West Point. (The whole time I was thinking, "cut the BS and get the job done, will ya!") His phone rang several times with what sounded like calls from his wife, with whom he stopped to chat. Then I nearly lost it when he stopped what he was doing to come into the livingroom to watch a particular item on the 6:00 pm news that interested him.

By the time he finished and my husband had paid him, and he finally left, I was livid. "How much did that cost?" I asked. I knew it wasn't going to be good, when Hubby hesitated to tell me. "$960." I could not believe it! We figured it came to $189 per hour. Apparently they charge $335 to replace bathroom sink fixtures, and $350 to replace kitchen sink fixtures; flat fees, not an hourly rate. A very hard lesson learned, late in life: Next time, get an estimate and do some comparison shopping!

24 comments:

glnroz said...

Those type of people make me livid...

Live.Love.Eat said...

Hi there! That picture is hysterical but your situation definitely is not. Dealing with plumbers is frustrating!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for coming by on my SITS day 10/29, I have been playing catch up! Come by for an awesome giveaway and an amazing dessert recipe!

singedwingangel said...

You have got to be kidding me. For 30 bucks you could have gotten the how to do your own plumbing book from Lowe's or home depot and saved yourself nearly a grand.. Good grief that is highway robbery and I would cehck the Better business bureau in the future if not file a formal compalint for thei outrageous fees.. I mean it's not rocket science geesh..

Christina said...

Wow, I'm so sorry. I've definitely had similar experiences, and they're never fun.

blueviolet said...

That is an obscene amount of money! I think I literally would have cried.

I also wanted to say thank you for reading and commenting on my guest post at JennyMac's place today. :)

Cathy said...

OUCH. That's outrageous. I would have been mad mad mad.

Sarah Wyland said...

OUCH!

Those prices are ridiculous! My uncle is a plumber and if he charged those rates, he'd be living high on the hog!

Hillbilly Duhn said...

I am my own plumber. I wish I got paid those rates!

Unknown Mami said...

Friggin' ridiculous! Oh, I'm livid for you.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

That's outrageous! I think people take advantage of people who aren't in the know about their trade like this. No one would expect something so trivial to cost so much. I would maybe call some other places and ask for a rough estimate of what that job would cost and weigh it against what you were charged, just to compare. Maybe it's standard daylight robbery, or maybe you were just robbed! Insane.

natalee said...

OMG!!!! How much??? Eva I want to punch the plumber in the face for you... I love the picture though.

Steven Anthony said...

HOLY SHIT! I think you should have decked him, the judge would have understood and threw it out of court once he saw the bill...outrageuos!

Jen said...

It is frustrating,knowing [ or thinking] ...he, the plummer, is being paid by the hour, and he spends most of his time "goofing off"!I was lucky my husband was JACK-OF ALL- TRADES..as you know,...now I will have to pay a plummer when I need one. The song goes....YOU'LD BETTER SHOP AROUND.!!!!!

Gretchen said...

Oh dear! Yeah, a really expensive drip indeed.

Rbarakat said...

Ouch!!! That's nuts! The picture is too cute though!

gaelikaa said...

We all get caught out sometimes!

dogimo said...

I love that picture! What a great variation on the classic good-girl pinup motif. Adorable.

As to the plumbing situation, condolences on that one.

lakeviewer said...

Ouch! Plumbers, like mechanics tend to get away with overcharging.

My name is PJ. said...

I would have been apoplectic! I've done a lot of work with contractors and, unless you live in Beverly Hills, I'd say that's HIGH HIGH HIGH!

Florrie said...

Happy SITS Saturday sharefest!

Nothing is worse than being "taken behind the toolshed" by some plumber who obviously was ripping you off in the worst way possible! I Hate, Hate, Hate dishonest people! That amount you paid was insane.....I don't love those hard lessons learned. But I did get a kick out of your blog. Thanks for letting me stop by.

Elizabeth Patch said...

Yikes! that's robbery. I love the picture, the artist Duane Bryers is one of my favorite illustrators from the 1950's. The character is named "Hilda" and I get a lot of visits to my post about her. Please make sure you enter my signed book contest Eva.
http://moretolove.net/Free_MoretoLove.html

Chris said...

OMG! I could have put my OH on a plane from here with a spanner or two and he could have fixed your taps for you and you'd still have change!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Wow, that plumber should be able to retire after a few more house calls like that one. What a scam!
I always get irritated with my Hubby when he have an HOURLY repairman out to fix something, and Hubby gets all chummy and keeps engaging him in conversation. Slows the repairman down every time, which of course increases the bill. The last time he did this, I told him if he's that desperate to talk to somebody, I have a much more reasonable hourly rate!
Thanks, Elizabeth for the info on that picture. Until you told us the name of the artist and the character, I was convinced that was me!

The Retired One said...

What a rip off EVA! I would be livid too!! That is so unfair!