Plumbing scams are much more common than many people imagine, and getting swindled for a few hundred or thousand dollars is something no homeowner wants to deal with. Thankfully, there are ways that you can spot a dodgy plumber. In many cases, these signs will be obvious, but you might come across a sophisticated scammer who knows how to swindle victims without them realizing it. Let’s take a look at a few possible signs that a plumber should not be trusted.
They Can’t Show Paperwork or It’s Not Valid
If the plumber you’re thinking of working with cannot produce paperwork or flat-out refuses, don’t work with them. And, if you were thinking of working with an unlicensed or uninsured plumber to save a few bucks, you are asking for trouble. If something happens, you will have little recourse against them. The worst part is that they could end up suing you if they or one of the people they are working with suffers an injury. The same goes for if they cause injuries to someone else. You also will have no protection if they cause massive damage to your property, so think twice.
They Have a Horrible Track Record
Another thing you have to be wary of is if they have a bad reputation. This can be in their Google reviews, but one of the best ways to know if a contractor is reputable is to check how well they’re rated by the BBB. If you were thinking of hiring a plumber San Luis Obispo, look at what the locals have to say, but also check their BBB rating and their recent complaints. Know that it’s normal to see a few complaints; the most important thing to note is that they aren’t repeated issues. Some people may want to be vindictive as well, so this is something you’ll need to be careful with.
They’re Too Hasty
Never work with a plumber that’s too hasty. This could be a sign that they’re incompetent and desperate for work. Also, think twice about hiring someone who says they can give you a full estimate without coming to see the issue. This is often the sign of a service that doesn’t really care about their clients, and don’t be surprised if some unexpected fees pop up out of nowhere.
Also, you should never work with a plumber that wants to be paid in cash. This leaves no paper trail and is definitely a red flag. You should also be careful with any plumber that asks for a large deposit upfront. Anything over 20% should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Some states even prohibit plumbers from asking more than 10%, so check the rules in your jurisdiction. Don’t fall for excuses such as having to pay for supplies. Leaving with the deposit is the oldest trick in the book, so don’t be the next victim.
These are all clear signs that a plumber could be a scammer. Whatever you do, make sure that you verify any information they give you and be very cautious with how you handle payments.