Plumbing issues are not something you can always put off and this is something plumbers understand. They also know that most people know absolutely nothing about plumbing and can easily get taken advantage of. This is why you need to be very careful when hiring anyone you don’t know to work on your plumbing. You need to be able to spot when plumbers are trying to rip you off or when you’re dealing with a downright scammer. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that a plumber may be trying to scam you.
Dodging Talks About Credentials
A trustworthy plumber should be more than happy to show you their credentials. They will be able to show proof of insurance, licensure, and might have a few industry certifications on top of it.
Anyone who’s trying to dodge details or is coming with reasons why they can’t show their credentials should be avoided like the plague. And, if you have to pry license information out of them, it could very be because it’s not in good standing. Either way, you should always verify the information they give you with your local Contractors License Board and see if their license is in order.
They Don’t Have History in the Community
You should also work with people who have been serving your community for a long while and have a great reputation. If someone comes to your door and you can’t find their physical office anywhere, then this can be a problem. Some plumbers operate from their vans, and it’s fine, but, if you come across one that does, you will need to take extra steps to verify their reputation.
If you’re looking for a reputable plumber Northern VA, then look up their information with the local BBB chapter. You will be able to see how long they’ve been established and what kind of complaints they’ve received. It will be normal for plumbers to have a few complaints and some of them might be malicious. But, if you notice repeated complaints about the same things, then this is a sign of someone that shouldn’t be trusted.
They Want the Money Upfront and In Cash
You should never deal with a plumber that requests you pay in cash and cash only. You need to choose a payment method that will leave a clear paper trail. You should also avoid any plumber that asks for more than 30% upfront. It’s normal for a plumber to ask for a deposit on large jobs since they have to protect themselves from scammers too. But anything higher than 30% should be seen with suspicion. They also shouldn’t ask for a deposit on minor jobs.
Bait and Switch
One of the tricks crooked plumbers use is overcharging people on materials. To catch them in the act, get a complete list of components that will be installed down to the fixtures and ask for a clear estimate. Then, go to a local hardware or plumbing supply store and compare prices. If their estimate is way off, you will need to ask them why they’re charging so much. If they start fumbling words or can’t give you a clear and reasonable answer, go elsewhere.
Most plumbers are honest, but the few dishonest ones could end up giving you a poor job at best or running off with your money at worst. So, take the time to conduct a quick background check on anyone you’re thinking of working with and compare quotes before you pick one.