Choosing a reputable and trustworthy plumber should be easy but can be a home-owners worst nightmare if they choose a plumber that ends up ripping them off and not doing the job to appropriate expectations.
According to Queensland Energy and Water Ombudsman, between 400 and 700 complaints are made each year, often from customers being charged inflated prices or having poor experiences from plumbers and electricians.
It also doesn’t help customer confidence when we read news stories of some unscrupulous and dodgy businesses operating with bad practices, giving the entire industry a bad name. Last year A Current Affair exposed a Sydney plumber who was investigated because of multiple complaints concerning inflated prices being charged and damage to customer property. The news story shed some much-needed light of what to be aware of when choosing a plumber and what to expect of their services.
1 – CHECK THEIR PLUMBING LICENCE
If a plumbing business is licenced, they should have it clearly written on their website, or you can ring and ask them if they are licenced. They should be able to provide their licence number, which means the business has gone through the required standards needed to be legally operating in your region.
2 – THEY ARE A MEMBER OF THE MPAQ
The Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) is the peak industry body representing plumbing contractors throughout Queensland. The peak industry body provides high-quality services and support and ensures plumbers undergo extensive training before receiving certification. If you choose to book a plumber affiliated with MPAQ, you can be assured you’re booking someone knowledgeable and qualified in their field and recognised by an industry-leading organisation.
3 – REFERENCES AND ONLINE REVIEWS
It’s a helpful idea to ask a plumbing company for their references and spend some time researching their online reviews. While their online reviews can be useful, also look into their social media pages and how they interact with their customers, which can also give you an idea of their customer support practices.
4 – HOW LONG THEY’VE BEEN IN BUSINESS
While common sense often tells us – the longer a company has been in business the more reliable it must be – it’s not always the case. Some businesses who overcharge have been in operation a long time, but it’s a good idea to know how long they’ve been around in your local area. Often the longer they’ve been in business, the more people will have known about them and could recommend them.
5 – SHOP AROUND FOR QUOTES
There’s no reason not to shop around, especially if the job you require is a fairly standard one and not an emergency. However, when doing so, make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Some plumbing companies are based on lower prices, and they start at a low hourly rate and then tack on extras with more time required, and others charge higher fees but guarantee the job is done for a set price. So, it’s in your best interests to make sure you ask the right questions as to what the quoted price includes so you can make the best comparisons.
6 – GET A GUARANTEE
Most plumbing businesses will have some guarantee in place but make sure you read the small print and get quotes in writing.
Some questions to ask could be:
- Do you offer a lifetime warranty on your workmanship?
- How long are the product warranties?
- Is there anything you don’t guarantee?
- Can I have your guarantee in writing?
7 – ASK NEIGHBOURS AND LOCALS FOR A REFERRAL
Plumbers build their businesses on reputations, so it can be a good idea to ask people in your local area to recommend a plumber they have used who they were happy with. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways businesses stay successful year-on-year, so don’t be afraid to ask your neighbour, friends or colleagues for a recommendation.
8 – TEAM PROFILES AND PICTURES
If a company can be transparent in displaying information about who they are, how long they’ve been in business and what qualifications their staff have it’s a good sign they’re not hiding anything. When a company’s website displays information about their team, and a recent team photo, it’s a sign they take pride in who they employ and most likely have less staff turn-over as a result. It’s a great way customers can put a face to the name and feel confident in who they have chosen to work with.
DCM Drainage and Plumbing offers prompt and reliable solutions for residential and commercial customers in the Gold Coast region. If you need an emergency plumber or require some general plumbing assistance for your home or business, give us a call!