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Common Scams to Watch Out for When Working with a Plumbing Contractor

While there are some smaller, less significant tasks that can be taken care of by a determined homeowner that has a little bit of time to spare and the right equipment, the vast majority of the time plumbing work is something that is best left to a qualified plumbing contractor.  However, when trying to find a plumbing contractor, it’s important that you ultimately hire a contractor that is both genuinely capable of carrying out the work you require and trustworthy, otherwise you could end up with inferior quality workmanship or paying over the odds for the work that is done. While there are many plumbing firms in Toronto that are both capable and trustworthy, there are also plenty of contractors that are less reputable and will attempt to squeeze as much money as possible out of each client they are hired by. Having been in the industry for a number of years, we’ve heard many horror stories from the clients that we’ve worked with and have become familiar with some of the more common scams that are pedalled.

Avoid Giving an Estimate

The number one rule when hiring a plumbing contractor is never, ever allow them to start work without first seeing a written estimate and thoroughly analysing it. Some contractors will purposely try to avoid talking about the price when conducting an onsite consultation. When you do enquire about an estimate, you will often receive a reply along the lines of “I need to work out some figures to see what the best price I can do for you is. I’ll give you a call tomorrow with an estimate, ok?” And when that phone rings, they quote you a price that is cheaper than you thought it would be, prompting you to accept right there and then. The thing is, a verbal contract won’t stand up in court. You can’t prove anything. Not the price that you agreed to, the materials that are to be used or the final deadline for the work to be completed. While the plumbing contractor is carrying out the work they will really try to focus your attention on that and make you “forget” about the estimate until the work has been done, at which point they will bill you for an amount that is maybe three times what they quoted you on the phone.

Subcontractors and Low Quality Work

This is a classic way in which a plumbing contractor may try to maximise their profits on larger scale jobs and results in you paying for poor quality workmanship. The plumber will be very “hands-on” during the initial consultation, throwing around ideas and showing a lot of enthusiasm for the work you need doing, but soon after you sign the contract they will be nowhere to be seen and your home will be full of subcontractors instead. When you try to contact them to see what’s going on, they will claim they have other clients to visit and that the subcontractors will take care of the majority of the work and they will come back to “finish things off.” However, this often doesn’t happen and you end up with inferior quality workmanship; not what you paid for. Always enquire as to who will be carrying out the work when asking plumbing firms for estimates and specifically ask if they will subcontract out some of the work

New Canadian Drain & Plumbing strives to help protect home and business owners in the Toronto area from scams. Additionally, we are a trusted plumbing contractor that has operated in the area for years and offer a wide range of high quality services. To learn more, call (416) 651-2990 (Toronto West) or (416) 462-3212 (Toronto East).