The Cost of Quality:
Part 2- Quality Companies
Author: Byron Thomson
Important questions can come into play when choosing which plumbing company to use. If you get 3 different quotes you may find there is a bit of difference in the prices.
Who should you choose?
Will they all do the same job?
Are they even quoting the same thing?
It can be hard to tell why one price is more than another sometimes. I have given quotes to people who have had another company quote them far less. I have also quoted jobs and been far less than others. It makes it hard on the customer to tell what is worth paying more for, and what is not.
People are always looking out for being ripped off, and there are companies and techs that are rip offs, but just because one company is more expensive than another doesn’t mean they are out to get you.
Prices and quality of company can be all over the board, and there is no surefire way to guarantee that you can always find the right one. That being said, I’m going to go over some of the things that can be pointers in either direction to help you get an idea of the type of company you are hiring.
1. Plumbers either charge by the job or the hour.
Those that charge by the hour will tell you their hourly rate and usually give a ballpark estimate of how long they think the job will take. Those that charge by the job will look at the job and give a quote for how much the job will be before starting.
I have chosen to charge by the job. It gives me the ability to tell the customer upfront what the job will cost. That way if there is any issue with the price, they know about it before they are obligated to pay the bill. This method helps me to avoid more problems with the cost of a job. If my price is too high for someone they will know before I start as opposed to the job taking longer than expected and surprising the customer with an extra couple hours billed on.
*Some people prefer one method over the other, and if you care about that, it is good to ask upfront how they charge so you know before having them come to your home.*
2. There are different size companies…
Big companies usually have 24 hour on call, and will answer the phone right away. The smaller the company, the greater the odds that they are not always available. At this point, I am the only plumber in my company, and I try to be available whenever someone needs it, but even though I try my best, sometimes I can’t get out because there is too much going on.
3. When it comes to sales there are different philosophies as well. There are those that simply show up and fix the issue and leave, and there are those that try to sell all new everything all the time. And then there is everything in between.
The pros and cons of different sales philosophies are too much to share in this particular post, but they will be shared in another blog post at a different time. For the purpose of helping you find the right company to help you with your plumbing needs, we will not go further into the details of sales at the moment.
*Some people are really put off by a very pushy feeling sales approach, while others don’t mind it as much. When a technician comes out to your house, you will usually be able to quickly understand what sales style they use. Once you know this it can help you make your decision.*
4. One of the biggest things to look for in a company is trust.
However trust is earned, and not something you can know is there based on their marketing. Once you decide to call a company out, you can then evaluate how they make you feel. If you are disappointed with them from the start, or if you don’t feel comfortable with the tech, move on.
Something that I hate to hear from a customer when I show them the price of a job is that they clearly express that they don’t like it and yet they tell me “I guess I’m stuck, I’ll have to do it.”
***In almost all cases this is not accurate.***
My response is always to tell them, “There are a lot of other plumbers who can come out if you would like…” I try to show the customer they are free to choose another plumber if that makes them feel right.
Remember, when a tech is at your house, you can tell him you want to get other quotes. That is part of doing business. If you are comfortable with the tech, and the price works for you, then go for it!
Also… Reading reviews online can be helpful. I like to see a lot of good reviews, and then check and see if the bad reviews seem like legitimate complaints. If you see a trend in the bad reviews, pay attention to that!