Unfortunately, not all plumbers are ethical and helpful. Some seek to maximize profit from a plumbing misfortune and take advantage of customers’ knowledge gaps. Reputable emergency plumbing in Las Vegas, NV is often the hardest to retain, as there are scammers who take advantage of a home or business owner’s desperate situation. But even as toilets overflow or basements flood, you can still keep your property and your money safe. Here are five tips on avoiding scams:
- Look out for irrelevant questions: A scammer will assess your vulnerability. If a plumber inquires as to your living arrangement or marriage status, be alert. These questions are determining whether you are an easy target. Professional plumbers do not care if you are a woman living alone or recently widowed. They will not address your personal life unless you wish to grant decision-making authority to a roommate or partner when you are unavailable.
- Avoid low estimates: If something seems too good to be true, it likely is. This is why it’s a good idea to secure multiple estimates for major work, like replacing a water main or replumbing an older home. If an estimate is ultra-low, chances are it will double in price as work continues. It is very easy to discover “additional work” through the course of a project. Your best course of action when collecting multiple estimates is to eliminate any dramatically low ones from consideration at the outset.
- Be cautious of prepayment requests: It is not uncommon for a large job to start with some prepayment. However, it should not exceed more than 20 percent of the estimate. Requests for higher amounts risk the scammer taking the money and running, while you receive none of the plumbing services. A deposit is normally enough to secure materials and some labor. It should never be excessive.
- Do not pay in cash: Reputable plumbers accept check, credit card and debit card payments. If they only accept cash or insist on a cash payment, that is likely because they wish to avoid paying taxes on it and do not carry the required insurance. It is also difficult to document cash payments, so if something goes wrong, it’s often challenging to trace the payment and request compensation. It’s best to only pay plumbers using methods that are easily traced.
- Analyze evidence critically: Camera inspections for pipes are glorious, but they’re also easily abused. One scam is to show archived footage of another customer’s disaster situation rather than a live feed for your own pipes. This gives you the impression that your problem is worse than predicted and needs more work—which raises prices. Ask questions and watch the work, so you know the feed is definitely live. If something seems out of sorts, stop work and secure a second opinion.
Orchard Plumbing offers reputable emergency plumbing repairs for your Las Vegas, NV home or business. It does not matter if it happens at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.—we are here for you. Keep us in your contacts and call us whenever you need emergency repairs.