We understand that no one likes to call a plumber, especially when you go to run a hot bath after a big day and your hot water is cold or you come home to find water dripping from the ceiling and a puddle on your lounge room floor.
So, how do you decide which plumber is the best person to call?
Your options when searching for a plumber in Melbourne are plentiful, all making similar promises, whether online, in the local paper or on a fridge magnet. We understand that it can be stressful deciding who to call, and we’re here to give you an insider’s view on what you should look for when deciding who to engage for your next plumbing job.
What follows are our Top 6 Tips to be aware of when choosing a plumber.
- TIP 1 - Is the Company You Choose the Company That’s Going to Do the Work?
Advertising in the Plumbing space has become extremely competitive and some organisations are going to extreme lengths to win your business. Sometimes the plumbing company you book with, is not the plumbing company that comes on the day.
This is an advertising tool that allows companies to capture more of the market by having multiple domain names. We don’t think this is an open, honest and transparent way to operate.
Key Tip: When booking your job, ask if the company your booking through is the company that will turn up on the day. If not, then choose a plumber that will.
- TIP 2 - Is the Company Licensed and Insured?
Only engage a licensed plumbing company that is fully insured and a member of the Master Plumbers Association. Licensed plumbers are the only plumbers that can issue a certificate of compliance giving you a 6-year workmanship guarantee on any job over the value of $750.00, which includes the cost of material or any gas job regardless of dollar value. Registered plumbers cannot issue certificates of compliance. Learn more about what a certificate of compliance is here.
Key Tip: When booking your job ask these questions:
- Are you licensed?
- Are you insured?
- Are you a member of the master plumber’s association?
- Will you be issuing a certificate of compliance on completion of work? (see if they can email it to you too)
- TIP 3 - What is the Company History?
How long has the company been in business? What level of experience do they have? Are they offering a lifetime guarantee on workmanship? Do they employ their own people, or do they use sub-contractors? Have all their employees completed and passed police checks and working with children checks? Do they offer a 24/7, 365 days of the year support service? Feel free to also ask for referees.
Key Tip: Type the companies name into a search engine and read reviews, ask for a reference.
- TIP 4 - Don’t Base Your Decision on Price Only
The old saying you get what you pay for still rings true today. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting something for nothing. Always look for transparent pricing, history shows us that honesty follows transparency. There are many incentive offerings being advertised and you’ll notice they all come with *Conditions Apply. Make sure you enquire about what those conditions are and think about if they benefit you or the business offering them.
Key Tip: When making your decision, look for these:
- A company that’s willing to offer assurances like lifetime guarantees
- Can they do the job when you want them to?
- Do they guarantee they’ll be there when they say they’ll be there?
- Do they have a good history in customer service?
- TIP 5 - Fixed Price or Hourly Rate
“We charge by the job not by the hour giving you the peace of mind knowing what the job will cost. No surprises & No call out fee” is a common sales tool used in plumbing.
To avoid paying more than you need to for a fixed price quote, consider these questions:
- What if the fixed price per job allows for material that aren’t required for your job?
- What if the labour time allowed to complete a fixed price task is greater than what is needed to complete your job?
The other thing to be mindful of is usually there’s a ‘Quote Fee’ of between $60-$90, even though the ad said No Call Out Fees, well this is not a Call Out Fee it’s a Quote Fee.
Key Tip: Our advice is to seek both pricing options from your plumber. If the company only operates on fixed price plumbing, then look for someone that offers both.
- TIP 6 – Research Reviews
Reviews are a great source to add to your toolbox when choosing a plumbing company. Google reviews are the most common and recognised review system and should be read direct through the google site. Be aware that reading reviews through company websites may only show you positive reviews. Read recent reviews on other platforms as well to make a balanced educated decision. Word of mouth from your friends and family are often some of the best sources for recommendations.
Key Tip: Use social media to assist you in choosing the right plumber for you.