Fixed price plumbers charge a booking or quote fee of between $50-$150 to come to your home and give you a fixed price for a job. Fixed price plumbers quote from a schedule of fixed rates they have on a tablet for each plumbing task. They do not separate out labour and material costs and the cost is not specific to your job.
Hourly rate plumbers charge by the hour or half-hour for plumbing work. They will not charge a booking or quote fee and will provide you with a cost on completion of the job that separates labour and material. Hourly rate plumbers will also provide quotes or estimates at NO COST to the customer. See our blog on Hourly Rate Plumbers Vs Fixed Price Plumbers.
Is fixed-price plumbing in Melbourne really better for the customer?
Unfortunately, what we’re hearing is an increasing number of unhappy residential plumbing customers who have paid multiple times more than they needed to for work that didn’t need to be done.
What is the process for fixed price plumbing work?
- You call a plumbing company with a blocked toilet and leaking tap and ask how much it will cost to get a plumber out to do the work.
- The person who answers the phone says we don’t provide costs over the phone, we charge by the job. You can book a plumber in and they will provide a fixed price for the job before commencing any work. They should also explain to you there is a booking fee of between $50-$150 for the plumber to attend. This is waived if you proceed with the job. If you don’t proceed the booking fee is payable.
- You book the job in and a plumber arrives at your home. They usually have a tablet or smartphone with them that has pre-determined costs set out for each plumbing job you might need done. The plumber clicks each job then provides you with a fixed price to do the work.
Two things can happen from here:
- You accept the quote, the job proceeds and the booking fee is waived.
- You don’t accept the quote but must pay the booking fee, usually between $50-$150. The problem is you still have a blocked toilet and leaking taps but you are now out of pocket by $50-$150.
What to be aware of with fixed price plumbing
Fixed price plumbing means the plumber has a standard list of pre-programmed costs associated with each type of plumbing task. Admittedly this allows the plumber to easily cost a job for a customer on the spot, but that’s where the convenience for the customer ends. You see these costs have nothing to do with your specific job. They are a generic cost that can include any amount of labour and material they choose. You don’t get to see a labour or material breakdown. You have no idea whether they have allowed 1 or 3 hours for a job or how much they have charged you for materials. The sales-driven nature of fixed price residential plumbing makes it impossible for the customer to hold the plumber accountable.
What you need to know about fixed-price residential plumbers
- Fixed price plumbers are trained in sales and upselling.
- Fixed price plumbers have sales targets to meet.
- Fixed price plumbers receive commissions.
- Fixed price plumbers charge between $50-$150 (non-refundable) for a fixed price quote.
- Fixed price plumbers will only provide a cost for the whole job. They won’t separate out labour and material which means the customer cannot tell how much time was taken (labour costs) nor the true cost of the materials used.
Tips on how to find a trustworthy, ethical Plumber in Melbourne
The vast majority of plumbers in Melbourne are honest and trustworthy people. There’s only a few that aren’t but they can quickly give the majority a bad name, so here are some tips on how to find a trustworthy plumber in Melbourne.
- An honest and trustworthy local Melbourne plumber will clearly list their fees and charges on their website or explain them to you over the phone.
- An honest and trustworthy plumber will NOT charge a fee just to turn up to your home.
- An honest and trustworthy plumber will provide a quote that separates out labour and material for
- An honest and trustworthy plumber will be a member of the Master Plumbers Association, licensed and fully insured.
- An honest and trustworthy plumber will offer a 100% workmanship lifetime guarantee.
- An honest and trustworthy plumber will provide an invoice on completion of the job separating out labour and material costs.
- Speak to friends, family and your peers and ask for recommendations. An honest and trustworthy plumber will have the reviews and experience to prove it. If a plumber can demonstrate to you that they’ve been in business for a considerable amount of time and their reviews are positive, then you can be confident you’ve found a honest and trustworthy plumber.
Essendon Plumbing Services has been in business for more than 33 years and has over 100 years of combined experience plumbing in Melbourne.