Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Would You Like $1000?

Would you like an extra $1000? Then be careful who you hire for service work. That’s what one of my regular customers learned today.

I received the call last Friday. Would I be willing to clean out a sump pump pit? It seemed that an odor was coming from the pit. It was located under the basement bathroom vanity that may need to be removed to get access to the pump.

When I arrived this morning I heard more of the story. They had called a plumber (AppleTree Plumbing) who told them the pit needed to be cleaned out but it seemed the plumber didn’t want to do the job. He also told them if the pump needed to be replaced it would cost $1200.

When I took a look at the sump pit I could see that it wasn’t very deep and the vanity wouldn’t have to be removed; that was good news. I removed the sump pump from the pit and found out there was a cement pad in the bottom of the pit. That was good because it keeps the pump out of the mud. There was a small amount of debris in the pit but not more than a handful.

I tested the pump and found out it wasn’t working. I picked up a new one and soon had the pit back in working order. The smell was probably coming from stagnation because the old pump didn’t work.

A new pump cost about $100 and with labor the bill was a little over $200. By calling me, my customer ended up saving $1000.

It hear this type of story on a regular basis. Companies take advantage of a customer not knowing what is involved in a job and how much it should really cost. Of course what they do is not illegal but I don’t think it’s ethical. I understand that when a job is bid there is a cushion built in for unforeseen circumstances but I think the difference between $200 and $1200 is what most of us would call a rip-off.

The lesson here is to be careful who you hire. It really means a lot to have a workman who is honest and cares more about helping you than making a quick profit.


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