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Plumbers - Why are they so unreliable?!

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by matt9b, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. matt9b


    Joined: Apr 13, 2010

    Posts: 46

    Every time I call a plumber to install new water points for the dishwasher, they either don't answer the phone, say they'll call back but never do, or agree to turn up and then arrive an hour late or not at all - and don't even call to let me know!

    After 2 weeks and 11 calls, I managed to get one quote of £110 just to install the dishwasher. I agreed to go ahead - and then he never turned up! From this point on, he too vanished into the ether.

    After 10 more phone calls / emails, I managed to find one more plumber willing to respond.

    The plumber turned up to do the job an hour late, complained about the job the whole time he was here, made a complete mess of the plumbing, dented several pipes and tore the waterproof insulation cover in my house wall, then he cut a pipe to install a new point, but instead of pouring the standing water away into a bucket, he let it go everywhere and made the house insulation wet behind the waterproof cover he'd broken (with no where for it to evaporate). I asked him to please be careful with the house insulation, not to break the waterproof seal again and he replied "DON'T WORRY, IT'S FINE".. He then discovered he couldn't install the joint because he forget to check the pipe could move before cutting it. The end result is a crazy mishmash of plastic plumbing that looks like a 5 yr old kid installed it, and the dishwasher sticks out by 5cm. And it leaks. Both behind the dishwasher and under the sink where he bashed all the pipes trying to make them come loose but failed.

    And to top it all off - he's the owner of his own plumbing company! And is recommended on checkatrade!

    He was friendly and polite, but just incompetent.

    He also installed the gas cooker by just connecting the hose and turning the cooker on to see if it works (which I could have done myself!)

    Not wanting him anywhere near my house again I've had to fix both leaks myself, and now have to pay him £110...

    ... And this isn't the first or second time... Why oh why are tradespeople so unreliable?!

    Plus, I've noticed when you see complaints about them in forums online, tradespeople replying rude replies as if they're the customers and the customers are supposed to please them. What is wrong with this type of trade to harbour this kind of attitude... You'd expect that they won't stay in business long behaving that way but in the meantime, they all seem to have big houses and Porsches...
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  2. mehuk


    Joined: Sep 29, 2006

    Posts: 2,954


    Skills like that are a dying trade, so cowboys can do what they want as average joe cant really say... you are wrong.

    Dont pay him.
  3. HummuH1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 28, 2007

    Posts: 2,219

    Location: Edinburgh

    Just use tradesmen who are known to or recommended by friends etc. I tend to find the best ones are the older guys who are doing it as a bit of a time filler/pocket money type thing. Far more reliable.

    The whole Yellow Pages/Google thing for tradesman is a total lottery. I work on the basis that if they need to advertise for business, they're probably not very useful.
  4. JAzz


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 3,105

    If it is a small job they usually think it is not worth their time or effort, just find a handyman and get him to do it as they won't touch bigger jobs. Though finding a good handyman isn't easy either!
  5. darren73


    Joined: Jul 19, 2008

    Posts: 65

    Location: Tonbridge, Kent

    Make sure others are aware on checkatrade its bad installers that give the others a bad name, contrary to popular belief most plumbers/gas installers dont drive porsches ;)
  6. matt9b


    Joined: Apr 13, 2010

    Posts: 46

    ... but the one who didn't advertise and was recommended by word of mouth, turned up to quote but didn't seem too keen on doing any of the jobs, and then when I agreed to go ahead with him, he never even turned up for the job!
  7. matt9b


    Joined: Apr 13, 2010

    Posts: 46

    Agreed, but the people don't tend to post negative reviews because they're afraid after the builder knows their address. I know several friends who say the same thing
  8. 4T5

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Aug 30, 2004

    Posts: 27,750

    Location: Middle of England

    2 reasons.

    1. There isn't enough profit in the job to turn down other jobs he would get whilst doing it.
    2. Demand for decent plumbers is high so they can pick & choose the jobs they take on.

    People ask me to do certain jobs because I'm handy, If I don't want the job I will over price it, That way if they say Yes it's worth me doing it & I can take my time & do it well, If they say No then they can go mess with the *******.
    Trouble with customers/people is they want to pay low but expect quality tradesmen to take there time & do a good job.
    A good job takes time & if you want somebody to treat your house like there own then pay them accordingly.
  9. JonJ678


    Joined: Dec 22, 2008

    Posts: 10,327

    Location: England

    Uh, what? No, don't pay him £110. Try to work out whether he's liable for ******* up your kitchen.
  10. Werewolf


    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 25,747

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    I think 4T5 has summed it up.

    Small jobs that might only take an hour or so are not worth a lot of plumbers time if it means they have to delay a bigger job.

    Personally I think it's well worth getting a DIY book and some tools, basic plumbing like fitting a new washing machine outlet is not hard, and you can do it with about £20-50 worth of tools (most of which will last you if not a lifetime, at least a very long time), and that's assuming you don't just go with the self cutting "over the pipe" type fittings.
  11. The Running Man


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 32,049

    Location: block 16, cell 12

    How much would you charge for a day? I know people who'd charge 300-500 for a days work. Most people in other jobs will be getting that in a week. Either we're all in the wrong jobs or there's some kind of racket going on.
  12. Dave L

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 11, 2003

    Posts: 2,043

    Location: Somerset

    Small jobs simply just don't pay, it's the same in our trade.

    But I still turn up and do the job - who know, it could lead to a bigger job in the future.

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