How will YOU get scammed by a plumber?

Los Angeles consumers are no fools. We know a raw deal when we’re getting one. But our consumer smarts don’t just pertain to places like Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica or The Grove; no we can smell a scam from shady contractors as well. In fact, most of us are inherently inquisitive when it comes to hiring plumbers to fix a leaky faucet or perform copper repiping in our homes.

The problem is that some scammers are more skilled at scamming than they are at plumbing. So how do you weed out the real professionals from the con artists? Here are a few signs that will indicate a telltale swindle.

Low bid, high inconsistency

Most of us would prefer to save a few bucks when it comes to paying for plumbing work. After all, depending on the complexity of the job, it can get a little pricey. Scam plumbers prey on this vulnerability. They count on us wanting to hold on to our hard-earned money (why wouldn’t we?!), and as a result, will offer you a low bid to beat out the competition. If you don’t know any better, you may very well be inclined to accept it. However, after the work begins, you quickly realize just why the quote was so low – inconsistent work. He’s there one day, gone the next. Meanwhile, his work phone is always conveniently off.

Pro tip: Always discard the lowest bid when soliciting quotes for a job. Cheap bids equal cheap work. Instead, focus on the reasonable middle range quotes.

Broken promises

Whether it’s Hollywood, Beverly Hills, or wherever you live, shady plumbers in all neighborhoods operate the same. They say they’ll get you references for past work, but conveniently always forget to do it. It’s most likely because they either have no experience to speak of, or perhaps it’s due to the fact that they’ve left a long trail of dissatisfied customers. Whatever the reason, beware the plumber without references.

Pro tip: Always ask for references up front. If you find a plumber’s bid to be reasonable, have met in person, and trust him to deliver on his promise, make sure he provides you with references before he starts the job. For example, when working with the best plumber Los Angeles has to offer, Fiskit Plumbing will always give you references and show you examples of past work when possible. We value your trust, and appreciate the opportunity to work for you.

Dispersed workforce

Some jobs require a little extra manpower. While simple toilet clogs may only need one plumber, more labor-intensive work like trenchless sewer repair or a bathroom remodel will surely demand more than a one-man operation. Take the level of difficulty into consideration. If the job seems relatively easy, or if the plumber told you up front that he’d be completing all of the work himself, don’t settle for the sudden appearance of random laborers in your home.

Pro tip: Make your plumber accountable. Find out up front how long the job will take to complete, and exactly how many people will be involved. If possible, make him commit to doing all of the work himself. Otherwise, you may wind up with patchy, inconsistent work.