Sometimes you don’t have time to shop around. If you’re experiencing a bathroom plumbing emergency in which water is pouring out all over the place or sewage is backing up out of your toilet, you need a plumber fast; preferably one who can help you over the phone until he arrives.
Here are three helpful hints for hiring smart when you need a toilet repair fast:
Call a friend or someone you know who has hired a plumber and had a good experience. Find out who that plumber is and give them a call. The best way to ensure that you have a good experience when hiring a plumber on short notice is to hire one who has pleased customers previously. If your friend, family member or acquaintance felt they received good service for a fair price, chances are that you will too.
If you can’t find someone to give you a good reference, then call your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. Get the names and numbers of several plumbers who are members of those organizations. If you can, get the chamber or bureau to recommend one to you. While hiring plumbers who are members of these organizations may not get you the lowest price, it’s unlikely that you’ll get scammed, ripped-off, or overcharged. Service providers who are members of such organizations are concerned with their reputation and are likely to provide excellent service.
Go by the book. If your bathroom plumbing emergency is after normal business hours, or if the first two hints failed to yield a reliable plumber, you can fall back on the Yellow Pages of your phone book. Picking a plumber at random is likely to bring disappointing results, but following these tips can minimize the risk of getting a plumber who overcharges or underperforms:
- Select a plumber with a large display ad. A plumber who spends significant money on advertising is more likely to run a good, profitable business. If they run a good business, they are likely to do good work. Prices might be slightly higher, so call several if you have time and compare rates.
- Look for plumbers who advertise that they’ve been in business 20 years or more.
- When you call, confirm that they are licensed, insured, and bonded. Ask for a license number and don’t do business with a plumber who refuses to give you one.
- Get a quote over the phone before giving your address to ensure that they aren’t marking up their rates just because you live in a nice neighborhood.
- Don’t do business with anyone who won’t commit to a quote or hourly rate over the phone, doesn’t communicate clearly, isn’t polite, or just doesn’t feel right. These are signs of a plumber with something up his sleeve.