Plumbers, Price, and Performance


What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Facebook recently tweaked their page tabs to include “price,” which is a handy feature if you’re looking for a restaurant where you’d like to celebrate an anniversary, or a Little League team’s Saturday win. But if you’re looking for professional services from a skilled craftsman in a critical trade, definitely not.

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As a result we’ve had several requests to indicate our pricing on our page. The four choices Facebook offers are $, $$, $$$, and $$$$ dollar signs. In other words we’re expected to indicate one badge representing a range from $1 to $9,999 dollars. Well, that simply doesn’t work for the trades.

By The Hour Or By The Job?

We could, in theory, display an hourly price that we might charge for our newest apprentice hire to change out a toilet flapper valve. Or we could advertise a dollar $ign that would indicate one of our senior tech’s bill for isolating and fixing a water heater gas leak.

Generally speaking, each job we do is unique.

Of course that wouldn’t indicate what we might bid on any commercial or residential job that requires coordinated interaction with other trades and a general contractor.

Neither would it be useful to the person who thinks they can predict performance based on price. Simply put, a tradecraft like plumbing doesn’t translate to a menu of product selections with a set price for each. Generally speaking, each job we do is unique.

Price Is No Object – Unless It Is.

A recent article in Contractor magazine talks about a person on Facebook looking for a “good” and “inexpensive” plumber. I’m willing to bet that at the time of the Facebook post that person’s toilets weren’t overflowing due to a backed up sewer line!

Other things to consider before you decide price is the only benchmark include the inevitable outcomes of a job done wrong, not to code, or by a fly-by-night who is impossible to reach when a problem comes up.

Justin Timberlake learned a hard lesson about hiring unqualified plumbers. He had to shut down his high end New York City restaurant after repeated sewer line ruptures spilled into the dining room.

Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner

For the past five years Wilson Plumbing has received Angie’s List Super Service award for outstanding service as voted by our customers. We think this is the first thing a consumer should look for when choosing a tradesman — what do their customers think about the work they perform?

Is paying a fair and reasonable price any guarantee that there won’t be any problems? No. But because any reputable plumber will more than likely charge a fair and reasonable price, you know that if a problem arises there’s always someone to call who will stand by their work.

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