My shower tower was leaking water and I knew that I needed a replacement cartridge but I am unsure how to open the shower Tower to get a picture to find the replacement parts. I ended up calling John the Plumber and they said they price on the work not by hour. And if I decide not to go ahead and fix it, they would charge a dispatch fee. I even asked specifics on what they would do to diagnose the issue and what is covered by the dispatch fee. The receptionist assured me that of course they would diagnose the issue first, they can’t just make up a price on the work. As soon as the person showed up, he told me that I needed a replacement cartridge (which I already told the receptionist that I knew this is what I need before I agreed for the plumber to come), but I can’t open the shower tower. I need his help to open the shower tower to get a picture of the parts. He said it would be $180 plus tax as a diagnosis fee. I was shocked to know because we both knew the issue. There is nothing to “diagnose”. I called the receptionist again and asked what they would do when they come, the lady said they would “diagnose” the issue and price the job. I then asked for the additional $180, she changed her tone completely and said oh yeah. The dispatch fee only covers their gas to get them into the door. If they need to do any work or touch anything to diagnose the issue, it’s whatever price that he gave you. Anyway, since I needed a picture of the cartridge, I agreed to the price and thinking that he needed to take stuffs apart. It turns out that he needs to unscrew the handle and take out the cartridge which took a maximum 5 min to complete. I asked how much it would be to fix it, he said if they need to search the part, they would charge you by the hour and it’s $280 plus tax to put the new cartridge back in. And he left. I really regret for calling them because seems like they just want to get paid on the dispatch fee and they would charge you a ridiculous amount for anything that they do. They are not upfront with their fees even though it appears that they are asking your permission before proceeding to the next step. I would call a regular plumber who charges by the hour. I am not saying that he should not get paid by the work he did, he should 100% but I just don’t know if it’s worth $180 plus tax for 5 min of his time at a job site (of course, I am aware that I need to pay for his travel time too).
I should give an update, after a week of the service, I received a call from their assistant manager, he said he realized that my issue was not resolved and I should not be billed for, so he offered to waive my fee for the service. I think it’s a nice gesture for them, and I appreciate the call. I am willing to give them a try in the future for other issues.
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