Questions to Ask Before Scheduling a Plumbing Service Call

There’s an old saying that goes something like: “You don’t know what you don’t know”.

If everybody’s thought process would start by applying that one thought, many unknowing mistakes could be avoided and perhaps some anguish, too.

With that in mind, when you call a plumber in Yes! Plumbing’s market territory to schedule a service call, what do you think you should ask to insure your experience will be exactly what you expect it to be?

There are certain things you absolutely don’t want to ask as there are a few (maybe many) out there who are hoping you ask them just those questions so they can “bait” you with just the right canned answers. We’ve covered that scenario in other articles so won’t beleaguer those here.

So what should you ask when scheduling a call? Here’s a handy list to save you time and aggravation.

When your search engine, such a s Google or Yahoo, etc., serve up a list of companies when you enter the search terms “Plumber near me” or “Plumber zip code XXXXXX”, you are certain the company you called services your area, right? Not so fast. We’ve actually received several calls from clients who live in states thousands of miles from our service area when their search engines referred them to our 800 number thinking we were a company of the same name in another state. The caller wasted about five minutes explaining the problem and talking with our CSR before coming to the address portion of the call scheduling sequence only to find out they were provided incorrect info by their search engine. So the first thing we suggest you ask is “Do you service XYZ town?”. That way you can save having to waste 5 minutes of your time for nothing.

Once you know you can get service, ask about the warranty. Is it a warranty or a guarantee (hint—guarantee is the right answer). If it’s a warranty, save yourself some time and walk away right there. Really reputable companies are not afraid to back their products and workmanship with a guarantee.

At Yes! Plumbing, we provide you with a written 100% labor and material guarantee for 2 full years on all repairs. It’s the industry leading guarantee.

Next ask, “Do you employ any unlicensed people who do plumbing?” Ask only in this exact way. If you ask “Do you use licensed plumbers?” they can answer “Yes” as long as even one of their guys is licensed. They may have 5 other guys who aren’t. If you ask the first question, you will know for sure if they are an ethical company if they answer “Yes.” How can that tell us if they are ethical? It’s against the law for any Plumbing Contractor in Illinois or Indiana to send any worker to do plumbing work on your home or place of business unless they are licensed by the respective State. Even apprentices have to be licensed by the State. As a matter of fact, Plumbers are the ONLY trade in which every worker has to be licensed by the State. (No, electricians, carpenters, painters, drywallers, tilesetters etc.—do not have to be licensed. Only the contractor has to be licensed in those trades). So if they use unlicensed guys—definitely unethical.

We suggest the fourth question should be “Where can I find references for your company’s quality of work?” Expect to be referred to outside sources of references, not references generated or emailed from the company. Places like the BBB website and Google should be good sources for these. They only accept postings which can be proven they are not posted by “insiders” and are never “filtered” by the host company (like the ones on YELP) based on whether or not the company pays them for advertising on their website. Look for a good sample of ratings posted (at least 20 or more on each website) to insure you are seeing a large enough sample of customer reviews to make them statistically valid. Newer companies might have less (less than 1 year old).

Once satisfied that you have avoided a “fly by night” experience, ask the CSR if the company actually does the type of work you need to have done. For instance, Plumbing companies usually do not have septic pumping trucks. Some plumbing companies don’t work on tankless water heaters (of course Yes! Plumbing does).

If you determine that the company can service your needs, ask them if they are available when you need them. At Yes! you can schedule same day appointments from midnight (night before) to 7PM the same day for service the same day (if not fully booked up by the time you call of course, so earlier is better) and for the next day you can schedule 24 hours a day. A live operator will answer the phone 24/7.

Another important question is “Do you charge by the hour?” Note this question does not ask “How much?” The important point is to avoid companies that charge by the hour, regardless of the rate. Allowing those types of companies into your home is like giving someone a blank check and telling them to just take as much as you want. You want a company that charges by the job and, further, has a printed book from which ALL the prices (not just some) for each and every repair are derived. That way you know positively 1) you are paying the same price as your neighbors for the same job and 2) It doesn’t matter if you get the slowest plumber on earth because you already know the whole price so it doesn’t matter if it takes him 2 hours or 2 days to complete your repair. So with the flat rate company, you (and they) have to focus on quality, not “milking the clock” to get the most money out of you as possible. Of course, Yes! Plumbing has been using the printed price book system for over 24 years.

Lastly, ask if the company can fix your problem at the time of the original service call. You don’t want two appointments unless you have a special order exotic faucet from Tim Buk Tu where the part comes from Africa or something. At Yes! Plumbing our trucks are stocked with thousands of parts and pieces so 99.9% of the time we can make your repairs without ever leaving your home or business. And if we do have to leave to get parts, there is never a charge.

Once you are happy with all the answers, you can go ahead and give your information to the agent get your service call scheduled.

When you are in need of plumbing service that meets your strict criteria for quality and ethical operating procedures, call Yes! Plumbing. If you have questions, just ask!