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There’s no doubt about it, over the past 10 years or so, the plumbing trade has really upped
its game on the customer service stakes. The main reason being the rise of the online
review. With platforms such as Check A Trade, Trust-a-trader, and Google My Business,
there’s no hiding a poor customer experience.
So with all that in mind, I thought I’d reflect on how the industry very much used to be.
Sadly though, there are still a few plumbers out there who commit some or all of these
seven deadly sins.
Overcharging and carrying out unnecessary work
You’ve agreed the scope of work, received a written quote, and the plumber gets to work.
But by the end of the job, you’re presented with a bill that bears no resemblance to what
you’d agreed to. The excuses come thick and fast:
“We had to fix A, in order to fix B”. “The job was more difficult than we had anticipated”.
“There’s a new EU directive that says you need this (insert nonsense reason here) done”.
Poor communication and not turning up when agreed
Probably the most common problem of all. You’ve agreed a time but there’s a no show. You
wait patiently thinking that perhaps they are caught in traffic, but there’s no sign of them.
You call, they finally answer, and then they invariably say: “I had to go to a funeral”. That
seems to be the number one excuse.
If it’s not that, it’s turning up late and not informing you of their impending delay, or if parts
need to be ordered and a revisit booked, you are just kept completely in the dark about
A complete disregard for your property and possessions
They turn up knowing that the job in hand will create a mess, but fail to adequately cover
the items in the room. Dust and grease get everywhere, and there’s no chance that they’ll
be cleaning up after themselves.
Or, just as bad, once the job is complete, out comes a battered vacuum cleaner that would
struggle to pick up a piece of confetti. On top of that, they’ve walked in to your home with
filthy shoes, not having a care in the world or the decency to remove them.
Lack of self-respect and cordiality
Who wants to do business with someone who smells bad or has a completely unkempt
appearance? Or someone who stinks of cigarette smoke or alcohol?
It’s quite frankly disgusting.
I’ve heard of many occasions when a tradesman has turned up looking like they’ve had a
night on the tiles, and the prospect of doing a job was nothing more than a complete
inconvenience to them.
Lazy and slob-like approach to work
They turn up, complete the work, but can’t be bothered to explain in simple terms what
they’ve actually done. On top of that, the invoice is written and lacks even the most basic of
job descriptions leaving you completely in the dark about what you are paying for.
The job itself, has been poorly carried out, corners have been cut, and incoherent excuses
made in order to cover their tracks.
Or lack there of
You’re downstairs in the kitchen and all of a sudden you hear the toilet flush upstairs.
Ok, so people have to use ablutions, it’s normal. But not being asked permission first is a
On top of that, you go to inspect the bathroom afterwards, and low and behold, there’s the
obligatory puddle of wee on the floor.
You’ll just have to pay
They’ve spotted an opportunity to make a few extra quid. It’s not a tonne of money, just
enough for them to be able to get away with it without too much hassle.
They don’t inform you, don’t provide a formal quotation, and decide to complete without
They present you with a bill and expect you to pay for it, whilst issuing loads of excuses as to
why you weren’t told about it in the first place.
So there you have it. The seven deadly sins of a plumber. Fortunately, these kinds of
situations are happening less and less – and you can do a lot to avoid them. Use the
platforms I mentioned at the top of the page. Cross reference them, check out their
company status, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions when you make the initial
enquiry. Good luck.
Samuele The Italian Plumber
Other blog posts by Samuele can be read at theitalianplumber.co.uk/blog.
Until next time, if you have any plumbing or heating issues around the home, give us a call on 020 8945 7457.
April 22, 2022