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residential service
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1,948 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My insurance agent calls the other day. I immediately think "Oh man, the guy I hired lied and the insurance company got his dmv back and I'm being called to let me know he is uninsurable or that to insure him my rates will triple". Well actually I had to reign in my imagination pretty quickly because it wasn't about insurance at all. Seems my agent had a plumbing question! Seems he has a drainage problem. He has a "home warranty" who sent out one of my competitors who I was shocked to learn still does that kind of work. Anyway, the company who was sent by the warranty company was a BF franchise. They informed him that what he needed was not covered (imagine that, a home warranty company not covering something) and quoted him a price of nearly $300 to cable his main line. So my agent thinks that's kind of high and basically is trying to feel me up to see if I am less. Well I'm not. In fact I told him that that sounds pretty cheap to me and that I know the company who quoted that number and I'm wondering why they are doing it so cheap. My agent of course is stunned and complains "Well I can go rent a machine for $40.00" to which I reply "yes you can, hope that turns out well for you. If you get in trouble give us a call and we will come take care of it for you. Watch out for the cable, if you over torque it it may jump out of the drum and if it does it will twist up instantly and catch anything in it's way including fingers, hands, arms, heads, and necks." He still wants to politely argue and says "Wow, I guess I just don't understand why it cost's so much" to which I respond "Well, I tell you, ... it mostly has to do with the fact that I am unwilling to come play in other people's poo for free! Let me know if you need any help."
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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772 Posts
tell him you cant understand why insurance rates are so high either!!!!!
Ahh, I just can't understand why it costs so much if I am not using or needing it right now.

Yep, makes me wonder also why they quoted it so cheap.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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residential service
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1,948 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The streets in Birmingham must be lined with gold, it sure sounds like a hot market.:thumbsup:
They are not lined with gold, I am just committed to making a good living at this. There are guys around who are still performing a similar version of this task for a lot less than me but to my knowledge there is not anyone who is doing exactly what I do for the price I charge. I do not like to get my own poo on me and it came from my own body! How much less should I want to have someone else's on me? Anyone who has done any drain cleaning knows it's bound to happen. So ok, I'll do it but don't you dare imagine for one minute that it will be cheap.
 

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1,367 Posts
Smells, I hope you didn't think I was implying you over charged for your service. My point was directed at the fact of such a small city not being saturated with your competition driving prices down.
 

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1,854 Posts
I always hate that statement " I can rent a snake for $$$ " I will always reply " Yes, But then you have to go get it and snake it. It's not just the cost of the machine. It's the labor to do it for you." People can really be something. On that note , It's like telling an excavator that you can get a shovel for $20 why is it so much for that trench? :rolleyes:
 

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Certified Lunatic
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20,658 Posts
I always hate that statement " I can rent a snake for $$$ " I will always reply " Yes, But then you have to go get it and snake it. It's not just the cost of the machine. It's the labor to do it for you." People can really be something. On that note , It's like telling an excavator that you can get a shovel for $20 why is it so much for that trench? :rolleyes:
You have to understand the logic.:whistling2:
Not long ago I was sent to a house where the main had been clogged for over a week...
The wife is there with 3 young kids, only one in diapers, husband is at work.
The husband had rented a machine and had been snaking the line every night after work until 2 or 3 in the morning without clearing the line.

I explained our fee, guarantee, and told them that if the line is not cleared there is no charge...
I told them that in a couple of hours the job would be complete in most cases.

She called her husband and he said it was too much money.
You have to understand the logic.:whistling2:
It's flawed!

I went home and my dishes had been done... My sink drain works!
I used the toilet... It worked!
I showered... It drained!
My plumbing works!

I could care less about their plumbing.
All I care about is if I fix their plumbing I get paid to do it!
The act of them paying me to provide the service makes me care about their plumbing and whether or not it works!:thumbup:
My logic is fine.:whistling2:
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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5,478 Posts
I'd like to know the cost of living up in Alabama. It's got to be high like New York for the numbers you're giving.

Down here in Kentucky, I've get people squawking at $165.00 for main drains and $225.00 for water heater installs.

What's nice is I've never done a water heater, an electric one for less than $300 with the new one sitting there for me to install, 2 hours and that's milking the hell out of it.

But...I busted my own balls in the "a new day" thread for some reason on a sunday.


It's a shame because I've made $500 on a sunday before opening up main lines through floor drains many a time...it just caught me today.
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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2,076 Posts
Love when they rent the machine and use a 1 inch cutter blade to clear a 4 inch main and they think its clean. :laughing: Or find a couple boxes of RidX on the floor and they are connected to city sewer.
 

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Love when they rent the machine and use a 1 inch cutter blade to clear a 4 inch main and they think its clean. :laughing: Or find a couple boxes of RidX on the floor and they are connected to city sewer.
Or a mangled 1/4" hand snake on the floor near a floor drain and they have a clogged mainline. :laughing:
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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2,076 Posts
Or a mangled 1/4" hand snake on the floor near a floor drain and they have a clogged mainline. :laughing:
Lol I find so many of those cheapo 1/4 inch hand cranks all kinked up and on the floor sad out of the thousands of drains I cleared from working with RR and myself 30-40% of the time I would find one on their floor.
 

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every tool is a hammer
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4,304 Posts
How about a fellow parishioner who wanted to borrow a drain machine, this was 3 weeks ago. I know he is on septic and asked if he had checked his septic tank. "We just had it pumped two years ago, it's gotta be good." I said, "yes, but have you checked it lately?" "It's a couple feet underground, and I don't want to dig." I gave him a General Speed Rooter and told him him he needs to look at the tank. He called me up and said and he dug down and found the lid, it had a corner broken off and the ground was black and smelled like sewage. One of his sons got mucked up, they washed him off, and the hole filled up with water. Did I think the septic was full? I said, "yes, call a septic company and good luck with that."
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
In my experience over the years, there are only two basic types of customers that call with mainline stoppages.

Type 1) "I need someone here NOW, to get this sewage out of my house!!!"

This type usually isn't too concerned about prices and just wants someone out quickly to do the job right. Prompt professional service is their main concern.

Type 2) "I have had a backup in my tub and shower for three days, How much is this going to cost me?":eek::no:

This is the priceshopper, and its sad that price is their main concern when they have sewage backing up in their bathtub!:no: And they are so cheap they've been trying to fix it themselves for three days with no success, just living with the unsanitary condition. I still get these calls here and there, and most of them sound like they literally can't afford the service. How a person can't afford to pay for professional drain service, yet can manage to own real estate is beyond my comprehension.:blink: They should really be renting if they can't even afford serious, emergency maintenance on the property.

The most memorable recent call I got was this one:
Caller: "I have sewage backed up in my tub and shower, there is an outside cleanout....etc, etc, etc. How much?"

I responded, "Well sir, if there is an easily accessible outside cleanout access, then the basic sewer cleaning starts at $xxx (it was cheap imo, about half of BF's quote above). If the access is more difficult or there is more than 100' feet involved, we will quote you any additional costs before proceeding."

Caller: "Well that is more than I wanted to pay."

Me (SILENTLY): :laughing::laughing::laughing:
After a long silent pause I managed to say, "ok, well call us if you change your mind.":no:
 

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Had a dr. call me at midnight on christmas eve. had a bunch of family over and had a main line sewer stoppage. I gave him my holiday dbl time rate. he said it was too much amd wanted to knowe if there was anything he could do. I told him to flush 2 aspirins down the toilet twice a day and call me after christmas. some people have no sense of humor. lol I didn't get the job by the way. lol
 

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Had a dr. call me at midnight on christmas eve. had a bunch of family over and had a main line sewer stoppage. I gave him my holiday dbl time rate. he said it was too much amd wanted to knowe if there was anything he could do. I told him to flush 2 aspirins down the toilet twice a day and call me after christmas. some people have no sense of humor. lol I didn't get the job by the way. lol
haha, thats soo funny.. what do you think they charge for an emergency?

I went to once were it was like 7-8pm I get there the guy is loading up his rented machine hehe and i said ok, let me go inside and take a look. He tells me you don't need to look just crab your machine take it in the crawlspace and clean it. with a rough tone too. i just watch him then hop in his car and take off. Well, I don't take that.. So I tell his kid to tell his dad to be nicer to the next plumber Bye.. hehe Good luck getting someone else tonight jerk. :laughing:
 
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