On or about 9/11/11 - My 80 year old mother, with health ailments and CLEARLY not 100% aware of her decision making capabilities, received a telephone solicitation from the San Fernando CA office of ARS Rescue Rooter (NOTE - Corporate office is in TN), ultimately agreeing to a free home plumbing SAFETY inspection.
On 9/13 - The technician found a problem that required the pressure regulator to be replaced. The technician told my mother this was an urgent repair. NOTE - this "$1300" repair was also very, very, very OVERPRICED relative to comparable plumbing contractors in the area. Replacing a regulator should be closer to $300 - $500 (on the high side) but due to the "sales tactic" he never gave my mom the chance to investigate additional estimates.
But wait... It gets much bigger....
While the ARS technician was working with a city inspector the city inspector noticed galvanized pipe and recommended it be replaced. The ARS technician explained this to my mom with equal urgent importance and ultimately charged her $7385... with special financing that made it seem to her that the entire job was only $1,000 (as she explained to me a few days after the repair - The payment she was referencing when she told me the COMPLETE JOB COST $1000 was merely the down payment for this $7385 drastically, drastically over-priced repair).
She did not fully understand what she was signing and once again did not understand the total job cost, or comparable value. Top-line estimates (telephone conversations describing the services based on the details as written on the ARS invoice) from comparable plumbing contractors in the area came in at $1800 - $3500 for the complete job that ARS did for $7385
My mom ultimately had no idea how much the job cost nor the financing details that the "SALES technician had her sign for.
Again this additional $6,000 worth of work was performed immediately and my mother was never given the opportunity to make an informed competitive decision. All advice and urgent SAFETY/ CITY REQUIREMENT recommendations came from the ARS technician.
After the fact and after my initial complaint with their corporate office - The tech (Juan)- did make a phone call to ME where he told me that as a matter of his standard practice he explains to all of his customers that ARS is more expensive but they are backed by a corporate warranty.
To reiterate, this explanation about ARSs high (high, high,high etc) price was told to me, after the fact, not my mother at the time of estimating the service. Once again, through the guise of urgency, ARS took away her ability to make an informed financial decision.