• Report: #516302

Complaint Review: Mr Rooter Plumbing

  • Submitted: Wed, October 28, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, September 12, 2010

  • Reported By: Streamlinz — Citrus Heights California USA
Mr Rooter Plumbing
3500 Power Inn Road, Suite C Sacramento, California United States of America

Mr Rooter Plumbing Charged me $254 to replace a hose & valve--the job took 30 minutes and used $30 worth of retail parts Sacramento, California

*Consumer Comment: weekends cost double

*Consumer Comment: Overcharged?

*General Comment: Logical fallacy...

*Author of original report: Too close to the truth for you?

*Consumer Comment: In addition

*Consumer Comment: You made the decision.

*Consumer Suggestion: Mr. Rooter

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I put a new vinyl floor down in my bathroom [DIY], and in the process of hooking up my toilet, I broke the water supply line. Because my condo is 30 years old, I couldn't just replace the hose. The valve and all had to be replaced. I felt it was beyond what I could handle myself, so I called several plumbing companies to see if any of them could send someone over. This was on Sunday morning. My second attempt was with Mr Rooter, who said they could have someone over right away. Very few plumbing companies will give you an estimate over the phone. They all want to send someone over ["free of charge"] before they'll give you a price. I made the assumption [yes, I shouldn't have] that most companies, especially big-name companies, are similarly-priced.

Because I'm a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, I'm fairly familiar with materials prices. I estimated very generously at $30 for parts [just a valve and a hose]. I was, however, in a bit of a panic, being without my toilet and haven broken a line I didn't think I could fix. When the technician quoted the price, he quoted me $234. I was in shock, but I agreed anyways, because at this point, I was a bit beside myself with stress. When he gave me the paper to sign, the price was $254, as there was a "fuel charge" of $20 he forgot to point out. I agreed, because I needed to get it fixed immediately, and it didn't occur to me to call someone else.

To make a long story short, it took him 30 minutes to swap out the valve and replace the hose. I have since had the opportunity to call and talk to a number of plumbers, and have had 2 reputable plumbers tell me the job shouldn't have been more than $125. The invoice I was given has a lump-sum amount, so I have no idea how they arrived at the quoted $254.

I called Mr Rooter, and spoke to the general manager.  He explained that I agreed to the price before hand, and that was what he had to charge to keep his business running. I asked him why he felt he had to charge more than twice what other plumbers would charge, and he just repeated himself. Although I said a number of times I believe I was severely overcharged, there was no offer to charge me a more reasonable amount. I also asked three different times for an invoice that broke out the charges, and the request was sidestepped each time.
I have no problem paying a fair amount for work well done, but anyone can see that $254 for 30 minutes of work is just plain unreasonable.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/28/2009 12:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Mr-Rooter-Plumbing/Sacramento-California-95826/Mr-Rooter-Plumbing-Charged-me-254-to-replace-a-hose-valve-the-job-took-30-minutes-and-516302. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

weekends cost double

AUTHOR: mrfixithere - (USA)

as a plumber i can tell you a few things. first, yes, you are probably right that the price of that job would normally be closer to the $125, on a normal work day during normal working hours. however, you called on a sunday. that alone would probably bring you a $100 charge on top of whatever needs done. what people dont seem to understand is that you are paying for our skill. in my area it takes a minimum of 4 years on the job training as well as 576 hours of school to become a plumber. anytime a call comes in on the weekends it is normally double what it would be on normal work days. thats just the way it is. if you could have waited until monday then you probably wouldnt have had such a high bill. second, as a plumber that works for a major company, we also dont have that much of a break down of the charges we have to charge. when we go to a job we look in a book that tells us what to charge. as far as parts go, people need to realize that we take the time to go to the store and buy the stuff so we have to charge extra for it to make up for our time. if people dont want to pay the charges, then learn how to do it. third, if you would have called and had a plumber put on the toilet for you, it would have cost you about $50. the reason we say you should hire a plumber to do even the "easy" work is because if you do it your self and break something, like you did, then it will cost you way more then the install would have cost. all do it your selfers think they know the proper way to do things, take it from me, when you know a little, thats when issues happen. let the pro's do what we are trained to do. you will be way better off. you may save some money sometimes, but eventually you will end up paying.
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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I am not saying that they got(or did not get) overcharged.  But this does sound like the usual situation where someone needs some work done, gets a quote, APPROVES the quote, and then complains after the fact that they were overcharged.  But if you look at the circumstances perhaps it wasn't that high.

Occasionally other companies will tell you what you want to hear so that you think they are the "good guy" by validating what you think about the "bad guy"(other company).   So it is very possible that these "reputable" plumbers told the OP EXACTLY what they wanted to hear.  Because if the OP needs more work done, who is he going to call.  Someone who they think Ripped them off(and got someone to validate their beliefs), or the company that validated what they thought?

 Perhaps the OP didn't fill them in on the ENTIRE situation.  Such as being on a Sunday, just that alone could account for the increased price.  As it is interesting how the OP said it is hard to get someone to give an estimate until they see it, yet after the fact he got these plumbers to say it should have been about 1/2 the price. 

Were these "reputable" plumbers one of the several plumbers the OP called on that Sunday?  If so why didn't they give the OP the $125 estimate and have the work done then? 

And no I am not nor have I ever been an Plumber or work for a plumbing company.

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#3 General Comment

Logical fallacy...

AUTHOR: Edgeman - (U.S.A.)

One thing that I have consistently noticed on this site is the tendency of many users to cling to the "employee" fallacy. While I do not know what Ramjet does for a living, I doubt that he works for Mr. Rooter as I have seen him post on several threads and it's not likely that he is working for all of those companies.

That said, the job described in the original price does seem a bit high but I think that other plumbers in the OP's city are best qualified to make that call. If nothing else, this is a good reminder to others about the importance of comparison shopping.
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#4 Author of original report

Too close to the truth for you?

AUTHOR: Streamlinz - (USA)

No specific location? Check!
Strongly emotional response? Check!
Looks like an owner or employee response to me.
Must be hitting pretty close to the truth for that kind of response.
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#5 Consumer Comment

In addition

AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

In addition to all that, you stated you didn't think you could do the job.  The plummer had the knowledge and skills to do it and you pay for that too.

Besides, it's easy for the other plummers to tell you anything after the fact.  Who knows what they would have charged for a Sunday callout if they would even do it. Talk is cheap.

Your valve is fixed and they apparently did a good job.  Next time get a few more quotes if it makes you happy.

I would thank them for coming out on sunday and smile that my problem was fixed.


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#6 Consumer Comment

You made the decision.

AUTHOR: Thinkaboutit - (U.S.A.)

The fuel surcharge is BS, because if you didn't accept the estimate, he certainly would not have charged you any sort of "surcharge", but the $234.00 was his asking price and you agreed.

 Just because some other guys charge less doens't mean that you were ripped off.

 Whatever the "retail price" of the parts are do not matter in the service contractors selling price becasue you must remember that it cost money to buy and transport truck stock from job to job, then there is insurance and advertising, owners salary, technicians salary, workers comp and health insurance. Yeah, you gotta pay for all those thing.

I am sure that you have health insurance, don't you, and your employer has to pay for it by charging it's clients for it, don't you think?

Think of the aches and pains of a service tech climbing, squatting, kneeling, banging knees and skinning knuckles that your service tech endures.

Then there is the cost of running a service truck. Imagine what the cost of driving your average v6 sport utility, now triple that cost for a service van loaded with tools, parts and all the other stuff that it takes to run service calls all day. Buy brakes, tires, oil, fuel, shoes, uniforms

Office rent, business licenses, utilities and taxes haven't been paid yet either.

Also remember the service tech had time spent getting to your house and getting back. All of that has costs involved to the company.

Why didn't you call the other two "reputable" plumbers first?

 What, they don't work on weekends or they don't spend money on advertising or have to match employees tax or 401k contribution?

Do they even have employees that are afforded a decent wage or do you think they should live in a run down trailer in the sticks.

Why do you need a breakdown? They aren't gonna haggle with you. The price is the price. A breakdown doesn't make one bit of difference to the final job.

How much do you make an hour? Surely it's too much and you could live on less, couldn't you?

Do you ever buy *insert any kind of product*? Some of them cost twice the price of others, I bet you don't always buy the cheapest either.

Surely you don't believe that they company makes $234.00 ever thirty minutes all day, day in, day out, do you? Only an ignorant jackass who doesn't know anything about running a business would say that.

$234.00 is an affordable price for your service. Considering that it was done on a Sunday means you got one heck of a deal.

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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Mr. Rooter

AUTHOR: info@mrrooter.com - (USA)

We are sorry to hear of your recent trouble. Your business is important to us and we want to ensure each and every customer experience with our company is a good one. If you would like to speak directly with us, you are most welcome to call our customer service manager at (254) 745-2436 who will be happy to assist you. Sincerely, Mr. Rooter Corporation
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