I want to warn as many people as possible in the Atlanta area about "Payless Sewer and Drain" (what a joke THAT name is) and the ridiculously high prices they charge: it amounts to theft, plain and simple, and their sneaky practices don't help.
I called them on Thursday morning because we had a leak (drip) under the kitchen faucet, resulting in standing water in the cabinet located under the sink. I will give them brownie points for having a live and friendly human being pick up the phone instead of the usual voice mail. This nice lady did tell me that there would be service charge of $47.50 (and that's whether or not you choose to have the repairs done) but I consider this to be perfectly reasonable. She also told me that the plumber would give us an estimate of the costs for the repairs before doing the job: again, up to this point, everything seems A-OK!
More brownie points for being quick to respond: even though I never requested a "quick" service or ask for "as soon as possible" (afterall this was certainly no emergency), someone was available to come to our house 2 to 3 hours later. I do want to give them credit where credit is due!
So here comes Larry-the-plumber around 3pm on Thursday: I was busy upstairs when he rang the bell so it's my husband who opened the door and talked to him while he was looking at our leaky faucet. When I came down, Larry had already told my husband we really should replace the faucet, as a repair would only work for so long, and they were discussing when he could come back to do the job. The next day (Friday) was not convenient for us but Saturday was OK and Larry said he would be there around 9:30am. In the meantime we had to go purchase the new faucet (already a $140 item)that Larry would install.
Remember the nice lady on the phone who said the plumber would give us an estimate of the costs for the job to be performed? Right: well Larry never provided us with said estimate, whether written, oral, or nothing. PLEASE NOTE THAT I will take some responsibility here, as we should have demanded the estimate before moving on. What happened was that --because he had been talking to my husband and was just about ready to walk out the door when I finally came downstairs and saw him, I thought that surely he had given my husband the estimate. So yes, I should have requested it (had I realized it was missing), but wasn't it Larry's job and responsibility to provide us with such estimate in the first place? That's what the lady on the phone said would happen, right? You tell me.
So on Saturday morning Larry comes back: it's 9:40 when he arrives, he promptly removes our old kitchen faucet and replaces it with the one we had purchased. The whole thing takes him less than 45 minutes, and THAT's when he calls me, just before he's ready to pack up his tools and leave, and presents me with a paper to sign. The paper specifically says "WORK ORDER AUTHORIZATION" and of course, this is the estimate I was supposed to get the previous day... authorizing him to go ahead with the repair and quoting me the cost. Even if he had "forgotten" to give it to us on Thursday, he should still have given it out before doing the repairs, and not now that the job has already been performed and he is ready to pack up and go.
I just about have a coronary when I look at this after-the-fact-estimate and/or job authorization: $47.50 for the service call of course (OK) and $248.15 for replacing the kitchen faucet in less than 45 mintues, for a grand total of $295.65. And this is when I went downstairs to ask my husband what he had talked about with Larry on his previous visit and whether an estimate had ever been given. And of course I learnt that it had not been the case. Again, I accept partial responsibility but still feel Payless Sewer and Drain are compelled to give estimates before doing the repairs, whether or not the customer forgets to ask.
I did give Larry his check as I realised there was not much I could do at this point: as soon as he had the check (that was a good 3 minutes after I had just seen and signed the "work order authorization" for a job already done), I had to sign the same paper once more to confirm that the job had been completed. This is why I say they are sneaky: this whole thing is orchestrated and they take advantage of people by not giving out estimates before doing the repairs at outrageous prices.
$248.15 for 40 minutes of work replacing a kitchen faucet?? On top of the $47.50 service call of course. And that is on top of the $140 we had to pay to buy the new faucet (ourselves) - that is over $435 dollars to replace a faucet: does that make any sense to you?
So how much do plumbers like Larry make an hour? Am I in the wrong business or what! Maybe I should call and see if they would take me as an apprentice. What is done is done, and I've learnt my lesson, but scam artists like "Payless Sewer and drain" should be exposed and I intend to do just that. My husband is in the real estate business and will spread the word around the Atlanta metro area, and I will also report that company to the Better Business Bureau.
U.S.A. STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for!