I've been having a problem with my plumbing for a long time now. I had someone come out and diagnose the situation and he said he could do it for $800 with a down payment of $500. I decided to call Roto Rooter to get a second estimate. The plumber gave me an estimate that seemed like it might cost more, but it would be done faster and came with a better warranty. He said he would put down a camera to find the root problem and send something in to cut out the root for $180 and then replace the damaged pipe for up to $800 depending on how much of it needed to be taken out.
I wasn't sure about what to do since it might not be bad enough to have to pay out $1000 over $800. Eventually the plumber with Roto Rooter talked me out of going with the other guy because he said that $500 seemed shady and a bit much for a down payment. I told him I would think it over.
I slept on it and decided to go with Roto Rooter since he planted that seed of doubt in my head about the other guy. I had an appointment set for him to be in between 12-2pm on Friday. Since I work until 5pm, I had to take half a day off work. He wasn't able to come by until 4pm. I wasn't happy about the change, but I decided to suck it up because I needed to be able to use my shower, toilets, sinka and do laundry. These are all important, necessary things. He didn't actually show up until just before 7pm. That's about 7 hours later than he was supposed to arrive. I missed out on half a day's pay because I could've worked my whole shift and still been home before he arrived.
It was now storming outside and I was in the house while he was supposedly putting a camera down the line. I popped my head out to check on him a couple of times. He wasn't outside long before I looked out and saw him just sitting in his truck.
When he came in he said that he somehow had time to send the camera down my side of the line and then up through the City's side. He said he didn't see any roots in my side...but he didn't go down all the way. He then told me that he didn't actually see anything on the City's side, which doesn't make sense since he told me that the problem was on the City's side but he didn't actually see it and he didn't go down all the way on my side.
I already knew that it wasn't on the City's side anyways because I'd called the City out here the week before and I saw them actually check their side where my line drains into the cul-de-sac and they said it wasn't on their side. The Roto Rooter plumber said "Of course they'll say that until you get someone out here to say that it is". He said that there must have been a backup in the main drainage area of the court we live in. I questioned why our house is the only one in the court that ever has this problem. We've had problems with our plumbing every 3-4 months for the last few years and we've known that we had to have the pipes replaced but we haven't really been able to replace them until now. It doesn't make sense that the backup would happen sporadically instead of being constant and it would only affect one house out of the 5 in our court.
He then had the nerve to still try to charge me $180. That was the price to put a camera down and cut out the roots. He might have put a camera down - but not all the way - and did nothing else...and he was also 7 hours late...and refused to give me any kind of warranty. That was not worth $180 and I said as much. He then threatened to take me to court.
I said I would give him the $180 if I could at least get some kind of a warranty on what little work he did until I could get the City out here to check it out again and fix it. He said he would give me a 1 day warranty. I asked if I could at least get a 10 day warranty because there's no way I'd be able to get the City out here on a Saturday. He said no...and I told him that I wasn't going to pay him. When he threatened to have me taken to court and sue me again I told him to go ahead because I know I'm in the right and that he was being incredibly shady and he kept changing his story about what he did and did not do as well as what he did and did not see.
Then, he actually threatened me by saying that if I didn't pay him that "[he] can put something down [my] line to clog it even worse and I'll call the City to make sure they don't come out here. I can make sure you'll NEVER have plumbing again. I have that power."
I was angry and shaken and felt intimidated, but I stood my ground. I watched to make sure he didn't go near my plumbing line and I waited until after he drove off and I was sure he was gone.
I called their office and told them what happened. The woman I spoke to told me that the manager would call me right back. He did not call until 10-20 later, likely getting the other guy's "modified" version of what happened. The manager said he'd get someone out on Monday. That means I have a whole weekend that I won't be able to use water because I'm afraid that he might have done something. This is on top of the last 2 weeks where I've had to limit the showers and laundry and worry about the toilet overflowing any time I flush it. If the manager was so concerned with my business, I would expect him to at least pretend to be somewhat sympathetic to what I was going through instead of being so matter-of-fact on the phone and not bothering or pretending to even try to get someone out here sooner than that.
I will never go through these people again. They lie to their customers, change their stories mid-sentence, threaten and bully people when they don't get what they want and they don't seem to care at all about customer satisfaction. It was like he wouldn't give me a warranty for longer than 1 day because he knew that the City would just come back and contradict everything Roto Rooter told me. Why else would he not want to give me a warranty for 10 days if it still meant getting his money unless he was hiding something that would end up costing him more than that $180? I do not trust them and I am going to warn as many people as I can that, as nice as they are when you're being compliant and receptive, they can turn twice as ugly once you try to question them.