John Lennon once said “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”
We spend countless hours of our lives making plans. Whether it’s planning family vacations, the birth of our children, parties, shopping lists, you name it! We even usually know, down to the smallest side dish, what is going to be on our table for Christmas Dinner.
But how much time have you spent planning what you’re going to do when your sewer backs up? When the water heater leaks? When your boiler heat goes out? The definition of an emergency is “a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.” By definition, it is difficult to plan for an emergency.
The first thing to cross most peoples’ minds when they have an emergency repair at home is, generally, “How much is this going to cost me?” What happens when we combine a lack of forethought with an emergency situation is that we throw out everything that is hard-wired into us as planners, and we resort to the important, but often risky, response of “I have to find the cheapest way possible to fix this right now!”
When you’re dealing with a plumbing emergency, you can’t afford a cheap fix. A cheap fix today often results in an expensive repair tomorrow. Plus, you’ll feel like you’re always waiting for the proverbial “other shoe to drop.” Aren’t you tired of waiting? Life doesn’t wait for you, nor should you have to wait for the other guy to show up, give you a cheap estimate and even cheaper work, and then tell you that “you get what you pay for” a week later when the emergency arises again. Before you find yourself ‘Still Waiting’ for the other guy to show up and offer cheap, but ineffective solutions, consider these 5 points.
- Know who you’re talking with. Pay attention to who you talk with when you call to schedule a plumber to come to your home. Are you talking with an answering machine or does the person on the other end of the line care about you and genuinely want to help fix your problem? You can tell a lot about a company by how they answer the phone. If you find yourself still waiting on hold for 10-15 minutes, you can trust that you’ll be waiting a lot longer for them to actually come to your home.
- Be wary of over-the-phone pricing. Some have learned this one the hard way. The price you get over the phone is generally a base price and it can increase significantly once someone gets to your house and really sees what’s going on. Plumbing problems simply cannot be diagnosed over the phone – especially if you aren’t talking with an actual plumber when you call. Over-the-phone estimates are designed to give you a pretty number that gets them in the door. Then, they give you the actual price once you’ve more or less already hired them.
- Look for a plumber who offers 24-hour emergency service. If the problem arises again, it’s important to know that somebody will be there for you, regardless of the day and time. If you’re spending days at a time waiting for the other guy to show up, there’s no telling how much damage (both to your home and to your psyche) could actually take place.
- Consult online reviews. You’re probably not the first person in town to need a plumber. Rely on Google reviews and other websites that have a bank of real reviews written by real people in your community. Word-of-mouth is a big deciding factor, even via online reviews. You can’t trust everything you read online, but it’s generally a safe bet to check out reviews of plumbers.
- Check the background. Ask if the technician coming to your home is drug-tested and background-checked. Your home and your family are your priority. A company that invests significant dollars in making sure that employees are trustworthy and safe in your home tells you that your home and family are a priority to them, too.
There are honest, reputable, trained, trustworthy plumbing companies out there. Are they the cheapest? Probably not. Knowing what is important to you before you invite someone into your home is essential, especially in an emergency. If you know what you want in a plumber before you pick up the phone, you don’t have to worry about being bound by the cheapest option. Certain things are worth investing in. At CK Mechanical, we invest in you because you invest in us. If you’re still waiting for the other guy to show up (or even just answer the phone), maybe it’s time to consult the professionals at CK Mechanical. You can trust us to be there when life happens because we know you’re tired of waiting… you can count on us.