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  • Part of the problem

    Here you go. Says "licensed and Insured". No license # on website, ad, or business card. Required here in FL. You've got to check this website out; looks so generic and was done in less than 10 minutes. This guy Mike made me realize how overpriced most of you guys are. You obviously don't appreciate hard times. I'd find this funny, but guys like this are out here taking advantage of the bad economy and people who are desperate. My customer called FL regs, they could not find a license for this business. On a second call, she was told there is a license of some type, not plumbing..??? Here's the website: http://www.draindefender.com/
    Do you really think that for $49.95 you get the best trained techs and latest jetting equipment? I understand price is a part of competition, but either this guy is unlicensed and desperate for money, or it's completely misleading. In other words, look at the job and tell the customer it's going to be more like $200-$300. Are you guys in different parts of the country dealing with this kind of stuff?

  • #2
    Re: Part of the problem

    Im Located in utah and I deal with stuff like this every day, and as of the last two months i seem to be getting allot of customers calling for a price then i never hear from them (Tells me someone out there is cleaning drains for cheap) 2 years ago when the new phonebook came out some guy had an add that said any drain 49.95 (He went out of biz shortly after the book came out)

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    • #3
      Re: Part of the problem

      One dies another one pops up. They can't survive on $49.95 it's impossible
      It's a foot in the door sham.
      Even if they dug up their pipes and brought it to me I still would have to charge more than. $49.95
      How do you pay your expenses at that rate and the high number of call volume needed to cover those bills and the toll it would take on your body? It's dirty hard work.
      Rod
      MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
      Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
      http://unclognh.com
      http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

      Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

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      • #4
        Re: Part of the problem

        i see guys here that say for $99 they will clean your drain. then they come out and tell you that because you don't have a proper clean out, then it will be xxx amount. there ads are misleading. i hear it here all the time. i'm not the cheapest. but i do what i say i'm going to do.
        the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

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        • #5
          Re: Part of the problem

          People don't realize we may seem expensive but were up front with the costs. "We don't hide it". Because we know from experience what the charges should be. They figure well $49.95 is cheap "Bait"now tell HO it's $500 bucks because of what ever? Now backed into a corner they feel they have to pay this guy because they are there and they need the service. Bait and switch.
          Rod
          MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
          Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
          http://unclognh.com
          http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

          Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Part of the problem

            I'm certainly not a grammar expert, but there is enough errors in those two paragraphs to make me think they are morons.

            Let alone the 49.99 thing. Give me a break. Sad thing is, people as a whole eat that kind of thing up.

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            • #7
              Re: Part of the problem

              You're absolutely right. The website and the attention to grammar is a huge indicator of the character you're dealing with. Not dissing my latino brothers, but after reading this and a "comment" online from his ad, I have a strong feeling English is not his first language. Comprende? I have a minimum service charge above this guy. If I walked into an old lady's home, dropped a clogged trap, and was done in 10 minutes, I would charge her the minimum. Not really charging for "drain cleaning", just the service call and my time. While there, I would check the rest of the house, adjust closet fill levels, clean aerators, etc. No, you can't go to a commercial building with the proper equipment, spend hours pulling fixtures, closets, cleanouts, vents, and.... run sewer cables or jetters til you're covered with sweat(and God knows what else!!) for $49.95. If that were the going rate, I wouldn't have bought any equipment in the first place, and neither would you. I don't expect this guy or others like him to stick around long, but so many people get roped into calling and trying them with the fantasy that $50 really will take care of the problem. Hate to say it, but my own mother would be one!!

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              • #8
                Re: Part of the problem

                I am going to go against every one here and say that biz could make it on 49.95 a drain. I did not believe this til I was reading posts at another forum. The only draw back is that the owner will not get rich quick. they will just make a living. If you think about it you have to make a living before you get rich. I can see a family or a one man operation making this price work. The key would be to not have truck payments or equipment payments. I can see a one man band making decent coin to surive

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                • #9
                  Re: Part of the problem

                  Having a license these days isn't amounting to much.


                  Why do I say this?


                  Because it's going to take YOU to stop it. Meaning, plumbers like yourself to stop them.


                  Doesn't that seem unfair, you having to police what the community as a whole should be doing, to begin with?

                  The community doesn't care

                  The local politics don't care

                  Even if they get popped, someone hurting for work that has a license is going to get found and buy that license to get legal. Now what are you going to do?


                  Remember, these guys float under the radar because there's no one to police it, and when they do police it, it's because a plumber got involved trying to protect their turf...not a victim of circumstance from a bad experience. That's where the hard truth exists.

                  There's no enforcement of stopping the unlicensed,

                  but you have hell to pay if you're licensed and don't stay current.

                  It makes no sense.

                  It's a crumbling equation that makes a mockery of what we feel is sacred and valuable and the difference between the licensed and unlicensed is one isn't spending as much money to make a dime.

                  There's a company in my area that had not only a father, but a son run a plumbing business for 30 years until they both died (years apart), ripped more people off than a car dealership and never, EVER did they get stopped from working/performing duties that would be constituted as violations of the local plumbing code.


                  No enforcement, no reprimand...and it always takes the local plumber to stop it before the public ever gives a damn to make it stop.

                  And if you're looking at a contractor's better business bureau listing AFTER the fact?

                  Well, you found out most likely that you should of looked before, not after.


                  In Ohio I can pay $300 and take an open book test and call myself a plumber.
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Part of the problem

                    Makes me feel good about my website. If a guy could do seven service calls a day for 49.95 with no overhead maybe. It seems we only get the tougher jobs. Locating, Jetting, Pumping, Roots over a hundred feet. If your just cleaning and not a full service plumber you need an edge and being the cheapest guy in town is not a bussniess plan. Just because a guy has a plumbers lic dosent make him a master drain guy. We clean up after a lot of Lic Plumbers. There are lots of things only plumbers can do, like pull permits. I tell people flat out we not a plumbing contractor and we don't do plumbing. I think it make us a better cleaning outfit because plumbers know we aren't going to take their customers away. We work for alot of different plumbers,and if I was doing plumbing work they wouldn't call me for their cleaning work or pumping. Their alot of plumbers who dont do any cleaning work. Poorly run unprofessional contracting make us all look bad. PS I cant say much about poor spelling I have read some of my own post and thought to myself spell check would have been nice

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                    • #11
                      Re: Part of the problem

                      To Follow up my last post. I ran some quick numbers. At 49.95 I could still make an ok living. All I would have to do is 2 calls a day for 5 days a week and I would be able to live. This does include 1 mil liability insurance and full coverage insurance of a work truck. After all my bills were paid including very meger living expenses I would have around 150.00 a week to do what I wanted to with. That is not bad in todays economy. 150.00 a week is not good either. This seems like a debate which will go on forever

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                      • #12
                        Re: Part of the problem

                        Anyone who calls the $50/drain liar will find out soon enough. I've fielded a few calls from people who've been burned in the past giving me the third degree about trip charges, fuel surcharges, equipment charges, etc. We talk for a little while, then I come over and fix their problem. There is a tense moment as I write up their bill, then when it is the number I said it would be they smile in relief, write me a check, thank me, and ask for some cards.

                        $50 drain cleaning is just 'Buy Here Pay Here', 'Rent to Own', or 'Paycheck Loans' in another business. You can't clean a drain for $50 and stay in business. No one is doing it; they are just lying and saying they are. So if you hire a liar you get what you ask for. And if you are customer who thinks you can out-scam a scammer, I don't want to waste my time with you anyway; those kind of games are not interesting to me.
                        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Part of the problem

                          Hanybull, you live in a different world than me. $500/wk leaves you $150? I spend over $100/wk on fuel alone. Cheap rent on a crappy studio apt with no parking is $700/mo. Single, childless, paid off space, paid off equipment, nothing ever breaks, and gas prices don't rise... I could survive.
                          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Part of the problem

                            Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                            Hanybull, you live in a different world than me. $500/wk leaves you $150? I spend over $100/wk on fuel alone. Cheap rent on a crappy studio apt with no parking is $700/mo. Single, childless, paid off space, paid off equipment, nothing ever breaks, and gas prices don't rise... I could survive.

                            Wow $ 700 for a studio yikes. I live in northern Indiana where the cost of living is one the cheapest around. The flip side wages are there also. I will post the numbers I ran later tonite or tomorrow.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Part of the problem

                              We've all been over this countless times; pricing is situational (in fact, techiniques are often situational as well, due to typical age, and therefore construction, of buildings). Hence the general reticence when actually putting $ numbers on services comes up; it just costs more to live in some places than others, and a fair price in one locale is a rip off in another and a bargin in another yet.

                              There seem to be at least two models; those who are up front about pricing and doing good work at a fair price, and those who are playing games to get in the door and screw the customer for whatever they can get away with. I believe, and am happy to be able to say it, that most here are in the first group, and also believe that time will sort those in the latter group out to where they deserve to be.

                              I've lost customers to loss leader pricing, and it is always twice as nice when they give up on the losers and come back to me. Justifies my whole way of being. I do good, usually excellent, work, with an emphasis on response and cleanliness, and referalls to people I trust to not screw my customers for work I won't do. And it takes time, effort, and expense to put it out there, and I challenge anyone to do all I do at what I charge, and I'm just not going to do it at a discount rate when I've got people who are thrilled to know to call me and happy to pay. For me to start giving it away to new customers means I'm screwing loyal ones, and ultimately screwing myself.

                              $50 to clean a drain might work in your area. I know IN a little bit; lived in Indpls for several years, have family in that area and visit Winchester a couple times a year. Econ sucks and your area is hit as hard as any and harder than most. But in general, in most places, $50/drain is just flat lying. It's (at best) a loss leader to build customer base. But personally I don't even give them that much credit. It's a lie to get a phone call and get a tech on site who's paid on commision to **** them for whatever he can make fly. I want no part of rape and pillage business models; I have to sleep at night. If I can't give someone what they need at a fair price, I'm gone, hopefully leaving them the number of someone who can.
                              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                              Comment

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