But wait, there's more.
This is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
I do need to correct ToUtahNow on something concerning flat rate pricing. This applies to the flat rate company I worked for and the two others I interviewed with but I can not attest to others S.O.P’s.. When I would bid a job, say three toilet replacements, the first replacement is xxx.xx. The second and third replacement would be less than the first price because the first price also included drive time. After all, Once I leave the previous customer, I am on the next customers clock.
Concerning the water leak. I think you are pointing out what can be found in many shops, not just flat rate. I started out in a T&M shop. After nine months on the job they started to send me out on my own. Needless to say, I was not ready and made many mistakes. I told them so and continued to work with another experienced plumber. Maybe I’m more honest with myself than others.
In my last shop only the boss was certified to do back flow checks. I wanted to be but was never offered the opportunity to do so. Does this make me a bad plumber? No. Just makes me inexperienced in checking back flow devices. This could be the same for leak detection. If a plumber said he was experienced in such and such but was not, shame on him. But this does not just happen at flat rate companies.
I’ve seen many companies, T&M and flat rate, send guys off on their own to quick because they did not have enough experienced plumbers. This happens in every trade. I’ve been to many jobs were the previous company could not find the problem or knew how to fix it. I always fixed it. I know, be careful not to separate your shoulder by patting yourself on the back. Ya, ya.
I think the anti-flat rate guys generalize too much. Not all are bad as you seem to indicate. They’re people that will rip you off in any trade. I’ve known T&M guys to go get supplies and then spend forty-five minutes b’s’ing with the supply house staff and then charge that time out. In my book this would be worse than the extremely high flat rate guys. At least with flat rate the customer knows the price before the job is done.
Didn’t I say I was done with this? Oh well.
As much as some toes have been stepped on it is good having this discussion. It is good to see both sides of the issue.
One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.