Well what if you call a plumber for a price over the phone and he tells you lets say for example 150 to fix whatever you asked. You say ok and he gets there only to realize that the price he quoted over the phone was horribly low and wants to raise the price to 550 because whatever happened (pipes were rotten, crawlspace to access plumbing, water pressure too high, drain waste and vent not legal) etc. Is it more fair to give a low price over the phone just to get the job? Or do you prefer a company to come out and professionally assess the situation and give you an accurate price, while still giving you a choice at the end whether to proceed with any work or not.
What do people really want from a plumber. Take any talk about money out of the equation and what do you want with plumbing service. Fairness, honesty, safety, satisfaction, truthfulness, probably some others: consider this
Plumber A : charges 200 dollars an hour, whoa, outrageous right. But lets say he is really good, clean, courteous, fair, everything goes smooth, job takes him 2 hours. Total: 400.00 He was fast and performed at the top of his game because he came prepared, his truck had all the parts, his tools are up to date, his office staff are on top of their game and got him there on time. But the homeowner concerned about time rushed the plumber out of the home before he could clean up because he or she didnt want to pay for the extra time Probably not the best experience for the homeowner who just experienced a lot of stress about the bill...
Plumber B: charges 50 dollars an hour, whoa plumber A is way out of the park. but wait, plumber B took 8 hours to complete the same job. Total 400.00, his truck was a disaster, his parts were used, dented, had to leave the house to or three times to "get more parts"(chat at the wholesale house). the homeowner is still watching the clock and worried about the price, is starting to loose trust in the ability of plumber B's ability to complete the job, this guy must have barely passed his license test because plumbers advertise there test score on their trucks right...wrong, , is this good or bad
Plumber C: charges by the job. He arrives in a noticeably clean truck, is ontime and assesses the situation upon arrival, After discussing options the homeowner is given choices between minor repair for 200, major repair for 400, and full replacement for 1000. deciding that the replacement didn't seem necessary, the homeowner decides on the middle of the road option for whoa 400. The plumber performs the job professionally and in a timely manner, but realizes a part he needs was not normally stocked on his truck, so he has to run and get the part and then finish the job. Meanwhile, the homeowner already knows what the price will be at the end of the job, regardless of how long it takes or what misfortune the plumber runs into during the course of the job. In this case the plumber had to leave and may not have expected to. This unknown was not added at the end nor did the price change, and lets say the total time was 3 hours.
Which plumber would you hire? In all cases the bill was the same, but what is your time worth, what is your patience worth, what is your plumber worth, the only one that gave you an option or any sort of choice was plumber C. What if plumber A took three hours for you and one hour for your neighbor for an identical task, is the hourly way truly fair, of course not. Phone shopping is not in your best interest, Call, have someone come out, and give you repair/replacement options with the price, not an hourly or time and material rate