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My Plumber / Price Gouging

7150 Convoy Ct, San Diego, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: (858) 565-2200

Kicking myself for not researching this company before using them. Prices charged for work are ridiculous. I had a kitchen faucet installed (labor only, I already had the faucet), a garbage disposal replaced, a shut-off valve installed on the line to the fridge ice maker, and a shutoff valve and supply line changed on a toilet. Total charge, $2350!!! On checking around after the fact I learned this was about two to three times what other plumbing services would have charged for the same work.

I realize prices vary and I normally don't mind paying a bit more for quality. But let's say this job was $400 for parts (very generous estimate) and $200/hour for labor (also very generous, this would be typical overtime rate), even throw in $100 for a housecall, that only comes to $1300. There's no way to make sense of the $2350 charge.

I tried to dispute the bill with them and after several calls finally reached the owner. He insisted they only make 15% profit on all their work. Well if you're charging three times what your competitors charge and only making 15% profit, you're doing something very wrong! He ultimately offered to refund $200 off my bill. That doesn't even bring it from "total rip-off" down to "gross overcharge". Oh well, I guess I just paid dearly for a learning experience.

In hindsight I can see a number of shady tactics they use to prey on ignorant customers.

- When you call they won't tell you anything about their pricing. The office says only the technician can give pricing. When I tried to dispute the total bill with the technician, he told me he doesn't set pricing, it's all set by the office. So if it's set by the office, why can't they tell you what the rates are for the jobs before you waste time meeting with the technician in your home? Because they know you'll be less likely to say no at that point.

- Fake "discount" rates. In the itemized bill they put everything in two colums. One says regular rate, one says 10% discount rate. You get the discount rate. Don't you feel lucky? You might, until you learn that their discount rate is still three times higher than their competitors.

- Exaggerating the complexity of the work. The technician told me that installing the wall mount kitchen faucet I'd purchased was a tricky job he "wouldn't wish on his worst enemy". The quote was for $350. That turned out to be about 20 minutes of labor and he didn't even have to get under the sink. I asked a competitor what they would have charged for that job and they said it would go at their normal labor rate of $135 per hour weekdays, or $210 per hour weekends. I paid over $1000 an hour to My Plumber!

- Adding on incremental work that greatly inflates the original quote. I was quoted $427 for a garbage disposal replacement. That seemed pretty high to begin with. You'd think that high of a flat rate would include padding for some contingencies in the work, right? Nope, after he removed the old disposal he told me there were code violations in the old installation (no electrical outlet, some galvanized pipe in the drain connection) that he had to fix. There was also evidence of some leaking at the drain connection. He ended up cutting the end of the drain pipe, re-threading it, and adding a new plastic drain pipe, plus adding an electrical box. Each item was added on at several hundred dollars extra. All told it was only a couple extra hours work and some plastic pipe. Grand total for the disposal went from $427 to $1212. There was even a $99 charge for "drain cleaning". Doesn't it seem like "drain cleaning" should be part of a garbage disposal replacement in the first place, and not added on later?

- Exaggerating the necessity of upgrades. It was quite obvious there was no outlet before he took out the old disposal, so shouldn't that have been priced up front? The owner told me if I didn't want an outlet box added, I should have told him to just wire it back up like it had been. Howerver, the technician had removed the old unit, then told me he couldn't just wire up the new one directly like it had been done because that was a code violation. It didn't sound like he was offering me an option, it sounded like he was saying he couldn't finish this job without adding it. He charged $300 for that addition alone.

- The high pressure up-sell. Besides the extra work on the disposal, he told me my existing ice maker supply line was done incorrectly and was likely to leak, and that my toilet supply line had a cheap shutoff valve that would likely break and "flood the house". I fell for this and agreed to have him fix these. Once again, the price charged compared to the actual labor & parts was way high. Those two items added nearly $800 more.

- There's a "Same day service GUARANTEE or the labor is free" on the website. They don't honor this. The office manager told me it would be removed from the site. It's still there.

DO NOT USE MY PLUMBER!

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Comments

  • Ld
      14th of Mar, 2012

    Description Of Work:
    My Plumber was contacted to diagnose I leak in my home. The leak ended up being caused by a toilet and primarily valve on the third floor of my home. In addition to identifying the cause of the leak, My Plumber replaced my toilet, their suggestion, and cutoff valve.

    Recently had a water leak in my home. Associate from My Plumber responded very timely. He was very professional and thorough, indicated that I had a leaky toilet and valve. He took pictures even contacted Serv Pro to have them come to my home. This is the least I would have expected for a $175 diagnostic fee, before the 10% discount. This amount was not even deducted from the final bill since they did the work.What added insult to my already bad day was they charged me $730, before the nice 10% discount to replace the toilet and valve. They only offered two toilet models and would have charged over $400 just to install a toilet if I bought it elsewhere; which should have been my RED flag. Would never call this company again, their pricing is outrageous. Unfortunately, you'll have to pay $80, service call fee, just to find that out. Now knowing that I could have purchased this same toilet for About $160 - I feel like I've just been raped. The technician spent about 30-40 minutes installing the new toilet.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      10th of Sep, 2015

    Like the writer above, I wish we had investigated this firm before calling. The price was outrageous, but after a long weekend without water, we were desperate to get it fixed. Hadi charged us $800 for one hours worth of work. He tried to upsell us on a water system, but we rejected that. We had a water regulator replaced and also a hose bib. We supplied the parts for the hose bib. Hindsight is always 20/20, but we feel like fools for not having told this guy to leave after the quote. When I complained to the company, they could have cared less. Never, never do business with this firm. They should be investigated and not be allowed to claim they are approved by the BBB as that gives them some level of credibility.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      10th of Sep, 2015
    My Plumber - Price gouging
    1753 Harold Rd
    Escondido
    California
    United States

    Date of service was 9/8/15. We had called on Sunday and was told since it was a long weekend, a plumber could not be dispatched until Tues and they did not give quotes over the phone. Since we had not had water for several days for fear of bursting the pipes, we agreed to have Mr. Plumber do the repair. He charged us $800 for one hour of labor and the water regulator. He also replaced a hose bib for which we had purchased the parts. After investigating other reputable firms, IE: Bill Howe and Anderson we realized that we were charged more than double what other plumbers would have quoted us. We are both seniors living on Social Security and feel a firm like this should be investigated and not be allowed to boast of their BBB approval.

    0 Votes

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