Rescue RooterRipoff of the Elderly

1 Review updated:

On Saturday, 11-21-08,
my mothers is 85 year old - widow,
Her house had a main drain blackage. The toilets and bathtub were backed up. Rescue Rooter was called to clear the blockage. The first estimate was $250, she wrote a check, Then the second estimate was $4667, she wrote a check, Then the third estimate was $11, 000, she voided the first two checks.

My sister finally called me about 5:30 pm. I came over to checkout what was going on. Talked to the plunbers, They told me the price of $11, 000. The plunbers said that thay ran a snake and cleared the blockage. Also, that almost all of the cast iron pipe under the house and main line down to the street needed to be replaced and that raw sewage was under the house.

I went to talk to my mother and told her that they were ripping her off. I worked in construction for about twenty years and have been taking care of her house for about 45 years. I went under the house and did not find raw sewage under the house. I did find one leak in one drain pipe. It took ten minutes to fix.

We called Rescue Rooter told them to come get their tools and cones. Stop the workorder. They showed up on Monday, picked up their tools and presented a bill for $2, 660. I asked what this was for ???, The plunber said labor and materials. I asked what materials??? He answered "the camera". On the bill the camera usage was listed as$250.

Lets do the math, ---Bill $2660 minus the camera cost $250 is $2410. If they worked an eight hour day that would be $301.25 an hour.
Who makes $301.25 an hour ???
Can you say Ripoff !!!

I have called the Police, Elder abuse and Ageing and Independent services they all agreed that this is considered Elder abuse.

I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, California Department of Consumer Affairs and Elder abuse.

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  • An
      May 25, 2009

    I called Rescue Rooter because they were the only 24 hr plumbing company that answered the phone at 11:00 p.m. I had a leaking water heater. Over the telephone the operator, who answered the phone, said the only thing they could do at this time of hour is shut off the water. I told the operator I will wait until morning. I am not going to pay a service fee for this. The plumber came out and said he could repair the pipes to keep it for leaking but he was not sure if it will hold more than 30 days. Okay. I was okay with his answer. I just wanted to get a few more estimates on how much a new water heater would truly cost me. He said it would cost over $1, 500.00 for a water heater. When he put the pipes on the water heater, one of the pipes was bent and the water still flowed more than ever. He told me he would have to replace the whole water heater. He had the audacity to charge $295.00 for nothing. He not fix anything and made the water flow worst than before. I called the manager and of course he was not willing to just charge for the service fee of coming out. He is suppose to credit me just $95.00. So they stole my money and I had to have another plumber come out right after this company. This company came out, changed out my water heater, replaced the pipes, strapped down my water heater so that it's up to code, fastened my pipe which runs from the roof for such a reasonable and fair price. This lesson to this story is do not call a 24hr service especially Rescue Rooter. If you can wait until morning to get a reputable company that is honest and stand behind its service, please do it. This company is a rip off and take advantage of women.

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  • Pr
      Jul 18, 2010

    Yes they do, and Ray Olson is the worlds worst GM

    0 Votes
  • Dp
      Jun 07, 2011

    I am a former ARS Rescue Rooter employee. I answered an ad in the want ads looking for a plumber position. I'm a licensed plumber and needed a job so i applied. Got an interview and got hired. This company doesn't pay by the hour here in Las Vegas, NV. They pay on a commission based system called "Comission Units" aka "CU".
    For example: If I replaced a toilet and charged the client $850 (yes this is an actual cost they charge) then I would make 1.5 CU's. When you first start with the company, you start out at @ $20 per CU. So in the case of the toilet i would get paid $30 plus the ten dollars for going to the call. Regardless of how long it took me to do the work, I would make $40 in this case.
    Some people might not think that's too bad. After all this rate is $20 per hour right? WRONG! We (the plumbers) are dispatched to calls that are primarily "cold" calls. Meaning someone ( a telemarketer) from our office called the client without warning to schedule a "free health and safety inspection".
    When people hear "free" they usually say yes. Everybody wants free stuff right? The objective of the "free Health and safety inspection" is to get a plumber in the house to find stuff to fix. Even if it doesn't need fixing.
    The position I applied for was a plumber position, not a salesman position. But the problem with this is if I didn't sell anything then I didnt get paid anything. Again, they pay for sales not by the hour.
    Another example: Let's say your water bill is through the roof and you notice a wet spot in the yard. Call Rescue Rooter and a couple guys show up ( a plumber and "supervisor"). They go through the process of isolating the source of the problem and tell you that your main water line is leaking. First thing people ask is "ok, How much?" This is when the "supervisor" and his plumber retreat to their vehicles to "work on the numbers".
    Now when I first started with this company, I had responded to lots of main line leak calls. When it comes to being paid to do the work, I would be asked by my "supervisor" how much I wanted to make. Looking at the yard it would take me a day to dig the new line and install it. Then half a day to come back and backfill the yard after the inspection was done. So I would say "$600". So that number would be placed into the bid process and a number would would be generated. The general going rate was between $4000 and $6500 depending on the size and difficulty of the job. Usually the client would say ok and sign the work order. Obviuosly we dont tell the client how much the plumber gets paid.
    Now jump forward to a few months before I quit working for these rip off artists. Remember when I explained the pay structure? The CU system and how I would get compensated? Now I find myself on a main line replacement. The total bill we charge the client is still between $4000 and $6500. The work is still just as time consuming and difficult. However one thing has changed dramatically. Instead of getting a lump sum of $600 to do the work (which normally took 2 1/2 days total), now Im getting 14 Cu's and nothing more. And if I wanted help from another plumber to get it done faster then we have to SPLIT the CUs! 7 CUs each! So I would get paid approx. $140 to do 2 1/2 days worth of work!
    That's not just the only thing. They raised the cost of almost everything to the client and cut in half what they pay the plumber to do the same work.
    An average day worked at ARS here in las vegas starts at 7 am (morning meeting) and ends some time @ 8 pm. Again they don't pay by the hour. They do this to avoid paying overtime. They are overworking the staff and placing unnecessary stress on the employees because they can. Because there is no law that says they can't. I am interested in joining a class action suit against ARS of Nevada. There is already one currently in California.

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