I had what I thought to be a leaking wax ring on a second floor toilet as there was a water stain on the ceiling of the floor below. I called The Gentlemen Plumbers.
I assumed I was getting a time and materials plumber to solve my problem as I had in the past with other plumbers. As it turned out they bill by "activity" (my term) sort of
like your auto mechanic using the book price for repairs. On inspection by the technician, he confirmed I indeed had an issue with the wax seal as the toilet had come loose from the flange.
A ghost flushing problem was being caused by a crack in the overflow pipe and the shut off valve did not actually shut the water completely off. So, one problem was now correctly three.
In my simple mind replacing the wax ring would be a $5.00 ring and 1 1/2 hour labor. Replacing the flush valve (overflow pipe) would be a $20.00 part and 1/2 hour labor and replacing the shut off valve
and connector hose would be $30.00 in parts and 1/2 hour labor. I figured $55.00 for parts and $375.00 for labor (2 1/2 X $150.00 / hour).
This is where the "activity" billing came in to play. They do not simply replace a faulty part like the over flow pipe or even the flush valve, it is a full tank refurbish even though my fill valve and flapper are only 2 months old. The toilet "lift and replace" to install the new wax ring and re-screw the flange to the floor, the tank "refurbish" and the new shut off valve were over $1,100.00. The technician, very appropriately, informed me that a new toilet would be cheaper.
I went from my guesstimate of a couple hundred dollar wax seal replacement to the reality of a $900.00 total toilet replacement in a heart beat. Dispatch fee - 69.95, Shut off valve - 189.00, Toilet - $649.00
I am not unhappy with the work and the technician was great. I would have just liked to know the billing process beforehand as the price does seem a little excessive.
- Company Response
Hello bl. We are sorry that we did not meet your expectations. We work hard to educate our clients on all aspects of their service and the options they have before we go ahead with any work. We ensure that you authorize any services we will be providing and encourage you to have this kind of conversation with your technician before going ahead with the work. We would like to know how we can improve that and what we can do better for the future. Your comments have been passed onto management. With the limited information here, we have not been able to locate you in our system. We invite you to reach out to our customer care specialist Maria at email@example.com so that we can discuss your concerns. Thanks for sharing, we appreciate the feedback.