4 ways you can avoid a drain cleaning scam
Published: December 11, 2018 Last Updated: September 24, 2020
The abundance of unscrupulous people in the drain cleaning and sewer business has reached an all time high. You only have to pick up the local paper or switch on the local news to hear about the people who have fallen foul of such scams. If you're looking for a plumber to take care of your blocked drain, here's how you can avoid becoming a victim.
Avoid doing business with anyone you haven't contacted first
Many plumbing scammers will look to prey upon vulnerable people particularly the elderly and infirm. They'll turn up out of the blue and tell you that you have a problem with your drainage. In reality, they've probably already done their homework and know that you either live alone or are elderly and are the perfect fit for a scam.
Reputable companies don't have to tout for business. Instead they rely on a good network of clients and word of mouth, so by avoiding doing business with unsolicited drainage companies altogether you're less likely to fall victim.
Keep an eye out for strange evidence
Dishonest sewer and drain cleaning technicians will usually work in pairs. This is so that one can be gathering information from the client (read this as distracting the client) while the other will be outside planting evidence. For instance they might be spreading dirt and soil in specific spots where they might then suggest a particular pipe is broken. Others carry bags of rocks and place them in waste traps to initiate a blockage, while others will even deliberately damage drains.
The bottom line is to keep a close eye out for any abnormalities or strange evidence in your yard that just might ring alarm bells.
Make sure you're not watching a video inspection rerun
A particularly favorite scam of unscrupulous plumbers not just in Brisbane but all over the country is the inspection rerun scam. While video inspection equipment is a necessary and helpful tool within the plumbing and drainage industry, it can be used to detrimental effect.
A scammer will play a video of pipework in a particularly bad condition and have you believe it's your pipework, only it's not. Obviously you can guess what's next – A huge bill for work that didn't need to be carried out. A quick way avoid this is to have the technician tape something in your garden so that you can see that the camera is actually recording first.
Remembering the basics
Finally remember to run background checks on all service companies you're looking to hire. While the majority of plumbers in Brisbane and throughout the state of Queensland are thoroughly decent honest folk, there's always the odd exception, so it pays to do your homework. Check review sites and get the opinion of others before you commit to hiring.
At Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage we've been serving the people and businesses of the city and the surrounding suburbs for many years. We're more than happy to provide references and testimonials and what's more, we won't hassle you for business. If you've got a plumbing or drainage issue, no matter how big or small, contact us today on 1300 740 206 for a no-obligation quote.