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Worth the Money?

Jan 5th, 2018 | By | Category: Geri Roskopf's Blog

My son woke up to frozen water pipes and no water on New Year’s Day. He called a plumber and was charged $300. The plumber cut a hole in the wall and used a blowtorch to warm the pipe coming in from the garage. They were able to get water running downstairs, but not upstairs. After purchasing two small space heaters and putting another hole in the outside wall, my son got water flowing through the entire house the next day. Oh, the joys of owning a home.

Was it worth the money to have a plumber come out? I guess the question really is, did my son have a choice? Plumbers, like towers, are often called when the customer is in dire need — right now. I’m sure with the cold temperatures and winter weather you’ve all received calls from customers asking how long will it take to tow their vehicles and how much it’s going to cost. It surprises me when the customer says, “It’s going to take that long?” And/or “That’s way too much.” I sometimes want to ask customers who think a price quoted is “way too much,” what would they pay? And would they be willing to work for that in below-zero weather?

I saw an invoice to have an emergency lightbulb replaced by an electrician. The description on the invoice read: Emergency light in truck bay area is not working. Furnish and install (1) emergency light. The charges were as follows: labor: $147.00, material: $53.69 and vehicle service charge: $30.00. The total charge with tax was $243.61. The person replacing the bulb used their company’s Skyreach and it took less than five minutes.

Was the material and service worth the money? How do you put a value on the material and services you provide? Like my son, I’m not a plumber, so when one is needed, I pay for the service. To me, the same rule applies to the professionals of towing.