107 South West Street, #717, Alexandria, VA | Directions 2231438.805732 -77.054857
Open and Available 24/7/365
Neighborhoods: Old Town
Deceptive Practices – BEWARE! There's a reason why Roto-Rooter tells you they can have a plumber to your house within the hour --when others have a 1-2 day wait-- and that the service call is free. I didn't want to be without a working garbage disposal over a weekend, so I OK-ed for them to come out. The plumber inspected the disposal and provided me with a written estimate. On the statement, he drew two boxes next to each of the estimates. The first box was to get the garbage disposal working for $189, and the second box was to replace the disposal with a brand new one for $289. He recommended a replacement because he cannot guarantee that the disposal will continue to work for more than 1-2 yrs.
When I asked him what was wrong with the disposal, he gave me a "something is stuck in the disposal" but there was some corrosion so I will have to replace it soon, if not today (thinking back, this is BS). Looking at the two prices, I specifically asked him whether those prices are total prices and whether the parts are included. He explained to me that there are no parts involved in the first estimate and that the parts are included in the second one. So I initialed the second box, signed at the bottom and he replaced the garbage disposal. After he finished, he took out the paperwork, drew a third box below the second one, added $374 for the garbage disposal "the parts." He then put a check mark inside this third box, as if I authorized it, then also placed a check mark inside that second box that already has my initials. The total came to $663. So this is when I blew my lid and he looked at me as if I had to know that a garbage disposal doesn't cost $100.
If fact, a garbage disposal does cost $100, $99 to be exact -- at the Home Depot. He then explained to me that I asked for a higher quality disposal (yes, that model costs $169) and there are other parts involved (plumber's putty?). He then asked me to call my husband. Why, Mr. Plumber? I've earned my PhD and JD before my husband came along, do I really need to check with him for this matter? After all, I'm just a girl. Tell you what, I'll call your manager instead...
So the manager concluded that it was a miscommunication and they decided the best course of action was to put the old disposal back, as if they did not do the work. So did the plumber put the old parts back the way it was? Of course not, before, the "non-working" disposal had a humming sound, indicating a motor is still going. After he reinstall it, the motor was dead. I guess, he made sure that I will have to replace the disposal now....
I assure you, there was no miscommunication because I went back and forth with him several times to make sure we were clear before the work was to start. Deception? A big yes! He sprung that price on me after everything was completed and after the clean up. Bottom line, they gave me an estimate of $289, but wanted to charge me $663 after they completed the work.
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