It often seems that plumbers are a required evil. They straighten out your faulty plumbing. In addition they fix and service things such as your central heating boiler which - like the majority of
essentials - always generally seems to make a mistake at the worst possible time. If your regular plumber is always promising to generate "tomorrow" or just never returns your calls because he's too
busy, how will you choose a new plumber and make sure they're more reliable?
1. Person to person
Asking friends and neighbours who they use when they have a plumbing problem can be quite a good way to discover a reliable plumber. Your friends will know first hand whether their call was answered
and returned, perhaps the plumber resulted in somewhere near to the agreed time and if the charge was reasonable.
Ideally you should choose anyone who has been used for many years in a row. That will boost your chance to getting good service that's worth the amount of money you pay for it.
2. Check they are registered
In the UK, the Gas Safe site has details of most plumbers who have passed their certification requirements. This at least means your chosen plumber has been tested by an organisation that's a
reputation to protect.
If there's any doubt - or if this really is initially you're using this kind of plumber - don't just take their reassurance that they're registered, spend a moment or two online doing your own due
3. Check just how long they've been trading
The longer the plumber has been trading, the better.
Ideally from the same address.
If you've got some old copies of Yellow Pages or the Phone Book acting as makeshift doorstops, you can flick through those.
If not - and assuming the plumber has an internet site - it is possible to learn how long their domain name has been registered. Just enter it in one of the numerous online "WhoIs" tools, enter the
domain name and you'll find when their domain was first registered. This provides you with advisable of the minimum length of time they have been trading. Always assuming they've got round to
registering a domain name - not always a given with this particular trade.
4. Check their reviews
There isn't a Tripadvisor equivalent for plumbers but you will find sometimes reviews of plumbers on other sites and even yet in the Google results.
Much like any review, the odds of someone taking time and energy to post a positive review will be a lot slimmer when compared to a bugged customer posting a poor review.
There may typically be the sporadic negative review. Just beware if you discover too many of them!
And beware if you learn a lot of reviews that are positive without negative ones interspersed.
You'll instinctively understand what looks natural - go with this first reaction rather than making the important points fit your overwhelming desire to utilize the first plumber
plumber who actually answers their phone or calls you back.
5. If time permits, get another quote
OK, this isn't always possible in the real world. Particularly for a profession that is notorious for being poor to respond.
But particularly for larger jobs such as replacing a whole central home heating, it's worth getting multiple quote for the work.
And if it is a larger job, check what type of guarantee you get. At a minimum, you'll need the manufacturer's guarantee, so check that you will get the completed card before you let your plumber
leave. Don't go as far as laying a stinger on your drive but do make certain they've legibly completed the card including their (checked!) Gas Safe number if appropriate.