Why People Get Confused (Note: more details concerning this topic are available in the book OnlinePlumbingAdvice.com)
It’s important to learn to tell the difference between a plumber that focuses on your best interest and a plumber that focuses on his best interest. If you understand why plumbers do business the way they do, you will be less confused and learn to spot the plumber with your best interest in mind.
Listening to customers is one of the most important parts of my job. Noting what customers say and how they say it helps me focus on what I need to say. After I answer questions, I listen to the customer’s response. I try to determine if customers understand my advice. I try to adjust my communication skills to fit each customer. As I wrote my book OnlinePlumbingAvice.com I focused on what I learned from talking to my customers.
One thing I learned concerns misplaced trust. I think the majority of the readers need to know that misplaced trust and failure to identify experts often results in major long-term problems. I find it disturbing that in recent years, most people seem to make plumbing decisions based on less than trustworthy advice. People seem to trust anyone that claims to be an expert.
Plumbing is not as simple or easy as many people think. It’s important to take a more serious look at plumbing and focus on the long-term consequences of overlooking small details.
If plumbing work was as simple as it is often portrayed on television and other media, it wouldn’t matter who did it. It wouldn’t matter which plumber you use or even if you did it yourself. If boring, time-consuming, details weren’t important, it wouldn’t matter if you based your plumbing decisions on misleading entertainment. The truth is the details are important and decisions should be based on quality research.
The power of the media to make things seem simple and easy to do is entertaining. People want simple, easy ways to solve problems. Entertainment is designed to give people what they want. The easy-how- to -do it entertainment trend seems to distract people from doing quality research.
If reliable plumbing and sanitation weren’t so important this misguided trend wouldn’t be so dangerous. If satisfactory long-term results didn’t rely on often overlooked details, overlooked details wouldn’t matter.
Many people oversimplify plumbing and fail to understand that all plumbers are not the same (many are not even real plumbers). People who assume all plumbers are equally skilled and equally honest enjoy price shopping for plumbers but often learn the mistake of this approach the hard way. These same people expect a plumber to offer round-the-clock availability. This is a big mistake that they typically learn after major problems occur.
You can avoid lots of problems, if you research plumbers before they come to your home. Focus on the qualifications of the plumber and the amount of time the plumber works at your home. Focus on paying for what you get. Don’t expect the best plumbers to be on standby twenty-four/seven or to waste a lot of time guessing how much time it will take to do small plumbing jobs.
When people call me to ask about prices, less than three of every one hundred callers ask about the qualifications of the person who will do the work. When I explain the difference between a technician, an installer, and a plumber, they usually seem uninterested. Many people seem to expect convenient or immediate after-hours scheduling. These people don’t seem to realize that most good plumbers need to schedule work during normal business hours.
Sadly, many people fail to understand the value of journeymen plumbers and master plumbers who have worked in the trade many years and successfully passed a plumbing test. All journeymen plumbers and master plumbers are not equally honest or equally qualified, but some focus on qualifications is better than none. As customers fail to realize that all plumbers are not the same, the quality of their plumbing will suffer. The frequency of emergency plumbing problems will increase, and over time these people will learn how important good plumbers are.
There is a major shortage of trustworthy plumbers. People are beginning to realize that bad plumbing causes mold problems, health problems, and other very dangerous problems. Long-term sanitary living conditions in your home will depend on your ability to find a trustworthy plumber. Finding, communicating with, and building a mutually beneficial relationship with a trustworthy plumber will make you an established customer. Many trustworthy plumbers only accept a limited number of new customers, so the sooner you become a new customer, the faster you become an established customer. It is important that you learn to focus properly as you search for a trustworthy plumber.
Focus on qualifications and reputation as you shop for a good plumber. Learn to avoid emergency situations by properly maintaining your plumbing. If it’s difficult for you to leave work to meet a plumber at your house during regular business hours, find a church member, family member, or friend who can. Consider hiring a property manager or other professional to help find and/or meet plumbers and other tradesmen as needed.
Quality plumbing repairs will help you avoid future problems. Low-quality, convenient repairs today could result in untimely, inconvenient problems tomorrow. Bargain shopping for small plumbing work usually ends up with you paying more for less. Focus on the quality of the plumber and the amount of time he works at your home. Work, promises, and prices are only valuable if provided by a trustworthy plumber.
A Checklist for Determining the Value of a Plumber
Determine if the person who will show up at your home and do the work:
- Is a properly licensed journeyman or master plumber
- Specializes in the type of plumbing work you need
- Has an established reputation—good or bad
- Is properly insured
This checklist, any other research you can do, and talking to neighbors should help you avoid costly, aggravating mistakes.