They Almost Scammed this Guy

My post about the sewer camera scam has gotten a lot of attention.  People now google such terms to find out whether the plumbing company is trying to buffalo them into handing over thousands of dollars unnecessarily.  I’ve probably gotten a dozen jobs from Memphians like that, but it was especially heartwarming to get this email from Pennsylvania:

Dear Kevan, Thank you so much for your well written article on Sewer Replacement Scams. I recently had a sewage backup in my basement. I called a plumbing company I had trusted for years (they used to be small and family run; now they are large and who knows). They sent the tech with the “roto-rooter” machine. He pulled lots of stuff from the pipe, including loads of toilet wipes. Yet he was not able to clear the pipe. “Needed to send the truck with the water jet and camera” ($650; I had no choice). He only charged me $65 for his failure.

The camera and jet crew arrived and cleared line. Problem though. “You see that water laying in the pipe. Shouldn’t be any water at all. You got a bellied pipe under your garage. Only gonna get worse. You should be OK for a couple of weeks. I will give you an estimate to repair it.”

He cavalierly handed me an estimate for the repair…$10,500. Since then the company has called twice to ask when I would like to go ahead with the job. When I told them I would like to get other bids, the rep said, “We will beat any written price.” Red flag.

Been 4 weeks without issue. I’m not saying I don’t have a problem; so I will watch it. However, it sure seems quite a bit like the scenario you wrote about. As time goes by, if it becomes obvious that this was attempted larceny, the plumbing company will have social media hell to pay.

Thanks again for your alert.