James from Zes Bro Plumbing fixed a trio of seemingly small issues today. Water leaked from the shut-off valve of the toilet in our main floor bathroom. The tap in our master bath had been slow-dripping water for some time now. And the outdoor spiget alongside the house was missing a piece which connected to a hose. I’m thinking the construction crew that remodeled our kitchen/dining room a few years ago might have removed it when they were contracted to also build steps leading down the adjacent slope.
James, the plumber, did an outstanding job, informing me of the structural issues and what he planned to do to repair the problems. If there were options based upon price, he would tell me what they were and allow me to decide between them. Because we’ll be remodeling the master bath next year, and to some extent the main bath, I went with the cheaper solutions. James agreed with my decisions.
In order to repair the outdoor water faucet, James had to run to the hardware store for a part. He indicated he would be gone 25 minutes, and he was true to his word. Several minutes later, he had completed all designated tasks. Plumbers aren’t cheap, but I thought his charge for parts and labor of $291 for 3 hours work was fair. My husband agreed. It wasn’t the nightmare that others have complained about when repairmen have greedily charged exhorbitant rates. And when they’ve got you “over a barrel,” what can you do but pay up, or go 9 rounds in a confrontational match.
Whenever I require something, from a hotel to a repair person to a furniture mover, I troll the internet looking for reviews. When we’ve traveled to another state or to Europe, I have spent many a day and night winding my way through TripAdvisor.com. Reading others’ reviews of hotels, scenic sights, and restaurants, saved me the aggravation and expense of buying into something I might regret. Of course no two people are exactly the same in their likes and dislikes, but most people want pretty much the same when it comes to basics. It’s usually the extras where we might differ. Give me clean, good value, good attitude. Helpful, friendly, charming, quality are the added perks for which I’ll pay a little extra. TripAdvisor lets me decide where I’ll spend my money.
Yelp is another internet tool that offers the opinions of real consumers, like you and me. And unlike Angie’s List, Yelp is free. That’s where I searched for a review on a plumber I had thought of using. The company had a coupon in the monthly ValPak envelope I get in the mail. I’m glad I turned to Yelp, before calling Southwest Plumbing. Of the several complaints, the main ones were that the workers often arrived late for the job, and the prices quoted were excessive. One was for $1,345! And the homeowner sounded unprepared for that figure, whatever it was he was having done.
It’s highly doubtful that I would hire someone “blind,” or travel somewhere without first doing extensive research. I can always count on TripAdvisor and Yelp to assist, any time of the day or night. They’re on-call, 24/7. And if they don’t have what I need, I just google what it is I’m looking for, or look on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Their info is not as great as the first-hand reviews available from TripAdvisor and Yelp, but anything is better than nothing.
feel better knowing someone’s been down that road………before me ………….hugmamma.
I didn’t know about Yelp or TripAdvisor. Thank you. I knew about Angie’s List, but I thought they charged too much money. -Theresa
I agree! And I didn’t want to pay for something which I couldn’t peruse first, before deciding if it suit me or not.
…but hey!…we live in a capitalistic society…there’s even a fee for friendly advice. 😉
I usually go on referrals of our neighbors – our subdivision is pretty about sharing that information. I’ll have to try these Internet sites – thanks!
Referrals by people we know are always best. You’re very fortunate you’ve got a “built in” TripAdvisor and Yelp. 🙂
Great article. I can always hope I’ll need one of them in the near future!
Hope you read my follow-up post which adds a “footnote” to using TripAdvisor and Yelp. 🙂
Great article, thanks. I agree that a little research goes a long way to feeling confident about whatever consultant I may need. I didn’t know about TripAdvisor or Yelp. I will look them both up.
From the little I know about you, I’m sure you’ll do a thorough research, with both eyes wide-open. 😉