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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Five Reasons Roto-Rooter sucks...

1) When I call at 8:30 a.m., and I'm promised someone will be there in *20* minutes, it's NOT acceptable for them to show up at 10:30 a.m, TWO hours later. Hello, I DO have a life. It's Sunday, and yes, while I DO have raw sewage hanging out in my wash basin in the basement, I DO have other plans today - mainly food shopping so I can feed my gaggle of kids.

2) Complaining about how much you hate your job in *front* of a customer is never acceptable. It's actually poor form. I don't want to hear how crappy the jobs you get called out on are, or how much you hate working outside when it's freezing outside. Dude, that's part of your JOB. If you don't want to work outside, or if you don't want to work around human feces, DON'T WORK FOR ROTO ROOTER!

3) Don't get all pissy when you tell me an exorbitantly high price to fix my clogged main sewer drain ($315 plus tax) and I tell you that I don't HAVE that much cash on me. AND certainly don't say "Can't you go inside and ask your husband for money"? Yes, I know there's no way for him to know that my husband isn't inside my house, but rather in his own apartment 3 miles away, but c'mon -- just don't assume that I'm a happily married woman with a husband inside who'll just give me loads of cash to pay you.

4) When I ask you if I can use a check instead of cash, there's no need to be bitchy and tell me that you already rang it up as cash. OK, just rip off the receipt and re-ring it up for a check. I'm sure it only takes 3 minutes to do that. But no, you were content in taking every last dollar of cash that I had, even though it means I can't go food shopping for my kids until at least Wednesday. That's not for you to worry about though, right?

5) After all is said and done, and I forked over all my cash to you and everything is signed, that's NOT the time to tell me that eventually I'll need a new $4,000 sewer system b/c the old one is orange piping something or other. I really don't want to hear that.

What did I learn after shelling out $267.50 to this guy -- I had a massive clog at the outside sewer line, caused by tree roots and compressed cardboard. Huh? I want to know how compressed cardboard got into the sewer line? I'm pretty sure none of my kids have a secret hobby of flushing cardboard down the toilet. *sigh* That's just my life, I guess.

The good news is the clog is fixed, the toilet doesn't back up, my wash basin isn't filled with shit, and I can do laundry again. So I guess that's the 'good' that came out of the day.

14 comments:

Kim @ What's That Smell said...

What a pain! And very expensive, wow.

Miranda said...

Yikes! Yes, I'd be curious about the backed up cardboard too. lol

I'm sorry you had such a cruddy day.

I've just tagged you! http://www.keeperofthecheerios.com/2009/01/to-know-me-more.html

Jon said...

1. Two hour response time from a plumbing company on a SUNDAY and you're complaining? three cheers for Roto-Rooter.
2. Agree on attitude
3. Pipe is called orangeburg, often described as pressed tarpaper or cardboard. Its obsolete and you'll have to replace it soon enough.

Bloggymommy said...

That sucks!!! What a jerk for being all bitchy! That's very expensive too, I'm sorry that you can't go food shopping until Wednesday! I wish you lived closer and I would have you over for dinner so your little ones could have full bellys and play time with my kids! Hope your day got better!?

jon said...

jon you gut the right idea. im a roto rooter employee outta boston and people sometimes forget that we are normal hard workin people jsut like most of our customers (and i mean MOST not ALL) people want to complain about our prices, thaqt are set by corporate, and fail to realize a roto rooter plumber makes money on commision, so when you have us come out and say "thanks for the free estimate" and send us on our way you're f***ing us out of gas and time we could have spent on another job with people who understand u need to PAY someone more than peanuts to get themselves covered in you and your lovely family's sewage. and when a plumber tells you, like jon said, that you are going to need a new main sewer line, he's only trying to save you $$ in the long run. now that is from the mouth of a man on the other side of this discussion. please reply with what you think.

louis said...

Plumber arrived beyond the two hours window. OK, I wanted the slow kitchen drain fixed. That was $325. The he suggested that I replace the trap, $250 labor plus $ 53 parts.
I told him I had a Roto Rooter online coupon for a 20% off on the second job, same day. Saved $ 50. The bill was by now quite high, and he said he would give me another $ 30 credit.
Then somehow, he discovered that my disposer was leaking as well. To replace it with a new one, he asked $ 750. That's when I told him I would get a price from my regular plumber, who quoted 360.
At this point, seeing that i was not completely stupid, he matched my plumber's price..... I went ahead with him as I just wanted to get it over with.
The final adjusted, discounted, negotiated, bill came to $ 903.98.
Not bad for a day of negotiating and aggravation. I must say however that he knew his job, and the work was done properly.
Had I waited another day I could have had this job done by my regular plumber for about $ 500.
The reason Roto Rooter gets away with prices more than double is because they maintain an organization which responds 24 hrs a day. If you want it "now" then pay up!
Louis, Philadelphia

Joetheplumber said...

Roto Rooter is not a Plumbing Company, its a money machine, its owned by chemed holdings a publicly traded company. there are few plumbers on staff in most branches. thats why they are called technicians and not titled PLUMBERS. most go through an in house training of about 12 weeks then they are sent out to milk as much money out of the non suspecting home owner as posible. pressure is put on the technician to produce set sales amounts if you fail to meet these goals you are let go. only after investing in tools a van and other items that the company requires you to provide. most of these technician have no knowledge of the local much less national plumbing codes. most work performed by these individuals would never pass inspection. 30% commission is the start up figure. the more they charge the more they make. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. Im not saying that they do not have good plumbers but if you place a service call its like playing Russian roulette if your lucky you'll get an experienced plumber over priced but at least with true plumbing knowledge but for the most part you'll end up with a guy that was probably delivering pizza 4 months before. its sad that this company is dragging the plumbing trade through the sewer sort to speak. a void using this company. OH and by the way when the service representative tells you that they have some one on the way,, BULL its a sale tactic, they figure you'll stop calling other companies if you know some one is one the way.

Joetheplumber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
face said...

I called Roto Rooter on Saturday - there was debris backing up in my tub. They came out that afternoon and snaked the drain for $450.00 and two hours later they figured out they were snaking the wrong drain. Then they said that it was clogged so they called in the camera guy for another $400.00. Then they told me my main had a belly in it and it would cost me another $4200.00. I paid it because I could not wait until monday when my real plumber was returning from vacation and I was worried the backup would continue as it was in now, the toilet as well. The excavator came by to talk to me that evening to tell me that a tree branch might have to be trimmed up. I had my gardner come by that evening and prune the tree back all the way around to avoid any issues with the excavator in the morning. The following morning - the camera guy missed the calculations and now my entire birch tree (3 years old) had to be pulled out. I told them I wanted to save it. Just as I said that the excavator jammed the bucket head down on it and the other worker took a shovel and smacked off the roots at the base of the tree. I went crazy and started screaming and told them I would dig the young tree up and stop hacking on it with a shovel. I got it out of the ground and the worker through it to the grown shattering it in two at the top where it had a wishbone form. I moved it and put it in water but it did not make it. I asked for Roto Rooter to give me consideration for the tree as it was my only source of shade in my backyard and was well over 25 feet tall. They told me they weren't going to bring in another tree. I asked them politely again and they said they would send a supervisor to ensure everything was done right in terms of the plumbing job. I asked for consideration again and they sent out two guys to bully me. What a bunch of clowns. They send a team of bullies at 50/hour and can't purchase a $50.00 tree. Long and short- DON'T USE THESE GUYS - EVER - WHEN YOU GO TO THEIR WEBSITE AND CLICK CAREERS - THERE IS A POSTING FOR A PLUMBER BUT MUST HAVE SALES EXPERIENCE. CALL ALL ASPECTS PLUMBING 206 571-0137. Scott came by from All Aspects and said the job would have cost $1800.00 total with permitting. I FEEL ROBBED.
Faceless

face said...

I called Roto Rooter on Saturday - there was debris backing up in my tub. They came out that afternoon and snaked the drain for $450.00 and two hours later they figured out they were snaking the wrong drain. Then they said that it was clogged so they called in the camera guy for another $400.00. Then they told me my main had a belly in it and it would cost me another $4200.00. I paid it because I could not wait until monday when my real plumber was returning from vacation and I was worried the backup would continue as it was in now, the toilet as well. The excavator came by to talk to me that evening to tell me that a tree branch might have to be trimmed up. I had my gardner come by that evening and prune the tree back all the way around to avoid any issues with the excavator in the morning. The following morning - the camera guy missed the calculations and now my entire birch tree (3 years old) had to be pulled out. I told them I wanted to save it. Just as I said that the excavator jammed the bucket head down on it and the other worker took a shovel and smacked off the roots at the base of the tree. I went crazy and started screaming and told them I would dig the young tree up and stop hacking on it with a shovel. I got it out of the ground and the worker through it to the grown shattering it in two at the top where it had a wishbone form. I moved it and put it in water but it did not make it. I asked for Roto Rooter to give me consideration for the tree as it was my only source of shade in my backyard and was well over 25 feet tall. They told me they weren't going to bring in another tree. I asked them politely again and they said they would send a supervisor to ensure everything was done right in terms of the plumbing job. I asked for consideration again and they sent out two guys to bully me. What a bunch of clowns. They send a team of bullies at 50/hour and can't purchase a $50.00 tree. Long and short- DON'T USE THESE GUYS - EVER - WHEN YOU GO TO THEIR WEBSITE AND CLICK CAREERS - THERE IS A POSTING FOR A PLUMBER BUT MUST HAVE SALES EXPERIENCE. CALL ALL ASPECTS PLUMBING 206 571-0137. Scott came by from All Aspects and said the job would have cost $1800.00 total with permitting. I FEEL ROBBED.
Faceless

face said...

I called Roto Rooter on Saturday. They came out that afternoon and snaked the drain for $450.00 and two hours later they figured out they were snaking the wrong drain. It didn't get fixed so they called in the camera guy for another $400.00. They told me sewer had a break and it would cost me another $4200.00. I could not wait until monday to call around and I was worried the backup would continue as it was in now, the toilet as well. The excavator came by to talk to me that evening to tell me that a tree branch might have to be trimmed up. I had my gardner come by that evening and prune the tree back all the way around to avoid any issues with the excavator in the morning. The following morning - the camera guy missed the calculations and now my entire birch tree (3 years old) had to be pulled out. I told them I wanted to save it. Just as I said that the excavator jammed the bucket head down on it and the other worker took a shovel and smacked off the roots at the base of the tree. I went crazy and started screaming and told them I would dig the young tree up and stop hacking on it with a shovel. I got it out of the ground and the worker through it to the grown shattering it in two at the top where it had a wishbone form. I moved it and put it in water but it did not make it. I asked for Roto Rooter to give me consideration for the tree as it was my only source of shade in my backyard and was well over 25 feet tall. They told me they weren't going to bring in another tree. I asked them politely again and they said they would send a supervisor to ensure everything was done right in terms of the plumbing job. I asked for consideration again and they sent out two guys to bully me. What a bunch of clowns. They send a team of bullies at 50/hour and can't purchase a $50.00 tree. Long and short- DON'T USE THESE GUYS - EVER - WHEN YOU GO TO THEIR WEBSITE AND CLICK CAREERS - THERE IS A POSTING FOR A PLUMBER BUT MUST HAVE SALES EXPERIENCE. CALL ALL ASPECTS PLUMBING 206 571-0137. Scott came by from All Aspects and said the job would have cost $1800.00 total with permitting.
Faceless

tim said...

Joetheplumber,how can you say that they hire kids that delivered pizza for months? I don't think those kids that they hire,could afford to buy a van and tools if they weren't plumbers in the past. Every customer has a right to ask the technician for their rotorooter badge, which will tell them if that tech is an apprentice, journeyman, or master plumber. That said, every customer can choose who will perform work. And we are on stand by all the time, so if we get a job, we fly right over to get it done, except maybe a weekend,where we have to leave and drop whatever we are doing and go help someone with their "shit" while listening them complain. The job we do most of the time, could give us all hepatitis b, therefore we take extra precausions which take time, which is money.

Kooz said...

Couldn't agree more. (In fact, and unfortunately, I just posted a very similar blog post: http://kooztop5.blogspot.com/2012/02/top-5-reasons-roto-rooter-sucks.html). Sounds like your experience might have beenw rose than mine though!

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