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Is it standard procedure for plumber to keep charging to pick up parts?

Hi I had a plumber in as I had leak in my property and my boiler pressure was zero so thought it was cause.

When I first rang the plumber he said it will not take too long probably about 1-2 hours. His hourly rate is £85. He has good reviews on mybuilder

Day 1 : He spent 2 hours looking for a leak couldn't find it. Initially telling me boiler needs to be replaced and quoted me £3,500. Then speaking to someone on technical support said it could be repaired. He said that the expansion vessel needed to be re-pumped. Indicated the cut off switch was damaged, and air valve needs to be replaced. He then went away to pick up air valve and took about an hour which he charged with his hourly rate. Replaced the valve and recommended cleaning the pipes by putting some chemical in system. Left for the day took £400 and said come back next day giving enough time for the chemicals to clean the system.

Day 2: While cleaning out the system (not a power flush), he said well you should really get that cut off switch replaced as it doesn't cut off the boiler when pressure is 0. Again went to get the part and charged me for time it took to pick it up. However he didn't realize that the part didn't come with a washer couldn't fit it in as the previous washer got damaged when taking it out. Said he will come back next day with the washer. As a result central heating was in parts and so no heating. He then charged me another £300 for the couple of hours work.

For next 3 days I was without any heating as he said he couldn't get the washer. When he did finally come out I explained to him that there was still a leak somewhere and the floor was wet. I indicated I believed it was the toilet. He checked it and it was cause of the leak. I was told the part would need to be replaced and over flow pipe needs to be connected. Again he charged me to picking up the part. Everything was completed but charged me £550 for parts and 5 hours to do the job.

My final bill was £1250, of that only £130 was the cost of the parts itself and the rest was labor. That's a big difference compared what I was expecting £100-£300 when I originally spoke to him.

* Is it standard procedure to keep charging to pick up parts (about 3 hours was charged for doing that)?
* Does it really take that long to do the above described job?
* How much should a job really have cost?

4 Answers from MyBuilder Plumbers

Best Answer

£85 an hour?? This is £680 for a standard 8 hour day. You could have got yourself a heart surgeon or a nasa scientist for that kind of money. He is taking the piss big time.


Answered 24th Jan 2014

Cant believe he charged you £85 an hour. Cant stand plumbers that think they can charge the earth for what is an average skill, its ridiculous!


Answered 25th Jan 2014

This is not common practice at all, he was ripping you off big time. I hope you managed to write a review.


Answered 30th Jan 2014

Wow you have paid way too much for the work he has carried out, you shouldn't have accepted an £85 hourly rate. Lots of tradesmen charge in different ways and at different rates, I wouldn't accept paying his hourly rate while he goes for parts. Next time your boiler breaks down, ring around for the best quote and don't pay silly hourly rates unless its an emergency.


Answered 23rd Jan 2014

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