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Roto Rooter

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They Will Scam You With Ripoff Prices
Posted by Ok4now on 12/03/2012
I had a plumbing problem on a Saturday night. From the ceiling in my heater room I had water spraying from the overhead copper cold water pipe. What a mess. The gas furnace, duct work and floor were covered in water. I quickly turned the main off to prevent further damage. Problem now was I couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from. The pipes were not accessible due to the ceiling location.

I called a plumber who I had used previously. He wanted a $100 dollar "emergency fee" plus normal charges. Called a 2nd plumber found in the Yellow Pages. He wanted a $148 dollar emergency fee plus charges. A 3rd plumber refused service because I wasn't a regular customer. You're really at the mercy of these people and they're looking to gouge you because it's a weekend.

My last call was to Roto Rooter. No "emergency fee or trip charge." I was told thy would give me a repair price with no obligation. Sounded good and they arrived in less than an hour. The problem was quickly found, a small pin size hole in the pipe. This is an easy fix. The repairman wanted to make money and said the entire pipe must be replaced at a cost of $375.00. What a rip off!! I refused and showed him the door. I then repaired it myself with a rubber washer and a hose clamp. Total cost $2.00 dollars. Problem solved. Don't allow yourself to become a victim to these unscrupulous scam artists.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-12-03:
Yes, calling a plumber on a weekend or at night is going to cost you. Always has been that way. This is a special trip on personal time, and honestly I would charge a premium to be on call as well. You do need to know who charges the most, however, and avoid them.

You didn't fix the pipe. You patched a hole using a Rube Goldberg, and it is likely the pipe wall will fail again, especially near this area.

It's great that you apparently got a free diagnosis from Roto Rooter, when you couldn't locate the problem yourself, but the pipe will have to be properly repaired. It's hard to know if $375 is excessive or not, without seeing the job. Copper is expensive, and you described an area that may be hard to access.
Posted by Pudding cake!!! on 2012-12-03:
Where I live, a plumber who does work has to bring his work up to code. He can not just stick a washer and a clamp on a hole and call it a day.

Posted by madconsumer on 2012-12-03:
after hours plumbing is never cheap. i use roto rooter exclusively for my business plumbing repairs, and have always been extremely satisfied. once copper pipes go bad, they require re-placement.

since you did not allow the first two to give you estimates, you will never know what they would have charged. could have been the trip fee since the task was minimal.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-12-04:
Sounds like a rip off to me (VH)
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All worked up
Posted by Lanesmiles23 on 10/15/2011
NEW YORK -- I called Roto Rooter to handle a simple kitchen sink clog. They worked through the bottom of my kitchen sink area and snaked 20 feet to the drain in my basement. After about 20 minutes, The Tech called for backup to snake out my problem. The backup came and continued to snake. After about 45 minutes, my son went down to the basement to play ping pong, and to find water all over the place. The two Techs handled the snake so badly, that they punctured the pipe with two holes". They told me that they could replace the pipe for $900.00 plus the cost of parts.. They went to their truck and brought back a used pipe and attempted to install it?. I refused to let them install a used pipe in my house and told them that I was very upset that I could not use my kitchen sink, and gave them a lecture about what the name on their uniform stood for;. I assumed it stood for competentcy, quality and professionalism?. They said that they would come back in the morning with parts from Home Depot:. The next morning they came back and installed the PVC pipe and charged me $1,100.00 for a job that should have cost me $398.00
     
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Posted by GenuineNerd on 2011-10-16:
She called Roto Rooter, that's the name, but away go, her troubles did not go down the drain...they just got worse. Pipe snakes do have sharp tips that can damage PVC or rusted metal pipes.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-16:
Good "point" GN. It's hard to imagine that alleged professionals would be such yahoos that they would send a powered snake with a sharp tip down a PVC pipe in a manner that puts a hole in it. Schedule 40 PVC is very tough and thick material.

However, stranger things have happened. The worst part of this is that the repair cost $700-$1100. I would have never agreed to pay to people that did such damage to repair it. I wonder if the cleaning contract has a clause that states they aren't responsible for damage.

Posted by Venice09 on 2011-10-17:
I hope you tried some Drano or Liquid Plumber before calling Roto Rooter.

Very helpful review.
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