By Angie Hicks
(MCT)—Marc Arnold decided it was time to fix his running toilets, so he hired a plumber to replace the “guts” of four toilets in his Tacoma, Wash., home. Arnold had just signed up for a monthly service plan with the plumbing company, in which he was supposed to receive special discounts on service calls.
Instead, when his plumber provided him the estimate, Arnold had a case of sticker shock.
“All the things were just outrageously expensive,” Arnold says. “For just one flapper, he quoted a price of $247 before tax for a part that I knew was about $8. If I had him do (all four toilets) it would have been over $1,000 — for just the flappers. That’s ridiculous.”
Arnold sent the plumber on his way, purchased the parts himself and hired another professional to install them for a fraction of the original estimate.
His story, though, of being overcharged for a simple toilet repair is a common one. A number of reports on Angie’s List recount similar experiences in which homeowners called out a plumber for what they thought was a minor repair, only to be told they need to spend several hundreds and even thousands of dollars. One 80-year-old member was told her running toilet would need to be replaced at a cost of $2,400.
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