As a Dublin plumber I find it hard to stomach the way people expect my services for nothing. For whatever the reason they seem to think my job is easy, when I know it is not. I have a website that brings me my share of business and I like many others advertise “no call out charge, free quotes and have a prices page on my site”.
Even with this and full explanations on the site the amount of people that call and say “how much do you charge?” I reply its €90 per hour or part of for the first hour then in half hour increments. Then I get “but your website says no call out fee”. I always kindly explain that there isn’t one. We don’t charge for the travel to and from your property which could be an hour each way in heavy traffic, our charges for our plumbing services only start when we arrive. I had one guy recently say (his 22 year old boiler had broken down) “well you say you offer free quotes”. I said we’re happy to. So he asked how much a new PCB board would be, then a heat exchanger, I gave him prices but said we wouldn’t know what the fault was until we visited. Then he said “how much would a new boiler be?”, I said €1800-€2,000 dependent on make and model, supply and fit. He said if his boiler was unrepairable would he still have to pay the €90. I said yes but the €90 would be deducted off the price of supply and fitting a new one. What more can I do? When parts are required we don’t charge twice, we take the €90 as a deposit on supplying and fitting the new part.
What people don’t seem to understand and all plumbers in Dublin will tell you, I went to college for 4 years to learn my trade. I did a hands on apprenticeship for 2 years. I then completed my R.G.I. course so I could work with natural gas (€2,000 cost). I run a van which drinks diesel. I also pay tax, insurance, annual service and yearly N.C.T. for my van. My tools of the trade cost over €5,000. I pay insurance premiums for public and private indemnity. I have a website with associated costs, phone costs and employ 1 member of office staff. Finally I pay income tax, P.R.S.I. and U.S.C.
With all these costs people still expect all Dublin plumbers to drive round all day for nothing but to provide expert advice and free quotes. They just hear €90 and think that’s expensive.