Sprinkle A Little Common Sense Into Your System

, , , , , | Working | September 7, 2020

One day, while inspecting our landscaping, I notice a muddy area. Since it did not rain recently, I suspect a leak in one of the sprinkler supply pipes. Digging down to the pipe confirms the location of the leak, so I decide to call some sprinkler system repair places to get an estimate on the cost of quickly replacing a cracked section of pipe.

Me: “I have a small leak in my sprinkler system. What is your hourly rate?”

Employee: “We do not charge by the hour.”

Me: “Then how do you calculate your charges? By the job?”

Employee: “We send a fully-stocked truck to your location, we check your complete system, and then we perform any repairs that are necessary.”

Me: “But how much do you charge?”

Employee: “Our initial inspection is $100. Then, if we find any problems, we fix them.”

Me: “But, my system is working well; all I need is somebody to patch or replace the leaking pipe. I do not need a full system inspection. How much would that cost me?”

Employee: “Our initial inspection is $100. Then, if we find any problems, we will give you a cost estimate to fix the problem.”

Me: “If I do not like the cost, can I refuse any further work?”

Employee: “Yes, you pay the initial inspection fee of $100, and you can accept or refuse the estimate to fix the problem.”

Me: “So, let me get this straight… You charge me $100 for an inspection I do not need, since I have identified and localized the problem, and then your technician will tell me I need to have a leaking pipe patched and give me an estimate for the time of the work and parts, so the entire job might be around $200, but I have to pay $100 even though they don’t fix the leak?”

Employee: “Yes.”

Me: “Thank you, but I will look elsewhere.”

I eventually found a contractor that fixed the leak the next day, for MUCH less than $200!

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