1. Ask for references from friends and neighbors: before you hire a plumber, do ensure that they hold sufficient training and experience in handling household repairs. The best way to start your search is asking your friends and neighbors for references.
2. Read online reviews: most users who use plumbing service after looking it up online leave reviews of their experience. Make sure you check these reviews thoroughly before hiring their services. It is important to ensure that the plumber has the requisite license and safety track record to allow them access of your homes.
3. Check the Hourly Rates: There is no point in haggling later. It is always advisable to enquire about hourly rates and charges so that you can make an informed decision. Not all plumbers will charge you the same, so make your choice after carefully reviewing your options.
4. Ask for emergency service availability: What is the point of hiring a plumber who can not address your requirement when you need it the most? Enquire about their service standards and how soon will they be able to reach when you call them. This is the reason you should always look for plumbers that are closer to home.
5. Guarantee of work for at least 6-months: Don't hire a plumber who cannot give you guarantee of work that he will do in your house. There should be at least a six month guarantee on his services. This is important because it reflects on plumbers' skills and confidence in their own work.
6. Don't neglect the insurance: Another important factor that needs to be considered is the insurance provision offered by the plumber. Make sure that the expert you bring home is insured himself or by his employer. You don't want to worry about the medical bills should an accident happen under your roof.
7. Always hire a licensed plumber: You cannot verify a plumber's credentials unless they are licensed. A professional who is not worried about their credentials will show pretty much the same attitude towards your work as well!
8. Don't just believe it, verify it: any qualifications and credentials that your plumber or plumbing service promises should not be taken at the face value. You should always verify all their claims, right from insurance to license.
9. Check for professional affiliations: If you are looking into a company to hire plumbers, be sure to check their past history with clients and whether they are serving any business clients. This shows the provider's work ethic and experience.
10. Call the Business Phone: The best way to assess a service provider's work ethic is by checking how they respond to incoming phone calls. If you are able to get through to the plumber easily or the secretary is well informed about most of your queries, then it is safe to talk further with them.
11. Shop around: Don't go with the first plumber you call. Ask around for quotes and have at least three of them before you make a final selection. A company that offers you the cheapest service may not be the best. So be sure to check what they are or aren't offering in their low service charges.
12. Take it in writing: Anything that has been discussed on the phone is not enough. You need all of it in writing. They should give you a quoted price with all the services included and not included. If the plumber refuses to give you an acknowledgment of agreed rates, then it is a flag you cannot ignore.
13. Conduct due diligence: Reading reviews online is not enough. You need to go a step further to ensure the plumbing service is as good as it claims. Check out Better Business Bureau before you come to any conclusions. Don't let a few poor reviews sway your opinion if they have largely been recommended by other clients. Make a call of judgment based on your due diligence.
14. Check for Complaints Against Them: When you are finally down to a few names that you are considering hiring, check how many complaints have been filed against them. The best place to start digging deeper is your state's licensing board. This is the first place where resentful customers will first go.
15. Ask for list of previous clients: you can get a good idea about the plumbing company's professionalism by looking into the clients they have served previously. Ask them if they can furnish a list of previous clients. If you so wish, you can also call a name or two to validate the company's competence.
16. Check References: A good plumbing company will have several references that you can look into. It is really crucial for you to call and check if they are authentic. What you are looking for is basically people that can vouch for their quality of service.
17. Prequalify Plumbers: This may seem like a lot of work. However, the company that you choose to hire should be reliable. You never know when the emergency strikes and having a quality on hand can make a huge difference to the plumbing situation.
18. Ask for service hours: The best companies usually work round the clock. Plumbing emergencies can arise anytime. Not knowing whom to call then can escalate the issue. A plumber that provides you 24/7 service is the one you should have in your phonebook.
19. Transparency of Rates: The last thing you want is a rude shock when you receive a bill in the end. A professional plumber will be clear about their pricing from the start. Ask your plumber to clearly explain how they are charging you and if there will be any extra costs involved. Make sure you also know about any additional charges applicable if you call them outside of business hours.
20. Start your research ahead: find a plumber long before you actually need one. You will not be able to perform all these checks if you have a broken pipe at your hands. So take your time and find the one you can call when an emergency strikes.
21. After-Service Support: The best companies are the ones that provide after-service support, should there be a problem after they service your request. A company that does not have a provision for after-service support is the one you don't need!