$900 Plumber 1 Hour - 2 Leaking Taps and Fridge Water Filter

Just had to pay $367 for a leaking shower head. $290 for a leaking yard tap. $240 for installing a water filter for our fridge, I had the parts already. So $900 took less than a hour. No call out fee as was already in the area. No major works. Single plumber.

Is this a thing now that plumbers cost more than lawyers?

I was thinking, should I report this to someone?



  • +105

    Did you get a quote and agree to it? Looks like you got taken for a joy ride and a half.

    • +132

      While ideally our OP friend should have done his due diligence, this does not making him deserving of being ripped off.

      This forum is so quick to victim blame and so readily overlooks the fact that the person doing the ripping off is actually the bad guy.

      • -16

        Because it’s common sense to get a quote. If you are willing to hand over an open cheque then don’t whinge later

        • +25

          Unfortunately there is young people who is inexperience dealing with dodgy trader and older folks who do not know better. There is also people who still thinks the world have honest people.

          Those are the people that get taken advantage. I would like to show some compassion than call them out for lacking common sense and pay the price.

          • -2

            @beefmaster: I'm in two minds…. like everything.

            NO one deserves to have their pants pulled down.
            A fool and his money is easily parted/Ignorance is a choice (something GenY onwards excel in)

            • +2

              @Ulysses31: So the point your are making is that people need to try to take personal responsibility, that's a fine point and should not be lost.

              There should not be a cat and mouse game though which allows people to take advantage of others. Where does it stop? e.g.

              80+ year old widow: my kitchen is flooding, I don't know why (kitchen worth 20k)
              Plumber: don't worry I'll be right over
              … an hour later…while kitchen still flooding
              Plumber: Oooh… Ahhh…. I can't tell how much it will be until I do the work, don't worry, I'll take care of you
              80+ year old: Are you sure? I don't want to be stuck with an enormous bill for simple work, but I don't know a lot about plumbing
              Plumber: Don't worry, you're in good hands
              …20 minutes later…
              Plumber: that's $900 please

              You'd have to be pretty harsh to blame the 80 year old in this case. Isn't it just a better system to have this prevented and then we get on with solving climate change or sitting on the beach?

      • -3

        How was that victim blaming?

      • +11

        In the spirit of actually helping:

        • Not all plumbing tasks require special skills. A large number of them you can do yourself with $10 worth of tools and watching a single 10 minute youtube video.

        • For the stuff you need to pay someone else for, try serviceseeking.com.au, and pick someone with a lot of ratings and 5 stars (or close to it). It's not perfect, you still sometimes end up slightly disappointed, but usually the high rated ones are good, and that's waaaaaaayyy better than average for this sort of job.

        • An opportunity for a plumber in my area I guess :)

          We've just notified 0 businesses about your job.

    • +1

      User name checks out in this scenario. All aboard the gravy train !!!

  • +6

    Report it to who if they gave to a quote and you agreed to pay for it then you got no case?

    If you didnt ask for a quote and just told them to do the job then im surprised they didnt charge u more…

    IMO you should be happy the plumber came they normally dont turn im in my experience

    • +2

      Could just refuse to pay it.. Easy.

  • +20

    (1) I had the parts already

    Wow… so $90 labor became $900. When is the next job, sign me up.

    (2) No call out fee as was already in the area

    What? Random plumber asking if you need work done as he was in area? scammed.

    Show us the invoice? Is he legit, Assuming you got one?

    • +21

      $900 was already a discount for paying cash.

    • +10

      The invoice is written on a napkin.

  • +76

    At one point in my life I wanted to become a plumber.

    But it was too draining

    • +48

      So it was a pipe dream?

    • +4

      You dodged a bullet, it’s a shi77y job.

    • +4

      Did he write the book 'Twenty-thousand Leaks Under The Sink'?

    • +5

      My hopes of becoming a plumber were flushed away after getting into uni.

    • +5

      I sink your right ….

    • +1

      Well this joke went down the toilet quick….

  • +16

    Well the obvious question is why you didn't do those jobs yourself. I mean all of them combined is like 30mins max.

    • +3

      I needed it done promptly and didn’t think it would be so much. Also was working from with meeting going on. Learnt my lesson

      • +2

        He took you on a gravy train.

  • +11

    $240 for installing a water filter for our fridge

    And you had the filter already 🤣

    • +1

      Surely the $240 is for installing the plumbing for a tap to connect to the fridge with a filter :-/

      Then again, based on the leaky shower head price, probably not!

  • +63

    Did the plumber wear a balaclava when they told you the price?

  • +1

    lol 😂

  • +7

    $240 to unscrew and re-screw in a new filter 😂

    • 1 fella to hold the filter.
      Another to turn him

  • +38

    Where do you live?
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  • +1

    What was their original quote you agreed was fair and reasonable?

    • I agreed cause I had to get it fixed, that day as I people coming to stay and a few other reasons. The plumber didn’t know that though. But I don’t think it was “fair and reasonable “

      • +6

        You'll always pay through the nose if you have a deadline.

        Try living in a strata complex. It's just bend over, bend over, bend over.

        We needed 15 new smoke detectors this week. The quote from the fire services company that defected them was $1650+GST. We got our electrician in $1085+GST plus $200+GST re-inspection fee from the fire services (as if it will take 1 hour to re-inspect 15 smoke detectors that are all accessible).

        $660+GST for a ventilation system inspection that I carried out in 30 minutes.

        It's a joke.

      • You didn't have to get it fixed…. it had been leaking already otherwise you would not have had 3 jobs to do at once… I know this because I procrastinate sometimes too…. his price is daylight robbery as the parts were worth next to nothing it is his hourly rate which I would think should be less than $150 per hour.

        You agreed to the jobs though so you have no come back, what I would do is tell him that you will be posting the information to the Newcastle FB groups about his service and the prices unless he comes back and gives you a fair deal on the work.

        You also suggest to him that what he is doing is ripping vulnerable people off in the area and therefore you will be taking this up with anyone who will listen.

        If you are forced to put the post up do not call him out as a rip off, you need to make sure that you accurately describe your situation without emotion, tag him as well and also tag any media outlets senior citizen groups that you can.

        Make sure that you do your own research before you post anything negative about a business to ensure you can not be sued for defamation or harming his business, my understanding is that you are within your rights to accurately report on work that was done for you though.

        Never ever buy anything from a door knocker, teach yourself a simple statement that you repeat whenever someone comes to the door (also do the same on tele sales calls)….. "Apologies but I do not buy anything from a door knocker, if I am looking for a product I will call you".

        • Door knockers are also not allowed to make sales with people who cannot speak + understand English. Just be mindful - for whoever may try this - that some sales people may give you a trick question to test this bluff. Like telling you there's a spider/ray on your shoulder to see if you produce a reaction.

          • @UseHerName: Won't have any unwanted door knocks if you put up the sticker saying "Do not knock".

        • leaking shower head
        • leaking yard tap
        • water filter for our fridge

        "Had to get it fixed, that day"

        Sounds like mission-critical stuff.

  • +10

    plumbers cost more than lawyers?

    A plumber fixes some leaky taps in a OP's house and asks for $900.
    OP: “Even Lawyers don’t make so much money in such a short period."
    Plumber: “I know, I used to be a Lawyer myself.”

    should I report this to someone?

    Yes! You should report yourself to this website..


    • +2

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    • You're the kind of person picklewizard and nikko are talking about.

  • +2

    So $900 took less than a hour.


  • +2

    You had the parts, so you knew what was wrong?

    • +8

      He doesn't hold a wrench mate

      • +1

        He has a claw for a hand?

      • +1

        Sounds shifty.

  • +13

    Holy Moly. I should become a plumber. The fees they are charge are extortionate. But in all seriousness, learn to do your own DIY repairs around the home. Watch youtube videos, then go to bunnings and buy the tools and equipment and have a go at doing it yourself. You'll save a fortune and there is immense satisfaction in doing something with your own hands.

    • Exactly not brain surgery or rocket science why pay someone to do it for you?

  • +3

    Can people please for the love of God learn to change a basic tap washer. Why would you pay for something like that? Making a sandwich would be harder.

    • +9

      And….train your family to change tap washers. An ability to carry out DIY is a lasting life legacy. I'm still thanking my Dad.

    • +1

      Yeah, my aunty was charged $150 to change some washers…I said she should've just called me. I still find it odd they charge so much though, if I was a plumber, no way I'd charge that much for such a basic job.

      • A lot of time there is a minimum call out fee to make it worth their time to visit a place. It doesn't matter if the job takes 5 minutes on-site.

        • +1

          Which is around what, $100 right? Still a bit BS as pretty much everytime I've called someone out, they were in the area anyways which makes sense, you want to group jobs based on area but then what's with the ridiculously high call out fee?

  • +3

    Let me guess Jims Plumbing or that outfit from Sydney that featured on ACA.. Tell us the name of the company or post a pic of the receipt

    • +5

      OP do us a service and tell us the business so I can blacklist them and not be ripped off

  • Because every young person wants to go to uni there is a shortage of tradies, hence they can charge what they want. Most self-employed tradies in Sydney are millionaires. If not multi.

    • +5

      To be fair if you're counting property then most people in Sydney are millionaires.

    • yeah go to uni and then drop out 2nd year because they are too spoiled by the stupid high school system.

  • +15

    I think $200 was for the shower and fridge, and the other $600 was for draining your bank account.

  • …and I was complaining when the plumber charged me $560 to water jet a drain, replaced a hot water tempering valve and 3 tap washers.

    • +1

      Yeah especially if it’s for a relative and you’ll never hear the end of it if you (profanity) it up, ~$500 is pretty much expected. OP got ripped hard

    • +1

      Always ask if they use the stupid aquajet machine, the normal drain cleaner device is fine and it should be less than $200 to clear your house drain pipe outside.

      I was charged $550 for just the drain to be cleared and 15 minutes work. (No call out fee inc)

      I complained, they argued with me, after some back and forth I had the price reduced and told them to be up front with people on the phone and say that the aquajet machine costs like 3X what a normal machine costs to clear a drain.

      Next time if that billing includes 30 mins or 1 hour, I'll make them do chores around the house too. I know people who make sure they get their monies worth, and so they should.

  • +7

    To be honest, you don't even need to be trained, apart from remembering to turn off the water from the meter. You can basically figure it out on the go, lefty Lucy and a spanner.

    • +13

      I feel like you might need to let them know righty tighty as well just to make it really explicit.

  • +7

    Did you got all job at one time or you call at different time. How did you found this plumber, online on google search or those magnate cards drop in your box.

    i need electrician to install new light point and i was taking slowly to find my friendly electrician and he was busy, so my wife found electrician on google and she gave them call and they were offering $ 50 off first quote and she happily book him for next day during time i am available.

    I immediately check the guys portal and call them up and asked them what is thier quote for coming over and girl on other side mentioned that i need to pay $ 250 call out fee and 15 minutes free and then every 20 minutes $ 100 to fix the task. I said gees you are even expensive then surgeon and requested them not to send anyone to my property as my wife has no idea about your charges.

    I then ask my strata and got their standard electrician for new point done for $ 110 and about an 45 minutes job.

    So please check and ask before you call anyone.

    My another friend call this guys for fixing toilet cistern overflow leak and those guys said that they need to change the whole internal system and as this is more then 8 years old they are not sure if they can find similar part for replacement so they started suggesting brand new European cistern for about $2k and $4K.

    He politely send them after paying thier callout fees of $ 125 and as he has not budget to spend. When he ask me later I just went to bunnings and got the washer for $ 3.75 and replace washer after seeing how to do on YouTube and fix the problem in 15 minutes.

    • Yeah it pays to shop around. My sparky charges $90/hr Labor plus parts which I'm more than happy to pay for electrical work.

  • +11

    Like many people, I'd say you've been had. Agree with other posters - should have got a quote.

    Related: If you have kids - tell them not to bother with University. Do a trade apprenticeship instead. Always can get work, can charge ridiculous rates, can muck around in school, can get paid during apprenticeship. Uni students often work while studying, must get good grades at high school, end up with HECS debt to pay, and often can't get jobs after finishing (many grad jobs want experienced people these days). Hourly rates for tradies (self-employed) are way higher than for graduates, and you don't have to cowtow to a psycho boss. (Yes, some downsides I know, but all up - do a trade).

    • +3

      This is excellent advice, wish I had of done a trade myself and I've been telling my teenage daughters to think about getting into a trade instead of Uni, that way they'll be able to have jet skis and hot tubs!

    • +11

      If you have kids - tell them not to bother with University. Do a trade apprenticeship instead. Always can get work, can charge ridiculous rates, can muck around in school, can get paid during apprenticeship.

      Certainly - if all you think about in life is $$$ (and all you want your kids to think about in life is $$$).

      If your obsession, and by transference, your offsping's obsession, is the acquisition of wealth rather than any kind of intellectual challenge or betterment, yes, for sure, push them into wallowing knee-deep in sewage for a living, or perhaps breathing asbestos fibres or plaster dust; but they'll at least have lots of shiny $$$ (even if their hopes and dreams of being a leading mathematician, or psychologist, or civil rights advocate, or vaccine researcher, or…. go swirling down the toilet. Literally.)

      Hyperbole, yeah, I admit. But I feel actively encouraging young people to do a trade preferentially over tertiary education, based solely on potential future income, is terrible advice.

      • +11

        Found the arts graduate!

      • +1

        "intellectual challenge or betterment"?

        Am a desk monkey for my millionaire boss to get more millionaires. Betterment for him.

        If I had the choice again I'd rather choose trade school than uni.

      • +1

        I definitely somewhat agree with this, universities should be an institution for knowledge. I loved what I learnt and the challenge. If not, then you either better know exactly what you're there for or do a trade.

      • +2

        I dunno, man. University is great and I believe that any further education in any field is beneficial to personal development in general, but the reality is that few people who go to university end up in the kind of intellectual paradise that you describe.

        I think the novelty of university and the passion you foster while studying is diluted by the realities of employment pretty quickly, by things like administrative work, targets, unpaid overtime and the whole corporate game. You can see this by exploring the attitudes and satisfaction ratings of professionals across fields, including those where you'd imagine the balance between income and mental stimulation is good, like law or medicine.

        Tradies have the luxury of being able to leave their work at work, while the rest of us pack in to trains and buses and drag it home. A tradie who doesn't have to stare at a screen all day or tire their mind with reports might actually be afforded with the ability to study philosophy or read or learn a language in their own time after work.

    • +5

      Lets not forget they get half their pay cash in hand (no tax) and they can claim on tax everything else (Clothes, Tools, Car). Office workers get to claim nothing and every cent is taxed. Crazy system. As the American's say, we pay our tradies like executives and our executives like tradies.

      • I mean, I can see the effort most tradies put into their work ….

      • +1

        Yep this is what shits me the most. I live on the worst house in the street (about 500k), and earn around 200k as an employee. Theres a few houses around a million on our street, all of which are tradies. I know this because i've called them to do work at my place and they always ask me to pay cash. So it definitely does still happen and the deductions are through the roof.

      • So true. Degrees have no value in this country. Unis only exist because they are profit making enterprises - they sell diplomas to international students.

    • Depends on the job, a good software engineer could be on 120k after a few years and the ability to work from home and (possibly) doing something mentally stimulating. But money aside, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go to university. There are still plenty of rewarding jobs even if they don't pay as much (other than med), lawyer (if you choose to do something that helps others rather than large corporations), engineering (again, something like aerospace or mechatronics is awesome), nursing, CS because as long as I'm not starving, I'd rather earn less doing something I enjoy, mentally stimulating and meaningful to me. Even beyond all that, university if you study what you enjoy is an experience in itself and on my death bed, even if I say decide to pursue a trade later in life, don't think I would regret going at all.

      • I did mechatronics but didn't know where to find a job after.

        • So what are you doing instead?