$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?



      • 120k gross salary is nothing after it's taxed as a PAYG employee. Become a tradie. 120K cash, report $12K to the ATO. Done.

        • Reno your own home and pay zero capital gain tax when you sell. Even better.

  • +2

    Obviously you have no idea how simple these jobs are… otherwise you would have done them yourself.
    You turn off the main… that tap near your water meter.

    You unscrew the tap. You take out the old washer, and replace with new. Simply screw tap back on.

    How hard is that?

  • -2

    All valid feedback. Thanks. When he quoted the high amount. I was like that’s high, I’m busy, it must be complex, I need it done, and I tag the other ones on at the time as they had been needed for a while. So yes only one item (the shower) was urgent, slip hazzard with quest coming etc.

    But… when it was all completed in less than hour, that stung.

        • +4

          It's always hard to believe people would do that. I definitely couldn't. It's a sick world we live in.

          • @bkhm: Happens all the time when tradies are busy or 'in the area already' they will quote really high if they get the job easy extra money if they don't its ok.

    • +4

      you received a quote, accepted it, were happy with the results and not happy with the fee.

      The time to ask questions was before accepting the quote. Maybe the plumber thought it would be more work than it was, maybe he prioritised the job over other work, or maybe he took you for a chump and decided to rip you off. If you bid outrageously and a third of people accept, you're still probably making some pretty good money.

      A few words of advice

      • find a good local plumber, ask on a local Facebook page.
      • do not use Jims or other similar services, they'll absolutely ream you
      • don't use a plumber, get a handyman. Maybe not for the fridge, but the other two are very simple jobs.
      • Once you've found a good tradie get them to recommend other tradies for other jobs
      • The way I see it, people want the trade to give a fixed quote, often over the phone without seeing it, so they need to account for worst case scenarios. If they’d quoted $150 and something more major than expected required 4 hours work, I guarantee people will want to hold them to the original amount.

        No doubt $900 is excessive though for how long it ended up taking and they should revise it out of goodwill.

    • +3

      I call BS. You had no idea about how complex the jobs were but you knew enough to get the right parts for all the jobs.

      You had time to work out and get the correct parts but the job needed to be done so urgently.

      None of that makes sense show the invoice or you are full of shit. If you didn't get one because you got "cash" discount then you are an idiot for paying cash with no receipt when you believed you are being ripped off. Anyone with half a brain who thinks they are being ripped off would get a receipt / invoice so they can take it further.

      I call BS none of this happened.

      • Seconded. I suspect it was $300. Op has added the extra $600 to make it sound like he will get sympathy and trash plumbers.

        Only logical thing that’s happened.

    • He probably quoted high because he was busy or didn't really want the extra work.

      As others have said, learning some basic DIY will save you a heap when needing to do odd jobs around the house

  • +33

    There's far too much victim blaming on OzB - as in if you put yourself in harms way - you deserve whatever some other ratbag does, almost as if it's their obligation/free shot to do so. Whatever happened to treating others as you'd hope to be treated yourself?

    Why is there so much zest from folks to pile on the OP - who yes was naive, a tad lazy BUT clearly unethically taken advantage of? The plumber clearly charged multiple times whatever their normal going labour rates - as they felt they could get away with it. It's 100% correct that they should have gotten a quote etc but sometimes (and maybe this is an old school thing) you expect to be treated fairly and give folks the benefit of the doubt assuming they'll not exploit any opportunity you may have inadvertantly left open to them.

    As it's completely fair to say, the OP would have fairly thought this was not a difficult, technically challenging or time consuming job - and even had the required parts available - thus the cost would have been relatively modest. Thats very fair and hard to challenge.

    I find it all very hard to believe if the shoe had been on the other foot i.e this had happened to you or say your Mother, Wife etc - folks here would feel it was a 'you deserve what you got' matter. :-/

    • +41

      I spoke with the Manager and they agreed it was indeed unreasonable and gave me a refund of $300 with no questions asked.

      I’ll now change my name to Captain Kevin.

      Thanks for your help OZ Forum folks as your feedback informed me that I was potentially ripped off and should follow up.

      I’ll now YouTube all plumbing needs going forward and be sceptical of any tradesmen quotes for now on.

      Thanks again

      • +7

        Great. So the manager agreed you had been intentionally ripped off.
        No reason not to name the company now right?

      • Why don't you name the company to help everyone here. You got ripped off and still protecting them.

        Now i wana rip you off if i had the chance lol.

      • Still 300 too high if you ask me

      • +1

        Was this company pure plumbing… To keep it short we engaged them plumber came in we r new owners so for a pipe leak talked us thru some other issues related to pressure mentioned the cost of a spare part as $500 and when I googled it was 50 and I did it just after he left getting our money ! .. we were charged around $700 and he was at premise for almost 2 hours.. got $300 back after talking to owner..

    • I think many posters are pointing out that a little online research goes a long way, and people need to take responsibility for their decisions.

    • +1

      At no point was OP obligated to proceed. They gave a price and OP accepted. Adults should be treated as adults ie responsible for their choices and actions.

  • +1

    Should have refused to pay until a reasonable bill was presented or report to dept of fair trading.

    • Reported what, exactly? Their stupidly? Fair trading don't deal with stupid.

  • +3

    must be a joke post right… $900 an hr labour and you had the parts?

  • Was it #nakedplumber do that job.

  • +2

    Guess he trained by playing Super Mario and collecting gold coins.

    Why I DIY around the house, I aint no bonus stage.

  • +4

    Don't despair. See this as the best $900 you ever spent, as long as you are learning lessons:

    • Learn to do DIY basic plumbing (fixing taps etc) if you can;
    • Learn to get 3 fixed quotes for any work;
    • Learn to negotiate upfront with any vendors.
  • Next time use hipages to get several quotes

  • That's why you make friends with a plumber so he does all your work. For example, I have a Lebanese mate from the local area who does all my plumbing. He's not dodgy too and charges fair prices with a website and everything.

  • -2

    Getting billed $900 for an hour of plumbing work was not the problem. Paying it and then posting it in the OzBargain forum is…

    I would have paid $100 call out fee plus $150 for the job before telling him the rest of $650 is saved for the lawyer.

  • Why would someone actually pay this? $900 for an hour lol

  • Definitely wayyyyy too much.
    We just had a plumber come and fix a concealed water supply leak.
    He was $100 an hour labour + parts + concrete saw hire. Total $440.
    It was a hard job for him as our ground is extremely compact and full of rocks.

  • Pretty sure you paid double of not triple for the work.

  • +5

    And my parents said get an education 😩

  • Try airtasker next time

  • -1

    the bloke met you, realised he didn't want the job, gave you the "i dont want the job" quote, which you accepted. sometimes the guy has to do the jobs he didn't actually want.

  • +4

    some tradies are absolutely disgraceful.

    I was once quoted 15k to fix ducted aircon @my apartment. Had someone else in $4k.

  • Scamming you good. Better to pay your neighbour to help I'll say, or even airtask?
    Where abouts are you also?

  • +9

    I might be generalising by saying this, but I really hate tradies. Be it plumbers or mechanics. I get a sick feeling in my gut everytime I have to deal with one. I know there might be some good ones out there, but really, there's not many. My father always said, plumbers pipes a lined with gold.

    • +2

      In the house I have been for more than 10 years, I have only ever had three groups of people work in the property.
      One to install an air conditioner, they were good, but had to come back a month later because all the refrigerant leak out, but given the leak was up a wall 4-5m up watching him stand up the end of a extension ladder unsafely, watching what they had to do to install it, I could not do that task myself. Was fixed price.

      Government Insulation batt scheme installation, though it was free in the end I still felt ripped off though because they did not deliver what was promised. They just paid some backpackers to install and I know the did something dodgy.

      Free CFL light globes when they used do it.

      The rest I have done myself, repairs etc. Needless to say the property looks a like it needs a freshen up though.

      I do no recall paying a mechanic in the last 10 years for repairs or servicing. Just tyre changes.
      When I did get three recall items done, I was not happy either. Airbag swap, they had to pull the whole dashboard out, I do not think they put it back together properly and messed up the air conditioning in some way.
      Oh I hate getting rego checks, always feel what are they going rip me off this time.

      I am pretty handy and can fix/do most things myself.

      • +1

        Best way to be. Most of the stuff tradies do isnt hard, its just knowing what to do.

        • +1

          And for the most part this can be learned by watching a youtube video. If one can be bothered

      • +4

        Literally my experience. Took my car to get a part changed due to recall. They broke my bonnet and said nah you did it lol

        Hate is a nice word to describe those pricks.

  • +1

    "Just had to pay $367 for a leaking shower head." - sounds like just needed some white teflon tape, 5 cents of tape.

    " $290 for a leaking yard tap." - change the washer, $1 or less for washer.

    "$240 for installing a water filter for our fridge, I had the parts already" - free as you had the part already.

  • +8

    All tradie labor rates should be capped at $100 an hour, including travel to/from site; disgusting how much they get away with; just vomit inducing shit.

    I had a pleb acquaintance moving in to a new rental and needing his washing machine outlet connected to the drain; was on the phone to the plumber and agreed to pay $350 for this before I interjected, made him cancel it and told him to drive to Bunnings and get an o-ring for 50c…

    • I'm somewhat of a socialist myself, but that's next level.

    • Yeah that's a bit of rip off.

  • I got charged a similar amount for similar work but he spent about 90 minutes doing stuff while the rest of the time on the phone and travelling to places to get parts or to find out they were out of stock. Then came back and put out of stock part in two days later $1,100 all up.

  • +2

    These days, it pays to have some basic maintenance skills around the house (less electrical)

  • +3

    Why do tradies demand so much money anyway? Its the complete opposite in Asian countries around us.

    • +1

      Because unlike my grandfathers generation, most people under 40 are completely inept at even the most basic tasks, and their kids are going to be even more useless.

      First car I got, I was told not to take my car to a mechanic to get serviced because they’d just hand it to the 1st year apprentice who didn’t know much more than I did, so I should just learn to do it myself. Any time it needed repairs I was taken to the wreckers and learned to pull the part I needed out of a car and then go home and put it in mine.

      These days people live in apartments and have no tools or skills and have a breakdown when a fly gets inside. Tradies just charge the useless tax and people like OP pay it because it’s their only option. PS I’m not a tradie I’m just sick of people being useless.

      • +1

        I think its definitely partly that, I also wonder though if its also partially that the tradie business isnt as regulated or watched as the white collar companies. Where its probably easier to compare and see prices as well as figure out whats expensive and whats reasonable. A lot of tradies are cash in hand and only tell you the actual costs once they show up, you then feel obligated to go with them especially if there is a call out fee.

        • I’d imagine it would be almost impossible to regulate given that every job, even doing the same sort of repair, would have widely varying levels of complexity and then there’s the parts side where every tradie gets their stuff from different wholesalers with different brands and quality levels along with their discount pricing arrangements etc etc.

          If you were a tradie going the good guy route and setting fixed service prices, you’re probably going to have a great reputation among customers, but you’re probably also going to be making a quarter of what all the other tradies are making just to be a good guy. I’m sure some would but most are in business to make decent coin, and with people these days, it’s getting easier and easier.

          • @Magnastar: Its sort of the same with Car service places i guess, Hence why after constantly having bad experiences with Car Service places Especially Payless on cosgrove road in enfield, which did a dodgy and took out my brakes and put in crappy second hand old stuff that was the cause of 2 accidents :( .

            I am now thinking its better to go with a larger company type business where at least they may be more wary bout doing dodgy jobs as the head office will have certain rules and things in place and also frown upon bad reviews and bad jobs. But even then no guarantee i guess.

            I wonder if its the same with tradies where if you go with a larger company, if its more chance of being a fair and quality experience.

            • +1

              @lonewolf: I just think people should just have a go themselves. There’s probably no maintenance task left on earth that doesn’t have at least one YouTube tutorial yet people can’t do basic things when these days it’s easier to learn new skills than ever. Worst case scenario you screw it up and have to get a tradie in anyway, and while it’s cost a little bit more for the parts you messed up with, at least you had a go, or best case scenario you do the job realise it’s not that hard and keep going with other jobs as they pop up and each time save $900 and laugh at OP.

              • @Magnastar: For me the scary part is you sometimes hear about people doing some small task and they stuff it up and it ends up being a much bigger job to fix or even an immediate fix required as you broke something vital.

                And with cars it's even scarier because it could mean your safety if you do something wrong in the car.

              • @Magnastar: Exactly this. Just know your limits. Just on this, not many good YouTube videos showing how to walk on a roof with terracotta tiles.

          • @Magnastar: Lawyers need to give a statement of fees and cost estimate before any job, and advise as soon as there is a likely runover. Realistically all service businesses should be the same. The issue is likely that the unions in the trades won't let that happen.

      • +2

        Well I beleive tradies are ridiculously overpaid. I can wire up a sensor light with my eyes closed, but I'm not allowed to so I have to spend $$$$ just for an electrician to do it.

        • The same applies to a lot of jobs, no? General practitioners and psychiatrists are highly paid, while you could ostensibly determine what medication you need or administer vaccines via Google and some common sense.

    • +1

      And most Western countries not around us!

    • To support their lifestyle.

  • +6

    Give the guy a call and have the discussion.

    Outline you had all parts.
    Ask his hourly rate for regular jobs…which then leads in to him explaining why the high cost ?
    Shouldn't be a task by task costing.
    Should be hourly. Even if 1.25 hrs rounded up to 2, he charges at maybe $100/hr….$200

    He insists on $900? I'd go to small court over this

    I recently had a plumber add an extension tap for the back garden.
    He quoted $150-$250 for around 1-3 hours work.
    Sounded ok.
    Came, all smiles, no complaints
    Took 1h40mins I'm expected 2 hr charge.
    Invoice came in at $425
    I kicked up a stink.
    Told him that at no point did he say it looked any harder than what he quoted.
    Job was done easily and quickly, and neatly, no complaints there.

    Multiple emails to the point where he said just pay whatever you want….he even pulled the "I've got a small family to look after" (eff off, dont we all)
    I paid $300 and never heard from him again, and I'll never call him again.
    Shame for him, just getting a ensuite put in by someone else.

    • -2

      You sound like a tosser to work for….glad I'm not putting in your ensuite.

      There is no way he quoted 1-3hrs work for $250 lol yeah righto.

      call out $90.00
      Labour 2hrs $200.00
      Parts $80.00+
      Total $370.00

      Plus GST

      $425.00 is reasonable.

      • +3

        Why would I lie about being underquoted?
        That was the quote.
        If what you're saying$425 is what it is indeed worth, i'm not going to argue that.
        But getting a quote and then an invoice at nearly 100% over, is just not on.

        At what point to you just blindly pay up?
        If he had quoted me $4xx, I would have had the chance to decline.
        It wasn't a need, it was a want.
        He underquoted, I'm assuming to get the job, then came the real money.

        He admitted he made a mistake in the end.
        I payed more than he quoted.

      • $100 an hour? Are you serious? And you're already paying $90 for a call out fee? Nurses and teachers don't make nearly that much.

        • You'd find that most customers would be happy with $100/hr as the going ripoff rate these days seems to be far greater.

        • Good luck finding a trade under $100/hr. The hourly rate of a full time employee bears no resemblance to a trade being employed for a short period who's paying all their own expenses.

          • @nse:

            for a short period

            Dunno, every tradie I've called out generally isn't free for at least a week

            period who's paying all their own expenses.

            I thought OP was talking about a company?

        • What have nurses and teachers got to do with the discussion. Thats like saying $5k for a barrister for 1 day, Plumbers and electricians don't make that much!

          For the Record I charge a $50 call out fee, $95 hr and I am fully booked until the end of July, this is in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne expect to pay more.

          • +1

            @kiwimex: Save your breath kiwimex, some people have no understanding of how business operates……ie. they confuse it with salary & wage earnings.

  • -2

    If OP does not name the business then I call BS

    OP appears to be a liar at this point in time

    Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

  • It pays to call around. I wanted an RO filter installed. 5-6 of them wanted to charge between $450-550. I found one for $250 recommended by the filter shop.

    Psifilters said the filters would take an average handyman 1/2 hour to 1 hour to setup. But these guys were quoting it a 2-3 hour jobs and some were even saying I'll need extra parts even though the kit was complete.

    I was told it's a great time for tradies atm, they won't do cheap jobs.

    • +1

      What kind of r/O filter?

      I installed an undersink one and just needed to buy a diamond hole saw bit for my drill, took about 25 mins to cut a hole out of a granite benchtop

      Did all that just looking at YouTube videos, same as changing oil for my car, sparkplugs and coil packs.

      • 5 Stage RO Filter. I could do it myself easy, but for insurance purposes I need a licensed plumber.

    • Don't forget the tradies has to travel to and from your home and costs for this must be factored into the pricing. Is it fair for them to spend 45mis plus on travel free?

  • +2

    I assume that must have sex serverises included. Must be a decent looking plumber

  • Damn, that much for a leaking showerhead.
    I had a leaking showerhead once, all it took was to replace that o ring thingy.. I did it myself 👌🏻 Thank u Home Timber and Hardware for helping a girl out! Saved me $$$

  • +3

    There are plenty of good decent tradies out there but a lot of nasty ones too. Unfortunately what I dislike more than the nasty tradies are the ignorant people who enable them! People who hire them without a quote and then proceed to pay astronomical price that is daylight robbery give these unscrupulous tools more confidence to continue with such terrible behaviour. This further leads to artificial increase in market rates too!

    • Yep. I used to just accept a quote because I couldn't be bothered. Now, I always do 3 quotes. I found the cheapest is the most genuine. Not always the case, but so far, the cheapest has been the best. Plus, you become knowledgeable in the process, so you can see where the deception occurs.

  • +2

    Genuine tradies is hard to find these days.

    My old man have experience a dodgy plumber who charge him 800 bucks to find a leak end up the leak was not solved and the plumber make a mess of his bathroom.

    I got a blockage in the kitchen so I call a plumber, he charge 500 dollars to pump the out the blockage, can tell he wasn't experience by the question he ask me but I still give him the job . Within the completion of the job after 2 month the blockage happens again. This time he took out a camera and poke inside the pipe, couldn't determine anything and say it could be just fatty blockage etc etc. and said he will have to pump it again. This time I say I think about it because there is no way he have given me assurance that the blockage will be resolved, I can't keep on paying him like this. So I call a mate and ask if he knew a good plumber, he recommend me one and behold the guy is a legend, he use the camera found there was tree root blockage on a particular section of the pipe, I don't know how the other guy miss it but overall the problem is resolved. I will be using this guy in the future.

    • +4

      For every 10 you call, 8 are scum of the Earth, 1 is a nice guy trying to bleed you dry and then there's the genuine guy.

      I pray for anyone needing tradesmen!!

  • +2

    I found a guy on airtasker that installed a fridge filter for $60, took him maybe 20 mins max. He was a younger guy probably mid 20's but was legit and had a license. I don't even bother calling up the more established guys anymore, they are always in demand and so they charge crazy prices.

      • +4

        Post a task request and see for yourself, lots of guys looking around for odd jobs. You think $425 for two hours work is "reasonable', nah screw that some of us are sick of getting ripped off by guys like you.

        • -3

          Still calling it bullshit….no licensed plumber is working for $60 Don't treat us as idiots.

          Let's break your $60 down.

          $60.00 unless 30% airtasker fee

          $40 less vehicle runnings costs, lets say he lives 5km from you so we will say $5

          $35 Less licence fees and insurances $5

          $30 Less 30% tax

          total earnings from $60 = $20

          $20…….earn more than that working at Bunnings.

      • +1

        I agree with this. But he used Airtasker.

        From experience though, any tradie I have called in when I was ignorant, it was a minimum of $250 or a free quote.

    • +2

      That is EXACTLY what we should expect to pay. We need more of there's guys.

  • Leaking tap? Can't you do the job yourself? Plenty of Youtube tutorials, you can get premium quality tools for $900.

  • +2

    Most tradies are scumbags and will take anybody for a ride if they smell the chance.

    • +3

      Yep, my experience. I had to get 15 quotes for 2x air con installs and switchboard upgrade. The highest quote was $3,900 to the lowest $2,700. I became an expert after the 8th quote. They either don't show up, lie through their teeth or don't get back to you. I dread getting any trade work done. Never ever had a 100% experience.

      • Why would you get 15 quotes?

        A variance of 2.7k to 3.9k is good I would say, over 15 quotes. That would tell me that there is some pretty reasonable quoting occuring $3.3k +/- $600

        Now if you were getting $6k quotes in the mix, then I'd suspect some pisstaking occuring.

        • +1

          The majority just wouldn't follow through. Gave me the quote, and they won't schedule an appointment. Won't answer calls etc. Eventually, someone did!! I usually get 3 quotes unless I don't feel comfortable.

      • -1

        Wow you got 15 quotes……..This is exactly why many tradies now charge for quotes….sick of tyre kickers

        • +1

          What's wow is that it took 15 different electricans to eventually get 1 to do the job. Maybe if tradies weren't scum of the Earth, wouldn't need to get so many, ever thought of that? Think a little. Will do wonders for you.

          • @RocketSwitch: Ever thought the reason you haven't had a 100% experience with trades is because you are the problem…….You sound like a typical know it all, cheap skate Handy Andy. Think a little, Will do wonders for you!

            Good luck Handy Andy with your youtube videos!