$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?



            • @kiwimex: lol, sure I know it all.

              Me: Yep, sounds good, with the 2nd highest quote.
              Tradie: Never returns call.

              Cheap skate? You know you are on OzBargain mate? Just in case you didn't realise, might wanna go somewhere else.

              Also, doing your dd means you're not getting taken for a ride like you would. But enjoy being taken by a fool by everyone.

  • +3

    Gee, lots of plumbers around here charge $250 call out fee and then $50 every 30 minutes after that plus parts. So if I couldn't do something myself I need a bare minimum of $300. Wtf???

    That job cost me $16 from Bunnings and 2 hours of my time. 1 hour learning on YouTube, 1 hour doing it. Changing a mixer.

  • thats the price if u dont want to get ur hands dirty DIY from learning on youtube videos…

  • +5

    Rarely use tradies but my rule of thumb is to look for an 'old' gentleman and/or from oseas with limited English skills. I find both demographics have better attention to detail, generally more (or as) qualified and definitely more grateful for the job. So far so good. Learned my lesson after a plumber quoted me $800 for a 20min toilet job ($75 for parts)

    • +2

      There’s truth in this. My tilers were a team of older Asian men, couldn’t speak English, who turned up in a clapped out Hiace. The job is perfect, and 50% cheaper than the young bloke who came to quote in a Ford Raptor.

  • sMaLl bUsInEsEs dO iT tOuGh

  • +3

    They also target helpless old people and overcharge them. E.g. my neighbour… I hope tradies are on here reading this forum

  • This is why I fix most things that are easy myself.

  • These all sound very DIY-able and without too much effort too..

  • To be fair, i have never asked for quotes from tradies, I've had a few things done, blocked plumbing fixed and electrical works and they have always asked for reasonable amounts, usually lower than what I was expecting. Thanks op for doing the hard learning for us all!

  • Would seem simple to me, if you're not happy with a tradies price, find another. If enough people use the cheaper tradies then market economics dictate the overall price should decrease…..possibly in line with the quality of the work.

  • -1

    Just call fair trading!

  • Troll.

  • +2

    This almost happened to me too.
    I needed to replace a valve in the toilet cause it was leaking and since I'm inexperienced I thought it would be complicated.

    The plumber wanted to replace my whole toilet! Cost $1000 to replace and dispose.

    I declined and end up doing it myself. The valve cost $5…

    To think I almost flushed my money away.

    • Wow $5 for a toilet inlet or outlet valve? tell me where and Ill buy all their stock!

      • +1

        Sorry I mean the inlet valve washer. At bunnings

        • Was gonna say…!

    • Yerp been there haha.

      $5 kit of washers from Bunnings, some gloves, rags, a youtube video later and yeah problem solved. First for my parents toilet, then partners toilet, then her parents toilet….yerp…. and most of the time its always the big outlet washer. With that being said though, it hasn't always been a success. Sometimes the washer doesn't seal properly and the toilet still leaks, but occasionally solves itself after the washer slowly softens and seats better within the cistern.

      Its a shame most plumbers don't bother telling people this and jump straight to the wholesale solution of replacing the whole toilet. It's guaranteed to work but dayam. Had one plumber who quoted to replace just the cistern which is…half as bad I guess.

  • $240 for installing a water filter for our fridge, I had the parts already.

    Seems fair enough, I paid $200 for mine to all be done. 1 guy for about 45 mins.

  • as always in such cases, ask for a detailed breakdown of costs on the $900 and ask him to justify the rates. Negotiate from there on.

  • If you ever want to be taken for a ride, call a ‘24/7 locksmith’ on google. Special points for clicking the first link..

  • +1

    I got a quote from an electrician once who had decent hourly rates and said he charged by the hour for labour. When I looked at the quote it was about 9 hours worth of labor so I asked if the job was going to take 9 hours and he got all upset said he didn't want the job. Apparently Its super common that trades have fixed prices for certain jobs that often has no correlation to how long or difficult the job is, and the hourly rates are meaningless.

    Always get a quote or at least an approx cost/time up front.

  • +4

    All jokes aside, sorry to hear that you got taken for a ride. My experience tells me that not all tradies out there are crooks but you can get a fair idea about these people when you start going into the detail or look at their punctuality and level of response back to you. Few pointers to remember:

    • Never agree to paying callout fee. It's basically a ripoff tactic that they visit and get paid without doing anything. Their quotes are already inclusive of this time under their markup for overheads.

    • Get atleast 3 quotes before agreeing to do anything.

    • Try and always agree work officially. Avoid cash work no invoice crap. It prevents you from having any proof in the event on an incident later on.

    • Always get itemized quotes and be clear about what you want. If they don't give you itemised quotes then simply insist that you want one and if you still can't get one then avoid.

    • Always check reviews on Google, Hipages, etc. Try to scope out which reviews may be false.

    • (not really applicable in your situation) If getting a big job done then ask for reference sites, visit and talk to the people about their job experience.

    • Never pay in advance. Pay after completion of satisfactory work.

    • -1

      Call out fee is not a rip off tactic, its generally to cover the cost of getting to your home or place of work to start the works, and yes should be included in a quotation.

      • Yeah it is a tactic being abused by scammers. The coverage of cost to reach a place to quote for work is built into the pricing being charged. If the tradie is too busy that his time deserves a callout fee then he/she can decline to visit / quote.

  • I had a plumber come out to my house to hook up the water feature to my fridge , he had to get under house , drill holes in the floor , Run hoses about two metres $110
    Took him about 45 min , 15 minutes chatting with me…

    • OPs guy probably has a Tesla at home. Your guy probably doesn’t.

      Not saying one way is better than the other. Just sayin’

      • +1

        the OP's guy probably has a wife, or drug addiction

    • Sounds like handy andy did a great job!

  • +3

    licenced trades are the worst

  • Don't worry, it's a mistake you make only once. Next time just give it a shot yourself. The leaky tap/shower head is easy to fix.

  • +1

    OP have you ever heard of "can i get a quote first to see how much its gonna cost"?

  • +9

    One the reasons I started a plumbing business(Long Reef Plumbing) was because there are simply too many cowboys in the building and construction industry ripping people off.

    We provide customers with a fixed price quote{materials and labour) for all jobs booked during normal working hours. Unless they want us to work off an hourly rate. Our maximum mark up for materials is 10% on our wholesale price that we receive from suppliers.

    Too many trades just add what ever margin they like on materials. On the tax invoices we issue we list practically every material we use and give a total price charged for materials. That way customers can go and check the materials price with any supplier that they like, if they so wish.

    Our hourly rate for an experienced plumber is $90 an hour including Gst during normal working hours, for general plumbing working on the northern beaches, north shore and lower north shore of Sydney.

    People may think that $90 an hour is a lot of money, but please consider that we don't give discounts for cash payment as we pay 10% Gst on all work that we do and the 30% company tax rate on our profits.

    • You sir are a good hard working man. Come to Victoria. We need people like you.

    • People may think that $90 an hour is a lot of money

      Obviously much cheaper than $900 an hour..

  • +1

    It is common sense that the quote was completely unreasonable.

    However, a Quote was given before the repair was done and OP decided to accept the quote even without bothering to inquire why the quote was so high. This is not reputed auto dealership with capped price service agreement

    Why complain now? I am sure many members here could post examples of unreasonable quotes.

  • I thought they charged a call out fee then after 15 mins they charge $x per 15 mins not price up individual tasks.

  • +1

    name and shame

  • OP seems to be living up to his name and being generous.

  • Definitely report it. There's a myriad reasons, but one of it why Australia is relatively undeveloped compared to continental USA of the same size and can only support a tenth of the USA population is because our tradies wages are too high.

    • Report what to whom?

    • +1

      Wages across the board in Australia are very generous. Don't just single out tradies

  • Did you get the work done by Jase the Ace ? Lmao

    • Haha, I googled his business and he has 5 star emojis in his business name so it looks like he has 5 star reviews. What a laugh.

  • This is the reason I started doing all this stuff myself. Got charged $1250 to cap the mains during a daytime emergency. The strata manager authorised the emergency works. FML. Why can't I make money this easily??

    • Not sure….is there something stopping you from studying a trade?

  • Plumbing question, is it normal to charge for the travel time to get a material? Eg a small copper pipe section so is this time included

    • Not sure if it's the norm but happened to me. I strongly suspect he had the part in his van but said he didn't and disappeared for an hour (probably had lunch) then came back with the part and charged me an extra hour.
      PS: That was the first and last time I used a plumber

    • Varies from trade to trade but most I've worked with will account for any initial time spent sourcing materials into their initial quote.

      Most have been good and rocked up with all the materials they needed for the job.
      On the off occasion they find they don't have a part, they didn't then further tack on more time.

      Recently had an electrician disappear for a couple of hours to go get a tool they forgot, despite us describing the job in detail. They probably went home for lunch, grabbed the tool at the same time, but didn't add on extra time costs.

      It may also help that for most of my life I've bad a Bunnings 5 minutes down the road so it was easy for them to get extra parts.
      Also didn't help them that I am in the industry and could go and source the parts myself if needed. Keep them working on site whilst I ducked to the shops.