Very bad business experience. I live in Summergrove and had a tree planted right where my sewer line was installed. I had the tree removed and called Water Source due to recommendations and the reviews online. Worst decision I have made in relation to service companies since I have moved here. They had to dig a hole which took the technician almost 7 hours to complete (at $80 an hour). Absolutely ridiculous! They replaced a "T" line which Newnan Utilities troubleshot initially and I asked them what the estimate could possibly be, $500? And the tech from NU said that if it was $500 then he would come out and do the job himself on the side. Once everything was said and done, the tech from Water Source presented me a bill of almost $1100. You have got to be kidding me? I told him I was not going to pay and he threatened to call the police . Seriously? I wanted to speak to the owner in private to explain (not to embarrass the tech) that it was ludicrous to charge $80/hour to dig a hole (which took 7 hours as noted) with subsequent replacement of a simple "T" line. The tech turned out to be the owner's son and he refused to get out of my house when I said I was going to call the office and speak with the owner privately. I finally relented and spoke with the owner on the tech's phone. He adjusted the bill to $877. What an absolute ripoff! Never use this company if you can help it. Very overpriced and ridiculously uncooperative!
An additional adjustment based on the work performed.
Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: *** ******** - President
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ****@watersourceplumbing.com
On Monday 8/19/13 Mr. ****** contacted me and stated that he had a tree over his main sewer line. He was told this by the sewer utility company whom had already been to his home. Mr. ****** said his sewer was broken at the clean out tee. Mr. ****** asked if we did this type of repair and I told him we did. He asked me how much it would cost and I told him that we don't bid this type of repair because we don't know the conditions such as depth of the sewer, what is broken, what material it will take to repair until we excavate it. However, I did inform Mr. ****** of all our charges and how we would bill. I gave him our service fee of $46.00 and our hourly rate of $79.00. He scheduled the work for 8/20/13. He then called back and rescheduled for 8/22/13. He also informed me that he would also like his pedestal sink repaired in the house which the plumber also did the same day. Mr. ****** failed to mention this work which was also part of the same invoice. He references to the sewer repair which consisted of:
* Locating the problem in the sewer
* Hand excavating and cutting an removing tree roots in the ground to get to the sewer that were thicker than your arm ( ( know because I was on site twice that day)
Keep in mind that the temperatures were in the high 80's low 90's. This repair was in front of Mr. ******'s home. The hole was approximately five foot deep. Mr. ****** was home and could see the men working all day and at no time did he ever come out and discuss any concerns about time or cost. The repair consisted of more than just a tee as he referenced in his letter. The sewer had to be replaced from cleanout down to main 6" tie-in point and we also had to tie his 4" sewer from his home into drop because the tree roots had grown through and destroyed the sewer lines.
Upon completion, prior to presenting Mr. ****** the bill, we discounted our labor for the second man by 50%. When given the bill Mr. ****** stated he was not going to pay us, period. With that, my Son, the Lead Plumber on the job called me in the presence of Mr. ****** and put him on his cell phone which belonged to my son. I asked Mr. ****** what was the problem and why would he state he was not going to pay us for the repair of his pedestal sink and the repair of his sewer. He stated he was not going to pay, period. I told Mr. ****** that I would get with the plumber and assess my costs into the two repair jobs at his home. It is always our goal at Water Source Plumbing Service to attempt to satisfy the customer. I told Mr. ****** I was sorry he didn't understand the magnitude of the work that had been performed for him. In an attempt to ease his reluctance to pay for our two services he received today I would be willing to a final discount of his bill removing our profit and was sorry that he felt the cost should not have been as much as it was. I also told Mr. ****** that if he insisted on not paying anything for any of the two services he received today I would have to call the Police and have them make out a report for Theft of Services. After final discounting Mr. ****** agreed to pay his bill. The reason the Plumber stayed in Mr. ******'s home was because Mr. ****** would not give the plumber his personal cell phone back and call me on his own home phone. I did tell Mr. ****** anything he had to say to me he could say in front of the plumber.
We are a family business, a part of our local community and an above board company and proud of it. We do not have any secrets or anything to hide from. We value and appreciate the customers that we work for being the same.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
When you are trying to resolve an issue through the BBB, there should be some sort of compromise not a defensive stance of arrogance regarding your business. First of all, I never stated that I was NOT going to pay the bill "period". I said that I was not going to pay the bill presented to me (at almost $1100). The cost of service provided by Water Source for the jobs accomplished at my home are in no way fair and reasonable pricing. Based on several people that I have spoken with in the service industry since this work was accomplished, the fair and honest price for this type of service is roughly $450-$550. The final bill charged to my credit card by Water Source Plumbing was $887 (not $877 which was originally given in the complaint). That is a difference of $327 on the top end of what other companies would have charged for the same service. I do understand the hourly charge that was quoted initially but at some point there has to be a maximum based on a fair and honest job cost. Apparently, the tools used for digging the hole (not 5 feet mind you) of approximately 3-4 feet were archaic in nature. In no way should this hole have taken over 2-3 hours to dig, regardless of the existing root system. The technicians were very, very slow and I am assuming knew the longer it was drawn out the more they would be paid. Also, I was only quoted a $79 per hour rate and was never informed of a second person that was billed a per hour labor cost of $49 per hour (which the business stated in their reply as being "50% off") for 4 hours. This "second" person was only there approximately 2 hours at the most in two separate visits. I even asked the "lead" plumber if they normally used two people and he stated "no". The pedestal sink repair only consisted of 30 minutes of the 13 hours billed. I am asking for reimbursement that meets a fair and reasonable fee for the services performed. $887 in no way meets that criteria. I am also willing to remove a one-star Google review that was submitted on the same day the initial BBB complaint was filed if we can agree to an equitable compromise.
Business' Final Response
First I apologize to Mr. ****** if my reply appeared to be defensive to him. I assure you it was not meant to be. I was just stating the facts as I will do today. First of all, 2 people witnessed your statement that you were not going to pay your bill "period". Second, I believe our pricing is and was more than fair based on our costs to do business, which includes workers compensation, liability insurance...just to name a few. If Mr. ****** would take the time to compare rates with other legitimate plumbing companies, he would find that the prices are well within acceptable margins. The pricing he states, which by the way was never mention to me, of around $500.00 is from someone performing this work "on the side" or "moonlighting". This person is unlicensed, uninsured, and not a legitimate business. There is no comparison. I feel our pricing is fair and honest. If Mr. ****** looks at his invoice, for the 2 repair jobs completed at his home, he will see all material and labor is listed and priced. He will also see a description of the work that took place. Everything is individually priced and totaled at the bottom. There are no hidden charges and costs.
In response to the reference of archaic tools Mr. ****** speaks of, I have been in the business over 35 years and I'm unaware of any other method to perform this type of repair other than shovel, pick, and a saw. Any other equipment, such as a trackhoe, would result in the possibility of the tracks tearing up his lawn and the real possibility of ripping out the existing sewer line if you were to get caught on the thick roots that were entangled around the sewer. This would have resulted in more costs to Mr. ******, not to mention the additional charge for the trackhoe.
In response to the amount of time Mr. ****** feels a job of this magnitude should have taken, as stated in my first written response Mr. ****** was home and could see the men working all day, and at no time did he come out and discuss any concerns about time or costs. If you read his original complaint he never references any comments that he felt the men were purposely working very slow. I assure you this is never the case. That is why the second man was only on site for 4 hours. He was only there when he was needed, not the entire day. Mr. ****** was quoted $79.00 per man hour, meaning 2 men would have been 2 x $79.00, 3 men would have been 3 x $79.00, and so on. As stated in my first response, Mr. ****** was already discounted half price for the second man before he was presented the bill. I ask Mr. ****** to look closer at his invoice, he will see he was only charged $39.50 per hour for the second man, which is 50% of $79.00. The lead plumber has no recollection of Mr. ****** asking if 2 men on his job was normal and there is no such mention in his original complaint. The plumber did say the pedestal sink repair obviously did take longer than 30 minutes. I'm sure if any of these things were an issue he would have included it in his original complaint.
Furthermore, Mr. ******' written statement: that he is willing to remove his 1-star Google review if we can agree to an "equitable compromise", could be interpreted to mean "if he is paid the additional money then he will remove his slanderous review of our company". This is the same Google review that Mr. ****** posted the same day he submitted his BBB complaint. This action of asking for money in return for removing a slanderous review could be looked at by the legal system as a questionable statement and extortion. I have forwarded all correspondence to my attorney to include the Google review that Mr. ****** has admittedly written. My attorney has reviewed it and said that defamation of a person and/or a company and using said statements to attempt to force another to pay you money is unlawful.
In closing, as stated in my first written response, it is always our goal at Water Source Plumbing Service, Inc. to attempt to satisfy the customer. I truly feel we have achieved a viable resolution to this, and have been more than fair with the 2 discounts that Mr. ****** has already received and accepted at the time of service. There will be no further discounting. I consider this matter closed.