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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 11/11/2002

Bill's Plumbing Service, Inc.

Phone: (812) 422-7472

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Customer Complaints Summary

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Billing / Collection Issues1
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints2

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (2)
03/04/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I relied on their expertise and they installed an inadequate grease trap and will not stand behind their recommendations.
I was recently told by the authorities in my town that the grease trap for my restaurant was inadequate and would have to be replaced with a different type. As part of their paperwork I was to provide them with the calculations our plumber did to arrive at that size and type of grease trap.
Just two years earlier I had contracted Bill's plumbing to change out an inadequate grease trap. I called them in August of 2011 and asked them to provide a solution for us because the trap we had needed to be cleaned too frequently and smelled bad. Upon investigating our plumbing, they told us the plumbing itself was in bad shape and needed to be completely reworked before the trap issue could be solved. This was to cost 4,600 for a new trap and totally reworked plumbing. I understood this to mean all plumbing but found out later they just replaced only the sewage lines.
When I called Bill's Plumbing asking that they provide the information behind their choice of grease trap for us, they stalled and stalled and then finally skirted the issue saying that their instructions had simply been to "replace" our existing grease. They said our old one was rusty (not true; it was only 2 years old, plastic, and is still in our crawl space.) In other words, they took no responsibility for installing an undersized trap when I distinctly recall questioning them at the end of the job because the trap so closely resembled the old one. When I was dubious about that size and type being adequate I was assured it would do the job. I even remember asking if this was the type that was professionally pumped out periodically; I reiterated the point that I no longer wanted to have to go under the building and skim off the smelly grease build-up. The answer was that it would be perfectly adequate for our operation and would only have to be professionally cleaned every six months.
It turns out the type of trap they installed was - like our old one - meant to be inside a building, not under the deck (where ours is.) They installed a 75 pound trap when a 1000 pound trap is required.
I came to them and asked for their expertise as a reputable company. They were asked to solve my grease and odor issue. The authorities tell me their solution is inadequate and they will in no way stand behind their work or recommendations.

Desired Settlement
I had asked them to provide information that would prepare me to go before the town board. Since they did not do that I would like them to provide the proper sized grease trap and discount it by the amount they charged for the first one.

Business Response
On 7-8-11 we were called to look at and advise on an odor from the grease trap, the customer wanted it replaced and if possible, moved from its present location in the crawl space to outside of the building, so it would be easier to clean out and would keep the smell out of the restaurant. Working within the piping limitations of the trap manufacturer we were able to locate the trap at the back of the building just outside of the foundation and close to the building drain, where the customer wanted it installed. The trap we installed was rated at 75lb, it served a 3 compartment sink and small under the counter dishwasher. According to the manufacturers specs the 75lb trap we installed was more than adequate for this job. The customer was cleaning the old grease trap quite often because the disposal was connected to it. This was not up to plumbing code. Food particles were clogging the grease trap. We corrected this issue.
When we started the new work we found that several of the drain lines under the kitchen were not glued together and were falling apart. We gave a separate estimate for this work.
After the new trap was installed and hooked up, the customer informed us that where the customer had us install it was not her property and that it needed to be moved. The customer, at first, did not want to pay for this work. Again working within the manufacturers specifications we were able to locate the trap under an outside deck with about 5-6' of clearance above it. We informed the customer at this time that they may want to build a cover and insulate the lid of the trap because if we get a very cold winter there could be issues with freezing.
On 1-28-14 (2 and a half years later) we went to the customers restaurant to unstop a toilet (an entirely unrelated issue), while there the customer asked the technician all kinds of questions about this job, the technician did not have all the information with him or complete knowledge of what the job had entailed. The technician attempted to answer the questions as best as he could though made it clear he did not have all the answers, this is where the "rusty lid or something might have caused the smell" comment came from.
The grease trap we installed is designed to be installed one of three ways, buried, partially buried, or set on the floor. Now 2.5 years later the customer has added on to their kitchen increasing its size and equipment, and adding an upright commercial dishwasher, none of this was done by our company. Now the inspector is saying that the grease trap is too small and that restaurants are now required to have a 1000 gal. grease trap. This should have been addressed when the new addition and new equipment were being planned.
I feel that we cannot be held accountable for what the requirements might be in the future when we have no information on what is planned or may happen in the future.

08/26/2013Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Over-charge for plumbing services.
I contacted Bill's Plumbing to install a faucet in a bathroom....I provided the faucet. Plumber installed faucet. He then called me and indicated I needed a new sump pump (which seemed random). He indicated it would cost )150.00 and would take 45 min to install. Bill's Plumbing also reset a commode, which again, I provided the commode. I can not imagine, this entire process would have cost more than $400+ especially since I provided the faucet and commode. The bill was nearly $800.00....$790.49 to be exact. I talked w/****, the owner, he had a very cavalier attitude and did not offer any remedies for the extreme charges.

Desired Settlement
A reasonable charge for the services.

Business' Initial Response
I contacted the customer and explained the charges. I then went over the invoice which has a material, tax, and labor breakdown. The customer gave no complaints regarding the quality of the work, or what work was done, but stated she thought the cost was too high. I proceeded to explain our hourly rate and that the invoice reflected our hourly rate. This work was done over the course of two days. The initial call was to replace a lav faucet, which the owner supplied. This work was done with no issues. The next day the customer contacted Bill's Plumbing and wanted a toilet reset which someone else had tried to reset themselves. We arrived and reset the toilet. While there we noticed the sump pump was not working. The plumber on site informed the customer and received permission to replace the sump pump. This portion of the job took 45 minutes and the sump pump cost $150.00 as was quoted to the customer.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
As stated by Bill's Plumbing, the sump pump took 45 minutes and/or cost $75.00 to install. The total labor charges was $425.00 plus a charge of $60.00 for service fee. That means the cost to install my faucet and reset my commode cost $350.00 or 3-1/2 hours of labor, plus the additional $60.00. As I see it, this is either padding of time, the plumber is a novice, or the plumber must surely have included a 1-1/2 hour lunch break. Again, I furnished the faucet and the commode. My total bill was $790.49....this is a blatant rip-off. My neighbor used Bayer Plumbing the very same day. There were two plumbers, each with a service truck, they removed shrubs to get to a plumbing issue under her house and were there at least 5 hours. A few days later, after I saw my bill, I could only imagine what her bill must have been....she told me that her bill was $320.00. I would certainly expect a revised bill.

Business' Final Response
In an effort to fully explain and hopefully resolve this matter I will break down the labor as completely as possible.

Day one: 7-10-13
Description: Arrived on site to replace lavatory faucet, attempted to shut water off at supply stops under lavatory, supply stops would not shut water off. Located main water shut off behind access cover in wall and shut water off. Replaced water supply shut offs to lavatory. Removed existing faucet and drain assembly, installed owner supplied new faucet and drain assembly. Hooked up new supply shut offs with new supply lines and turned water back on.

Time: 12:10p.m. - 2:10 (2hrs)

*Note: While looking for main shut off the plumber noticed the sump pump was not running and water in the pit was very high. After the initial job was completed he contacted the home owner and informed her of this issue. She wanted to know how much the sump pump cost and how long it would take to install, she was told $150.00 for the sump pump and 45 minutes to install. The plumber then told her he would need to complete a previously scheduled job and then return to replace the pump later that day. She then gave permission replace the pump.

Day one: 7-10-13

Description: Returned to job site cut out old pedestal style sump pump and replaced with new submersible style sump pump. Drain line for sump pump had two check valves in it. Once cut loose the plumber found that one of the check valves had seized up and was constantly in the closed position, this was probably why the old pump had failed. Replaced check valve and section of 1.5" pvc pipe and reconnected to existing line with a rubber coupling.
Time: 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (.75 hrs)

Day Two: 7-11-13

Description: Received call from customer in morning explaining she could not set a toilet in the bathroom and wanted us to come out and set it for her. Job was set up for the afternoon. That afternoon the plumber arrived on site and reset toilet, hooked up the water supply and tested the toilet. The toilet was leaking badly from the tank to bowl bolts and gasket. Attempted to call the customer multiple times and was unable to reach her. Went ahead and replaced the tank to bowl gasket and bolts. The plumber then filled the toilet to test and found that the fill valve would not shut off. Again attempted to call the customer and could not reach. We replaced the fill valve in the toilet so that it could be left in working condition.

Time: 3:05 p.m. - 4:35 p.m. (1.5 hrs)


The total hours billed for this job were 4.25 hours. We feel that the time spent on each portion of the work falls under a normal allowable time frame. The customer was billed only for the 4.25 hours, the material used on the job, the tax for the material, and two service fees, one for each day.

The customers invoice shows a breakdown of material, tax, labor, and service fees.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Plumbers, Plumbers - Commercial, Kitchen & Bath Design

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