I am shocked and amazed (pleasantly so) at the service by my HVAC and now, plumbing, company. I don't think they are necessarily the cheapest around, though they also don't overcharge excessively and are not overly pushy about additional products when they come out to do the service (they are offered, but when I say no thanks, that is the end of it).
Yesterday I finally hunted down a plumber. I was leery of going with my HVAC guys to do plumbing – I can't really say why. I guess in my head I thought that a company should stick with something and do it well. The first company I called (that comes highly recommended via Angie's List and HOCOA) doesn't service my area. The nice lady there referred me to a local plumber whom she said "is as good as we are". *laugh* So I called him and left a message…his voice mail said the usual spiel about assisting other customers, etc but then it stated that he would call back within 10 minutes. Really?!? Well, being that it was the end of the day and it sounded like this might be a one-guy shop, I gave him 40 minutes. (I probably would have given him all evening, but being the procrastinator that I am, I REALLY needed to get someone scheduled to come out this week while I am at home.)
Unfortunately for him, the guy didn't call back. So, I relented and called my HVAC folks…I should have just started there. They have people on the phones 24 hours a day and every time I have ever spoken with any of them, they have all been very pleasant and helpful. Since I have a service plan with them for my AC and heating maintenance, I got 1/2 off the plumbing service call. (They are in the process of figuring out how to work in the plumbing service with the current plans.) I also discovered that their standard service call fee is less than either of the other two places I called first. They have had their plumbing license for over 10 years, but have just begun really promoting the added service. So anyway, they had an opening for today, but my schedule just didn't work with that, so they are coming tomorrow between 10 and noon.
The really impressive part is that I just got a call from one of their service guys double checking that today wouldn't work because they could have someone out to me in about 30-40 minutes! He was very nice and said it was OK that it didn't work and they would be here tomorrow as scheduled.
The other local plumber did call back last night – about 2 hours after I left my message (around 7pm) – Neil talked to him and let him know we had already scheduled someone else because he hadn't gotten back to us. Apparently his cell phone fell in the water over the weekend and thus he was a bit hindered on getting messages and returning calls. As Neil remarked to me after he hung up with the gentleman – it seems that water damage would be an inherent risk to the profession. Maybe other precautions (or even a simple, temporary change to the voice mail message) should have been taken in the likely event that this happened. Heh. I will admit, the fact he still called back same-day (and that late in the evening) was impressive and he probably is a good plumber, it just happens that I was in a more urgent situation and thus he missed his chance with us.
Tomorrow will be the final, and true test of it all – how much will it take to fix the leak and how efficiently will they be able to do it?