A few years ago my husband and I were in need of a plumber for a faucet issue. We’d hadn’t had a plumber’s services in quite some time, so I called the first plumber who came to mind – a company that does a lot of TV advertising.
To be fair, the company did tell us ahead of time that there would be a service charge for their technician just to show up. I didn’t know better, and agreed. The technician did the work in 30 minutes, for which we paid $262, which I thought was outrageous. According to my calculator, that’s a going rate of $500+ an hour!
Recently we once again needed a plumber and once again, I tried a couple of other companies I’d seen on TV. The first one asked numerous questions about our problem, set up and date and time, and then asked our address. “Oh, we don’t service that area,” she said. Couldn’t she have asked that in the first place, instead of wasting my time?
The second company did service our area – I’d learned my lesson and asked that, first thing – and gave us an 8am to 10am service window the next day. When they still hadn’t arrived by 11:35am, I cancelled the appointment, annoyed that I’d wasted an entire morning waiting for the technician to not show up.
And grateful that my plumbing need wasn’t an overflowing toilet.
I tried a couple other companies I found on the Better Business Bureau website, but they were “booked out,” meaning “too busy.”
I’m annoyed. I’m frustrated. And I still have a plumbing problem.
Since I live in Oceanside, CA I googled “Oceanside plumbers” and Yelp gave me a “Best 10” list of options, including a five-star rating for Vets 4 You Plumbing, Heating & Air, “Serving Oceanside and the surrounding area.”
The Vets 4 You website stated that “We offer employment opportunities to vets. We also support organizations that help disabled veterans…every job gives a financial contribution to nonprofit veteran organizations.”
Well, why not? I thought. Why not hire a vet for the job? None of the other service providers had dazzled me, so…
Was there a Happy Ending to our plumbing problem? We were 100 per cent delighted with Vets 4 You:
- When I asked, the gentleman who answered the phone said yes, he was a veteran. We agreed on a service window for the next day, from 10am to noon. The technician, Andrew, also a veteran, arrived at 10:25am. He was impeccably polite, addressing us as “Sir” and “Ma’am.”
- There was no charge for just showing up.
- Andrew gave us a written estimate with three options for work on our two toilets, with no pressure to choose one option or even work with Vets 4 You.
- Andrew fixed a minor bathroom faucet issue while he was here – no charge.
- He said the work would take about two hours.
- Our service window was 8am to 10am. Andrew arrived at 8:05am.
- He got right to work and was finished in about two hours. The cost was exactly what we’d agreed on, less a 10% senior discount (Vets 4 You also offers a military discount), and no surprises. I hate plumbing surprises.
- Since then, our toilets are working perfectly.
- We felt good about working with a company that employs vets and helps vet organizations.
A simple Internet search pulls up VeteranOwnedBusiness.com with hundreds of veteran-owned businesses (VOBs) all over the country by state, then county, then city.
So, say your yard looks like the movie set for Tarzan of the Jungle and you’ve finally decided to do something about it. A quick click on the Oceanside link gives you Arbor Artistry Tree Service – voila! You can crosscheck or not as you like – Better Business Bureau, google the company’s name for reviews, look for customer comments posted on their website.
VOBs may not do a lot of high-priced advertising, but who says that’s a bad thing? As I can attest, what good are annoying ads for companies that over promise and under deliver, and your toilets still aren’t fixed?
Help yourself. Help a veteran.