e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu



Seeming dishonesty from service providers always irritates me. Part of the irritation stems from the fact that I'm rarely positive about the perceived shadiness. I just don't have the mechanical/automotive/home repair know-how to be sure.

Yesterday a fine representative from a major plumbing/sewage company paid us a visit due to very minor back-up in the basement. Now we did NOT want the minor problem to even approach the realm of a major problem, so we quickly called a pro, who went to work snaking our main line. After an hour or so, he summoned me to the basement, showed me what looked like a moderately sized stick, perhaps a foot in length. "Can you believe this?" he asks.

He goes on to act amazed at the idea that such humongous sticks would ever be in pipes and explains that old houses like mine (the home where I grew up is about four times as old, but whatev) have 3" sewage pipes as opposed to new homes which have 6" pipes which can be fitted with saws to get rid of all roots. His implication seemed to be that newer homes never have problems with sewage, which just isn't true. Anyway, he suggested sending a camera into my main line to see if the roots had damaged my pipes yet and then excavating the yard to install the preferred 6" pipes, all to the tune of thousands of dollars.

Admittedly, I know just about nothing when it comes to pipes, but that seemed sudden, excessive, and--given the price--undoable right now anyway. So I declined. "Can you just get all the roots out today?" I ask. He says he'll try.

I wander back downstairs about twenty minutes later and the guy's outside. Only his very young trainee-assistant is operating the snake at this point. "Lot of roots, eh?" I ask. An awkward attempt at conversation. (What do you say to the guy who's tending to your sewage?) "Actually, the second time through, the snake's working with no problem at all. I think you're good." The trainee shows that the snake feeds in and out with no obstruction and explains that they got the sticks and roots with no problem. Cool.

His boss comes back down and I say something like, "Looks like the second snaking took care of the problem." His sour reply: "More like the fifth snaking took care of the problem." What? Am I supposed to feel guilty that they had to run the snake through five times. I was writing a check for a couple hundred dollars (which admittedly goes to the company he works for). Plus, at the very least, he was exaggerating the gravity of my problems.


1 comment:

Tony said...

that's shiesty.