DRAINS R US | Beware of drain cleaning scams in Sydney | Ripoff bait and switch tactics
Beware of drain cleaning scams

I am appalled by the “Bait and Switch” tactics used on Sydney residents who are being overcharged by $1,000’s for unnecessary work, when all they need is a water jet clean to clear blocked drains.
Do you need your blocked drain cleaned and want it cleaned properly for an honest realistic price?
My name is Mark Carberry, I’m a drain cleaning specialist and owner of DRAINS ‘R’ US servicing Sydney’s northern suburbs and beaches.
There are few things as irritating as a blocked drain and I know better than most. I’ve been a licensed plumber for over 35 years and in that time I have cleared tens of thousands of blocked drains.
Drains get blocked up at the worst possible times, and it is always an inconvenience. Especially if your problem is a blocked sewer drain.
If you have tried to clear your blocked drain yourself without success, you may have a root penetration problem or some serious gunk is clogging up your drains and you will need the help of a professional to clear your drain problem and a high pressure water jet is the fastest and most economical solution to almost every blocked drain.
A high quality, high pressure water jet in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing will clear most blocked drains, whether it’s tree roots or a buildup of sludge. I won’t lie to you though. A water jet is not the solution with every blocked drain problem, but it will cure the majority of blocked drain hassles and it is certainly the quickest solution so you can be back to normal as fast as possible. Sometimes your pipes are past their use by date, and they will eventually break and collapse. A water jet cannot fix this type of problem. A CCTV camera inspection of your drains will provide a visual diagnoses of what the problem is.

BEWARE of cheap blocked drain cleaning quotes.

There are plumbing companies out there advertising they will clear your blocked drain for less than $100. As much as I hate to say it, these companies out there will try and RIP you off. The surest sign of this is their ridiculously cheap price to clean your block drain. Let this be a definite warning flag to you.
These unscrupulous companies use a technique called “Bait and Switch” to fleece you for services you don’t need. How does this “Bait & Switch” scam work you ask? A company will advertise a very cheap price to fix your problem. They might advertise something like this; “$99 drain cleaning special”. Trouble is they have no intention of charging you just $99 unblock your drain.
They will arrive at your home and after a brief glance or halfhearted attempt to clear your blocked drain with a water jet set so low your garden hose would have a better chance of a remedy. They will approach you with a grave look of concern and inform you that you need to have your pipes replaced or lined.
They will tell you that your blocked drain is the result of broken pipes that have collapsed and need to be replaced, and while this does happen, the sub hundred dollar price estimate and things like a lifetime guarantee are the sure signs you have a conman on your hands.
You may say “how do these companies encourage or motivate their employees to peddle the Bait & Switch scam?” The answer is they will in most cases pay their employees a hefty commission over and above their hourly pay for any extra work created using these tactics. I also strongly advise anyone employing licensed professionals to ask to see their license as in many cases your actually getting a salesman not a licensed Plumber. This is why, in many cases, their employees are called “Technicians” and not “Plumbers”. Best advice here is to never allow anyone without a license to work on your property and never sign a contract for drainage repair work on the same day.
To repair broken pipes, trenches will need to be dug, pipes replaced and thousands of dollars spent. This is the reason behind these “Bait and Switch” advertising tactics I have outlined here. It is to get you on the phone and have someone come to see you with the sole intention of railroading you into an expensive pipe replacement that in most cases you may not even need. In my opinion it is criminal behavior and operators like these are bad for you and a nightmare for me too. Honest hardworking plumbers and drainers get tarred by the same brush as these shonks and that is no good for anyone.

Home owners will get scammed when putting price before quality of service and experience.

By selecting a plumber and drainer based on price alone, all of a sudden your $99 blocked drain remedy turns into a full blown pipeline refurbishment that will cost you a bucket load of money and the sad part is, there is an extremely good chance you don’t need the work done in the first place!
In most cases you only need a high pressure water jet in the hands of an honest operator to fix your problem and not a high pressure salesman on commission to sell you services you don’t need. So please beware of cheap drain cleaning quotes. Remember the old saying;
"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is"

Think about it. Over and above the typical costs and overheads associated with running a business your drain cleaning job will need equipment such as a high quality water jet machine valued around $20,000, an electric eel valued at about $5,000 and a drain camera costing anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 all requiring a $50,000 vehicle to carry the equipment and more to your home and the licensed Plumber who does the job for you has to be paid a minimum of $40 per hour.
How can anyone expect to have all this hardware and professional manpower at their disposal to clear a blocked drain for just $99 (or less)? You can’t, it’s crazy and simply can’t be done so don’t get burnt trying to find a blocked drain bargain that doesn’t exist.
There are many tricks used to rip off unsuspecting home owners and the majority of the time most won’t even know they have been had. Don’t fall for the “Bait and Switch” rip off and get your drain cleaned properly and for a realistic price by an honest Plumber.
Although the following video was produced and aired on channel nines A Current Affair program some time ago, which also indicates how entrenched this behavior is, it is a perfect example of what to expect with a “Bait & Switch” blocked drain scam.

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