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Thermocoupler Sting

mp1969 Member Posts: 226
Last night on the 10pm news there was a piece about getting ripped off by your plumber. They had so many complaints against "Flat Rate Plumbing" that they sabotaged a water heater by loosening up the thermocoupler and calling in the above mentioned firm and another firm that I used to work for (Meyer's Plumbing Service)

Both diagnosed and recommended changing the thermocoupler:

Flat Rate ............$$230.00 (or there abouts)

Meyer's Plumbing.......$40.00

They used the local Benjamin Franklin Franchise as their expert who stated that they would not have change the thermocoupler.This made both service providers sound negligent. While the price difference is eye opening, the questions I have are as follows:

On a heater that has been in service would you suspect a loose thermocoupler? (what external force can loosen a coupler???)

Would you not change this inexpensive item as a preventative maintenance type thing , while you are doing this service? (to avoid a call back)

It is my feeling that while the intent obviously was to expose the outrageous prices of the flat rate firm (due to over thirty some stated complaints to this station's consumer dept.)The unknowing service company (Meyer's) also ended up looking incompetant.
Also I have a gut feeling that this whole setup was a blatant act of entrapment and questionable from a legal standpoint.
In conclusion due to the bad rap we are getting from firms that grossly overcharge, we are all now under scrutiny.
I suggest that you advise all your service techs to conduct themselves as if they were being watched because they may in fact be!

This aired on the 10 pm news last night February 26, 2004
TMJ 4 Milwaukee, WI.

Much has been written about the harm that undercharging causes, this is a clear lesson in what overcharging can do (not only to the offender but to our entire industry.)

Felt this was worth sharing.

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