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Plumber Dispute: Should You Pay for a Warranteed Repair?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re heading on over to Michigan where Terry has a water-heater question. What’s going on at your money pit?

    TERRY: I was wanting to know if $800 is a reasonable amount of money to pay to have a hot-water tank replaced. But actually, the tank was free and the labor was free and the plumber said that you need to pay $800 for parts only to replace a hot-water tank.

    TOM: So, he’s saying the labor is free but the water heater is 800 bucks? Is it a regular, standard, gas-fired water heater?

    TERRY: The water heater itself was also free, because it was a warranty item.

    TOM: That sounds pretty ridiculous for a warranty repair. If the labor is free, then he was already paid for a good portion of the work it took to take the tank out. Now, if he had to add an additional part – I don’t quite understand his explanation. But if he had to add something additional or re-plumb something, I mean $800 is a bit of a crazy price for a little bit of additional plumbing work, considering he was paid for the bulk of the project through the warranty. That sounds like you’re getting gouged.

    TERRY: Right. We’ve already contacted the warranty company and the plumber, as well.

    TOM: Yep. Right.

    TERRY: And the warranty company says, “Contact the plumber.” The plumber says, “Contact the warranty company.” Do we really have any recourse at all to try and recoup some of that money?

    TOM: So you’ve already paid this?

    TERRY: Correct.

    TOM: Well, unfortunately, what I think you’re going to have to do is take them to small-claims court. And I would take both of them to small-claims court. Both. Because then they’ll fight it out amongst themselves, because it’s going to be more expensive to defend it than it is to settle it with you.

    TERRY: OK. Well, I thank you very much for taking the time to give me a call back.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Terry. And I’m sorry that happened to you. Good luck with that project.

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