Roto-Rooter Offers Tiny Refund To Customer Who Spent $200 For Short Visit (Updated)

Usually when a company emails us after we post a complaint, it’s with tail between the legs and the intent to satisfy the customer. Roto-Rooter, however, seized the opportunity to offer a piecemeal refund that only managed to further anger the offended client.

After a Roto-Rooter rep asked us to put him in touch with Rochelle, who wrote us about paying $200 for a three-minute visit from a service tech, we forwarded his info to her. She says Roto-Rooter offered a refund of only $30.

Rochelle isn’t happy and she said the company won’t budge when she tried to negotiate for more.

UPDATE: Here is Roto-Rooter’s response:

Our plumber was at the
customer’s home for 17 minutes, not three minutes, as she claims. This plumber is very experienced and knows how to work quickly and effectively.

The customer initially called us stating she had an emergency because her building contractor cut one of her pipes and the water supply had to be turned off. The customer lives pretty far from our office so there was significant travel time and we were very busy that day.

The customer was not home when our plumber arrived but she told us that ahead of time and asked us to explain to her building contractor what needed to be done. So we completed the work and charged our standard rate for the first hour of work (second and third hours are discounted accordingly).

The customer had every right to call other plumbers for price quotes and choose the one offering her the lowest price. But instead she called us and when you call Roto-Rooter you don’t get a random guy who works out of his house with zero overhead. Roto-Rooter is licensed and fully insured. Our service technicians are uniformed and they drive clearly marked vehicles. They must go through a criminal background check before they are hired and they submit to random drug screenings and driving record checks to make sure they are safe and trustworthy.

Furthermore, we pay our plumbers decent middle-class wages so they can support their families and build a decent life. All of these things cost money but they give our customers peace of mind that they may not get from some cut-rate plumbers.

We gave the customer a $30 refund after she called us back stating that she called a competitor and was quoted a lower price of $170. We felt that matching the price of the competitor would be a friendly gesture that might make her feel better about the service call and could result in her calling us again the next time she needed a plumber. But clearly she feels that a 15% refund is “a tiny discount,” as the headline claims. We feel this refund was quite fair and have determined that any additional discount is unwarranted.

Previously: Roto-Rooter Drains $200 From My Bank Account For 3-Minute Visit