Milwaukee plumber defends service charges

Milwaukee plumber defends service charges

COMPLAINT: Carol Nelson, Delafield, Wis.

"I hired Austin Plumbing to replace a leaking spray faucet. Their worker was there for an hour and a half. I was working at the time, and my husband was home. He just paid the $616.50 bill without question.

"The faucet itself was about $170. I've written and called Austin Plumbing asking for a detailed billing statement, and they haven't provided one."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "Since they cannot or will not explain the additional charge, I expect a $294 refund."

RESPONSE: Eric Smith, partner, Austin Plumbing

"I responded to this in July when she complained to the BBB. I attempted to share with her that the installed cost is a reflection of our cost of providing service and why she should expect to pay more for a faucet from us compared to an online retailer.

"The price was presented and authorized before the work began, and we were paid for the work when we finished. My cost on the faucet was $228.90.

"The markup was $148.90, which covers shipping and handling, warehousing costs, restocking costs, installation materials, a 2-year warranty on parts and labor through our company, not the manufacturer, and some overhead of providing service.

"Labor cost was $238.75, which is a very fair labor rate in today's marketplace for the level of service we provide. This fee covers our labor, trucks, tools, equipment, office staff, and of course, our profit.

"I hope this breakdown resolves the issue and shows she was not overcharged for the work she received."

STATUS: Resolved

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