I would like to start off by saying I hired them because of their next-day availability and their overall and quot;Band quot; Angie's list reviews, most of their non-A ratings were on price, but I figured how bad could it be. A few extra dollars for their good availability would be ok. If I could have waited the extra days I would not have hired them based on price/professionalism in retrospect. To their credit, I gave A to their quality, responsiveness, and punctuality because that was all good for the work performed.Now let me explain: My basement drain is located in a small closet that contains the furnace/ A/C and the 40 gallon tank water heater. Space is tight and the drain is located UNDER the hot water heater edge with only an inch of clearance, so this means if the drain clogs (which it did from A/C condensate draining) then you can't unclog it without removing the water heater. Believe me, I tried before calling someone - I have augers, but you just couldn't get the right angle with the clearance issues.So since my water heater was 10 years old and I don't know its maintenance history as I got this place and lt; 2 years ago, the plan was to replace it with a new unit from them (Bradford White brand) and unclogging the drain while the water heater was out. They (2 guys - one older one younger) gave me the estimated costs before leaving to get the new unit and I agreed. When they came back I confirmed the new unit was in their truck ready to go, then I asked and quot;Do you have the permit?and quot; The senior guy looked at me like I was crazy and said no. I told him and quot;Well, the city of Louisville REQUIRES a permit to replace a hot water heater so I would like to do that please.and quot;. To which he took on a very defensive and even offended tone and replied and quot;I've been doing water heaters in Louisville for 30 years and I've never needed a permit. They know us, they see our trucks all over the city, we have never had a problemand quot;. Ok this does not inspire confidence that he is suggesting they NEVER get the REQUIRED permits to do their work. He didn't even MENTION a permit in the estimate or an option to have them pull it at additional cost. I just assumed they would because they are professionals and it is required by the city. I have to give an and quot;Fand quot; for professionalism on this one. I'm sorry but if you are the pros I am going to pay good money for, this should have been a talking point in the estimate phase with a line item for permit cost.They would have happily done the job with no permit or acceptance of liability for their work (that the permit enforces) of an install which if done incorrectly could cause catastrophic property damage (flooding from bad water line install) or even kill the home-owner and family (bad gas line install resulting in explosion.) If they don't pull the permit in the companies name (do not pull a permit for them in your name or you are liable for their bad work) and you don't know it's required, and something goes wrong - they are not liable because no permit was pulled. It is a second opinion on the install job meeting code and being safe, insurance companies may deny claims on property damage if permits were not pulled when required, and you and your family's safety is at stake. It is IMPORTANT and I am appalled they were going to skip it and not even mention it. How can you fully trust a company that doesn't pull required permits? It's a huge red flag.So he started to set these wheels in motion by calling the city to get a permit started. Good, we're getting back on the right track. Then he let me know his concern that we might not pass inspection if we do a drop-in replacement due to the drain situation. He guessed at a maximum that 1 inch clearance could be raised to about brick-height (3-4 inches maybe?). The alternatives to this are to do a tankless water heater instead, to a drain relocation (he implied this would be out-of-price range expensive since everything would have to come out of the closet first - furnace, A/C, etc), or to move the water heater to the cold-zone garage etc. This made sense to me, I believe these are honest recommendations so I have no problem with that.They're estimate for installing a Rinnai RU98I tankless water heater seemed excessively high to me, but it was too late in the day for that on a Friday to do this additional job, plus I didn't want to blindly move forward at the estimated price, and especially with the no-permit red flag. So the work they performed was removing my existing hot water heater and clearing the floor drain with a power-auger.So for removing my existing water heater, the charge was $663.00. It's a 1 or 1.5 hour job with no parts expense and perhaps a fee to dispose the unit. In my opinion that was almost double a reasonable charge. Then the drain clearing (not a main drain) was $335.75 which is maybe $75-100 over a reasonable charge in my opinion. Yes I did agree to a charge of and quot;about $1000and quot; before the work was done which I could have refused but I said yes because I did want the work done that day - just to be clear this was not a and quot;surpriseand quot; final invoice, just one I felt I had to accept if I wanted the work completed that day.So this brings me to their and quot;flat-rate pricingand quot; which I believe is a major disservice to their customers in terms of pricing and transparency. They disappear to their truck to crunch their numbers like everyone else, and emerge with one line item per thing you are requesting, with high prices and no explanation as to why the prices seem so high.Do they tell you numbers before work is done? Yes. Does this save you money? NO, it seems it can DOUBLE your cost or more based on this experience and some pricing information I gathered from hourly-rate model companies, so this pricing model is a disservice to the customer cost-wise and transparency-wise in my opinion. Steer clear of this company unless you like to light money on fire, or can accept that as a trade-off for their good availability (next-day in most cases). But BEWARE they are not pulling permits when required unless YOU force them to do so. A professional company would do this for every job it is required for and itemize the permit cost in the estimate and explain to you it is there for your safety, and it is required by the city.