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Choosing a plumber: one man band or national company?

How to choose the right provider and is there an alternative?

We all strive to find the best tradespeople we can so that we know our essential services in the home are working efficiently and that we have a reliable and responsive service when we have an emergency. We also need to know that we’re being charged a fair price.

When it comes to our plumbing and heating, many people are torn between the 2 main options of a local small company, maybe a one man band with a junior or two to help out, or a national big brand company. The small local firm often has the advantage of being pretty cheap due to low overheads but the downside is that they may not be able to offer the responsiveness that a bigger company can due to workload, holidays or illness. OK if you’re booking in your annual service but not great when you’re left without heating in the middle of winter.

The large national company can therefore seem like a safer bet – plenty of availability and able to respond quickly plus the quality assurance that comes with a well-known brand but all that inevitably comes with a price tag plus the service can be a little impersonal – never seeing the same engineer twice and having to go through the call centre every time.

The dilemma therefore is efficient but expensive or reasonable but not always able to respond, but are they your only choices? Of course not; there is a third option that combines the best features of both. A mid-size company can offer the fast response and the level of training and expertise with the fair price and personal service of a small company.

That middle ground is where we deliberately position ourselves. We’re big enough to offer a 24 hour service, regular internal training and audits and sufficient part stock levels to aim for first time fixes but we’re small enough that you will often see the same engineer and speak to the same person on the phone when you call and we’ll always offer you a fair price. It might be a little more than your local one man band but it won’t be the kind of fee a big brand requires to fund its national advertising campaigns.

So, which is the right route for you? It all depends on your priorities. If cost is the most important thing then by all means, choose your local sole trader. If you need the reassurance that a big household name offers and are prepared to pay for that then choose the name you trust but if you want to cherry pick the best bits of both then call Plumbcare.com on 0800 032 6478.

Boiler not due for a service?

Not a problem, we can still take your details and give you a call when it is. Giving you one less thing to think about!

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