So the kitchen sink gets all floody and starts to flow into the dishwasher and there's water everywhere and ick.
After my own feeble "let's check the trap" plan yields nothing, we call the plumber. Because that's what you do, right? Of course it is.
So the guy shows up, says he'll fix it for x amount of money but also says we have another leaky hose that indicates a larger replacement being necessary for y amount more of money. And x+y = huge pile of money.
We do what you might do: tell the guy to do the x fix and not the y fix. It's a ton of money and also it just feels like he's piling things on (he also tried to sell us $65 worth of organic solvent stuff, no sale) the way you would expect a plumber to do.
And I'm thinking, what do honest plumbers do when a customer really needs something extra done but that customer is so conditioned to plumbers being dishonest that the customer refuses to believe it? It's not like you can say, "No really, you have to listen to me, I'm honest." We saw how well that worked when Nixon said he wasn't a crook.
Instead, customers like me with no real knowledge of plumbing are in a position to judge the veracity and merit of what a professional plumber is telling me. I still think he was piling on (there may be a wee tiny leak but not y dollars' worth) but I only think that because I'm me, with my checkbook, with my no idea about plumbing, and I'm in charge.
There must be a better way of doing business than this. A way of repairing the plumbing image, of educating homeowners, of having an independent third party who would not profit from repairs acting as arbiter in the situation. It's like car buying, it's just all broken. We can put a man on the moon. Although we haven't done so in some time and, if we are to believe terrible OJ Simpson movies from long ago, never even did that in the first place.
UPDATE: Hmm. So after agreeing to clean out the drain for x dollars, dude struggles for a while and then announces he can't do it. He thinks it's because he didn't bring the right tool. And then-- THEN-- he wants to get paid. And Jill is like, well, huh?, No! She calls the plumbing company, dude leaves, and they dispatch a new guy. New guy shows up, does the drain clearing for 60% of the first guy's price and also makes the leak go away with a little tightening here and there.
Now it gets weird. The new guy, the awesome guy, was not an employee of the original plumbing company, just another plumber they called out in a pinch. This conversation then occurred (paraphrased):
JILL: So what company do you work for?
GUY: I can't tell you that?
JILL: Wha-- why not?
GUY: I just can't.
JILL: Are you not supposed to tell me? Are you under orders from the plumbing company I called?
GUY: I ca--
JILL: How about this: can I follow you out to your truck and right down the name that it says on the side of your truck?
GUY: Well I can't stop you.
So that's our new plumber.