Most homeowners won’t need a plumber very often. Fixing clogs, stopping a running toilet, and repairing faucet leaks are easily tackled by today’s handy DIY homeowners. But when you do come across a major plumbing issue, then you really need a plumber fast. So, do you seek out a local independent plumber? Or do you call the largest brand-name plumbing franchise you can find?
Before you succumb to the indisputable power of national advertising, check out these 5 disadvantages of plumbing franchises.
Franchise Plumbers Aren’t Always Close By
Although plumbing franchises may co-opt a phone number that seems to be within your local phone exchange, that doesn’t mean they live and work in your hometown. Franchises tend to take customers from a larger regional area. Depending on how many franchises are in your state, that area may be more extensive than you think. If your basement is filling with water because of a burst pipe, you’ll want to be sure you hire a local plumber who doesn’t have to drive thirty miles to show you how to turn off your household water supply.
Franchises Have Little Impetus To Build Local Customer Loyalty
Most franchise plumbers work over an extended regional area, so you’re unlikely to bump into them in the grocery store, or see them at your local church. Without that direct connection to the community, the impetus to provide exemplary service is much less than that of a local plumber. A local plumber depends not on customer calls relayed to them through the larger franchise, but purely on repeat customer satisfaction.
Franchises Work Within Company-Wide Restrictions
Depending on the company and the franchise rules, plumbers and plumbing companies who choose to work under the aegis of the franchise have to conform to certain business rules. Restrictions include curbs on what materials and suppliers they can use, what subcontractors they can hire, and in which regional areas they’re allowed to work. This reduces the amount of flexibility and creativity these plumbers can offer to their customers, and may cause an increase in prices compared to local plumbers.
Franchises Are Preferred By Start-Up Plumbers
Here’s the truth about plumbing franchises: Becoming a part of a nationally-known plumbing franchise is considered the simplest way to start a first-time plumbing venture quickly. The franchise provides the reputation as well as the customer referrals, negating the need to build a solid reputation over time.
That means that the franchise brand may be old, but there’s no guarantee that the franchise plumbers are long-experienced ones, who have worked for decades developing a loyal customer base through fine service and quality work.
Franchise Plumbers May Pass On Higher Costs
Plumbing companies who have signed franchise agreements are required to share a portion of their profits with the mother company, which then spends that boon on infrastructure, brand management, and marketing. Without this draw on profits, local plumbers can often provide quality service, parts, and repairs for lower prices.
Every long-time homeowner needs to know the name of a good plumber. Before you pick up that phone to call a franchise, be sure to ask your neighbors and friends for the contact information for their trusted local plumber.