A lot of people are familiar with the Roto Rooter name, because of its “catchy jingle” and advertising campaigns. However, they are nothing but a bunch of independent franchises, that may or may not know anything about plumbing, or providing reliable service as they promise to. Northern Virginia’s Roto Rooter, which serves the Metropolitan D.C. area along with suburbs such as Manassas and Fredericksburg, is a franchise that you do not want to call for service. I found this out the hard way, as my family had what we considered to be a plumbing emergency, and my wife called them due to our regular plumber not being available. While they were at our house within a reasonable amount of time, they should be ashamed of themselves, especially franchise general manager Calvin.
The technician told my wife that our kitchen sink that leaked into our basement sink, was a “major plumbing issue,” and told her it “was going to take extensive time to repair.” He quoted her $410.61, and within twenty minutes of arriving at our house, simply snaked out a simple blockage. Totally outrageous, and through research with other local firms, I’ve found this price to be more than double the industry average. I thought a phone call to the General Manager Calvin could handle this issue, but he’s so arrogant, and showed no concern for the issue of their pricing and gross exaggerations of the plumbing problem. He actually made fun of “Mom and Pop” plumbing operations, and told me “he could sleep well at night knowing what he charged me.” I’m glad he can, because I’ve learned that they are simply a franchise of parent company Chemed (CHE on NYSE), that’s based out of Ohio.
There have been a lot of complaints about Northern Virginia Rotorooter, and for good reason. Simply put, they stink, treat their customers “like garbage,” and are happy to charge more than double what any other firm will. Their assistant manager Ron, when I let him know that this was double the charge of anyone else, replied “That would have been our price two years ago.” Interesting that in this period of economic uncertainty and deflation, that their price would miraculously double in price in such a short period of time. The franchise refused to meet me halfway, and thankfully have had complaints lodged against them through the BBB, PHCC, and Virginia’s Regulatory Commissions. A property management group immediately asked to be dropped from their Internet site, due to my complaints against their company.
If you want a good plumber in Northern Virginia, don’t consider these amateur and unprofessional folks. They absolutely lied to my wife, and the arrogance that they’ve showed is shocking. Sure, not every experience with a company is going to be positive. However, the fact that they are willing to live with their rip off, shows a sociopathic tendency that’s more than a concern. I’ve read a lot of reviews from the elderly and women, which taken as it is, could show a pattern of deliberate deceit. Most plumbers are hard working individuals, who’ve had years of training, and believe in the universal value of honesty. Unfortunately Northern Virginia Roto Rooter does not, and if you want a plumber, don’t let their jingle fool you.