Earlier this year, a plumber visited to check out a problem. The price to fix it was steep. Three reasons prevented us from calling a second plumber for another quote: 1) We already paid a service fee for the plumber to visit. Calling a second plumber would cost a second service fee. 2) The plumber was capable of fixing the problem then and there. We needed a quick fix. 3) Scheduling a second plumber would require research to find someone trustworthy. We decided to pay the steep price.
Recently, an air conditioning repairman checked out our AC. It worked but generated an unusually loud noise. The AC company earned high marks with consumers and once won an ethics award. We had hired the same company before. The repairman explained the problem. However the situation was different. We paid a service fee, but he didn’t have the parts to fix the problem. We didn’t need a quick fix and we knew a second, reliable option.
His office called back later and quoted a price of more than $1200. The price was steeper than the plumber’s earlier in the year. We had a choice to make. If we called a second repairman, we would pay a second service fee. One of those service fees would be money we would not get back. On The Flip Side, if the second quote was simply $100 less, we would ultimately save money despite paying two service fees. We made a second phone call.
To make a long story short, repairman number two determined we did not need to replace as many parts as repairman number one recommended. Even if both companies assessed the problem the same way, repairman number two’s quote still was lower. We hired repairman number two to fix the problem. The price difference was staggering! Our fee? $300! That is more than $900 and 75% less than repairman number one.
We lost the $75 service fee we paid to repairman number one. But arithmetic shows making a second phone call paid off.