EXCLUSIVE: Emergency plumber turns up 10 hours late then charges pensioner £2,640 for 75 minutes’ work to fix a leakMary Cross, 71, claims she was ‘ripped off’ by a plumber after spotting a leakThe cost of the repair bill equated to £35 per minute of serviceThe plumber also arrived at 9am the day after Mary called the emergency lineExpert Plumbing 247 Ltd has since phoned Mary to reduce the bill by £1,000By Andy Chamberlain For Mailonline
Published: 09:11, 1 December 2022 | Updated: 09:41, 1 December 2022
A pensioner claims she and her husband were ‘ripped off’ after a plumber charged her £35 per minute to fix a leak.
Mary Cross, 71, was hit with a repair bill of £2,640 for an hour and 15 minutes’ work – with the tradesman refusing to leave until it was immediately paid.
Her husband, Anthony, 67, spotted water pouring from the kitchen ceiling when he went to make a late-night drink.
Mary rang an emergency plumber who she claims said he would be with them within 30 minutes – but arrived 10 hours later.
Mary Cross, 71, was hit with a repair bill of £2,640 for an hour and 15 minutes’ service
The couple pulled up the floorboards and removed kitchen cupboard units to discover a T-joint was leaking and turned off the stop cock.
The plumber repaired the bathroom leak – costing £450 – and replaced the stop cock for £750 – claiming it was also dripping.
They were also charged £250 to fix the leaking stop cock, £250 to remove and install the basin, £350 for parts and a further £150 call out fee, with an additional £440 VAT slapped on top.
Mary said: ‘I feel like an idiot.
‘I do feel like a fool because we have paid it when we really shouldn’t. My husband went into the kitchen to make a drink and the floor was flooded.
The plumber repaired the bathroom leak – costing £450 – and replaced the stop cock for £750
The couple were also charged £250 to fix the leaking stop cock, £250 to remove and install the basin, £350 for extra parts, a further £150 call out fee, and £440 VAT on top of that
‘We took up the floorboards in the bathroom and pulled the kitchen units out to see if we could fix it, but we couldn’t so turned off the stop cock.’
A plumber from Expert Plumbing 247 Ltd arrived at 9am on November 10, after Mary, 71, called the helpline at 11pm on the previous night.
She said: ‘It wasn’t much of a quick response emergency call-out. A T-joint was leaking badly under the floorboards in the bathroom. It was pouring through the ceiling.
‘We had stripped everything out for the plumber so all he had to do was replace the parts. All he needed was a hack saw and the connectors, so it doesn’t take long at all.’
The former bookkeeper added: ‘He was there less than an hour and 15 minutes. And to be charged a total of more than £2,600 is ridiculous.’
Mary, from Preston, Lancashire, said the plumber was scared of her dog Scruffy – a Jackapoo – and so took him out and wasn’t home when Anthony paid the bill.
She said: ‘I left it to my husband who was in a panic at this point and he got ripped off. He is suffering for it now because when the plumber had gone he looked at the bill and thought “what have I done?”
‘He is so depressed about the whole thing. You get to a point where you think you are old and clever and you feel like a right idiot.’
Mary said she has phoned and emailed the Bolton-based company to complain but has not received a response.
She continued: ‘What is really sad is that if you look online to see what you would expect to pay, it comes to about £800.
‘I had the money to pay for it but it just means I can’t die at the moment because that was my funeral fund. I’ll have to stick around a bit longer.
‘Looking on the bright side, they are keeping me alive!’
MailOnline contacted Expert Plumbing 247 Ltd, which phoned Mary and agreed to reduce the bill by £1,000.