A picture of an open manhole.

When it comes to maintaining your home, nothing but the best will do. This extends across the sectors of drainage where a simple mistake or oversight can potentially lead to a catastrophic fallout. Unfortunately, some drainage companies make their money by exploiting their customers and taking advantage of their working conditions.

As is the case with any scam, awareness encourages resistance and by understanding the most common types you can quickly catch out any unsavoury companies.

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Drain 247 is an established local drainage company with experienced engineers. We provide fixed price quotes.

Charging by The Hour

When working with a drainage company, you are likely to see one of two payment structures.

Payment by the job allows you to pay one flat fee which is calculated based on the complexity and duration of the work. Paying by the hour gives you an hourly fee to pay and depending on the total duration of the work, the price may greatly vary.

As you can probably guess, charging by the hour may give some companies leverage when it comes to urgency. Some even go out of their way to spend as long as possible carrying out the job to maximise profits. In some cases, a company could spend 1 hour and 20 minutes on the job, but they are charging for 2 hours which means that you will end up paying more.

It’s recommended to choose a company that offers fixed price quotes. An experienced and fair drainage company will be able to provide estimates as to how long a task may take and not go back on their word. Once a fixed price has been agreed, that is what you will pay and there will be no extra charges.

At Drain 247 we offer a fixed price guarantee with the benefit of a free quotation to ensure that the price is both fair and completely transparent.

Creating Unnecessary Work

Have you ever had a company fix an issue only to be informed that there is something else wrong that needs to be resolved right away? Only the workers themselves will be sure of whether the issue was present before their arrival or not.

If a company is not honest about their work, in situations where they use tools incorrectly or don’t follow proper procedures, they could end up causing further damage to your drains and not tell you.

They will say that the issue was already present before they arrived. The outcome of this is usually you have to pay extra to resolve a problem that conveniently arose while they have all the necessary tools in their van.

Offering Cheap Options

When a drainage issue needs attention, many homeowners will choose to go directly to the cheapest provider without carrying out the necessary due diligence of checking reviews and asking for customer references.

While everyone likes a bargain, it’s important to be aware of the quality. Some companies know that homeowners will want a cheap and fast solution for their drainage problem and they might take advantage of this.

Here are some of the ways that companies can take advantage of homeowners:

• Engineers turning up with the wrong tools meaning that you might end up paying for multiple callouts as well as the added service time. The initial low price that you saw may eventually end up being double because of the number of times they’ve had to be called out. Some may even charge you for the time they have spent in traffic so it’s very important to carry out your research on a company beforehand.

• Carrying out unnecessary additional services, such as drain jetting, can quickly inflate the price if it’s not actually required.

• As mentioned in the ‘charging by the hour’ section, the job might get dragged out beyond its need, requiring you to pay for the extra time.

Prevent this from happening to you by choosing Drain 247, our fixed price guarantee ensures that you’re never paying more than you need to.

Using Unnecessary Chemicals

It’s with a worrying frequency that a drainage company makes use of the client’s lack of knowledge regarding the drain jetting service to try and sell an additional product.

Most commonly, this comes in the form of using chemicals that are not necessary at all. Some drainage companies may charge you to use ‘cleaning chemicals’ which typically tend to be anti-freeze, disinfectant or other harsh chemicals.

When they carry out the drain jetting service, you might notice a pleasant smell or foam from the chemicals used, but in reality, this could further damage your drainage systems. Drain jetting should only utilise water as that’s what your drains have been built to transport. Pouring chemicals down the drain can be very corrosive to the pipes and can cause major problems in the long term.

Be wary if a drainage company is offering to jet your drains with ‘chemicals’ as this is not needed.

Fake Videos of Customer’s Pipework

A drainage company with many years of experience will likely have countless footage recordings from a variety of projects and sites. While many of them may have been recorded in earnest, they may now be used to justify unnecessary work and demonstrate the severity of a drainage issue to push a sale.

Very few people actually know what the inside of their drainage system looks like making this a very common scam.


Some drainage companies allow a commission-based salary where they pay their engineers a basic rate, but they also incentivise them by paying them a commission for the number of jobs they have closed. This means that they get a percentage of the overall job cost with more expensive jobs yielding higher pay.

This encourages engineers to try and raise the cost of the job by dragging their feet and trying to sell you additional services or products. Some drainage businesses may employ this practice in order to make as much money as possible.

Wasting Time on the Job

It’s not uncommon to find a drainage company offering a set price per call-out, and while this can make larger, complex jobs more affordable, you may find yourself paying a ludicrous fee to resolve the simplest of drainage issues.

These companies may set a high price for their call-outs, regardless of how much work needs to be carried out, which is wrong.

At this point, these types of companies seem to realise their clients are overpaying and wouldn’t be too happy paying a substantial fee for a miniature job. Due to this, they tend to find ways to drag out the work to make it appear good value.

Since it’s difficult to negotiate a price once the call-out has already been made, this is a very common scam with many drainage companies actively building a payment structure that encourages this.

Cheap Hourly Rate

While this isn’t the case with every drainage company, many do tend to drag their feet when working on an hourly rate.

Rather than sending a team of two engineers that will complete the job much faster for only a slightly higher price, they will often send a single engineer with the instruction of spending as long on the job as possible.

The pricing structure of many drainage companies naturally encourages jobs to be undertaken as slowly as possible.

Need a Professional Drainage Company?

Drain 247 is an established local drainage company with experienced engineers. We provide fixed price quotes.

How to Avoid Drainage Scams

Similar to when you are looking for tradesmen for other jobs, it’s important that you carry out your due diligence so that you are reducing the risk of being scammed. There are several ways in which you can limit your exposure to low-quality companies that may try to take advantage of you:

Recommendations are Key

There is a good chance that if someone within your family, work or friendship circles have recently had drainage work done, they may be able to provide advice on the company they used. They can tell you their honest opinion of their experience and you can make a decision based on their recommendation.

Read Customer Reviews

What better way is there to verify the quality of a company than to hear from other people who have used them? Google, Facebook and Yell make it easy to find this information. Keep an eye out for how a company responds to their reviews. Do they take the time to thank their customers for the reviews? Do they deal with negative reviews in a professional way?

It’s important that be aware that some businesses may have purchased fake reviews to bolster their company profile. While review platforms are becoming increasingly smarter at detecting fake reviews, it’s not a fool-proof solution.

Make sure you check the dates of when the reviews were posted and the content as well. If they are posted too close to each other and say similar things, it could be a red flag.

Look for Accreditations

The drainage industry has several regulatory bodies in place to verify the integrity and quality of a company. Make sure you ask to see accreditations before choosing someone to carry out the work.

Check Previous Work

If quality work is being carried out, the drainage company should be more than happy to provide customer references and case studies. If they refuse or don’t have any this may be a sign that their work isn’t all that great.

Are these scams common?

Although these types of scams are less prevalent these days, you should always be alert to prevent the risk of being scammed. The more you know about these scams, the harder it is for drainage companies to get away with these bad practices.

We want to reassure people that not all drainage companies employ these practices and that there are many genuine companies out there that value their customers.

We wanted to write this article to bring to light some of the bad practices that some drainage companies employ. Like with many other business sectors, bad practices and scams are prevalent everywhere and it’s up to us to protect ourselves by reading about what the latest scams are and how we can identify and avoid them.

At Drain 247, we always have our customer’s interests at the heart of everything we do. We build strong relationships with customers and we always strive to maintain customer satisfaction, integrity and transparency.

Contact Drain 247 for Drain Services

Please get in touch with our team of experts at Drain 247 if you require any of our drain services.

We have years of experience in providing professional drain services and pride ourselves on the level of expertise of our engineers. Equipped with top-of-the-line tools, you can rest assured that we will take care of any drainage issues across domestic, commercial, and industrial properties.

Call us on 0800 612 8038 or you can complete our quick enquiry form to get your free, no-obligation quote.