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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Piranha Plumbing

Piranha Plumbing
Phone: 813-963-2433
6304 Benjamin Rd. Suite 511
Tampa, FL 33634

I worked for Piranha Plumbing from March of 2006 till August of 2006,and regret not having quit working there sooner. Upon being hired I immediately had bad vibes about the work place environment considering they had been through over 100 service techs in less then 2 years and none of the other employees I met there had been with them longer then 6 months.

When hired I was told they were to supply the work van and all sewer cleaning tools, but when I started my first day I was told they were working on getting a van and all the sewer machines were in use or broken and I would be compensated for using my own van and sewer machine,being a trusting person I added on commercial insurance to my van and began using it for work along with my own drain cleaning machine as well.When the paycheck arrived I was in shock at how far off the numbers were, I was hired at the rate of 35 percent commission, not only was I not compensated for using my own van and tools { it should have been a higher commission rate} I was shorted over 1,400 dollars in pay along with being reimbursed for materials and permit fees which I paid out of pocket, I brought this to their attention and they straighten it out within 5-6 days.

What I encountered that first payday was the exact same thing that happen every two weeks at payday, constant bookkeeping errors, short pay checks,always having to wait an extra week for my money,even the money I spent out of pocket on materials and permit fees I had to beg and argue to be reimbursed with the numbers never adding up right. I began to see why no other plumbers had hung around long with these guys, while trying to get materials it was embarrassing to even tell the supply houses whom you worked for because they all were owned large outstanding charge accounts,some wouldn't even sell to us cash, most of the time you had to go to home depot or lowes and pay for materials out of pocket, I would expect this kind of behavior from a small derlick company, but this plumbing company has over 70 employees with shops in Tampa,Orlando,Sarasota,Naples, And Fort Myers.

Another thing that was alarming was the company's sales tactics, if you were sent out to a customers home and only fixed what was needed it was frowned upon,'called leaving money on the table', you were expected to make up sells,unnesasary repairs,use deceptive sales tactics such as cleaning sewer lines with the wrong size cable and no cutting blade,giving the customer a free warranty,to gain trust,all the while knowing the sewer line would back up again,they would call you back because of it being under warrantying returning is when the customer would be told they needed a complete sewer line replacement, when in fact all was needed was yearly cleaning.

Something else they may alarm consumers is most if not 75 percent of the techs working for these guys were not experienced plumbers, they will hire almost anyone off the street who is willing to use their own vehicle and tools,put them in a sort of plumbing class room, train them how to do sales and fill out paper work correctly and use a nextel radio, a quick 101 on plumbing repairsmthen turn them loose with none or little hands on experiance,and 5-10 days of class room experiences of these guys do turn into good plumbers but they cause more problems their first couple months out do to inexperience and pass the bill onto the customer.

My last month working for these guys ,during my oncall night the dispatcher called and ask me if I could take a ride out to a very exclusive commercial customer,2 rookies had been there all day putting in a 80 gallon gas water heater and the country clubs maintenance director was losing patience with these kids, I spoke to one of the rookies on the radio and he said he could not get the water heaters pilot light to light up, I arrived 45 minute later and smelled gas immediately, in this 10 by 10 boiler room, I checked the gas valve to heater and sure enough the rookies had left it on while waiting for me!!!!There easily 100 guests in the dining room 20 yrds away,thank god this kid didn't hurt himself or any guests, well set up a fan outside the to blow in fresh air and an hour later I discovered one of the ignition wires had came loose on the heater, could have been a catastrophe.

I could go on and on about Piranha Plumbing but wont, I did quit working there after 4-5 months, turned all my uniforms in and radio promply,Not surprisingly I never received my last pay check, for which I am owned close to 1,800 dollars, some may same I am a disgruntled former employee, but am not I just felt the need to let consumers or anyone considering working for this outfit to use caution.

Dave G
Saint Petersburg, FL

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to have a conversation with DOL and get these motherfuckers shut down.