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OBD Plumbing
OBD Plumbing Darrell Burden Licensed Plumber lost his COOL, was abusive and LOUD, Oakley, California
27th of May, 2011 by User939872
You would NOT believe the incident I witnessed unfolded before my eyes yesterday.... I hired this Plumber, Darrell Burden to fix a broken main water line that was leaking water down my driveway to the street from underground. Found him in the yellow pages. First he started digging random holes as he did not know where to find the leak underground. It could be under the driveway or under the sidewalk. He suggested I hire Pipe Pro to find the exact location of the burst pipe using the state of the art listening equipment. Which consisted of headphones and a super sensitive microphone. That sounded logical, so i agreed. Pipe Pro came out next day and found the leak after about an hour of searching and listening. That cost me $265. Paid him done. The broken pipe that was located by Pipe Pro was pinpointed under concrete sidewalk next to the driveway. So the Plumber gave me the choice of him and his one helper to cut and remove a 2' section of concrete or I could hire my own guys. During our negotiations for this part of the job, Darrell got really impatient and rude by insisting that I hurry up and make up my mind whether I was going to hire my own guys to excavate the concrete or Darrell. I know at that point I should have dismissed Darrell but I decided one outburst of loosing his Cool was not that critical, so I kept on going. So Plumber, Darrell was asked for a bid to cut out a 2' section of sidewalk and un-bury the water pipe. He said $150. I said OK. So he and helper guy proceeded to cut out the 2' section of sidewalk and dig down to the broken pipe. The broken pipe was not in that location, Pipe Pro was off by several feet, (not as accurate as they tell you when promoting themselves) so for another $150, Darrell said he would cut out another 2' section of sidewalk next to the one he just removed. A bit of negotiation on how much to cut and where on the concrete took place, but again Darrell lost his Cool, was very impolite, impatient, acting out in a what one would call a temper tantrum. Finally, he and I came to an agreement as to where to cut the next concrete section. So Darrell's helper proceeded with cutting the concrete with a 3" round circular saw, not wide enough to cut all the way thru the concrete as it is 4" thick. No I did not realize this until after the cut was made because they didn't tell me. I was under the impression that the guys would be able to cut thru the concrete and lift each section out so that the repair job to the concrete would be minimal. It turned out that that they knew before hand that after the cut they would have to break out the concrete sidewalk totally demolishing it but did not make that clear to me until the cut was finished and then Darrell proceeded to try to lift the concrete to show me that it was to heavy to lift out therefore he and helper would have to break up my concrete sidewalk into little pieces to get it out. Which now we are looking at new section of landscaping that area with concrete or pavers. Which now increased my overall costs for this repair. Again,, Darrell lost his temper, in trying to explain to me that the concrete had to be broken out there was no other way. And that I would now have to hire someone to come out and re-pour new concrete sidewalk or use paver's. Which I my guess would be another $1000 for that. Finally under the 2nd section of concrete sidewalk Darrell found a section of 3" cracked PVC water pipe that was damaged due to a rock laying underneath the pipe. At this point I am up to $300 to Darrell, and $265 to Pipe Pro. Been spoken to rudely twice and yelled at. I am thinking lets get the job done, please GOD, let us get thru this w/o further temper tantrums from this psycho plumber. That evening, with the hole dug out, the pipe cut, after his trip to the Home Depot for parts, which i paid for by CC over phone, Darrell, OBD Plumbing out of Oakley, Ca. proceeded to cut and retrofit new 3" PVC pipe fittings to the existing pipe. When I came back out of the house to take a look at his repair job I could not believe my eyes, the new pipe fittings had been assembled in a U shaped fashion going from straight out of the pipe to up, over, down and straight out. This meant the water flow would have to go up thru the U shape to get to the straight pipe then to the vertical pipe at the base of the house. Hmmmmm? I wonder if the pressure of the water in the pipe would be compromised??? Well it was late, the pipe and glue had to dry so Darrell and helper said they would be back tomorrow to finish the job. The next morning before the Plumber arrived, I turned on the water at the water meter at the street with my special tool. Yep you guessed it. The Water pressure was to low in the house. I would have to have the Plumber, Darrell turn the water pressure way because the kitchen faucet at the sink was to low. Also noticed that morning that the water was still flowing out of the street drain but slowly now just a trickle. But still if it was fixed why the trickle in the street drain? Darrell and his helper showed that morning, they proceeded to fill in the hole with the removed dirt. Darrell made some adjustments to the water pressure using his meter device plugged into the hose bib. Then he came into the house to view the water flow pressure at various faucets thru out the house at all the bathroom sinks and the kitchen sink. He took apart the kitchen sink faucet first, cleaned off any debris, then put the parts back together. After retest kitchen faucet, it leaked water out of where the water comes out of the screen on the kitchen faucet. It didn't leak there before he tested it. So he un-tighten, disassembled it and put it back together, then tightened it down. Still leaked. Same story with the laundry room faucet, leaked after he cleaned it out and put it back together. His comment, "Well it must have been that way before. I am not responsible... "
I'm thinking what a crock this Plumber is. So now we are at the finish line, Darrell goes out to his truck to write up an invoice. I went out to retrieve it to make copies. It said the bill was over $1250. I said NO was not worth more than $750 so after some haggling we agreed to $1000. I am thinking this guy is sneaky how he did not tell me the price till after the job was over. Then he padded the price. So watch out for that if you ever get into the same situation with this Plumber. I asked if he had a credit card machine for his business so I could charge the invoice. He said he just got a credit card swipe device that attached to his mobile phone, that he could use that. So after about 30 mins of trying, he gave up and said he would invoice me on Pay Pal when he got home that nite. I said fine. He asked me for my email address to send the invoice to. I wrote it down on his copy of the invoice. I kept my original of the invoice. About an hour later after they left, Darrell called me and said my email address did not go thru, and to send him an email to his email address so that when he got home he could send me an invoice requesting payment thru Pay Pal. (moron, I gave him my correct email, he must've input it wrong). Then before I could say okay he hung up the phone. How Rude!!! By this time I am re-thinking the whole job. The way it was... not only over priced but Plumber was Rude. On numerous occassions insulting me and lost his temper and cool on more than once. That is NOT how a licensed Plumber is suppose to act. Darrell was over charging me and taking advantage that I had not gone thru this before with this type of repair. So I decided to tell him that I am only going to pay $700 to his Pay Pal account when he calls back. Darrell calls back that nite when he got home. I told him that I calculated the time on the job and amount of labor that went into the job and that I was not going to pay more that $700. Well, you can imagine how he went into the whole nine on that.... said he had to pay his past due mortgage, that he had a car payment to pay. He made his demands for me to pay the full $1000 but I kept on saying no, no, no...$700 and that is it. Then, he changed his mind on the method of payment and asked for check or cash. Then he hung up. He never sent me an invoice via email thru Pay Pal. But the next morning around 8:30a, he called with a demand for payment. It sounded like his intent was to do something unthinkable like put a lien on my house. As he is just that spiteful and mean. So after some thought, I decided to go on computer, invoke my Pay Pal account and send a payment to his email address for $700 which was paid from my credit card. After that I called Darrell, luckily it went to voicemail as I did not want to have another verbal confrontation with this psycho Plumber with the temper and insults, so I left him a message that payment was waiting to be claimed on Pay Pal. Later today, I checked in afternoon and he had retrieved it. All is quiet now. But I have a feeling he is going to start the calling next week for another $300. But I haven't decided yet what I'll do on that. I'll post later as to the outcome next week. Also I will post a complaint on BBB and CA State contractors Board on him. Plus I will check his license there also to see if it is current. I hope I have at least saved one homeowner from going thru the Plumber nightmare from hell like I did. Thanks for reading my post.
3759 days ago by Janey
Sounds like you burned him for $300 to me...and sounds like Darrell needs to spot problem customers and politely bow out.

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