Plumbers' Charging Hire for their equipment

A couple of weeks ago I called a plumber to clear a partially blocked sewer. He was very prompt & turned up the next morning. First he put the spider all the way down the pipe & it improved somewhat. He then setup the Jettah ( high pressure water unit) & then decided to put a camera down the pipe to see where the problem had occurred for “future reference.” I was suitably impressed, prompt & using all the right gear. That is, until the bill arrived.
On top of the $510 for 3 hours labour (two workers), he had charged me a day’s hire for the Jettah at $180.00 & a day’s hire of the Sewercamh machine for $130.00. All up, $915.75 to clear about 15 metres of a sewer pipe.
As far as I’m concerned, this is a scam. The plumber can depreciate the equipment rather quickly, so in my opinion this equipment “hire” is a ripoff.

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Hi @Delp60, welcome to the community.

Many occupations charge service or hire type charges for equipment used. We used to do this in one of my past jobs as a consultant and also when working at a University. This was done as some equipment was hired from other parties, whilst others owned by the company/University I worked for. The equipment was charged at standard hire rates plus a modest administration charge (percentage). The legal profession is slso one that has a long list of additional charges in top if hourly rates.

It appears some plumbers are doing likewise.

Did you ask for a quote or estimate before commissioning the plumber? If the plumber said their hourly rate was $170 and they added the hire without disclosing, this would be an issue as the quote/estimate was misleading.

If you didn’t ask for a quote/estimate before hand, then you are potentially at the charging structure the plumber choses to use.