Can You Trust Japanese Tradesman ? - 1st Story

 Let me take you through what happened when my loving caring wife discovered that the bathroom basin had a water leak:

  1. Ok-san noticed the leak in the cabinet below the basin - Bad enough to damaged the cabinet base.
  2. Yours Truly, (YT) discovered that the leak was coming from the Plug & Waste, (P & W) fitting underneath the basin.
  3. YT dismantled the plumbing and found that the flange, (the face of the Waste; the bit that you see at the bottom of the basin) had split and come apart from the rest of the fitting.  NO DRAMA I thought, lets just go and purchase another P & W from 'Kahma' or from 'Jumbo Encho' Home Improvement Stores and ALL will be fixed in a couple of hours including 1 hour travelling time.
  4. Arrive at Karmah, tried looking around the large plumbing section - No luck at finding a new P & W
  5. Ask staff with the help of Ok-San  translating what a P & W is - Still no luck - Left store empty handed.
  6. Do exactly same procedure at Jumbo Encho - No Luck
  7. YT asks Ok-San to ask neighbors if they know of a locally based plumber that does not charge like a wounded bull - to perhaps buy a new P & W.
  8. Ok-San gets the phone number of the recommended plumber, calls him and gets advised that he does not sell "Any parts without looking at the problem" YT reluctantly agrees and thinks that the Call Out Fee will not be that much as is should only take about 5 minutes to see the problem.
  9. Plumber arrives 1 hour early than advised the next day, wreaking of cigarette smoke, has a look at the problem and advises YT & Ok-San that the type of P & W is very rare and he will have to take it back with him to try and find one. YT knows that is Bullshit but still politely agrees for the seach to start and pays Call Out Fee - 7,000 yen ( about $70.00)
  10. YT & Ok-san makes the necessary arrangements to use the basin without the plumbing - Bowl under the hole in the basin, etc.
  11. One week later, Mr Plumber arrives without any notice and tell us the "Bad News"  "A new P & W  is not available , as it was made only to suit that Brand of bathroom unit, (Basin & Cabinet with a light), and it is no longer available " and therefore - WAIT For It " You have to buy a new bathroom unit at a cost of about 80,000 yen, ($800.00) + installation. YT quickly concludes that Mr Plumber thinks that we a just a couple of naive idiots that he can fleece easliy and quickly.
  12. Ok-San naively agrees with Mr Plumber about maybe having the complete unit replaced, YT after quickly coming to the above conclusion and also the fact of that an "Inch & Quarter P & W" can be easily found and purchased,  (this is known by YT working in the home improvement/hardware industry for many years) says to Ok-San in english  and also not caring if Mr Plumber understands english or not "Piss him Off, what he is saying in crap and thank him for delivering the broken P & W back to us. 
  13. Ok-San, just thanks him with my third remark.
  14. Mr Plumber departs smiling, probably thinking "Yeah, I reckon they believed that Bullshit and I should get the $800.00 job.
  15. YT phones good loyal farmer friend in Australia and confirms that a 1" & 1/4 P & W can be easily purchased and he will get one and post it to YT in the next few days.
  16. In the meantime, YT purchases some silicone, applies it to the broken P & W and refits to the basin - NO Leaks
  17. 7 days later, new P & W arrives in the post - Perfect fit to the basin but YT decides that since the silicone is doing a good job, not to use the new one.
  18. ONE MONTH LATER - While looking for tap washers, YT finds a P & W kit complete with "S" Trap and hose at Karmah for 3,200 yen, ($35.00)  + Silicone still holding the old P & W effectively
As all the Crows say "Faark"

Summary: Like in Australia, be very wary of what tradesman say to you on what is needed and / or what has to be done, Many of them think that most customers are very niave and therefore can be ripped off easily - And also provide bad quality work - Check the internet, go on forums and ask as many people you know before and get as many quotes as you can put up with.

Please let me know if you have any good or bad experiences with tradesman - I have a CLASSIC story to tell about the timber deck that I recently had installed WHAT A SHOCKER!




But What Do I Know, I'm Only A Gaijin

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