A Current Affair stalks the boss

Plumbing company accused of ripping off customers refuses to face up A topical matter after its practices were exposed.

Metropolitan Plumbing owner David Ellingsen and his plumbing company have been accused of overcharging customers across Australia and giving the business a bad name.

Countless calls, texts and emails from A topical matter went nowhere, with Metropolitan Plumbing and Ellingsen going to ground on the charges.

David Ellingsen, owner of Metropolitan Plumbing. (A current affair)

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Ellingsen was a difficult man to track down, but A topical matter found it on the way to his office in Adelaide.

He didn’t seem happy to see us.

Metropolitan Plumbing is currently under investigation by Consumer and Business Services (CBS), which claims it overcharges elderly and vulnerable customers.

David Ellingson. (A current affair)

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Last month we exposed Ellingsen’s long list of brands, including Mr Emergency, Upside Down and even Jim’s Plumbing, which angered Australian entrepreneur Jim Penman of Jim’s Group.

“It’s not good, the story actually had a big impact. We also saw a lot of content on social media, a lot of things came out that we didn’t really understand in the past,” Penman previously said. A topical matter.

Our initial story culminated in a licensing agreement with Jim’s Plumbing which ended abruptly and Penman said he was no longer in business with Ellingsen and Metropolitan Plumbing.

Australian entrepreneur Jim Penman of Jim’s Group. (A current affair)

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“Some of the things that came out of this story were pretty disappointing, or surprising, you might say. I really think people are paying way too much,” Penman said.

Since our reports, Metropolitan Plumbing has decided to waive its call-out fee of $141 – if requested by the client.

It also cut its mandatory deposits by 50% and workers said they were no longer told to contact customers who leave bad reviews online and offer them money to withdraw them.

Customers who believe they have been overcharged by Metropolitan Plumbing can contact their head office to request a partial or full refund.

Metropolitan Plumbing. (A current affair)

According to a whistleblower, Metropolitan Plumbing staff are still subject to a difficult work environment with constant surveillance.

“In the call center department, there (were) cameras facing every place that could be noted and you saw all these cameras on these two fairly large television screens,” said a former worker, who wished to remain anonymous.

“We all kept our heads down and tried to ignore the fact that we were being watched 24/7.

The worker, who did not want to be identified for fear that Metropolitan Plumbing might take action against him, said that whenever he heard of a customer who was in dire financial straits, his “stomach went to fall”.

Gary Dart, local Melbourne plumber. (A current affair)

Local Melbourne plumber Gary Dart said he was tired of hearing stories about Metropolitan Plumbing’s antics.

“The cost of what they charge people is almost three times that of any other plumber,” Dart said.

“I’m sick of seeing people being scammed and a lot of what I’ve seen – it’s retired seniors, (who) clearly can’t afford the money.”

Dart takes it upon himself to warn his community not to use Metropolitan Plumbing’s associated marks.

Metropolitan Plumbing advertises on its website that it is a Product Review award winner, but A topical matter was told by an employee that all may not be as it seems.

Product Review took swift action, removing the rewards while it investigates whether Metropolitan Plumbing violated its guidelines.

Product Review Statement:

We are investigating whether reviews submitted for Metropolitan Plumbing may violate our posting guidelines.

ProductReview.com.au has a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews and will not hesitate to impose penalties on companies that abuse our system.

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