The consumer, legitimate plumbing contractors and the licensed plumber are being defrauded by those that take advantage of the lack of effective law enforcement regarding plumber licensing.
Evan Conklin is the newest member of the Washington State Plumber Advisory Board which advises Labor & Industries regarding plumbing and plumber issues.
This is his blog...
JAN
02
0

Let's hope for a Happy New Year!

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DEC
02
1

Update December 2016

I have decided to update this website as there is quite a bit of change, mostly for the worst since 2012 when we tried to get the plumber licensing laws changed. There are a few bright spots however. I will add some current content in the next week or two.

In the meantime, if you need a real plumbing contractor check out another useful local project - www.SeattleOnly.com

SeattleOnly.com is an advertising-free and shill-free local business directory for Seattle Homeowners and real neighborhood businesses. All contractors are checked for registrations (as all directories should be but are not). And... It's FREE!

 

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AUG
14
0

WA Plumber Advisory Board Meeting June 2013

I presented the animation "The Fake Plumber Scam" to the board as an example of what L&I could be doing to help both the legitimate plumbing contractor and the residential plumbers. You can see it here: http://vimeo.com/64638588

Dean Simpson said he would put together a meeting with some of the other departments within L&I and see what could be done to get better awareness of the plumber licensing enforcement issue.

It looks like the meeting isn't until sometime in mid or late september - about the time for the next board meeting.

Anybody interested should contact L&I and express their concerns.

 

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JUL
13
0

Internet Fraud - Do we deserve to be victims? Maybe if we really are just passive sheep.

Are we just sheep?

Consumers now use Internet search engines as the primary resource for finding local services.

Unfortunately, the Internet content is virtually unregulated by law enforcement or trade regulators in spite of the high incidence of fraudulent websites and fictitious company listings in the business directories.

If the large corporate interests that control the distribution of the information we seek make more profits from scams and deceit then that is what they will serve us.

If nobody complains it will get worse - a lot worse. Are we really just a bunch of sheep?

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JUL
10
0

Google Adwords Express Didn't Work For This Small Plumbing Company

Google Adwords Cost is High

Google Adwords is a very expensive option for small business's that need to advertise services locally. The cost varies with the type of business depending upon how competitive the competition is.

My business is residential service plumbing. My customers are in about a 10 mile radius around my shop location. Plumbing seems to be a hot search term on Google so Google charges as much as the most aggressive advertiser will pay. The search terms get put up to auction and whoever pays the most gets top position on the top of the Google search results. Unfortunately, the cost of getting visible (the first page of search results) is cost prohibitive to any service company that is not willing to pay hundreds of dollars to get your call.

Here are the results of a Google Adwords Express account left active for one month with a $450 budget:

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FEB
06
0

The Residential Plumbing Service Industry Is Under Attack By The Unskilled Pretender

Lack of licensing enforcement in Washington State is transforming a skilled licensed trade into a commercial con game costing consumers and skilled craftsmen dearly.

 

The Issues Affecting Licensed Plumbers and Plumbing Contractors:

  1. Unlicensed Plumbers – ineffective enforcement of plumber licensing
  2. Fake Plumbing Companies – General Contractors Advertising Plumbing Services
  3. The Cost of Advertising – Is incredibly high due to unfair competition from the unlicensed
  4. Lack of Consumer Awareness – They don’t know that real plumbers are a licensed trade
  5. Other trades wishing to perform plumbing services - i.e. Builders and the HVAC trades



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SEP
25
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The HVACR in Washington State Opposed Plumber Licensing/Consumer Protection SB6476 With Ignorant Arguments

Can the sheet metal guys have a valid argument as why they are opposed to better enforcement of the law that restricts plumbing work to licensed plumbers? http://www.wshvacra.org/SSB6476InfoFinal.pdf

If I was one of their HVAC members I would be embarrassed that they spoke in my name.

Let's see what they say...

The lobbyist for the HVACR Association is Jim King. It is assumed that he wrote this very creative document.

Comment by Evan Conklin:

  • The sheet metal guys are not plumbers. There is only one reason why a sheet metal trade guy would be opposed to legislation that concerns plumber licensing and consumer protection. They want to do plumbing work without a license.
  • Contractors never could subcontract to a plumber - It has always been required to subcontract to a plumber that also had a contractor registration. Hey! Isn't that the definition of a plumbing contractor? Yes it is.
  • Rooter companies are fine - I just have a problem with them advertising themselves as plumbers.

They say more...

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SEP
23
0

Unlicensed Plumber Legislation - SB6476 Update - September 2012

  1. The PHCC (Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association of Washington) has gotten behind this bill. A mailing is being prepared and will be mailed out in the next week or so to every licensed plumber in Washington State.
  2. A petition was created at http://www.seattleplumbing.info/sign-the-petition. Plumbers, Plumbing Contractors and Consumers are encouraged to sign the petition. PHCC members will forward the signatures to the district legislator
  3. We have been networking with other construction trade groups.
  4. A consumer awareness media campaign is in the planning stage.

 

The bill will be re-introduced next session with much more visibility than last session.

This is a non-partisan issue. It is not a union/non-union  issue. It is a consumer protection bill. It is a licensed plumber vs non-licensed plumber issue.

 

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AUG
19
2

Update: Unlicensed Plumbers / Consumer Protections Bill SB6476

Update Summary: Labor and Industries is requested to "change the language" in the bill to minimize the opposition to the proposed changes.

The proposed bill has one simple purpose: Stop general contractors and other construction trades from engaging in specialty plumbing work. The language is simple:

No contractor may employ a person to engage in or offer to engage in the trade of plumbing unless the contractor is a registered plumbing contractor under this chapter, has at least one full-time individual who possesses a valid certificate of competency, and the person performing the plumbing work has a journeyman certificate...

The language couldn't be any more simple or clear. The request to "change the language" so that the opposition goes away really means to change the intention of the bill. The opposition is the building trades that are not plumbers but wish to steal the work that plumbers are licensed to do. No matter how the language is changed, the builders, general contractors and the HVAC lobbyists will continue to oppose the bill unless it allows them to do plumbing work without a license.

The law already is on the books that mandates that only plumbers can engage in or propose to engage in plumbing in Washington State. The bill only enhances the enforcement of the existing laws as the contractors, builders and HVAC have been cheating for years and wish to continue to do so  due to the non-transparency of who is actually doing licensed work. The infringement upon yhe plumbing contractor by the other trades has had a devastating effect upon the entire plumbing industry. If the opposition to this bill get their way, the plumbing industry as we know it, will be gone. We will have thrown away every skilled certified honest plumber we have and substituted the unskilled, low paid casual laborer.

Plumbers and Small Plumbing Contractors had better be prepared to go to war over this bill or just forget about it and go into another trade or retire.

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JUL
13
0

National Marketing Scam Model Threatens Licensed Contractors and Consumers

Consumers, small businesses and licensed plumbers are fast asleep while so-call "Internet marketing companies" hijack an entire industry. Where are our regulatory agencies? Who is protecting the consumer? Why isn't anybody complaining?

Look for yourself what one clever guy is doing without any protest or reaction from business, law enforcement or the consumer:

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JUN
28
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How One Idiot With A Laptop Can Produce Thousands of Consumer Victims

laptopcrimeOne guy has produced Internet websites promoting fake businesses throughout California and other states. This one man scam has the potential for thousands of consumer victims, loss of skilled jobs that require licenses and a significant risk to legitimate small business.

Why nobody closes down this type of scam is a mystery. He violates FTC false advertising laws, California false advertising laws, Plumber licensing laws in multiple states.

The following info was sent to the Californis Contractor Licensing Board:

None of the businesses are registered in any city or state. None have any physical presence. Plumbers and/or Plumbing Contractors are licensed by the states for good reasons. Greg Larkin has decided to defraud the public and the licensed businesses by falsely advertising with non-existent plumbing websites. These websites are intended to defraud the homeowner, separate the contractor from any licensing enforcement and divert the public from legitimate local small businesses. This unethical business model is devastating to existing legitimate plumbing businesses and a serious consumer fraud issue.

The indivdual responsible for all the fake business listing below is an individual named Greg Larkin AKA (alias) Jason Kulb.

Greg Larkin’s Address: 114 Edinburgh St., San Francisco CA 94112

This is a residential address. It is assumed that Greg Larkin lives there and runs his “marketing business” from there. Greg Larkin is 32 +- years old. His father’s name is David Larkin and livesat the same address. Greg Larkin has a marketing degree most likely.  He keeps a low profile on the internet; Few public records were found upon a background check. Charby Marketing has been registered to Gregory Larkin in San Francisco at 114 Edinburgh St. since 2011. San Francisco business license was issued for Charby Marketing: 2011 0337736

Greg Larkin owns at least 78 website domain names. All web domain names used to be in his name with Edinburgh St. address. He was served with cease and desist in October 2011. Has changed domain registrant name on many registrations to “Jason Kulb” - a fictitious name. Changed address to non-existent address at: 366 46th Ave San Francisco 94121. He changed phone number from 415 256-3215 (disconnected) to 415 225-2558 (live 06/25/2012). The active phone is located at 114 Edinburgh address as best as I can tell, it is a landline. It is unlikely that he can get rid of the new number as his marketing is tied to it for his long range business - Charby Marketing http://www.charbymarketing.com   415 225 2558  

His unethical business model is essentially this:

Fabricate fictitious businesses on the Internet by creating websites that appear to be locally owned and established in a specific city. Concentrate upon fake plumbing businesses as the pay-per-lead potential is higher than other trades. Promote the services heavily with search engines and on-line directories as if there were a real business in the target area. Develop enough traffic with the false website in order to sell, rent or lease the website to others. The potential clients are anybody that is seeking plumbing customers in that particular geographical location. Potential clients include anybody that will pay him (legitimate or otherwise) for individual leads or is willing to pay him a monthly rent. Typically unlicensed individuals are interested. $50 per lead is typical lead cost by others with a similar business model.

Greg Larkin has targeted the plumbing service industry because it generates higher service costs to the consumer than other trades. It is assumed that these leads for regulated plumbing services are worth more than carpentry or roofing. The fake business websites effectively disconnect the actual contractor (licensed or not) that shows up to do the work from the advertising and provide immunity to those that wish to anonymously provide services without the license, bonding and insurance required. Consumers are unable to tell the difference between these slick faux plumbing company ads and real legitimate local businesses.

These websites may be utilized (i.e. ultimately paid for) by those that are licensed or unlicensed. They theoretically will be attractive to small and large plumbing companies that simply wish to increase their marketing presence and generate new customers. Unfortunately, the websites facilitate the evasion of license transparency in the advertising and are most attractive to the unlicensed scam wannabe contractor.. The websites do not promote the service as an agent or directory service – they are counterfeit plumbing company advertisements actively promoting with no plumber associated with the advertisement. There is no business registration, no contractor license and no way for the consumer to know who placed the advertising or who shows up to perform work in their home.

The phone numbers are all owned by Greg Larkin and were put into service solely for the local fake company promoted with the website. All calls go to Greg Larkin in San Francisco where he can control the incoming lead. When tested the phones are answered with an automated message asking the caller to leave their contact information. No homeowner would call if they suspected that they were not calling the plumber directly. What Greg Larkin actually does with any particular incoming call for service is anybody’s guess. Typically they harvest the calls and then attempt to find somebody to pay them for the hot “lead”. (My company takes many calls from these “lead generators” offering to send me customers for $50 each, $300 a month or $3000 a year).

Greg Larkin was served with a cease and desist notice last year for his promotion of a fake plumbing company that infringed upon a registered US trademark “Seattle Plumbing Company”. His response was to change the domain name registrant information on the offending domain to an alias and change the contact address to one that did not exist. He consequently changed many other domain name registrations in a similar manner in order to hamper legal service and evade any culpability for his illegal and unethical behavior.

The websites below have been well developed graphically and functionally with local phone numbers. Greg Larkin has been testing the sites on the Internet and developing these sites for over a year. They are optimized for Google and are aggressively being promoted with video clips. The sites are being updated for maximum exposure to the public. The latest SEO activity is building articles with backlinks to the sites regularly (June 2012) . No license or law enforcement agency has opposed him to date so the websites are becoming highly visible and numerous.

We do not know if how effective the scam is but the infrastructure is in place for an epidemic of consumer fraud.

Not one of these plumbing websites is a legitimate company.

_____________________________________________________________

Charby Marketing is the new front for these false plumbing ads

http://www.charbymarketing.com   415 225 2558

http://wn.com/exact/charbymarketing

http://twitpic.com/photos/MyGuyTrip

http://www.dailymotion.com/user/marketingcharby/1


False Plumbing Company Websites with links to sites that promote them

 

  1. 1.http://www.hillsboroughemergencyplumber.com/   Call (650) 241-0804
    1. a.http://www.classifiedads.com/home_services_stores-ad9550586.htm
    2. 2.http://www.hillsborough-plumber.com/
      1. a.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn6tp5_hillsborough-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804_lifestyle
      2. b.http://twitpic.com/7wtv0m
      3. c.http://video.filestube.com/watch,a5d2c8cb84c5700b03eb/Hillsborough-24-Hour-Emergency-Plumber-650-241-0804.html
      4. 3.http://www.emergencyplumbermillbrae.com/Call (650) 241-0804
        1. a.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HB_Jvp7mRY
        2. b.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-U6Y2hkOfg
        3. c.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxZnss99ZhA
        4. d.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9X_UAtCoYs
        5. 4.http://www.millbrae-plumber.com/
          1. a.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn6qs2_millbrae-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804_news
          2. b.http://www.classifiedads.com/home_services_stores-ad9548618.htm
          3. c.http://www.markosweb.com/www/millbrae-plumber.com/
          4. d.http://twicsy.com/i/USTwZ
          5. e.http://vidgrids.com/affordable-plumber
          6. f.http://www.tunesbaby.com/watch/?x=7898579
          7. 5.http://www.burlingame-plumber.com/
            1. a.http://www.flickr.com/photos/charbymarketing/6551892757/
            2. b.http://twitpic.com/7wiat8
            3. c.http://twicsy.com/i/LaHrZ
            4. d.http://tube.7s-b.com/video/tRcrgdnMa8I/Burlingame-24-Hour-Emergency-Plumber-650-241-0804.html
            5. e.http://news.yahoo.com/burlingame-plumbers-announce-burlingame-plumbers-coupons-burlingame-plumbing-020226394.html
            6. f.http://www.tunesbaby.com/watch/?x=7894842
            7. 6.http://www.dalycity-plumber.com/
              1. a.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Llh8Mzdjn0I
              2. b.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn52e2_daly-city-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804_lifestyle
              3. c.http://www.classifiedads.com/home_services_stores-ad9484964.htm
              4. d.http://loku.com/content/daly-city-tankless-water-heater-installation-repair-650-241-0804-water-heater-repair-daly-city#
              5. e.http://tube.7s-b.com/video/Hw7ahZpSxtU/Daly-City-Tankless-Water-Heater-Installation-Repair-650-241-0804-Water-Heater-Repair-Daly-City.html
              6. f.http://tube.7s-b.com/video/b4xNXsEqFC0/Daly-City-24-Hour-Emergency-Plumber-650-241-0804.html
              7. g.http://www.videos.com/play/M36144216-1/daly_city/daly_city_24_hour_emergency_plumber_650_241-0804.html
              8. h.http://article.wn.com/view/2012/06/15/You_Probably_Don_t_Properly_Appreciate_NYC_s_Public_Drinking/
              9. i.http://www.diysite.com.au/2012/05/14/daly-city-plumber-fast-response-plumbing-perfect-yelp-reviews/
              10. 7.http://www.sanbrunoemergencyplumber.com/(650) 241-0804
                1. a.http://www.sanbruno-plumber.com/
                2. b.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn62h4_san-bruno-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804_lifestyle
                3. c.http://50.23.200.239/7wiujl
                4. d.http://play.kendincos.us/12757/Wvzlptxlplpdhrvdhhl-san-bruno-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804.html
                5. e.http://www.videos.com/videos/5/plumber.html
                6. 8.http://www.emergencyplumberburlingame.com/   (650) 241-0804
                  1. a.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn61g7_burlingame-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804_lifestyle
                  2. b.http://www.classifiedads.com/home_services_stores-ad9524403.htm
                  3. 9.http://www.pacificaemergencyplumber.com/   (650) 241-0804
                    1. a.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn60yq_pacifica-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804_lifestyle
                    2. b.http://www.metacafe.com/watch/7894730/pacifica_24_hour_emergency_plumber_650_241_0804/
                    3. c.http://article.wn.com/view/2012/06/26/1Star_Stocks_Poised_to_Plunge_Yelp/
                    4. d.http://www.tunesbaby.com/watch/?x=7894730
                    5. 10.http://www.pacifica-plumber.com/
                      1. a.http://twitpic.com/7wi0kr
                      2. b.http://twicsy.com/i/hVxrZ
                      3. c.http://play.kendincos.us/12427/Wtxtxptlplpdhrvdhhl-pacifica-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804.html
                      4. d.http://www.videos.com/play/M36227304-4/plumber/pacifica_24_hour_emergency_plumber_650_241-0804.html
                      5. e.http://video.filestube.com/watch,b17e1230239fb7ca03e9/Pacifica-24-Hour-Emergency-Plumber-650-241-0804.html
                      6. 11.http://www.southsanfrancisco-plumber.com/contact/
                        1. a.http://www.antivirusvideos.net/video/E-U6Y2hkOfg/South%20San%20Francisco%20Plumbers%20|%20650-241-0804%20|%205%20Star%20Yelp%20Reviews.html
                        2. 12.http://www.southsanfranciscoemergencyplumber.com/(650) 241-0804
                          1. a.http://performanceplumbing.us/plumbing-san-francisco-2/south-san-francisco-plumbers-650-241-0804-5-star-yelp-reviews/
                          2. b.http://performanceplumbing.us/plumbing-san-francisco-2/south-san-francisco-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804/
                          3. 13.http://www.dalycityemergencyplumber.com/   (650) 241-0804
                            1. a.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw7ahZpSxtU
                            2. b.http://twicsy.com/i/sijhZ
                            3. 14.http://www.anaheim-waterheaters.com/   (714) 598-3320
                            4. 15.http://www.gardengroveememergencyplumber.com/
                              1. a.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xn4azc_garden-grove-24-hour-emergency-plumber-714-598-3320_lifestyle
                              2. 16.http://www.huntingtonbeachwaterheaters.com/   Call (714) 594-7275 (STRAMPELLO)
                              3. 17.http://www.huntingtonbeachemergencyplumber.com/   Call (714) 594-7275 (STRAMPELLO)
                              4. 18.http://www.costamesa24houremergencyplumber.com/   Call 949-468-5916 (STRAMPELLO)
                              5. 19.http://www.24houremergencyplumberanaheim.com/   (714) 598-3320
                              6. 20.http://www.oceanside24houremergencyplumber.com/   Call (760) 429-7420
                              7. 21.http://www.napa24houremergencyplumber.com/   Call (707) 261-7891
                              8. 22.http://www.bakersfield24houremergencyplumber.com/   661-412-0474
                              9. 23.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH2tT-0yN6k&list=UUz38ss1Dr-1ZZnAq7Kk7cLQ&index=1&feature=plcp Riverside 24 Hour Emergency Plumber (951) 263-7984
                              10. 24.http://www.yoursanfranciscoplumber.com/   415-596-6115
                              11. 25.http://www.sacramento-plumber.net/   (916) 514-5814
                              12. 26.http://www.thesanjoseplumbers.net/   408-676-5322
                              13. 27.WWW.PLUMBER-SANJOSE.NET
                                1. a.http://sanjose-ca.stuffnads.com/financial/millbrae-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-2410804_19560456.html
                                2. b.
                                3. 28.http://www.riverside-plumbing.net/
                                4. 29.http://www.thesacramentolocksmith.com/

 

(There are too many…. I think you get the idea)


Promo sites that support the fraud Greg Larkin perpetrated

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69222699@N08/

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqkyi4_407-900-0444_news

http://performanceplumbing.us/plumbing-san-francisco-2/south-san-francisco-24-hour-emergency-plumber-650-241-0804/

http://lrichardsplumbingblog.com/2012/south-san-francisco-plumbers-650-241-0804-5-star-yelp-2/ This is a posted ad on a legitimate plumbing company’s blog in New York. It is placed for backlinking to increase credibility.

http://twicsy.com/u/MyGuyTrip

https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/Plumber%20San%20Mateo%20|%20Fast%20Response%20Plumbing%20|%20650-241-0804

Here is another knock-off of the business model that appears to be owned by somebody other than Greg Larkin: http://emergencyplumbersanjose.com/ We don’t know for sure because these guys are using false domain registrations and aliases.

http://sanmateoplumbingexperts.com/ hidden owner domain registrant 650-200-4313

OTHER STATES affected by Greg Larkin Fraud

  1. 1.http://www.toledoemergencyplumber.com/   (419) 386-2747
    1. a.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmct1n_toledo-24-hour-emergency-plumber-419-386-2747_people
    2. 2.http://www.normanemergencyplumber.com/ Call (405) 310-0526
    3. 3.http://www.emergencyplumbereugene.com/   Call (541) 702-1578
      1. a.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvAiwfUlWM8
      2. b.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHc8v_bwjHs
      3. c.http://www.emergencyplumbereugene.com/2011/08/01/hello-world/
      4. d.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xm9ad3_eugene-24-hour-emergency-plumber-541-702-1578_people
      5. e.http://www.metacafe.com/watch/7684518/eugene_24_hour_emergency_plumber_541_702_1578/
      6. f.http://homehelp.info/541/702/1578
      7. g.http://twicsy.com/i/ojKUS
      8. h.http://twitpic.com/7cu0va
      9. i.http://twitpic.com/photos/MyGuyTrip?page=2
      10. j.http://www.tunesbaby.com/dm/?x=xm9ad3
      11. k.http://www.stumbleupon.com/content/1a2PTy
      12. 4.http://www.flintemergencyplumber.com/   Call (810) 250-4012
      13. 5.http://www.akronemergencyplumber.com/  
        1. a.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmawfu_akron-24-hour-emergency-plumber-330-752-8694_people
        2. 6.http://www.emergencyplumbersyracuse.com/   Call (315) 679-5146
        3. 7.http://www.annarboremergencyplumber.com/   Call (734) 619-6918
        4. 8.http://www.hialeahemergencyplumber.com/   Call (305) 432-9854
        5. 9.http://www.theseattleplumbers.com/
        6. 10.http://www.yourdallasplumbers.com/  
        7. 11.WWW.THERALEIGHPLUMBERS.COM
        8. 12.http://www.theportlandplumber.net/
        9. 13.http://www.lasvegas-plumber.net/

Other potential fraud sites owned by Greg Larkin alias Jason Kulb :

injurylawyer-seattle.com

italiansanfrancisco.com

thesacramento-bankruptcyattorney.com

themilwaukeeplumbers.com

roseville-carpetcleaning.com

tacomadentistdds.com                                 --

thejacksonvilleroofer.com

thetamparoofer.com    

yoursanjoseelectrician.com        --

yoursanantonioelectrician.com

riverside-plumbing.net

theseattleplumbers.com             

anaheim-waterheaters.com

theseattle-plumbers.com           

Totalplumbingsf.com    

thehoustonplumbers.net           

theoaklandplumber.net              

burlingame-plumber.com           

thesanjoseplumber.net               

thesanjoseplumbers.net

chicago-plumber.net

plumber-sanjose.net    

theraleighplumbers.com             

yourdallasplumbers.com

Fake domain registration example: http://whois.domaintools.com/millbrae-plumber.com

Comment by Evan Conklin

The proliferation of false advertising by so-called marketing companies promoting plumbing services in virtually every city in the country has had a dramatic effect upon the licensed plumbers and legitimate small businesses. It is estimated that 80% of all residential plumbing services in Seattle are performed by unlicensed “pretend plumbers”.

Many small brick and mortar shops have closed since the economic downturn caused not by lack of business skill or the economy as the plumbing service business has always been relatively recession-proof and not dependent upon new construction. The problem is the shift to the Internet as the consumers’ primary source for locating local services has been corrupted to the point where there are more scams than legitimate businesses.

In Washington State for example there are 1500 registered plumbing contractors but 559,000 plumbing company links.

There are 5,400 licensed plumbers and trainees in Washington but 54,500 links to plumbers in just Seattle only.

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FREE Plumbing Service Call (888) 811-0451

Here in Washington State we have a law that says that unregistered contractors may not use the courts to collect a debt owed for illegal work done. Hmmm...

Does that mean that we can all get plumbing work done for free? I think it might.

Take a look at this ad:

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California puts up a Most Wanted list of Bad Contractors - Why don't we do that in Washington State?

California posts a "Most Wanted List" of bad contractors. We need to do that in Washington State. Obviously, California is a lot more agressive with their license and registration enforcement. Take a look at it here: http://www.badplumbers.org/consumer-resources/99

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California's Most Wanted Criminal Contractors

Worst of the Worst
Avoid These Contractors

In our ongoing effort to protect California consumers, the CSLB has identified the worst unlicensed violators who are known to prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting homeowners that are involved in new home or home improvement projects. Complaints against the following unlicensed individuals have been lodged with the CSLB, law enforcement agencies and District Attorneys around the state.

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of the people who appear in this section. If you see any of these people on the street or have any information as to their whereabouts, please contact your local Police or Sheriff's Department. After contacting local law enforcement, call the CSLB in northern California at (916) 255-2924 or in southern California at (562) 345-7600.

All warrants must be verified with the law enforcement agency holding the warrant before an apprehension can be made.

Alert symbol 
WARNING: NO ATTEMPT SHOULD BE MADE TO APPREHEND THESE INDIVIDUALS, EXCEPT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS.

 

Picture of Samuel Neviel Arnold
KNOWN LOCATIONS:
Oroville, Butte County, San Francisco Bay Area   Picture of James Thomas Calo
KNOWN LOCATIONS:
San Bernardino County, Southern California   Picture of Michael Lou Fano
KNOWN LOCATIONS:
Riverside County and San Joaquin County
Samuel Neviel Arnold   James Thomas Calo   Michael Lou Fano
Picture of Samuela Lavulavu
KNOWN LOCATIONS: 
Los Angeles and Orange County areas   Picture of Jose Antonio Martinez
KNOWN LOCATIONS: 
Southern California, including Covina, La Mirada, Downey, Whittier, Bellflower   Picture of Ying Hop Ng
KNOWN LOCATIONS: 
Sacramento region
Samuela Lavulavu   José Antonio Martinez   Ying Hop Ng
Picture of Uike Tupou Ngata
KNOWN LOCATIONS: 
Sacramento region   Picture of Servando Soto
KNOWN LOCATIONS: 
Sacramento and surrounding areas   Picture of Masoud Tabeshnekoo
KNOWN LOCATIONS: 
Los Angeles and Orange County areas
Uike Tupou Ngata   Servando Soto   Masoud Tabeshnekoo
Picture of Richard John Williams
KNOWN LOCATIONS: 
Sacramento, Yolo, Lake, Colusa, Sonoma, Napa, butte and Mendocino Counties   Picture of Khalid Wilson
KNOWN LOCATIONS: East San Francisco Bay Area
Richard John
Williams
  Khalid Wilson
Alert symbol 
WARNING: NO ATTEMPT SHOULD BE MADE TO APPREHEND THESE INDIVIDUALS, EXCEPT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS.
Question: Why is Washington State so dysfunctional when it comes to licensing laws? Why don't we fix it?
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Do You Want FREE Plumbing Work in Seattle? You Can!

If you need plumbing work done but don't want to pay for it - Check this out: http://www.plumbercomplaintboard.com/free-seattle-plumbing-service-providers-free

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Recent Comments
Bryan

To bad for them.......

Good! They shouldn't get paid if they are not legit.
Sunday, 17 June 2012 05:51
Michael Hensinger

Very similar to Indiana Law

I've never heard of anyone actually using this Statute, but I am planning to advertise it like badplumbers.org does.
Sunday, 17 June 2012 13:48
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Bill Moyers interviewed Marty Kaplan on Big Money, Big Media, Big Trouble - The issue is relevent to all of us

My posts concerning the corruption of the on-line business directories and the refusal by YP.COM to remove them indicates that something is really wrong out there on the internet. Why would consumers silently accept the garbage that large corporations want to feed us? We need business directory (i.e. Yellow Page Phone books) to have real information about businesses in our neighborhood. Why would we tolerate fake listings placed by individuals and corporations that were placed in the directory to commit a fraud upon us? Why would the publisher allow it? It is something to investigate. We don't need phone books that steer us to those that wish to defraud us.

I ran across a relevant  interview: Bill Moyers interviewed Marty Kaplan, director of USC’s Norman Lear Center. See it here: http://billmoyers.com/episode/encore-big-money-big-media-big-trouble/ In the interview Marty Kaplan explains how  journalism has become entertainment and how we no longer have anybody that can keep us informed with the facts of an issue.

Let me know what you think

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Online Business Directory Refuses to Remove Fraudulent listings from YP.COM

YP.COM refused a request to remove fake plumbing company directory listings in Seattle. YP.COM has taken the position that only the criminal or the con man that placed the listing can remove it.

Does anybody think that this policy of nationwide online directory services facilitating false data in the business directories is beneficial to the public in any way?

Does anybody have any doubt that the intention of the false listing is to commit fraud upon the homeowner that responds to the advertising or listing that claims to be something they are not?

Here is how they responded three days later:

Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for contacting YP.COM, the online directory for business.

This e-mail is in response to your inquiry from 05/26/2012 regarding deleting free listings on YP.COM. Unfortunately, at this time we can not remove the listings due to the reasons provided. Only the business owner can request removal of the listing from YP.COM. If you would like your listing removed please notify us via reply to this e-mail and we will be happy to assist.

Thank you for contacting YP.COM Customer Service. 

***************************************************** See original request with screenshots of false business listings at:http://www.badplumbers.org/blog/entry/yp-att-directory-false-plumbing-listings-in-seattle-may-26-2012-removal-requested

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AT & T Company YP.com Refuses To Remove Fraud Listings From Public Directories

AT&T owns one of the largest on-line business directories: YP.COM "The new Yellow Pages". They facilitate fraudulent listings and refuse to remove them even when notified.

AT&T owned YP>COM was notified of illegal, fraudulent and/or trademark infringing listings showing in their directory under a search for plumbers in the Seattle Washington Yellow Pages directory.

A request was made to them by a local plumber and small business (Seattle Plumbing Company) to remove the bogus listings that were intended to scam the public, infringe upon a US registered trademark, unfairly compete, etc. In other words, the illegal listings served no positive purpose to anybody except the con man that placed the ad/listing in the AT&T directory.

YP.COM responded with the declaration that only the perpetrator of the false listing could remove the listing!!! This was their voluntary policy.

Here is a copy of the answer refusing to remove blatantly false listings designed to scam the public:

Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for contacting YP.COM, the online directory for business.

This e-mail is in response to your inquiry from 05/26/2012 regarding deleting free listings on YP.COM. Unfortunately, at this time we can not remove the listings due to the reasons provided. Only the business owner can request removal of the listing from YP.COM. If you would like your listing removed please notify us via reply to this e-mail and we will be happy to assist.

Thank you for contacting YP.COM Customer Service. 
May 29, 2012

So the obvious questions are:

  1. How useful is an on-line business directory that most of us are dependent upon to to find local business services when the listings include blatantly false information intended to direct the public to illegal businesses, con men and scam artists?
  2. Why would a corporation as large as AT&T want a business directory loaded with false advertisements and listings that certainly will lead the consumer to a less than desirable experience with a counterfeit company?
  3. Why wouldn't AT&T remove listings from their directory once they were notified of the false information?
  4. Don't we have laws protecting the public from false advertising?

 

The original request:

To: YP.COM May 26, 2012

Your listings showing under the search for "Seattle Plumbing" shows numerous false listings placed by those that wish to defraud Washington State consumers.
Washington State law forbids advertising of regulated services (plumbing service advertising require both a contractor registration and a license to perform plumbing)
Washington State also requires that any advertising of regulated services use the company name as registered. None of the following are legal businesses in Washington.
The Federal Trade Commission forbids false advertising on the federal level. These listings are non law compliant with both state and federal laws.
Please remove the following listings as they are fraudulent and are intended to scam the public.
CC of this request is sent to Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (Seattle) chair of the Senate Labor Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee and Rob McKenna Washington, Attorney General. We have existing proposed legislation SB6476 that intends to force compliance with existing false advertising laws.
Please voluntarily comply with this request. If you need further documentation or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank You.
Evan Conklin
Seattle
At: http://www.yellowpages.com/seattle-wa/seattle-plumbing?g=Seattle%2C+WA&q=Seattle+plumbing the following false listings were found:

 

 

 

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YP (ATT Directory) False plumbing listings in Seattle May 26, 2012 - Removal Requested

YP - Yellowpages.com a AT&T company was notified of fraudulent listings in the Seattle on-line directory.

A copy of the notification was sent to our local senator and the Attorney General.

Anybody can notify the directory services anywhere in the country that fraudulent listings are attempting illegal activity by listing fake companies.

Continue reading to see the notification and the images of the fake listings

YP - An AT&T Company Directory

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How many sub-contractors does it take to do a Home Depot plumbing job? (This is not a joke)

Why would any homeowner seeking plumbing or remodel work hire Home Depot?

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