Filing a complaint with the CMMTQ against a plumber

20 September 2021

Most plumbing contractors are experts in their field and deserve their customers’ trust. However, you may occasionally encounter a plumber who is less competent than their peers. Whether they do a bad job or simply charge too much, customers have remedies against them. If you’ve had a bad experience with a plumber, here’s how to file a complaint against them with the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ).

Report them to the CMMTQ

If you have a problem with a plumber, the CMMTQ recommends discussing the situation first with the contractor in question. But sometimes this isn’t enough. If you need to take things further, you can launch the complaint process, which begins when you report the situation to the CMMTQ. In concrete terms, you must contact the CMMTQ by phone or email. Tell them what you believe the plumber has done wrong. Be sure to identify the contractor by name. When the CMMTQ receives your report, it will first try to contact the plumber to hear their side of the story. At this stage it acts as a facilitator. If no middle ground can be found, you may then file a formal complaint.

Filing a complaint

To file a complaint against a plumber, you must first contact the CMMTQ legal department by letter or email. Complaints can also be filed using the online complaint form or by fax. In your complaint you must first state your reasons for filing it, including as many details as possible. You must also provide the contractor’s name and address, the date the events occurred and your contact information. The CMMTQ also recommends attaching any relevant documents to your complaint.

The CMMTQ investigation

Once you have filed your complaint, the CMMTQ will launch an investigation into the matter. It will also notify the contractor that an investigation has been initiated. The contractor must cooperate with the CMMTQ and provide any documents it deems necessary. Following the investigation, a committee will review your complaint. The committee has 3 options:

  • Dismiss the complaint: As a first step, the committee may simply declare the complaint unfounded. This leads to automatic rejection of the complaint and exonerates the contractor from any liability.
  • Issue a warning to the contractor: Sometimes the committee may acknowledge that while the complaint is well founded, the facts involved are not particularly serious. In such a case it will issue a warning to the contractor, and other sanctions may be imposed if the situation doesn’t improve.
  • Call the plumber before a disciplinary committee: In the most serious cases, the committee may decide to call the member before a disciplinary committee. It will initiate a hearing and seek to reach a decision on the matter. It may then find the plumber innocent or guilty. The disciplinary measures for a plumber who is found guilty range from a letter of reprimand to a hefty $6,000 fine.

As the CMMTQ points out, the complaint process does not provide for any amounts to be paid to the aggrieved customer as compensation for harm suffered. This is considered a civil matter, and the CMMTQ does not have the authority to impose any such measures. To obtain any form of remedy, you will have to take the matter to court.