It was a quiet Monday afternoon when things went to hell. Or to an arid desert. Whatever it was, there was a sudden and isolated drought in our house.
At first we thought it was another one of Maynilad’s (unfortunately not infrequent) service interruptions. But an inspection an hour or so later revealed this wasn’t the case —horror of horrors, we had one outright broken exposed pipe near our pressure tank, and another leaking pipe near our water meter.
I was ready to despair. I hate having to look for service providers. (This is why, even with COVID-19 persisting in recirculated air, I’d still prefer to live in a condominium with its own maintenance crew).
But I didn’t end up hating the world and everyone in it, after all. Enter Maynilad and Gawin.
How was the Maynilad Service?
First of all, Maynilad customer service (when you can grab hold of them via their hotline, at least) is always surprisingly fast. I called sometime in the afternoon, and a couple of hours later some crewmen dropped by our house to check out the water supply. Done.
*It took me two tries to get through their hotline at 1626. For mobile callers, that’s 021626.
It turns out that this WHOLE TIME, irrespective of this debacle with the broken pipes, our water supply from Maynilad has been compromised by silt and sand clogging the strainer. That explains our low water pressure! I honestly only imagined it to be something everyone in the neighborhood was suffering from.
How did it get there? Allegedly from previous upstream installation and renovation projects, also by Maynilad. We should have called earlier.
It’s a good thing that the cleaning of the supply line was quick and free, because otherwise I would have erupted at the audacity.
Overall, thank you to the guys in Maynilad! They also identified that one of our other external pipes should probably be replaced as it’ll likely bend and break under the (now intense) water pressure.
What is Gawin PH?
I’m street enough to know what all the tubero (plumber) posters mean. And I didn’t know where else to look —so thank god for on-demand service platforms.
(This is what all those ‘Tubero’ numbers mean).
I previously wrote about my experiences with MyKuya, a service-on-demand platform that can cater to more niche errands (like sending postcards). Platforms such as Gawin are similar in principle, but they focus more on handyman work, household repairs and installation, and even cabinetry.
(Read here: I sent postcards without leaving my house)
Another platform which I downloaded over this whole fiasco was GoodWork.ph. I haven’t tried their app yet. At a glance, the platform seems to be more focused on domestic and wellness services such as cleaning, laundry, nails, massage and haircut.
Back to business — Gawin is touted as the #1 services marketplace in Southeast Asia (and the Philippines). I can’t vouch for their ranking, but I am pretty sure this was the only platform of its kind in my retrievable memory. I used their service once before for plumbing, way back in 2018, and all I can remember was that the service (a) was fairly effective and (b) took a chunk out of my allowance at that time.
But I was willing to trust and try again, since time was of the essence. A few clicks, and we had a plumber scheduled to come the next morning.
How does Gawin Philippines work?
You can check out their website here.
Making the request
Making the request is easy. Just complete a short form asking only four items.
- Type of service. The app provided a list of possible services under a category. For plumbing repair, the options (and price quotations) range from inspection request to pipe line declogging (a whopping PHP6000).
- Other instructions to the service provider.
- Type of property (residential or commercial).
- Date and time. The earliest booking is at 9AM and the latest is at 6PM, with slots open at increments of 30 minutes. But this is something that can be renegotiated with the vendor later.
Matching with a vendor
Once a vendor accepts your request, you can confirm things like service address, type, price quotation, and so on. You can also send photos using the built-in chat.
MG Refrigeration and Airconditioning Services accepted my request after several minutes. What I like about this app is that I can view a profile of their vendor, which includes photos, services, and reviews from previous customers. This particular vendor had a 4.7 rating from 57 customers, which is a lot more than the whole lot of nothing I’d get from the yellow pages. I checked their Facebook and they barely had any activity there as well.
Gawin also has a vendor directory program, where customers can browse for a name they trust then directly request providers. I might try this the next time we have a plumbing issue.
Plumbing repair service
For the actual repair, it went pretty much as expected. Their boss Michael texted me to say the repairman is on his way. The repairman, sir Raniel, looked at the problem and noted a list of materials for replacement. He ended up buying it from a hardware store just outside our village (we used cash for the materials).
And a little under four hours, the repairs were done! Hallelujah!
There’s an option to pay cash, but also a cashless option via GawinPay. I ended up paying directly to the vendor via GCash. I wish I had a promo code–
But you can use my referral promo code R4a4bf8b0C to get Php300 off your first request on Gawin ♥️ And if you end up writing a review, I’ll also get Php300 off!
Finally, as in all service apps, I rated the job 5 stars and called it a day.
That’s basically it. I hope your homes remain intact and leak-less.