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We are a full service fireplace & chimney company. We also offer air duct cleaning.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that A-1 Safety Chimney Services, Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
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Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||3|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||1|
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMs. Jenelle Haar, Management
Chimney Builders & Repair Tuck Pointing Fireplaces Chimney Cleaning Dryer Vent Cleaning Animal & Wildlife Removal Masonry Panels - Prefabricated Masonry Contractors (NAICS: 238140)
Method(s) of PaymentVisa, MasterCard, Discover & Checks
Service AreaA-1 Safety Chimney Services, Inc. provides their services in COOK County IL, DU PAGE County IL, KANE County IL, LAKE County IL, WILL County IL.
Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
350 Randy Rd STE 4
Carol Stream, IL 60188 Directions
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (630) 827-0180(Phone)
Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
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|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: As indicated I met A1 at trade show in Feb 2015. They came out for estimate gave me written proposal for pilotless log set. I gave money down and waited for a month for delivery of set. When it arrived (!) ***** stated that there is no such thing as pilotless set. After one month I agreed to let him put it in because I thought I was aef dealing with owner. immediately unit smelled. ***** said give it time to burn off. I used the set periodically and it never burned off. I believe the smell was due in part to this unit which has a pilot. Another reason I wanted a pilotless! Was patient and after a few weeks told them it still is terrible. They said it was past 30 days, cannot return. I expressed my dis satisfaction and offered even a restocking fee! Another owner(?) ******** said she wanted to resolve it but it did not progress. I was so tired of spending time in shock that I paid $2485 and I didnt get what I wanted. I chellenged them to tell me why I should have paid ( Cash immediately) for what I did not receive and was reasonable, I thought, by trying this inferior unit type! No response. I sent them examples on line of sets better than theirs for 1/4 the price. No response. Eventually I got tired of it and shut off the gas since it was Spring now. Now I have discovered the original proposal stating for electronic pilot and have sent copy to A1. I am waiting for response again. I have email trail where I am specific and expressed a desire to settle this nicely. Apparently since I paused my challenges, they thought I went away. I did not forget and with this avoidance posture, my wife and I agree that there is a possible deception taking place, I am re-addressing this. I believe they mis-represented their products, service, and knowledge of their products.
Desired Settlement: Simply put- -I told A1 exactly what I wanted. They wrote a proposal and promised me exactly that.. - I waited a long time for them to deliver -I paid exactly what A1 demanded- $2485.00 on the spot! -I did not receive my end of the deal- only A1 did. -I want my money back- $2485.00
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2015/07/27) */ Contact Name and Title: ******* **** Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX Contact Email: ***************@yahoo.com We would first like to say that we are very sorry that the customer is not happy. We have been trying since the end of March to resolve this with no luck. We had been in contact with the customer (which we have every email) and were trying to make the customer happy and then the customer stopped responding and we made several attempts to contact him with no luck. Recently the customer contacted us again and we responded immediately. I (*******) have been the one in contact with the customer since he first contacted us about the issue he was having. Like I had explained to the customer the log sets that he was looking up on the internet were nowhere near the quality as the logs that he has bought from us. He actually has an extremely nice set of gas logs. We also never requested that he pay cash, this was his idea so that he could receive a minimal discount. We did provide an electric pilot/burner like stated on the paperwork. We are willing to come out and show the customer how to manually light it so that there is not a pilot constantly burning (which will minimize any odor also). We noticed that he said "Another owner?" and would just like to state that we do have 3 owners because we are family owned. In closing we would just like to say that we are very sorry the customer is not happy. We do feel that like with every customer we have went above and beyond to make this customer happy and would like to continue to do so. We can come out & show the customer how to light the pilot so that he can turn the pilot off when the fireplace is not in use. We can not refund any money due to the fact he was given the exact products that he had paid for and signed a contract for. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2015/07/27) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) It takes some character to admit when someone is wrong. A1 does not have it. They have fabricated some timing and facts, which granted, is expected in a defensive mode. I have every email also. After being fed up with the common excuses, I gave it a break. They certainly did not attempt to resolve this in the meantime. They have my email, phone, and address. I am 15 minutes from their office. Cant believe if they indeed go "above and beyond for every customer", they wouldn't just happen to be in the neighborhood...? And by the way, ***** can see my called ID many times. Honestly, after being disappointed after waiting 6 weeks for delivery, I think anyone would be fed up. I prefer to begin a resolution in a decent fact based manner, which I did and will do here below again: First, in response to A1's generous offer to teach me how to light a pilot light on a $2500 set- Why would I pay top dollar and have to manually light a $2500 fireplace? Would this make sense? It comes with a remote but you have to manually light it???!!! I did not get an electronic pilot- (NOT electric *******.) Actually, here is a cut and paste from the website of the manufacturer of THIS set pertaining to what exactly an electronic pilot is:petersonfirelogs.com (This is the manufacturer of the gas log set per the documentation left by *****.) Electronic On/Off Remote: "The electronic on/off remote lighting method features a non-standing pilot assembly installed with your burner. With this feature, the pilot light on your gas log set does not stay lit. Each time you turn the log set on with your remote, an electronic signal is sent to the valve assembly, lighting the pilot, which then ignites the log set. The pilot light then goes out." Non standing pilot. This is what was promised. Any questions? This is also from the same web page and this describes what I received from A1: "Manual Safety Pilot: The manual safety pilot lighting method features a pilot valve assembly you install on your burner. It features a pilot light that you can keep lit allowing you to turn the log set on and off without ever holding a match to the burner. The safety pilot kit has a safety mechanism built in so if the pilot light ever goes out it will shut off the gas supply." Keep lit. This is what I got, and what A1 is offering to show me how to light each and every time I want a fire. Thanks. If A1 would like to dispute this fact as to what they actually have installed- come on over. - Maybe A1 forgot. - Or maybe A1 has an issue with the Manufacturer sending the wrong one. - A1 does not have an issue with payment from me. After contacting another dealer for ************ Company, they confirmed that the electronic version is an option. So *****( owner) saying it is impossible to have one to my face was not the truth. My apologies for paying my bills immediately, A1 may believe this is bad for business?? Thought I was being a good customer by not beating up A1 and haggling, and threatening. I guess you would prefer this? I have all the emails- at least the ones they actually sent to my address- that show that I preferred to be reasonable offering to pay restocking, not going to social media and patiently working through a fact based solution. Facts remain facts, the manufacturer's description of what A1 supplied also conflicts with their position. They did not supply what they promised. ******* is right, I signed their A1 contract for exactly what I wanted and paid for. Has nothing to do with what they delivered, and then stalled for the 30 days so I could not return it! Also claiming that they never saw or installed such a state of the art set before; ********* A monkey could have installed this set. Connect gas, put batteries in remote, light pilot. (Am I correct ***** and *****?) Did I ask for a discount if I did it myself? No. Problem is with what they promised me, I wasnt supposed to need to light a pilot. E L E C T R O N I C. (To help simplify for A1, It's like your furnace, and everyone's modern furnace- electronic pilot.) + Thats what A1 promised. + Thats whats on the contract. I remain entitled to all my money back because I certainly did not get what they promised ( and put on contract, *******) to both me and my wife who also was present, beginning in February. Suggest to A1 to read the contract again- Electronic Pilot ( First line under the Details Section) Lastly, I dont appreciate throwing in the sentimental 'family' business also. The point was that I felt confident that I was dealing with an owner- (this is actually a positive for A1!) A1 'FEELS' they go above and beyond? I MORE than feel a ripoff.
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Complaint: Scheduled contact 10/9/14 to clean wood burning fireplace chimney. Technician recommended installing an unvented gas fireplace instead since I hadn't used the fireplace in over 17 years (too much hassle). Agreed to installation: paid $600 deposit toward $1,719 total cost. Fireplace installed 11/06/14 (#1). ******** Castings Unvented Gas Log Heater, Model *** **** It was very difficult to use - had to lay on floor to turn knob, which was so tight had to use pliers to turn on. Technician came back devising an implement which elongated the switch, enabling easier use. *Warmed up room very nicely. Week later attempted to reignite pilot light, unable to do so. Called office, informed of problem. Another technician came 11/25/14, examined fireplace, said thermo coupler was broken and needed to be replaced. Called office, 12/1/14, hadn't ordered part. Requested fireplace be fixed before 12/6/14 due to holiday visitors. Company located a "universal" coupler and installed 12/5/14. It didn't fit properly and was unable to use fireplace. Following week technician returned and attemped to install a whole new fireplace (#2). The fittings were not compatible. On 12/17/14 another fireplace (#3) was installed ******** Castings Group, Unvented Gas Log Heater, Model ******** Something defective, when in use so much heat that surrounding bricks and mantel became so hot that touching either one left a burn. Technician came out, ascertained that fire was creating too much heat and was dangerous to use as is. Said I would need to purchase a metal surround thing costing $590. Pointed out that original (#1) fireplace didn't give off excess heat and why not install that model? Technician indicated company wouldn't do that. I replied that I didn't want to spend any more money. So technician forcefully open flue (?) and 14 years of dust, dirt and soot came down the chimney into my living room. What I was left with was a fireplace that would light but all the heat went up the chimney. Technician advised me to talk to management. Visited company's office in Lombard. Talked to the head technician. Was told that "fireplace was not meant to heat room" and that I had a "fully functioning" fireplace. I did not accept that and was told there was "nothing more they could do to please me".
Desired Settlement: I do not believe this company has the expertise to install a fireplace. And rather them ***** rig another fix, I would prefer to deal with a company that only installs fireplaces. I was out of town from January thru March and waited until I was back home to deal with this. I'm not sure if my age (70) or my gender (F)contributed to the awful job they did and their expectation that I would accept a fireplace that was NOT fully functional. But I feel that I was taken for a ride and $1,700 poorer.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2015/04/14) */ Contact Name and Title: ******* **** Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX Contact Email: ***************@yahoo.com This customer purchased a vent free Appliance from our company, along with gas piping to the existing masonry fireplace. Customer was pleased with installation & was educated in how to operate the new heating appliance. This customer shortly after installation contacted our service tech on his personal cell phone and complained that she was having difficulty turning it on. Our Technician went back to her home free of charge, and engineered a device making it easier to use for the customer. she was informed that this would void any warranty(as the appliance was modified) but the customer insisted and the service was performed. Shortly after the customer contacted our technician again on his personal cell phone and complained that the appliance would not light. Our tech who was on vacation took time to walk her through the pilot ignition process over the phone with no success. The customer was given an appointment, the appliance was inspected and the thermo coupler pilot assembly was found to be defective. When told that the part would be ordered and that the office would contact her when the part arrived customer became irate and wasn't able to understand that we have immense client base and we couldn't just simply provide service to her to the exclusion of everyone else. With all of that having been said arrangements were made and our original technician returned yet again to make to make a repair, only to discover that the part that had been obtained was not compatible with the appliance. The customer was further agitated and complained that she just wanted a fireplace that worked. The company agreed to "GIVE" her an entirely new log similar to the one originally purchased as a final resolution. The set was installed, customer used the appliance and complained that it gave off too much heat. Customer was told that a damper system would need to be installed in order to vent the appliance as her original damper was over 80 years old and defective. Customer was angered by this and was not able to understand why we could not just continue to give her products and service appointments for "warranty" coverage. The warranty was voided after the appliance was modified. Everything that the company provided after that appointment was done so in spirit of customer service and satisfaction. Our technician returned a last time and opened this customers defective damper. The debris was captured on a tarp. The customer can either have her defective damper repaired or install a new one. We have tried mighty hard to please this customer and it can not be done. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2015/04/20) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) A1 Safety Chimney Services does not seem to be offering a solution in their written response. "We have tried might hard to please this customer and it cannot be done". The fact that I now have a broken damper in addition to a fireplace where all the heat goes up the chimney is some how due to my being unable to be satisfied. In other words the multiple visits were my fault and had nothing to do with their workmanship and bad decision making. And they suggest that I "can either have my defective damper repaired or install a new one." Is it really up to me to fix the problem or is the problem due to their bungling and incompetence? 1. It is not my fault that the first fireplace they choose to install required me to literally lay down on the floor to turn it on (a remote control was never offered). I have severe arthritis in both knees and it is very difficult for me to get up and down. I called and asked if there was a better way?. (Second visit). Instead of offering a remote they themselves devised an extension to the **** which made it easier to turn but I still had to lay down on the floor to turn it on. They implied that this was the best they could do so I accepted their solution. 2. The fact that the thermo coupler broke a week after the initial installation was an unpleasant surprise. When I called to tell them something was wrong they insisted I just did not know how to turn the fireplace on. I requested they come out and look for themselves. They did so, reluctantly. After inspection the broken thermo coupler. It did not have anything to do with my not knowing how to turn it on or my being "*****". My guess is it was either a faulty mechanism coming from the manufacturer or it wasn't installed properly. Not my fault. 3. Rather then getting a replacement thermo coupler for that particular fireplace they chose to use an "universal" thermo coupler. They came out to install it and guess what, it didn't fit! Whose bad decision was this? Not mine. 4. Their fifth attempt to provide a working fireplace was to bring out a whole new fireplace set (different for the original set). Another bad decision on their part. This new set did not match up with the original fittings and consequently they were unable to install it. Not my fault. (At this point I was beginning to question if they knew what they were doing.) 5. Their sixth attempt was to bring in yet another whole new set, again not the same as the original set they had installed. They MADE it fit. It didn't take long to discover there was a serious problem with this new fireplace. After being turned on all the heat was directed onto the surrounding bricks and wooden mantle. The bricks and mantle got so hot they were impossible to touch without actually getting burned. I had to call and inform them of this new problem. They were very unhappy to hear this, but again, it was not my fault! 6. Their seventh visit to ascertain whether there really was a problem resulted in the technician turning on the fireplace and after a few minutes he touched the bricks and his actual words were "this is too hot, it's DANGEROUS". His solution was to forcefully open the damper (he had to use a pliers). As it opened years of soot, dust, and dirt came flying out into my living room. Having the damper wide open resulted in all the heat from the fireplace going up the chimney. (The major reason I chose to have a fireplace was to warm up my living room during the winter. The room is very drafty). So I called and talked to the head technician. He told me the fireplace was only suppose to be decorative and not to expect any heat. He stated they had done all they could and would not come out again. I really need some help to get a fair shake. What I would like is a fully functioning fireplace that both heats and lights. I suspect that between their incompetence and my being a single women they feel they can get away with telling me that I have a working fireplace. I would really appreciate the help of the Better Business Bureau. I am $1,719.00 poorer without a fully functioning fireplace. P.S. To clear up the issue of my using the technicians personal telephone: He GAVE me his number (how else would I know it?) and instructed me to call him if I had any questions or problems. Final Business Response /* (4000, 9, 2015/04/27) */ Technically, Our company's obligation to the customer ended when she elected to have the original installation appliance modified. As stated previously, everything that was provided to the customer after that point, was done so, in the spirit of customer service. When we offered her the option of a remote ignition she declined and insisted that the technician make the appliance "Usable" because, in her words she was not going to pay a dollar more. A-1 Safety Chimney Service does not engineer/manufacturer heating appliances. Nor can we foresee a potential issue with a particular clients infirmities and lack of ability in operating a specific system. Furthermore, failed thermo coupler assemblies, do occur from time to time. The customer did not want to wait for the original replacement part. There were time constraints put on the company and a complete unwillingness to cooperate in that process. In fact, every time an attempt was made to provide service the customer refused to accept anything except that which amounted to instant gratification in her quest to achieve satisfaction for her long list of grievances. That is not how the real world works. Even still, we tried to no avail. For the record, in the customers words, verbatim, " Why don't you just buy a set from home depot and install it"... The catalyst which prompted the entire replacement of her appliance. Bot to seem redundant, which came about because she did not want to wait for the replacement thermo-coupler (and a service appointment). We complied with the customers wishes. Her House (including her damper) is close to eighty years old. The damper isn't completely functional. We offered her a resolution to that problem which costs $565.90. She flatly refused this as a viable remedy because the customer "Feels" that somehow she is entitled to more free stuff as she paid $1719.00. Well,, feelings aren't facts. We even offered to make functional her old, non functional damper, for a fee, ($99) and this too of course was unacceptable. We have offered solutions, but the customer has to be willing to participate.
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Complaint: see above plus my wife recdognised guy from . a few years back. he then proceded to another neighbors home I referred them to and performed and charged the same amount beyond the $99.00 sweep. we tried to negotiate with the manager and she offered a $10.00 discount. we were cheated on this service and I didn't sign sheet authorizing extra work.
Desired Settlement: $185.00
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 7, 2013/12/30) */ Contact Name and Title: ******* **** Company Mana Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX Contact Email: ***************@yahoo.com Our technician gave the homeowner the written inspection report and went over it in detail with the homeowner. The homeowner made the decision to have the work completed that day. After the technician completed the work the homeowner called our office saying he didn't want the work done anymore or wanted in a a lower price. We offered a small discount but the homeowner declined the discount. The homeowner DID sign giving us consent for the extra work to be completed and paid for the work in full. Final Consumer Response /* (450, 17, 2014/01/29) */ The consumer indicated ONLINE that the business responded to this complaint to his/her satisfaction. He/she also stated: This is a very shady business whom I want no more dealings with and whom I WILL DISCREDIT to all potential customers in South Elgin. They are wrong and I hope failure comes their way. BBB needs to drop this company! Good bye and bad riddance Final Business Response /* (4000, 13, 2014/01/16) */ As you see there was a signed contract and the work was completed correctly. Mr agreed to have the work done before we started. We strive to make every customer happy, if we refunded everyone their money after work was completed we wouldn't be able to stay in business.
Customer Reviews Summary