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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Robert Bair Plumbing, Heating & Air 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.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Robert Bair Plumbing, Heating & Air include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
Illinois Department of Public Health
122 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60603
Phone Number: (312) 814-2608
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Robert Bair, President Ms. Darlene Gray, Office Manager Mr. Ryder May, General Manager
Plumbing - Contractor Plumbing - Renovation & Repair Plumbing Drains & Sewer Cleaning Sewer Contractors Sewer Inspection Water Heaters - Repairing Water Main Contractors Heating & Air Conditioning Air conditioning & Heating Contractors - Residential Air conditioning & Heating Contractors - Commercial Water Heaters - Dealers Water Heater - Tankless Air Conditioning Repair Water Mitigation Heating Equipment & Systems Cleaning & Repair Boilers - New & Used Boilers - Sales & Service Furnace Sales & Service Furnace Cleaning Contractors-Water & Sewer Air Conditioning Contractors & Systems Boilers - Repair & Cleaning Drainage Contractors Sump Pump Contractors Heating Contractors Plumbers Plumbers - Commercial Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors (NAICS: 238220)
Alternate Business NamesRobert Bair Services
447 Rogers St
Downers Grove, IL 60515 Directions
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Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|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
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: On 1/24 I called them when I found my furnace was blowing cold air. They sent a tech out after about 4 hours. He claimed a thermocoupler was broken and replaced that and relit the furnace. Just over 2 months later, I come home and find the furnace blowing with no heat again. I called, and they refused to come out unless I paid a minimum $140 call out fee and state it was maybe a bad part, but certainly not their technician's work that was wrong, and I would maybe not be responsible for the replacement part, but would need to cover the labor for the visit for whatever was wrong. I insisted he verify with his manager that this was their stand, and it was. I would have to wait till morning, or pay a call out fee of $140 plus the costs of anything to repait. I opted to have a different company come out. The technician stated that he could not definitely state the thermocoupler was not needed, but that he could say it was not the current root cause, and based on everything I told him, the current root cause was probably what had also caused the original problem. The repair done by **** was almost certainly un-needed and the problem would continue to resurface until the real issue was fixed. Of course, he couldn't state unequivocally that the repair was un-needed but that if as **** had told me, the only thing wrong was the thermocoupler, then the problem wouldn't have returned. The technician did NOT do additional un-needed repairs. He assessed the situation, got my heat working again (all for $59), and recommended I consider replacing my 20 year old furnace within the next two years (**** told me it was fine and would last another 5 or 10) but that I should get multiple quotes first since there would be no urgency once the root cause (not mechanical) was addressed.
Desired Settlement: I previously hired Bair to do a water heater replacement and add a water softener. They had to come out twice, because the first installation had a defective part according to them. I had the water softener for 6 months with it not working because I had the very bad luck to get the only bad water softener out there. I believed them that time. This time, on the phone, already trying to tell me that it couldn't possibly be a bad repair, it could be a part part but that wouldn't be their fault, and it wasn't unusual to have the same problem happen in barely 60 days. Customer service? Not even close. When you do a repair, and it fails in less than 90 days, go out to the customer and figure it out without charging them a fee to figure it out. And how much over the $140 I would have had to pay would depend on your person deciding whether or not your previous person did a poor job. That's insane. I'm guessing that your person never finds that your previous person did poor work. It is always a 'bad part'. But re-replacing the thermocoupler isn't needed. The replacement of the thermocoupler was almost definitely not needed.I spent $250 on that original call and the furnace itself wasn't the issue (a back draft from the vent pipe was). It took under 1 hour for a different technician to inspect, note a number of parts that are old and worn and not working up to par, but that shouldn't be replaced because doing so won't change the back draft being able to blow out the pilot light. Unlike Bair, while I wait for the real problem to be fixed by a roofer, the new company will come out at no cost to relight the pilot light if it goes out again in the next few days. And they won't recommend or do repairs that won't change the fact that it is a really old furnace that will need replacing in the next few years. But they will have more chance of getting the work, and my recommendation to my friends who all own 20+ year old homes as well. Bair will never receive my business again, and can expect to never receive any business from anyone I know. Because you didn't treat me correctly doing a repair that wasn't required during extreme cold (when I was stuck calling anyone who would come out) and not standing by the repair you did when the time came. A repair that almost definitely shouldn't have happened. And only because other contractors are ethical and won't state as 'fact' things they can't prove, are you able to get away with this sort of useless repair. I needed my pilot light reset, and I needed someone to ask about things that might have caused it to go out, rather than someone jumping in and replacing a $25 part at a $250 job cost. So, I have the part. You can keep the $25 for it. But the fee to come out back in January, and the labor costs? You don't deserve those. You didn't earn them. You scammed me, and then you treated me like I wasn't a valued customer at all. So, you owe me a refund of what you were paid for useless work. And I guarantee that when I replace plumbing in my 20 year old house, and when I replace the furnace and the air conditioning, I will do it with a company that treats customers more fairly.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/04/14) */ We are sorry to hear the Mrs. ******** was not satisfied with our services. Mrs. ******** references multiple points of contact with our service team, and we would appreciate the opportunity provide an accurate account of services that were provided to her by us from 10/06/2008 through 04/03/2014. The first issue Mrs. ******** writes about is the installation of a water softener. On 10/06/2008 Mrs. ******** enlisted our services to install a water softener in her home. We did install the softener, and unfortunately the head on that water softener ended up malfunctioning. Mrs. ******** called us with the issue, and on 07/25/2009 we replaced the head on the water softener at no charge to Mrs. ********. We cannot speak to the duration that the water softener was malfunctioning; however as soon as we were made aware of the issue we dispatched a licensed technician to rectify any issues. We were not out twice for the water softener, but did provide additional services to Mrs. ******** on 01/14/2008, that included installing a 40 gallon water heater. The second issue is related to a service call requested by Mrs. ******** on 01/24/2014 for her furnace, it was blowing cold air. Our licensed technician determined that the thermo coupler needed replacement. In addition to replacing the malfunctioning part our licensed technician thoroughly cleaned the pilot assembly. The furnace was fully operational when we left. We cannot and will not comment on third party interpretations and opinions shared in this letter by Mrs. ********. We regret that Mrs. ******** has elected to not continue to utilize us, or our fully licensed technicians for her plumbing, heating & air needs, she has been a valued customer for 6 years. We are interested resolving this complaint. At Robert Bair Plumbing, Heating & Air we stand behind our work, and if a piece of equipment we install ends up malfunctioning, is deemed defective, or if a technician makes a mistake we own it, replace it, and make sure the customer is satisfied. We have done this for 40 years. We have built our business on integrity, and consider our customers family. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/04/14) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) It is not standing by your work to demand a $140 call out fee when identical symptoms reoccur for a repair and to state up front that you are confident the issue cannot be related to your previous repair. The simple fact that the identical issue returned and a different cause was identified by a separate licensed and trained technician (a cause that required NO repair to the furnace) is in fact a strong indicator that the original repair was not in fact needed. The technician did not clean the furnace entirely, but just a connecting tube (rinsed out in my sink) and in fact when asked if I should schedule regular cleaning told me that was not needed. Yes, they fixed their first problem with the water softener, because they installed a defective softener that didn't work until the repair. I stated six months of uselessness from it, their records show it was even longer. For this failed repair they were willing to do zero unless handed $140. That is not standing by your work. That is leaving someone in the cold and encouraging their valued customer to find out they have been cheated. Final Business Response /* (4000, 9, 2014/04/24) */ We do not charge a $140 call out fee. We do ask for a trip charge that is based on mileage from our shop to the customer's residence to cover the cost of a fully licensed technician and stocked repair truck to come out. Our fee would not have been more than $87, and this trip charge is waived on calls that need a return trip. Our staff is trained to not make judgments about work that a licensed technician needs to evaluate. It is unlikely that someone in our office would make statements over the phone about repairs they cannot see. Unfortunately the customer did not give us a chance to return; the customer called someone else to follow up. The customer's entire case is based on third party insinuations provided by another technician who wants the business. The thermo coupler most definitely needed replacement; we made the repair with the customer's best interests in mind. We only stated that our licensed technician thoroughly cleaned the pilot assembly, not the furnace entirely. When our licensed technician left the furnace was operational and continued to function through one of the most severe winters the area has seen in years. Sometimes there can be multiple issues effecting malfunctioning equipment, and resolution evolves through process. If in fact there was an issue with the down draft it was a contributing factor, not the sole cause of the customer's original issue. This is evident because as stated, the furnace worked, without issue for 2 months until the pilot light went out, and after relighting the pilot the furnace resumed working without needing additional repairs or adjustments made to the work done by our licensed technician. We stand by our repair; we do not feel that a refund for the thermo coupler work is warranted, however in the interest of resolution we would like to offer to reimburse the customer the $60 paid to have the pilot re-lit. The water softener was operational and functioning properly the day we installed it. The exact day the softener head failed cannot be determined. Final Consumer Response /* (4200, 11, 2014/04/24) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I was very clearly told there would be a $140 fee for someone to come to my home that evening. I was told this more than once during the phone call. I even told the person I was speaking to that I wanted them to call a manager and call me back since this was a return visit on a previous repair where the same symptoms were back identical to before the repair was being done and I could not personally believe that they would insist on a $140 fee before committing to come out to my home. The technician phoned me back and said he had spoken to his manager, and that he would have to charge me the fee. And yes, he did state that he was very certain that the previous technician had not made an error, but that the 'fee' would be absorbed by the costs of whatever repair was needed now, but that the minimum cost would have to be $140 (if the needed repair was less than $140, I would pay $140, if it was more, than the 140 would be waived and only the repair cost charged). Without coming and seeing I was assured that the part was almost definitely not broken (the work itself wouldn't be warrantied, only the part) and that the previous technician had repaired the right thing. I was assured it would almost certainly turn out to be something brand new that was wrong that just happened to have the EXACT same symptoms. THAT is why I did not give them the chance to come back to my home. They refused to consider coming to my home to evaluate the work they had done unless paid $140. Their assurance that the thermocoupler needed to be replaced is backed by nothing but their word, which is the same word that says they don't charge $140 for someone to come to my home. The thing that ticked me off didn't happen? Please. I have a new thermocoupler, yes. But I almost certainly only needed a pilot light relit and someone to point out that the roof repair I was waiting on until the weather would permit it was causing the pilot light to go out. I do not think they should be able to claim they do not charge a $140 fee when my entire argument with them on the phone, and my reason for having them call a manager and verify that, was because that cost was SO high. I am clearly willing to pay a reasonable cost for someone to come to my home. I was not willing to pay a ridiculous cost, especially for a return call on the same issue. And in particular, not after having had to have them come out multiple times on a past issue. Multiple visits as a trend is a bad thing. Having them insist on charging me a fee for them to come twice was insane. It was a cold night. My choice was pay us $140 to look over the work we did before, but we are already telling you, it probably isn't anything we did wrong, but the $140 will be applied to whatever repair we need to do now. OR, option 2, freeze all night, and we'll come out tomorrow. Never mind that you paid us to repair this furnace before, and the symptoms are identical to what happened before. Either agree to $140 for us to come out tonight or wait and be cold. It might be our fault, but if it is, that would be a bad part, and the part we will warranty, but not our labor. And so on. I spent a lot of time arguing with their person. They were insistent. They're refusal to support their work in a reasonable customer service friendly way was why I had to call someone else. And why I sat in a cold house for hours while I found someone trustworthy to have in my home looking at the issue. They are willing to pay for that technician? That's hardly the extent of my damage from their bad service. Oh, and I shouldn't trust the trained and licensed technician I hired in their place because he is lying to get my business? The $59 fee for coming out? Because I was charged nothing else, and will be charged nothing else. He even offered to come out a second time free of charge if the pilot went out again before the roof repair that should correct the back draft. Yes, that is someone who I can't trust. He was willing to stand behind his work. He was unwilling to assert something he could not PROVE since the original part was taken by the technician (so who can say if it needed replacing or not now). He gave a fair assessment of the situation, and was fair to Bair as well. He earned his 'call out fee' or whatever you want to call it. Bair can claim they don't have a call out fee, but they did for me when I called them, and refused to even consider waiving it. The furnace worked for 2 months after the thermo coupler was replaced. But that is not proof that the thermo coupler NEEDED to be replaced. It is proof the down draft didn't happen during that time, probably due to snow on the roof. They acted in bad faith when they insisted on a $140 fee to come to my home to look at the repair they had previously done. The minimum they should return to me is $140. They made me feel awful, and created a stressful evening for me that didn't need to be stressful. I should have been able to call my reliable service provider, and had them come out to check their work without multiple phone calls and arguments, and insistence that it couldn't be their problem before anyone had seen anything. Instead, I got arguments and insistence on a fee, and then time spent finding someone else. And now, them claiming that was never the case!