Complaint Category: Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services
Complaint: Owner very unresponsive to questions about install and inspections, then pulled out of install at ftdoor because I wanted to pull a permit. Deceptive?
This contractor was recommended to me by a mechanical parts company. I was impressed initially, but noticed that they may not have not have been following or concerned about code in all cases on a couple of smaller jobs we discussed. When I had to replace my water heater I got a number of estimates and chose them because I had had a good experience with their mechanic and trusted him - even though their price was higher than the others. They also wanted to add a back-flow preventer which the other installers and the City of Denver Inspections Department said I DIDN'T need. So, I asked why and got very vague one-sentence answers from his wife and mechanic - no one seemed to know why I needed one. I finally spoke with Aaron for two minutes after asking numerous times for an explanation and he was very vague too. So I called the City of Denver Inspections Dept. and they told me that I didn't need a back-flow preventer on a residential water heater. Finish Line's owner, Aaron Sexton, said that I might not need one then after I questioned it. I could have gone with another company for my water heater install, but chose them out of loyalty. They could not make it out as soon as the other installers, so I waited an extra two days to have them do it. The day of the install I left three messages for Sarah, his wife, confirming that they had pulled a Permit so that I could have an inspection of their install of the water heater. They did not return my calls for two hours. I finally reached Aaron's wife, Sarah, and asked her why they had not pulled a Permit I called the City to confirm that they had not pulled one. She said that it's not necessary and that they don't normally do that. She also said that it costs about $150 and that I have budget constraints which is true. I questioned that cost as the Permit Dept. for the City had just told me that it would only be $35 for a Permit. That was when everything got really strange. Suddenly, Sarah had to call Aaron, the owner/her husband. Just then the installer arrived at the front door at the same time that the phone rang. It was Aaron on the phone and he was furious that I would question his expertise and said that I ask too many questions and that they don't need a Permit. He made a comment about "all of my phone calls," and essentially was unwilling to pull a Permit. He was so angry with me for questioning the back-flow preventer and asking for the Permit that I just said, "Do you want to cancel the job then?" and he said, "YES!" So, as his mechanic was laying down the drop cloth and getting started with the job, he pulled out on me!!! My home was a mess from all of the stuff that I had to remove so that they could get to the water heater, I had waited TWO days to get this done with THEM when other installers could have completed the job immediately, and yet he pulls the job when they are already in my house to start the job BECAUSE I WANTED TO PULL A PERMIT? Thank heaven I asked, because any owner of a mechanical heating and cooling company that suddenly gets angry because a customer wants a permit and an inspection is a company everyone should be concerned about working with. WHY WOULD THEY NOT WANT AN INSPECTION???? Also, Aaron was extremely disrespectful, insulting and arrogant. I haven't been spoken to like that by a contractor ever. He was just furious with me - the customer. Even his wife said that he was upset because I didn't trust him. Well, it appears that I should not have trusted him from the very beginning. His complaint was that I asked too many questions and I wanted a permit when I didn't need one? Thank heaven I did not go with Finish Line Heating and Cooling for my water heater install. I have to keep asking - why don't they want a water heater install to be inspected by the City? Very scary. I would not recommend this company to anyone. They messed up a week of my life, but at least I found out who Aaron really is before the water heater was installed.
Business' Initial Response
This customer was referred to us by our supply house. She called there looking for a good contractor as she's had poor experiences in the past. She said herself that she has gone through 12 contractors already. That should have been a red flag for us. We went to her house on January 9th and gave her a bid to replace the water heater, replace the back flow preventer, install a ball valve and replace the canister on her humidifier. She called and got on the schedule for Friday March 1st to replace the canister and have us look at her condensate drain line. While there replacing the canister, she called the manufacturer of the humidifier to talk to their technical team while our technician was working. She proceeded to tell our technician how to do his job while talking to the manufacturer on the phone. Our technician was pleasant and indulged her while completing his job. He next suggested a way to fix her condensate drain line using the proper plumbing, but she didn't like the solution and wouldn't allow him to fix it correctly. She called again on March 5th to schedule the water heater replacement. She told us that she hadn't scheduled it before because it was too much work for her to clean out her mechanical room but now needed the water heater immediately as it was leaking. We said that we would try to get her in the next afternoon as we understood the urgency however that wasn't a guarantee and that we could for sure get her in on March 7th. Rather than starting first thing in the morning, she asked us to come later in the day on the 7th. We got her in as soon as possible and we worked around her schedule. Between the dates of March 1st and 7th this customer called repeatedly to ask the same questions regarding the back flow preventer. She is correct in that they are not required on a residential water heater, however she didn't tell the inspector that she already has one on her system as it was incorrectly piped initially by the previous contractor. We offered to try to use the old back flow preventer but let her know it may not work and we may need to install a new one. Again, this wasn't an up sell, this was something that she currently has on her system. Honestly we aren't sure how many times we talked to this customer about the same issues but she is disrespectful of our time and doesn't value our expertise. We tried to work with her, but in the end when she asked if we'd like to cancel the job we decided to accept. We are a reputable company with the correct licenses and permits. This had nothing to do with pulling a permit, which we gladly do as required. We just feel that there was no pleasing this customer and think that ending this customer/business relationship was in the best interest of both parties.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Finish Line's perceptions and description of our experiences are maligned and dishonest on nearly every level. It is amazing to see how one's experience, communications and requests can become so twisted. Nearly everything stated here is either a misinterpretation or an outright lie. I interviewed eight installers re: installing a new water heater and drain system, but have only worked with one in the past. Not 12. I have had issues before with other contractors not doing their job, which is why I asked Aaron a number of questions about how he would do his job. Many of their solutions were not up to code I can go into detail if needed, so I asked more questions to try to understand what they were intending to do and reminded their installer, more than once that what he was suggesting would not pass inspection. Unfortunately, I never got straight answers to my questions and they were always one-sentence statements that didn't address the real situation. And Aaron never called me personally. All answers came through his wife who didn't know much. They apparently just wanted me to trust them. Thank heaven I didn't. I did hire them to change the humidifier cannister, but it turned out that their installer had never changed one on an Aprilaire humidifier before. As a result, he dumped water all over the floor as he didn't know it needed to be drained first. That was my first clue that he needed help. I was very patient with his lack of knowledge, yet they say that he was patient with me? How funny! I was worried that he would damage my functioning humidifier and leave me with another broken item to fix. To that point, after replacing the cannister, he could not get the humidifier working again. Perhaps he never told his boss this. He kept pushing buttons randomly as he didn't know what to do, so I called the manufacturer to find out what he might be missing. He also kept making statements about the "filter" and I explained that there is not a filter on that model they have only worked with Honeywell, it turns out, so I was merely trying to educate him and get some help when I called the manufacturer which has been extremely helpful in the past. As it turned out, I knew more about what he needed to do than he did! The fact that they don't want help from the people who know the product best is a huge concern. No wonder they have problems. Their installer, Dillon, was very sweet, but he didn't know what he was doing on this model. Thank heaven I still had the instructions as he finally read them now soaked by the water he dumped all over them, and that is where he found out what he was doing wrong. He would not speak to the manufacturer who was on the phone to ask how to get it running again. Too proud, I guess. So, I was not being disrespectful, I was helping him as he had already proven that he didn't know what he was doing on this particular brand of system. Also, there was never a backflow preventer on the old water heater system! Aaron recalled that incorrectly. He was WRONG. I asked the same question about it over and over again because I never got a straight answer from Aaron or his wife. I was expected to just take him at his word, and he was wrong, so thank heaven I kept questioning him. And thank heaven they pulled the job. Also the reason I questioned their solution for the drain is because their solution would not have passed code or an inspection by the city! They ended up coming up with a temporary solution, which was nice, but I still have no long-term solution due to them and will need to hire someone else to correct the mess they left. On the water heater, I ended up going with Tony Capra Plumbing and they were fantastic. Very communicative, and very respectful of my questions, concerns, etc. It was like night and day in terms of the experience. And they were happy to do the installation BEFORE FInish Line, but I selected FInish Line out of loyalty. Their pulling out cost me three more days! And when I called the City of Denver's inspection department to let them know what a great job Tony Capra did, and of my bad experience with Finish Line, the head of the department informed me that they have been having a lot of problems with FInish Line. He told me he was really glad that I "dodged that bullet." So, I am apparently not alone in my experience, and based on the response from Aaron, it is clear why they are having issues. They do not listen, they misinterpret, they are arrogant and are insulted when consumers ask clarifying questions about things that will impact their own homes. They don't provide answers to your questions we should just trust then? and wonder why you ask more than once when you don't get answers? I am so incredibly happy that they pulled out of the job he pulled the job, not me as I now have a new water heater, installed by a skilled and experienced PLUMBER they are not plumbers, and for a price that was less than FInish Line was going to charge me. It passed code with flying colors and I know that Dillon did not have the plumbing skills to do everything that they did to make this a safe, mechanically correct install. Bottom line: when he states " there was no pleasing this customer" he is correct if he's referring to their company not being able to please me. To please me, I require good workmanship, good service, solutions that are legitimate, respectful interactions, up to current code, installations that can pass inspection and workmen who know what they are doing and are trained properly. FInish Line clearly could not meet these standards, so it is a good thing that we parted. But, others need to be aware of the fact that this company has been warned by the City of Denver's Inspection Department. That was my purpose in filing this complaint - to warn others!!!!! Other than that, there is NO resolution to this complaint. Thank you.
Complaint Response Date bumped because: Holiday
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.