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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 03/26/2010

Hartbeat Construction

Phone: (903) 581-5622Fax: (903) 581-6123

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Customer Complaints Summary

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service2
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints2

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (2)
12/17/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

**** refuses to honor warranty on construction of retaining wall that failed due to improper construction, not built as specified in contract.
Retaining wall installed fall 2010. Failure noted in winter/2014,spring 2015.
WARNING: Do NOT do business with this company. Any warranty/guarantee from **** is worthless. Retaining wall on my lakefront property installed almost 5 years ago has a 10 year warranty and **** will not honor it, despite the entire 200+ foot length of the wall failing due to improper construction. Wall was supposed to have deadman installed at 6' intervals per the proposal/contract and when they began pulling out of the ground behind the failed wall it was discovered they were placed on 9' centers instead and placed in silt fill only 3-4' behind the wall instead of in solid ground 10-15' back. This is why the wall failed--Shortcuts, improper installation by ****. **** will promise anything but fails to deliver according to contract.
Do NOT do business with this sorry company.

Desired Settlement
Remove the failed retaining wall and construct new retaining wall with deadman placed at proper spacing and setback according to good construction practices, or payment to have proper retaining wall constructed by another company.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* **** / Owner
Contact Phone: ***-***-****
Contact Email: ********@****.***
There are not any warranty issues, the wall has not failed. The wall is still standing and in good condition. Mr. ******* has just recently bought this property and is not the original owner that we performed the work for.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The simple facts of this case are that **** contracted to install a retaining wall using supporting deadman spaced on 6'centers and gave a 10 year warranty. The wall has failed. It has moved, tilted, twisted and warped all along its length of over 200' because ****, going against what was called for in the contract installed the deadman on 9' centers and placed them only 3-4' back from the wall in silt fill where they can offer no support to the wall and there are 33% fewer than called for in the contract. They are being pulled out of the ground by the movement of the wall. Just this act of not constructing as specified in the contract is fraud.
A good analogy would be the foundation of a home being poured with 33% less steel rebar than called for in the specifications; the result is the foundation cracking/failing due to not having the proper supporting structural members--the home shifts,walls crack,etc., yet the foundation is still there--even though it failed.
**** needs to honor his warranty and replace the failed wall constructing one as specified in the contract or pay me the amount it will take to remove this disaster and have a proper wall constructed by a company of my choosing.

Final Business Response
We have made an arrangement to work with the lot owner to resolve the issues with the wall.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
Mr. **** called me on 12/10/15 and told me he would like to come out in March to repair the retaining wall. I agreed with this timeline and the general discussion of the repairs to be done.
On 12/15/15 Mr. **** came out to my home to view the wall. He plans to bring in necessary equipment to dig out behind the wall and straighten the bowed sections, placing dead-men approximately 10' back of the wall at 6' centers. He said the dead-men would be placed at least 18" below surface. Mr. **** also noted that some steel panels would need to be replaced and he will do that. Backfill will be done to level the ground behind the wall ready for grass to be planted. Mr. **** said he plans to begin the repair project about March 1, 2016 and this is agreeable with me. I asked him to provide a written description of the proposed work and he said he would.
From my discussions with Mr. ****, I believe he will complete the repair project as generalized above to my satisfaction. I look forward to receiving the detailed description of the repair project and working with Mr. **** to accomplish the repairs.

09/30/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Retainer wall failed under warranty 3 times and was never properly repaired .
Retainer wall was installed with 5 year warranty . Failed in 2 years and took attorney to get them to repair . Wall failed again in 2 years . They did a repair. Wall failed again while still under warranty. They will again fix the wall but will not extend warranty . If they could not properly fix the wall after 3 tries and now will not extend the warranty if they again fix it , it tells me they do not have the confidence that it will last . I picked their company even though they were by far the highest bidder because the had a good web page , nice offices and a good BBB review . Now i know their main business seems to be concrete work . My work was all metal work . I feel they did not have the necessary experience to do this job when they started and from the different ways they have tried to repair the work i am convienced they still are not experienced in this type of construction . I told them i would let them come in again and mess up my yard to repair one more time but only if they agreed to an extended warranty which they refused . My next move is to take them to court .

Desired Settlement
I am asking BBB and will also ask the court if necessary for a full refund of original cost less the material cost . The materials are ok , the workmanship was the problem . I will also ask for refund of the monies i have spent to repasir the yard after their failed repair attempts . Each time they repaired the work it was under duress and they made no attempt to repair any damage to yard . I was told " it will grow back " and it did , all weeds .

Business Response
I, William Hart, doing business first as Hart General Contracting and now Hartbeat Construction, have been in business for 31 years as a general contractor specializing in site preparation (dirt work and excavation), the construction of retaining walls and boat houses. Hartbeat Construction has been a member of the East Texas Better Business Bureau for 4 years and has not received a BBB negative complaint from any of its hundreds of past customers prior to the filing of the complaint by * *, *.

Mr.* contracted with Hartbeat Construction to build a retaining wall on his lakefront property in 2008. I constructed the retaining wall according to the manufacturer's plans and specifications, taking into consideration the site conditions of the * property. On August 8, 2008 I gave Mr. * a five year warranty for workmanship and materials. A true and correct copy of the original warranty is enclosed.

Contrary to Mr. *'s BBB complaint that the wall failed in year two, which would have been 2010, I did not receive any communication from Mr. * regarding issues with the wall until April 5, 2012, which was nearly four years after installation. A true and correct copy of the letter from Mr. * dated April 5, 2012 is enclosed. Before I could come to investigate Mr. *'s complaint, he decided to involve an attorney who contacted me on May 16, 2012. On May 19, 2012, I inspected the wall. Even though I determined that the wall had moved for some other reason than defective materials or workmanship, I realigned the wall at my own expense and to the satisfaction of Mr. * because I warrantied the wall for a five year period.

On March 25, 2013, almost 5 years after installation, I was contacted by Mr. * who complained that the wall was out of alignment. I responded to Mr. * by letter (enclosed) dated April 20, 2013 and suggested reasons why the will could be slightly out of alignment. In response and at my own expense, I contracted with Apex geoscience, inc. (APEX) and requested that a certified engineer inspect the site conditions and the retaining wall and prepare a report of their inspection.

On July 19, 2013, * delivered their report which I have enclosed. On page two of the report, * * *, P.E. stated that on the date of his inspection, my description of the original wall construction and 2012 repairs "appears consistent with the age, type and condition of the retention structure, as well as my observations. Thus, for purposes herein, I have presumed it to be reliable and verifiable."

Mr. * described the condition of the wall at the time of inspection to be, "displaced to an out-of-plumb condition of about four (4) to five (5) inches at the top toward water. Based upon the configuration, it is very doubtful that the bottom of the wall has been displaced inward or upslope toward the residence." Mr. * opined as to several possible reasons that could cause the "slightly tilted" condition and determined the most likely cause of the displacement to be:

(1) Drought conditions experienced on Lake Palestine approximately one (1) to two (2) hears ago, which disrupted the pore water equilibrium pressure between the upstream and downstream sides of the retaining structure;

(2) Movement of the deadman anchors to tension exerted by tiebacks; or

(3) Movement of the entire soil mass containing the anchors and the wall.

Mr. * went on and wrote, "A certain amount of movement of the deadman anchors and the wall (items 2 and 3 above) should be expected as normal, and is even required to "mobilize" the soil resistance. However, given the relatively low height of the wall, I suspect that some soil creep is occurring."

Most importantly, Mr. * observed, "The degree of movement as observed has not compromised the function of the wall; it continues to function as intended, and represents (thus far) a cosmetic concern only."

By letter dated July 22, 2013, I provided a copy of the * report to Mr. *. However, to satisfy Mr. *, I agreed to provide additional support to bolster the top of the retaining wall and described those agreed upon efforts in a letter to Mr. * dated August 19, 2013 (enclosed). The structural support was in fact added after the 5 year warranty period had expired.

Several months ago, Mr. * contacted me once again, complaining of a slight cosmetic tilting of the retaining wall. He asked me to realign the wall, which I verbally agreed to do, despite the fact that the original warranty period had expired. By letter dated July 19, 2014 (copy enclosed), Mr. * demanded that I extend the warranty period of the wall for an additional five years brier to beginning the work. I replied by letter dated July 22, 2014 (enclosed) wherein I agreed to perform certain tasks, but declined to extend the warranty for the reasons stated in the letter. Mr. * rejected my proposal by email dated July 23, 2014 (copy enclosed) and instead chose to file a complaint with the BBB.

In summary, Mr.* did not complain of any issues with the wall for nearly four years after the construction date and after a period of prolonged drought. A certified Professional Engineer examined the wall and determined that the likely causes for the slight tilting of the wall were not related to defective materials or workmanship. I realigned the wall during and after the warranty period expired at my own expense. I was willing to realign the wall once again, well outside the warranty period to satisfy a customer, but I cannot extend the warranty period for another five years.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The wall was installed and final payment made Oct 2 , 2008 with a 5 year warranty - Oct 2 , 2013
My dealings with Mr. Hart have been most difficult . In the past I have had to get an attorney to help , had many problems communicating with him , says one thing one time and a different thing next time ( sometimes its my fault - sometime its his ) .
I have documents , certified mail , cancelled checks and letters to support my claims .
The wall was not properly installed . The deadman were installed in slit which was dredged up from lake and would not support the deadman. The deadman did not have a cross piece in front to help hold them in place .When the pressure was applied they just cut through the silt like a knife .When the deadman first failed and the wall moved toward the water most of the welds that held the 4 inch angle to the pilings broke . When Mr. Hart came out to inspect the wall he told me that there were even places that had even failed to be welded.The wall was repaired twice . When it failed the third time we were approaching the end of the 5 year warranty . I asked that I be issued another warranty for an additional 5 years for workmanship only . Mr. Hart refused . I figured that if he did not have enough confidence in what he going to do to extend the warranty then they would just do what they had done in the past , the warranty would be out and i would have a substandard wall that I paid a super standard price for .
The engineering report pretty well sums up the situation (see report sent in by Mr. Hart - items 3 and 4 - Wall Conditions and Performance )
The deadman and tiebacks were the original problem .
The drought had nothing to do with my problem since the c-loc wall is porous and the water level is the same on both sides of the wall .If the wall was properly engineered and installed it should hold up the yard dirt on the land side . My watering the yard is no difference that it being rained so if the wall could not stand to be rained on ???
I also have a BBB report dated 3-22-10 against Mr. Hart that is almost identical to mine . Report says it was never resolved . From reading the report it looks like Mr. Hart always wants to put the blame on someone else like he is doing with me .
When I speak with Ms. * * she indicates there may be a problem because the warranty has expired . Yes , it is now expired but when I reported my last complaint to Mr. Hart the warranty was still in effect .
Hartbeat Construction web site has very little mention of retaining walls and when it does they are vinyl ( pvc ) not steel walls. I will be curious to find out how many steel walls Mr. Hart had installed before mine .
Unless Mr. Hart can show me a plan that I can approve as to how he will fix the wall and give me an additional 5 year warranty on workmanship OR refund all my monies paid to him and others that I had to hire to finished the work he was supposed to do i will be left with no other option than to take this to court .

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