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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 10/21/1994

Complete Basement Systems

Phone: (800) 638-5285Fax: (507) 625-3343

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Customer Complaints Summary

3 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Guarantee / Warranty Issues2
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Total Closed Complaints3

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (3)BBB Closure Definitions
03/16/2015Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Company came several times to inspect and guarantee the work to be done. They locked us into a contract then upon time to do the project, "couldn't."
I have been debating to file a complaint to the BBB regarding this company and was not going to up until now, finding out that not only did they screw us with the contract that was agreed upon, it is now going to cost us more due to them. We requested this business come out to our home to inspect a foundation issue. The appointment was scheduled on Friday, October 17, 2014. During the first visit, the area of concern was looked at twice by the company's employee to ensure the job could be done. Even calling his manager and engineer. A few weeks later, a different person from the company called stating he would have to come back to our home to make sure the job could be done. He had to come back because the other guy "looked at the wrong wall," allegedly. Which was impossible to do and didn't happen, being we clearly discussed and looked at it. This is all after we signed a contract with them and put down the 40% down-payment ($1,900). This is all when they started to try and back out on, alleging they couldn't and/or wouldn't guarantee/warranty their work. However, about a week after this 3rd inspection, he stated the job could be done and that the work would still be warranted. They gave us the dates of work to be, Monday, December 22nd they would pour concrete and coming back to complete the job on Tuesday, December 23rd. So we both took those days off to ensure we were home for those 2 days. When Monday, December 22, 2014 arrived to complete the work, not only did they say that the job wouldn't be done by Tuesday, but they would have to come back about a month or so after the concrete was poured to set. Never was that stated in the contract or discussed. Also, within the first 5 minutes, the crew stepped outside to make a phone call. Approximately 2 hours later, the crew came back in to tell us the job could not be done. For over 2-3 months, this company held on to 40% of the cost due to contract requirement (Approximately $1,900). So not only did they come back 3 times to look at the wall and job in question, we set a date for the project and took time off work. With a total of 3 inspections and numerous guarantees, this company clearly sends out under qualified staff to inspect homes and make business deals with consumers who are in a vulnerable state to begin with. It is pathetic that it took crew members 5 minutes to discover this job could not be completed. This company has caused us to leave early from work and take days off to ensure they had ample amounts of time to inspect and complete the project. After the crew left, it was approximately 2 hours before anyone from the company even called to apologize. To make matters worse, they didn't even have the head of the company call, but instead some sales members. The sales guy who originally came to give us the inspections and that we signed the contract and paid, didn't even call us back to discuss for OVER 1-2 weeks! All he could do was apologize and inform us that we would be refunded our money. At that point, we were past wanting a simple apology. Now we have to wait until Spring of 2015 to fix our home. In the mean time, this issue continued to get worse and is going to cost us more money. We went with this company and signed a contract for 1 reason, they guaranteed and warrantied their work, for life! Had we known that this was ever going to even remotely happen, we would have went elsewhere and the job would have been completed with no further issues!!!!!

Desired Settlement
At this point, the company has refunded our deposit. However, now we have to wait until spring of 2015 to have this issue fixed. The issue with our home continued to get worse and will be costing us even more in repairs. This was stated to the company and they had no response to give us. Not only didn't they want to help figure something out or work something out. That sales guy who we came to our house, we signed the contract with, finally called me back after weeks of getting our money back but with nothing but "sorry." Sorry may have worked months ago, but being he had our $1,900 tied up for only a project that he knew couldn't be done or should have known but then has nothing to say. Was this a sales tactic? A goal and benchmark tactic? Or just a complete scam job by the company? I tried to not file a BBB Complaint and forgive what happened, being we all make mistakes. However, this goes well beyond that now. It is pretty clear to me how this company operates, tying vulnerable homeowners money up for months on end, only to screw them at the finish line. We hope this report will open the eyes of managers at this business and make them realize that they are compromising the overall structure of homes when making false guarantees. Their need to hold onto 40% of a customer's owed amount can now be seen as outrageous and strategical. This guarantees they make quite a profit on anyone who backs out of their contract without having to actually complete the work. In the mean time, the consumer is financially strapped to this business for a long period of time and the outcome is nothing but disappointment. If we would have bailed out of the contract on them, that would have been 100% profit to them of doing no work and pocketing the $1,900. What do we get for them bailing on a written, promised, guaranteed, and warrantied contract, with our money? NOTHING! Nothing but more issues and costing us even more then would have been!

Business Response
In response to the complaint made by customer ******* *********, Complete Basement Systems did apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused however the scope of work needed to be done is actually the issue not our company.

When a wall is bowing out and needs to be properly supported we use a PowerBrace system. What our salesman offered and contracted was this system. Upon our production crew's arrival to the job they noticed that they could actually reach their arm to the outside of the house over the wall. This means that a PowerBrace system would not be a viable solution to solve Mr. *********'s problem. We cannot brace the wall; it would actually need to be replaced. Replacement is a very different process and would cost considerably more than the brace system. The additional cost Mr. ********* would incur would be from a different process and cost. If he is going to have another company do exactly what we would have done with a brace system then the issue would not be fixed. If there is additional cost to what he is having done, it is because they are replacing the wall instead. This is not because the job didn't get done by us, it is because the job could not be done the way he wanted at the cost he wanted. As to compromising the structure of a home; that is why we had to walk away from the job, it is like putting a band-aid on a cut that needs stitches. You may cover up the bleeding but eventually you either get stitches or infection from not properly tending to it. We have a great record with the BBB and great customer satisfaction rate. We are not comfortable with doing a job that we know will not solve an issue. Therefore it was in everyone's best interest that we not brace a wall that had to be replaced.

07/17/2014Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Basement transite heating vents had water in it during April, 2013 and again in 2014. I was sold a system to stop the problem of the water coming in.
April, 2013 I saw that I had "a lot" of water accumulating in the 3 basement floor heating ducts. I used a wet vac to get as much water out of the ducts but it kept filling in. I contacted a builder, a furnace heating tech, went on line in order to get as much info that I could to get the problem fixed. I went to the yellow pgs and there were only four waterproofing contracters listed in the Frontier telephone book. The only one who would come out was 'Complete Basement Systems.' The other one who called was booked solid and couldn't send anyone. ***** ******, from Complete Basement System, came to my home. (I do not remember the date that he came.) I showed him my problem of the water in the basement heating ducts and that I was having to manually use a wet vac to drain the water. Mr. ****** proceeded to show me how their products would work in order to fix my problem. He also explained that they had a patented drain tile, different types of sump pumps, etc. and that the warranty was transferrable as I had hoped to put my house on the market. I told him that I would have to disclose the water problem and how it was fixed. He told me that the existing sump pump was probably taking care of the water for the front of the house and since the basement ducts were located in the back of the house, I would need drain tile alone the back of the house and part of one side of the house and going into the utility room. He said that typically they would do the whole perimeter of the house but I could not afford it. On June 19, 2013 (check #6050) I paid a downpayment of $******** for 52 ft. of WaterGuard drain tile, SuperSump, IceGuard, LawnScape Outlet, 40 ft. of Extra LawnScape, 2 sq.ft. of SprayFoam 2", sump pump back up generator, a Demo(SF), a Permit which was not done because I contacted Lakeville and was told that the most recent permit pulled was during year 2008. He gave me a discount but I do not remember what the amount was. The remaining balance of $***** was due upon completion of work.
The work was scheduled for August 12, 2013. I was happy when it was completed but unsure if it would hold up to Mr. ****** promises. We did not have excessive wet weather until April, 2014 when I again saw water in the heating ducts. I contacted Complete Basement System right away. A few days later, on April 27, 2014 Mr. ****** came to my home at approx. 12:15 pm. He looked at one vent and he looked at the sump pump. He asked if the alarm went off and looked at a blue ball floating in the well. He said that the drain system was working as it should be. He was unsure of why there was water in the ducts and suggested that their service technician come out with a $2,000 camera in order to pinpoint the problem because I was starting to argue with him. I told him that if the ducts were damaged due to the concrete being poured over the tile and ducts, that it should be fixed by them. I told him that I had to replace the patio door due to the new concrete pushing the door frame outwards so that it could not be used. He said that we should wait to see what the technician says. Mr. ***** thought that the heating ducts were defective and not his system. On April 28th at approx. 11:06 am, Mr. ****** called to say that the heating ducts were defective and basically it was now my problem. I told him that I would not have installed the system if I knew that my basement would not stay dry. He said that my floor was dry and that my situation was very unusual. I told him whether it was 1 or several inches, water ws still an issue. Again he said his system is working as it should be. He suggested re-routing the heating system and sealing the floor ducts with cement. I asked that the tech still come out to verify that the ducts are defective. He said that he would schedule an appt. Shortly afterwards, he called to say that he talked to the owner and a svc tech would not be sent out and the ducts were my problem.

Desired Settlement
I want a dry basement.

Business Response
Upon the initial inspection completed by ***** ****** in June 2013, it was visible to our inspector that water was apparent in an exercise area located in the basement of the home. Our inspector ***** quoted to fix water seepage on the floor. It was apparent to our inspector that the scope of work Complete Basement Systems would do for the homeowner was clear about controlling the ground water from entering the living area in the basement.
Upon the service call in April 2014, our inspector ***** inspected the work completed and noticed that water was in the heating ducts was still visible. Complete Basement Systems warranty states that the product we had installed, WaterGuard will control the ground water entering the basement and prevent water on the floor of the basement. Our product WaterGuard did help lessen the water in the homes heating ducts upon installation.
Overall, our analysis of the installation was that the customer does have a dry basement in the area Complete Basement Systems completed the product install.
I have attached a copy of the warranty for the property in question:

Complete Basement Systems hereby warrants that if water from the walls or floor wall joint passes through the perimeter water control system and onto the basement floor that we will provide the additional labor and materials to fix the leak at no additional charge to the homeowner. Walls must have a proper wall barrier installed to be warranted. This warranty applies to WaterGuard, DryTrak, DrainTrak, and CactusBoard systems, along the specific areas where the system is installed only. Said warranty will be in effect for the lifetime of the structure from the date of installation. This warranty may be transferred to future homeowners provided Complete Basement Systems is notified, in writing, within 30 days of the real estate transfer. The water control system shall not rust, rot or corrode for as long as you own the home. If the entire perimeter of the basement was not treated, then additional work at an additional charge would be necessary to extend the system or treat other areas or other problems not addressed by this work. In addition, pump or power failure is possible, therefore this warranty is not a guarantee of a dry basement, as the scope of this work cannot guarantee that in all circumstances.

This warranty shall not apply to condensation, or any system that has been altered in any way, water vapor transmission, concrete discoloration from capillary action, water squirting out of the walls over the system, or efflorescence (white powder) on concrete. Contractor can not be responsible for peeling paint, water once pumped from the house, dust incidental to system installation, damage to hidden fuel lines or plumbing, or frozen discharge lines without an IceGuard. It is recommended that Complete Basement Systems service the complete system as recommended upon 1st service. Regular services are then required to warranty system. If the warranty lapses for reason of non-service, it can be reinstated with a service call. The cost of such service is not included in this warranty or the original contract price.

Primary AC operated sump pumps and DC back-up pumps are covered under a separate manufacturers warranty, which is 12 months from date of installation. Failure of any pump for any reason is outside the scope of this warranty. Back-up pumps that run off of a battery, if not maintained, or that are called on to run beyond the current life of the battery, can fail. These systems are very much recommended, but cannot be relied upon to work in every situation no matter what. Annual maintenance will avoid most pump problems, and other potential problems.
Homeowner agrees to keep gutters clean, downspouts extended, and run a dehumidifier in the summer to control condensation. Systems that drain to daylight can not be warranted by the contractor if such drain: does not drain enough water, does not drain water from under the floor, clogs, or freezes. While drainage systems clogging or malfunctioning from iron ochre, iron gel or iron bacteria from the soil are rare, the contractor can not be responsible for these situations, and that system will require cleaning, flushing or other service to keep it functioning as necessary for that particular situation. Complete Basement Systems MUST service system within 6 months of installation. It will then be determined, at that time, what service schedule will be required to warranty system. All services done are at the owner's expense.

This warranty does not cover, and the contractor specifically disclaims liability for, water damage to floor coverings, furniture, stored items, finished walls and other objects inside the foundation. Contractor will not be responsible for any damages caused by mold, to include but not be limited to property damage, personal injury, loss of income, emotional distress, death, loss of use, loss of value, and adverse health effects, or any other effects. Homeowner agrees to keep area dry and report any leaks that may be related to our work within 24 hours. This warranty is made in lieu of all other warranties expressed or implied and of all other obligations on contractor's part. There are no other warranties verbal or written.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
When Mr. ****** came to my home during June,2013, I showed him the water in the heating ducts. The wet vac was present and at that time, I explained to him that I had to manually drain the water via the wet vac. I only discussed the problem with the water in the heating ducts and that I needed to get it fixed. The floor was wet due to me having to carry the wet vac outside to dump the water. I would not have purchased "the system" if Mr. ****** had said that it was warranted for only the surface of the floor.

05/02/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Complete Basement Systems said that they could fix a crack in the basement wall. That crack was repaired, but in order to do so, they created a crack in a different corner of the basement and caused the upstairs to shift; there are now cracks in the upstairs and the doors do not close. This was not explained before repair began, and I should have been told the small crack in the basement was not worth the damage it will cause upstairs to fix. I complained directly to Complete Basement Systems, and they would take no credit for the damages caused. They said it was due to the plumber not packing previous work. No refund was issued, and no apology for the damages incurred.

Desired Settlement
I wish I wouldn't have completed the minor repairs, as now I have major flaws in my home that I plan to sell. The basement is also now damp in the corner where there was no crack before. If there is a way to fix that corner at no additional cost, I might be interested in having it repaired. I mostly just want to inform other people of their service error. I am not happy with their work or communication with their customer.

Business Response
******* contacted Complete Basement Systems on 5/15/2012 stating to our Customer Service Representative he had concerns with his Basement. Our Inspector met with ******* and presented a quote for wall repair as during the inspection it was noticed that the foundation walls were bowed/tipped inward (one wall 2" and the other 1/4").

Our PowerBrace product was installed on 9/5/2012 to prevent and warrant further movement of the wall inward. During the time period of installation, Southern Minnesota experienced extreme drought conditions, which can be detrimental on foundation structures and can cause settlement.

After the installation, ******* contacted our office with concerns. Our production manager inspected and noticed visible settling of the foundation. Complete Basement Systems also involved our Insurance Adjuster to assess the structure. The adjuster verified that the problem was separated and not related to the work Complete Basement Systems originally completed.

Our company does not specialize in foundation settlement, therefore a suggestion was given to the homeowner of what more needed to be addressed. This additional work is separate from our original scope of work. The PowerBrace system would not effect the settlement of the home, as the product is designed for bowing/tipping in foundation walls only.

The foundation walls were the customers initial concerns. Waterproofing was not a concern, therefore was not proposed at the initial visit. Addressing the water concerns would be a separate project, and Complete Basement Systems would be happy to offer a solution to address that concern.

Copy of Complete Basement Systems Warranty Attached:
Complete Basement Systems hereby warrants that the foundation repair system installed at:
*** ***** **** ***** ******* ** XXXXX
to be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service where systems have been installed.
No wall that has been braced by our Power Brace I Beam system shall ever move in or collapse under normal use and conditions. In most cases, walls will move back in their original state and stay.
This warranty shall remain in effect for the life of the house and may be transferred to future homeowners provided Complete Basement Systems
is notified, in writing, within 30 days of the real estate transfer. Complete Basement Systems liability shall be limited to repair or replacement of work and materials, and shall be liable for no other damages or loss.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Waterproofing Contractors, Radon Mitigation, Radon Testing & Service, Windows - Repairing, Windows - Egress, Basement Waterproofing, Foundation Contractors, Concrete Contractors

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BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.