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South Side Plumbing & Heating Co Inc

Phone: (412) 431-7455 Fax: (412) 431-2905 View Additional Phone Numbers 95 S 20th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 http://www.southsideplumb.com


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Description

This company offers plumbing & heating.


BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that South Side Plumbing & Heating Co 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.

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 South Side Plumbing & Heating Co Inc include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 5 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

5 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 3
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 5

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on South Side Plumbing & Heating Co Inc
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: November 30, 1992 Business started: 01/01/1948
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:

Pennsylvania Attorney General List of Registered Contractors
16th Floor, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg PA 17120
http://hicsearch.attorneygeneral.gov/
Phone Number: (888) 520-6680
Fax Number: 717-787-8242
The number is PA010066.

Business Management
Mr. John Kicinski, Vice President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. John Kicinski, Vice President
Business Category

PLUMBING CONTRACTORS PLUMBING DRAINS & SEWER CLEANING WATER HEATERS-REPAIRING HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING GARBAGE DISPOSALS-HOUSEHOLD WATER HEATERS-DEALERS BATHS PIPE THAWING

Industry Tips
Home Improvements - Heating & Cooling Home Improvements - Plumbing Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act

Additional Locations

  • 95 S 20th St

    Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (412) 431-7455

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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

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

12/16/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I was told to order a utility tub and I did and requested the old concrete one be removed. They sent one guy out, he looked said oh I have to remove it and looked at the new one and told me I'd be better changing it out. When he went to the truck to write a bill for just walking in the house for 5 minutes with no tools or clipboard he pulled the dopr ***** out. When I called to discuss the issue south side plumbing said it sounded as if it were already broke, but would launch an investigative action for foul play or tampering. I told him that I regret the implications that I broke it and set it up for them to come out touch it, break it andpay to fix it. They were of no help either for what i called or about the issue of their employee damaging my property

Desired Settlement: Pay for the locksmith to make the repair, refund my $40 service call charge. If I hadn't been treated so insultingly I wouldn't be making such an issue of this.

Business Response:

Better Business Bureau
******* ** ***

in response to complaint number #********.

Upon the technician arriving onsite and accessing the work to be completed, the technician phoned into the office, I N. Jake K******* the manager on duty took the cal! from the onsite technician and this is a statement on the events that occurred.

The technician forwarded me photos of the existing cement utility sink with a standard top mount utility faucet and the new commercial stainless steel kitchen sink the customer had purchased and provided(I attached these pictures for your reference). Upon observing the pictures I had noticed the customer supplied sink was not the correct sink for the application. This sink required a rear deck mount faucet and the existing waterlines re-roughed. I explained to the technician that he ***ds to talk to the customer and explain we can install the sink he had provided but we will ***d to get a special faucet and re-rough the existing waterlines which may be expensive. Or as another option the customer can purchase a standard fiberglass utility sink and we can install a standard top mount faucet to retain the existing rough of the waterlines to save cost. At this time I also advised the technician to charge the customer a $40.00 trip fee. South Side Plumbing & Heating labor rates for this type of service are $80.00/hr service charge one hour minimum, plus materials and a onetime $40.00 trip fee. The customer could have incurred a $120.00 charge for this visit. Due to work history with this particular customer and in good faith I waived the $80.00 service charge.

Approximately 10 minutes after the previous conversation with the technician he phoned back in again to be dispatched to his next job. He also disclosed at this time upon closing the door to leave the customers house the door knob fell off in his hand.

Immediately after hanging the phone up from the technician, the business line rang, I answered the phone as normal to a partially annoyed Mr. ***. He began to explain that South Side Plumbing & Heating came unprepared for his job and he was charged $40.00 for nothing. I quickly explained to Mr. *** that I was the manager that spoke to the onsite technician, I restated our recommendations to Mr. *** and explained they were based solely to save him expense. Mr. *** understood and agreed with the assessment. Mr. *** continued with the conversation explaining that upon our technician leaving he broke his door handle. I then asked Mr. *** how the technician broke the door handle. Mr. *** irately explained he closed the door and broke the handle. Coming from a mechanical background I understand the mechanics of a door handle. I attempted to ask if the door handle was broken before and how old the door handle was. Immediately upon me asking if the door handle was broken prior I was interrupted by an outraged, cursing Mr. ***. At this point with Mr. *** screaming I hung up the phone. Approximately 1 minute later Mr. *** called back and upon him identifying himself I explained that I will not be subjected to vulgar language and screaming, if he would like to have a conversation I will gladly continue. At this point Mr. *** apologized. After accepting his apology I continued by explaining I will look into this matter with the technician and attempt to verify if there was foul play or tampering outside of normal operations of a door handle by the technician. Before I could finish my statement I was interrupted by Mr. *** rudely telling me to forget about everything and he hung up on me.

Settlement Response:
There will be no refund of the justified $40.00 trip fee. I would have considered of working with Mr. ***. After the conversation and the disrespect, I am not entertaining any thoughts of incurring any fees from the locksmith.

N. Jake K*******

V.P.
South Side Plumbing & Heating 


Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I reject his mechanical background as enough to say that I had an already broken door knob, when I had the locksmith from **** **** ***** come out I asked him if it was possible that it was already broke and but still working and he promptly told me no, this was not possible. (He then Quoted me a price of $204 for a new lock and rekey at which time I told him I couldn't pay that as I still had to pay for a sink installation and it was damage that I was not responsible for) As to how my faucets were mounted I called south side plumbing and explained to a man named bill how my water lines ran and how the faucets came from behind the backsplash so as to have everything needed and be able to complete the project that day. As my major concern was not with his $40 service charge but after walking in the house with no notepad no tools charging me for a 10min visit of which only 3 were in my house and then breaking something and leaving me responsible for repairs. It cost me more to repair the damage done during the visit, more of my time, and an inconvenience I didn't need. I understand that he has no interest in making this right, even if he did come to inspect the door knob it would've been the same result, him telling me it's my sfault. Ive completed all of the repairs on my own as I already knew there was no intentions of them doing it in a timely manner. I'm over this whole situation, I don't care if I get reimbursed anymore but their business relies on people and I've told everyone I know about it. 
Regards

******* ***

Business Response:

In response to the consumers message for complaint ID ********.

The mechanics of a standard door handle are rather simple as 1 have repaired and replaced more than I can count in my time. As it is called a door handle for a reason it is meant to be pulled, pushed and turned. If I was able to conduct my inspection 1 would have been a able to determine if there was any type of tampering by my technician, if it was a newer handle or if the damaged occurred by normal age old wear and tear use. South Side Plumbing & Heating cannot be responsible of damages for lack of maintenance or normal operation malfunctions. I don't believe the consumer knew that the door handle was malfunctioning but I do believe this was a result of a worn product that needed maintenance or replacement. As a result of the customers attitude and verbal comments we were not able to conduct a inspection therefore the matter was closed.

We understand as plumbing contractors consumers are not completely sure of what they need when booking a service call. We always attempt to get as much information as we can to attempt to be prepared to what is needed to complete the job. Upon arrival the technician observed a incorrect consumer provided sink base. At this time the technician took photos and notes via email transmissions to the office. Obviously with the wrong consumer supplied sink base there was no need to unload tools into the basement.

The full intentions of South Side Plumbing & Heating was to save the consumer time and money on the sink installation. If proper protocol was followed by the consumer on the door handle complaint we could have made a inspection and addressed the consumers concerns. Some consumers are rather difficult to please and these consumers are not clients South Side Plumbing & Heating wish to service.

Sincerely,

N. Jake K******* V.P.

South Side Plumbing & Heating

4/22/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Southside came out on 2/10/15 and did some work. The main problem was that we heard dripping in the livingroom after flushing the toilette on the second floor. The repair man did his work and then flushed the toilette and we know longer heard the noise. He had flushed it multiple times. Then no one went to the bathroom for hours and later that evening after flushing we heard the noise again. The next day my husband called and explained what happened and they said they would get someone out later that day. My husband asked if there was a charge and the lady said no. Just today I get a bill for $80.00. She said there wasn't a charge to come out but because there was no water actually dripping and it appeared to be expansion from the pipes we were then charged. I just personally think the lady should of explained better what could happen. My husband asked if there was a charge and she said no. She didn't go into detail and being that they were just there the day before she should of explained what could happen in greater detail if they didn't find a problem. I think it was misleading and silly. People just don't have money floating around. I will not return to Southside ever again. Previous to this I was happy but this was dirty and the lady was nasty on the phone.

Desired Settlement: Just to remove the balance

Business Response:

To whom it may concern;

Please accept this correspondence as South Side Plumbing and Heating Inc's., response to the complaint filed by ******** ***:

On, or about February 10, 2015 SSPH! arrived to the *** residence to perform routine repair work to the 2nd floor toilet after complaints were received of water leaking into the ceiling below. It was determined the wax ring sealing the toilet to the flange was deteriorated then was replaced, in addition the fill valve to same was not working correctly and it was also replaced. After the work was completed, the Service Technician left the residence in route to another job when the customer called with concerns she heard water running in the toilet tank, immediately the Technician was dispatched back to the *** residence where he found a faulty fill valve. The valve was replaced with another and the customer was not charged for the return visit as we determined faulty material was to blame, which is also indicated on the customers invoice.

On, or about February 11, 2015 Mrs. *** again called with additional concerns of hearing the sounds of water dripping into the ceiling from the bathroom above. The call was scheduled for the same day and was treated as a potential "call back" requiring immediate attention. Once the Technician arrived a series of diagnostics were performed ruling out any additional leaks from work recently performed the day earlier. The sounds heard by the residents were expansion and contraction of the domestic hot water piping and drain contained within the floor joists of the bathroom above.

At that point the visit was no longer considered a "call back" due to finding no leaks related to our work; regretfully for the customer hourly rates were applicable for the services rendered as well as the trip fee being waived, also the invoice was reduced from 1.5 hours to 1.0 with attempts to accommodate their needs.

SSPHI, will warrant any product installed for a period of (1) one year, or honor the manufacturer's warranty whichever may be greater, as well as provide a (1) one year warranty on Craftsmanship which includes leaks.

SSPHI believes this correspondence adheres to the guidelines of the BBB, and the needs of the customer.

Respectfully Submitted,

**** ********

President

South Side Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

Consumer Response:

   I don't agree with what the owner wrote. On top of not feeling I should be charged the $80.00 now a whole new problem came to light. I originally heard drips in the ceiling after flushing my second floor toilette. We were told on the 2/11/2015 is was due to expansion. On the 10th they installed a new *********** and replaced a wax ring. I paid for that work. I now feel as though they misdiagnosed the problem because if they realized it was expansion the first time they wouldn't even had to replace those parts. The first guy never even thought or mentioned expansion. On 9/9/2014 I had work done on the toilette and back then they replaced the *********** also. This is now the 3rd one they put in but only charged for 2. Well after all the work was done on the 10th we still heard the drips and contacted Southside the next day. They said they would send someone out and my husband asked if there was a charge and the lady said no. My husband also asked the worker if there was a charge for today and he also said no. Two people both have said there was no charge. After reading the comments from the owner I think work was done which didn't have to be done and I was charged twice for it and I don't agree with this.

Business Response:

Re: ******** ******** ****** ********** ***

ID# ******** -2na Reply

To whom it may concern;

Please accept this correspondence as South side Plumbing and Heating Inc's., 2nd response to the complaint filed by ******** ***.

As previously expressed in our 1st response the reason for the initial visit as related to us by the customer was as follows:

  • 2nd Floor Toilet leaking

      • Basement Toilet Leaking

Both areas of concern were correctly identified as actively leaking then addressed on a repair perspective by Southside Plumbing and Heating, Inc. on February 10, 2015. Also as stated, we returned the same day to replace a fill valve that was determined to be faulty, (said valve was installed earlier the same day) with no additional charge to the customer, as was reflected on their March 2, 2015 invoice.

On, or about February 11, 2015 Mrs. *** called with continued complaints of hearing water dripping into the ceiling directly below the toilet serviced the day before. A work order was created and a Service Technician arrived the same day at approximately 1:00 p.m. to find no visual sign of water leaking within any of the areas serviced earlier, or in close proximity to same.

Had the nature of our visit on February 11, 2015 been directly related to defects in craftsmanship, or defective material there would have been no associated charge. Unfortunately that was not the case and the customer is responsible for payment of services rendered. As for the claims of the customer being told there would be no charge Is false, South Side Plumbing and Heating Inc., never commits to liability until first Identifying the problem, which is how it was conveyed to the customer.          

In closing, South Side Plumbing and Heating Inc., believes the customer's Immediate concerns of multiple active water leaks during our February-10, 2015 visit were competently and professionally diagnosed then repaired, preventing further damage to the customer's residence and belongings.

Also, as previously mentioned in our 1st reply, the standard fee of $ ***.00 for our February 11, 2015 return trip was reduced to $ ***** with attempts to accommodate their needs by waiving the $***** trip fee.                                                                                                

With continued attempts to find resolution regarding this matter, South Side Plumbing and Heating, Inc., Is again prepared to offer a $***** credit thus reducing the debt to $*****,

South Side Plumbing and Heating, inc., acknowledges the customers concerns, and believes our services and costs are justified.



Respectfully submitted

**** ********

President

South Side Plumbing and Heating

Consumer Response:

I still disagree on this matter. Please answer this simple question, how can one plumber come to fix a problem, hear the noise, and say it is fixed. Then later that night the sound is still there. A different plumber comes the next day and says, oh, that's the expansion of the pipes. Why didn't the first plumber know this?

So whatever problem was fixed the first time, was not the problem we called about. The sound still is there to this day.

The second plumber told us the correct answer to our issue. The second plumber also said that if there were drips, we would of seen them on the ceiling and could of feel the ceiling getting soft. We never seen drips, we just heard them. But he said they were not drips, it was the expansion of pipes. It felt like the second plumber was questioning the first ones work. We were also charged for a part that had a year warranty, but that is a different issue that we just rather drop.

Bottom line, please answer the simple question on why did the first plumber not give us the correct answer that the second plumber had to give us.

I also called and left messages to try to resolve this, gave my number and email. But no response.

This sounds very unfair, the second plumber also told me that there would be no charge for him coming out. That is a fact.

We are very fair and reasonable people and just think this is just very unfair.

If I call on an issue, you come to fix the issue and tell me its fixed, then I have to call you back on the same issue, and then have another person give me another answer and you charge on both is not right. I know if this happened to you that you would feel the same way. How can anyone not? It's not right.

Regards,

******** ***

1/28/2015 Billing/Collection Issues
11/21/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The first guy from Southside Plumbing they sent out seemed to know what he was doing, but when my part came in, and the second guy came out - he first told me that he was told he just needed to replace the part. I informed him that I needed the gas line for the pilot line replaced and the igniter checked out, he informed me he had no paperwork from the initial service call. He cut the old tubing, that was leaking, and used it to make a shoddy line connection to the pilot and igniter, dumb me I assumed they would use a new piece of tubing. Then he had me come down and look to see that he was getting any kind of spark from the furnace or any kind of gas, and without the wiring diagram he couldn't figure out what the 24v line was, thought that was strange I can use a volt meter, but I don't get paid $120 an hour either. He told me he would have to go back to the shop, and they would be in touch. I waited several days and contacted them, they informed me that they technician says I need to buy a new furnace because mine is almost 30 years old. I was shocked, because the furnace had worked perfectly last winter and on the initial service call told everything looked good. So I went down turned on the power and the gas and set the thermostat, it lighted up perfectly and worked just like it always had. Then I assumed that maybe this technician didn't turn on the power or the gas when he showed me nothing was working, I told him when he came in they were both off and showed him how to turn them on. I was very angry at this point, because they were obviously trying to sell me a new furnace, so I called them back told them it was working fine and didn't appreciate the fact that the technician was obviously not aware how to work on a furnace or was trying to mislead me. I told them I still expected the pilot light gas line to be replaced properly, and the igniter still needed to be adjusted or replaced - they told me a technician would be in touch with me. I finally got in touch with the gentleman returning my call, I guess the owner, he asked me if I was certified to work on furnaces, I told him no, he said that means I dont know anything then and have no right to tell them how to do their job! He told me that he hires only the best technicians, I inquired how come he can't use a volt meter, or figure out how to turn the gas valve on. He told me that since they cant find a wiring diagram for my furnace, the manufacturer doesn't offer them anymore, and therefore it is unsafe to use and he will not guarantee any of the work done on it. He would replace the pilot gas line tubing on his dime, but any other work would be priced heavily and without any guarantee of my safety. That is what I call good customer service, you get caught trying to take advantage of someone, then belittle them for questioning it and threaten their safety. On the initial service call the technician checked all of the burners and the heat exchanger, he informed me that everything was in good working order, I only needed to replace the flame sensor and fix the leaking pilot line, and would have to wait and see if the igniter needed replacing or adjusting - then I went to an unsafe system with no guarantee of any work done on it, and all this for $600 - what a bargain?

Desired Settlement: I had to call another Furnace company to come finish fixing the furnace, and replace the shoddy gas line replacement they installed. I will pay for the parts, though extremely overpriced (found online for $80 less), I was never presented any kind of invoice on any of the work done so far, just charged on a credit card. I at least request to get the service call cost back, since I have to pay it again for another company to look at my furnace and repair it.

Business Response:

On October 30, 2014 South Side Plumbing and Heating received written notification from your office

informing us of a recent complaint filed by a customer. Please accept the following as our formal reply.

On, or about October 15, 2014 a service technician arrived to Mr. ********s residence at ****

********** **** The technician was advised by the owner of “clicking” sounds originating from the

furnace while in operation. The technician observed the existing mercury bulb flame sensor was faulty

and required replacement. An inquiry was made to a local vendor regarding cost and availability, when

the technician approached Mr. ******* with costs Mr. ******* insisted he could purchase the

component on line for $110.00 at which point no further effort was put forth in obtaining repair

components, or providing follow up service. Furthermore, the technician did visually identify, and

observe several “owner repairs” to the electrical wiring harness which included safety features using

wire not recognized as Authorized OEM Replacement components. There were also several existing

wires within the furnace that still showed signs of melted insulation indicating excessive heat was

present at some point. It was also noted the customer field modified the spark box from its factory

location within the burner assembly area, to the blower assembly area. With the vast amount of

previous repairs that were made by others is making tracing electrical problems with a voltage meter

difficult to impossible.

On, or about October 20, 2014 Mr. ******* called our office to inquire on the status of repair parts

ordered, he was informed no parts were ordered based on his ability to purchase online at a lesser cost,

Mr. ******* then provided verbal authorization for the Flame Sensor to be purchased by us and that he

would be contacted upon availability of same.

On, or about October 23, 2014 a second technician was sent to Mr. *******’s residence to install the

newly purchased Flame Sensor where upon he installed said sensorto the existing pilot tubing, as many

would. At that time the furnace was attempted to be activated when it was observed by the technician

the unit also had a faulty spark control preventing ignition. Again, it was observed and documented the

furnace “appeared to be miswired” and “may be unsafe” and a recommendation to obtain a wiring

schematic was forwarded to Mr. ******* who also proclaimed he had infact performed previous wiring

work to the furnace in addition to attempting repairs to the flame sensor wiring by means of splicing

wires with a crimp connection, and that the unit had been working satisfactorily since the time of his

repairs. The recommendation was made to ensure that the alleged re-wiring was done correctly and

that nothing was overlooked, which may, or may not have had an impact on the previously mentioned

spark control not igniting the burner assembly. The furnace was left off as a safety precaution for Mr.

*******. A recommendation was also verbally conveyed, and documented that Mr. ******* consider

updating the furnace due to its age (approx. 30 years if not older).

The following day October 24, 2014, a phone message was left at Mr. *******’s residence to discuss

replacement options, as well as informing him that the manufacturer could not provide a technical

manual illustrating the electrical wiring due to the units age, and that without said manual we were no

longer willing to service his unit for liability and safety reasons. Finally on October 28, 2014 Mr. *******

phoned to reveal his lack of confidence in our service technician’s abilities in correctly diagnosing his

furnace issues, and by not providing him the service he was seeking. Mr. ******* continued to badger

and belittle the technician’s abilities and experience, which combined total at least 45 years.

Furthermore, Mr. ******* could not understand the unit was left off for his safety, as was the

recommendation of replacement. Finally, a verbal agreement was made to return to his residence on

Friday October 31, 2014 to replace the pilot tubing at no cost to Mr. *******.

In closing, contrary to Mr. *******’s belief, South Side Plumbing and Heating does not charge $120.00

per hour for one heating technician, his accusation that we do is not factual. Also, Mr. ******* obviously

filed his complaint shortly after scheduling the October 3l~ service visit. As for Mr. *******’s claims of

requesting service from others and paying for said service South Side Plumbing and Heating requests a

copy of the invoice clearly stating company name, state license number, diagnosis, and cost of repairs

for further consideration. To date Mr. ******* has not been billed, nor has any fee associated with our

two trips been collected, therefore his claims of charges of $600.00 are false.

We believe this correspondence shall suffice.

South Side Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

7/29/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I called South Side Plumbing to get a free estimate (as advertised) for some work that we knew had to be done. I spoke with the dispatcher, ****, who said that someone would be sent out to our house the following day to take a look. After being let in by a friend, the technician was there for 10 minutes and left the top sheet of his triplicate form that stated his findings. There was a section on the form for a trip charge and a labor charge, both of which were left blank. Since his writing was hard to read, I stopped into the company's office that afternoon and spoke with **** face to face regarding the estimate. He laid out the estimated costs for a couple of options (which exceeded my next lowest estimate from another company by several hundred dollars). Two weeks later, I received a bill for $80. I immediately called and spoke with ******, who explained that it was billed as a service call and was not a free estimate. I disputed that claim and asked to speak with ****. I called back the following morning and spoke with **** about the charge. He immediately launched into a long-winded explanation about how they made a service call at my request and claimed that I never made any mention of an estimate. I guaranteed him that I requested an estimate and asked if he records incoming calls for quality assurance proposes. He said he did so I invited him to go back and listen to the tape to find that I asked for an estimate AND he never said anything about a service call or an $80 fee. (I also believe that he lied about the tapes because their automated answering service does not give a disclaimer that calls will be recorded.) I attempted to reason with him for several minutes but he was unwilling to yield, until he finally threatened to take this to the next level and see me at the magistrate. I told him that I would gladly see him there and argue my case. He was unreasonable, patronizing, condescending, and I absolutely believe that he thinks he can take advantage of me because I am a woman.

Desired Settlement: I want the $80 bill dismissed. I requested a free estimate AS ADVERTISED on their website and as mentioned on their automated call answering service. Their claim that they billed it as a service call is irrelevant. That's NOT what I requested.

Business Response:

We are in receipt of Ms. *****'s complaint in regard to our billing for service rendered.

While South Side Plumbing and Heating Co., Inc. does advertise free estimates, we do not do any estimates for repair jobs which are done on a time and material basis. We do in fact inform anyone who requests a free estimate for such a job that it is a time and material matter and no estimate is done. If Ms ***** had indeed asked for a free estimate for the job we would have informed her of the same, we just DO NOT do free estimates for repair jobs, the free estimate is for new work, i.e. bathroom or kitchen remodel, AC installation, etc.

Work repair order was to replace damaged flue piping from hot water tank. We did find this flue traveled up into first floor fireplace which did not pass the home inspection done by others. Replacement of this pipe was not an option! We then provided the homeowner with three written options for solution to problem but did not provide prices. Ms. ***** did stop by our office and we gave her verbal budgets on all.

We did gain access from her friend ***** ******* from ******* ******** with whom we often work. As a courtesy, we did not charge Ms. ***** a trip charge on this job which would have been $40.00. We did charge for the one hour service call.

The job Ms. ***** asked us to do is a repair job as is plain by the charge of $80.00 for the service rendered. No one in our office would have considered, or indicated to Ms. ***** that it was a free estimate.


Lastly, when Ms. ***** called to complain about receiving a bill and spoke with ****, she was very argumentative about the matter and unwilling to listen to any explanations that did not include dismissing our charges. Actually, **** was quite unable to get a word in let alone be "unreasonable, patronizing or condescending". The fact of Ms. ***** being a woman has no bearing on her responsibility to pay for the service she received, we expect to be paid for our services and do not consider that we are taking advantage of her to expect payment

Consumer Response:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.

I am attaching a detailed rebuttal letter for your review.  I am also attaching a scanned .pdf file of three documents from South Side Plumbing & Heating.  The first document is the trip sheet that was left by the technician on 6/7/13.  Note that the section for any related charge is blank.  The second document shows the handwritten prices quoted by Bill when I stopped into the office that same day (as noted in my original complaint).  Again, there is no mention of a charge for the estimate provided on 6/7/13.  The third document is the bill that was mailed to me two weeks later.

Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.

Regards,

****** *****

 

 

Business Response:

Please find this correspondence as a response to Ms. *****'s complaint #*******:

Ms. ******' initial call was received and handled in the professional fashion as all calls are expected to be. Ms. *****'s needs were also addressed within an hour of her calling not to mention suggestions regarding repairs addressed after the scope of normal business hours at the South Side Plumbing and Heating office. This was a gesture South Side Plumbing and Heating conveys to all South Side residents as we have done since 1947.

As for Ms. *****s' reference to selecting the "free estimate option" on her July 9th rebuttal, the automated option in question clearly states: "Free estimate on a new installation".

In conclusion, South Side Plumbing and Heating feels that Ms. ***** is clearly not willing to undertake any responsibility regarding her misrepresentation of services being requested during her initial call.


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