On Thursday, Sep 12th, I contacted ServiceMaster because we had a couple of wet spots on our carpet in the basement. They were unable to come out that day because Manitou Avenue was closed. During the night we had a mud slide that broke through a basement window, and mud and water poured through the basement, causing extensive damage. Our focus was on diverting the water away from the broken window, and I had forgotten that I called ServiceMaster the day before. They arrived Friday morning, Sep 13th, and went to work extracting water from an actively flooding basement. I never received a quote on estimated costs. Since they were working to extract water, I assumed they believed some of it was salvageable. After they left, the carpet was still saturated with water, and we immediately began removing it to try and save the furniture. There were two men working approximately 3 hours, and the work made absolutely no difference in the results. They charged us $1,085.72. The invoice states the date of loss as 9/12/2013, but the loss when I contacted them was vastly different from the loss when they arrived on 9/13/2013. When they arrived, we were overwhelmed with the flooding, damage and mold mitigation, and I feel they took advantage of us. They knew the carpet was unsalvageable and should have let us know it was a complete loss. They should have informed us of the cost before performing the work so that we could have made an informed decision. We would never have agreed to this amount up front, and we thought they were the professionals and knew their work would make a difference. It did not.
Don't want to pay the bill, or at least settle for much much less.
10/18/13 ServiceMater response to **************, Case #********
ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration is in the business of assisting homeowners during disasters such as flooding. Our goal is to save the Customer's property as well as save the Customer money, while restoring a safe living environment.
We were called by ************** (the "Customer") on Thursday evening, September 12, to come to her property to assist with water in the basement. A vehicle and crew were dispatched shortly after 6 p.m. After several varied attempts, our crew was unable to get through to the Customer do to numerous road closures (there was no charge for this trip). The Customer was then called again notified of the road closures, and the Customer then specifically instructed us to arrive the next morning, September 13. It is our understanding that further damage occurred between the phone call service request we received and agreed to on the 12th and our arrival at the property on the 13th. Upon arrival at 9 a.m. on the 13th, the property showed a Category 3 loss and there was no apparent active flooding on site.
On the morning of the 13th, ServiceMaster personnel first met with the Customer, and the Customer signed an authorization requesting our services which allowed us to conduct our work. We moved furniture and extracted approximately 1,668 pounds of water from the carpeting and pad in three rooms; the family room, a bedroom, and part of a theater room. These areas collectively covered approximately 960 square feet. Water extraction is a necessary step to aid in the removal of carpet and pad. Extraction is the best industry practice in a flood situation which is what this Customer experienced. A primary purpose of water extraction is to remove as much water as possible as quickly as possible to stop further (secondary) damage to property. Water extraction is also necessary, as an aide in determining if walls, flooring, carpet, and contents are salvageable. In any category 3 water loss carpet is not salvageable. For the record the Customer had other workers on site during ServiceMaster's extraction process who were actively removing and discarding the carpet, directly indicating to us that the Customer was knowingly not saving the carpet.
Our ServiceMaster office uses third party pricing, established by insurers like State Farm, Allstate, and Liberty Mutual. This standard insures fair pricing to the client and we are bound to use this structure of pricing for insurance companies. These prices represent heavily discounted pricing as negotiated by the insurance companies. We extend this same pricing to our uninsured clients because we believe it is the right thing to do. With this tool, we can sometimes discount a large portion of our services, and we were able to discount our pricing for this Customer. We charged the client for a Category 2 water loss, when in fact, this was a Category 3 water loss, and we were able to save the Customer approximately $750.00. In addition, during a follow up phone call to the Customer, our Operations Manager offered to discount the total price by another 10%. We feel confident that we gave this Customer the best pricing possible for the services provided, and have done everything possible to resolve this situation in a fair and reasonable manner. In conclusion, we feel that our technicians responded as quickly as possible to assist this Customer, and we did everything she contracted us to do in a proper and professional manner. We also know that the Customer was given more than a fair price for the work that was completed. We stand by the quality of our work and our pricing.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
First of all, we were never informed about our home as a, "Category 3 loss." We were never provided an up-front quote of the work they were to perform. The 960 square foot of flooring is inaccurate. The bathroom floor is tile and needed no extraction. The square footage of the family room is far less than the 528 sf quoted.
In anticipation of the flood the night before, we relocated as much furniture as possible into the home theater room, believing things would be safer in this room. This left only a small passage way into this room. The theater room contained two full size couches, a full size head board and foot board, two recliners, two swivel chairs, three small tables, one round footstool, a popcorn stand and a subwoofer. It was impossible to extract water from the lower level of this room due to all the furniture. We should not have to pay for this room to be extracted.
My calculations show approximately 630-650 s.f. I have offered to pay 1/2 the bill.
Final Business Response
To whom it may concern,
The dispute between ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and ****** ******* has been resolved in a confidential agreement to the satisfaction of both parties. Please proceed in closing the listed dispute wit your office.
If you have any questions, please contact our office at *************
****** * *******