BBB Accredited Business since

American Outback Buildings, LLC

Additional Locations

Phone: (717) 464-2900 Fax: (717) 464-8712 View Additional Phone Numbers PO Box 10425, Lancaster, PA 17605 View Additional Email Addresses http://www.americanoutbackbuildings.com


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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that American Outback Buildings, LLC 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 American Outback Buildings, LLC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

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

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on American Outback Buildings, LLC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: December 19, 2003 Business started: 01/01/2002 in PA Business started locally: 01/01/2002 Business incorporated 01/01/2002 in PA
Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Ms. Sandy Larsen, President
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Sandy Larsen, President
Business Category

Buildings - Metal Building Materials

Alternate Business Names
American Outback Steel Buildings

Additional Locations

  • Lincoln Highway East and Levon Road- Building Metals & materials in Stock

    Gordonville, PA 17529

  • PO Box 10425

    Lancaster, PA 17605

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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)

11/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased this building after being told it was home owner friendly and very easy to assemble without heavy equipment. that is not true. I had to hire a contractor to finish the job and I am an army mechanic. but that really is the least of the problems. once the contractor had the building up and it was time to install the sectional doors we found out the door springs were not shipped. when I contacted American outback building (*****) they said it had been too long to do anything since I waited a year to start my building. I said ok, I can understand that so I contacted the door manufacturer and was told the same thing. regardless of weather they would replace them obviously they were not shipped but I was told I miss placed them and told to order new ones at $500. I said ok fine and ordered them and paid for them. then the door installer came to install them and the door openings were wrong. fro a 16 foot wide by 13 foot tall door apparently the opening must be exactly that and the blue prints called for a 16 foot 4 inch by 13 foot opening. needless to say my contractor was beyond pissed off. I contacted ***** at American outback buildings and she confirmed it was a "misprint" on their part. so my contractor charger me for another day of work for 6 men to fix the "misprint". then the door installer came back to finish the sectional door and all was good until he started on the second door and found that the shipment included 3 left bottom brackets and 1 right bottom bracket and one wrong length cable and 1 missing pulley. at this point I was furious, knowing they would say it was my fault and was miss placed, I did not even want to deal with American outback buildings or clopay doors again so I forked over another $1000 to be done with this. all in all I will NEVER order a steel building or door again from these people. it was so expensive and misrepresented and I was made to feel inferior, saying I misplaced all these items. I was to say the least very pissed off. ***** was very pleasant but this was so grossly misrepresented I have a very bad taste in my mouth about ever putting up any building ever again.

Desired Settlement: surprise me. make me feel good about this transaction

Consumer Response: ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: **** ***** <*********************>
Date: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 1:01 AM
Subject: response to request for Complaint ID *******
To: "info@mybbb.org" <info@mybbb.org>


I would like to be reimbursed for the additional time required to fix the blueprint error, one day of labor for 6 men ($1000) the cost of the missing door springs and hardware ($564) and the cost to have a garage door installer come out to install the door later because of the spring and hardware delay ($550) I tried using the form on the website but I was unable to enter any text in the required field. **** *****

Business Response:

Dear BBB: I have broken the complaint down to make this easy to follow, with the customer's comment first, then our response: (Our contract is attached, and see detail #3--Inspection, and #6--Warranties.)


I purchased this building after being told it was home owner friendly and very easy to assemble without heavy equipment. that is not true. I had to hire a contractor to finish the job and I am an army mechanic. but that really is the least of the problems.

Approximately 90% of all buildings we sell are erected by home owners. We provide detailed instruction manuals, a step-by-step DVD, engineering plans, and display models to look over if they are able. We are always happy to help on the phone, if asked. With over 300 of these buildings sold every week of the year through our system, it has been designed to be as easy to erect as possible.


once the contractor had the building up and it was time to install the sectional doors we found out the door springs were not shipped. when I contacted American outback building (*****) they said it had been too long to do anything since I waited a year to start my building. I said ok, I can understand that so I contacted the door manufacturer and was told the same thing. regardless of weather they would replace them obviously they were not shipped but I was told I miss placed them and told to order new ones at $500. I said ok fine and ordered them and paid for them.

American Outback Buildings was contacted by **** to say his door springs were missing in July, 2013. At the time of this phone call the building had been delivered a year earlier. **** had been instructed to check for missing components within 10 days of delivery (see copy of this attached) so that any missing or damaged items can be made good. **** never advised of any missing parts when the building was delivered so we could have immediately dealt with it. However in recognition of the fact **** may not have opened every box, and more importantly in our willingness to help, we did contact the door supplier and asked them to check the order to see if they had any records that might indicate the springs were not shipped. We asked to check also with the local door shipper's warehouse to see if they were separated from the rest of the order. The supplier came back to us and told us that according to all their records, they had that the order was shipped correctly. I went back to **** and told him what the supplier had said and then to help out we offered to get replacements at cost price. He said he would let me know, but told me that he would have the local door distributor get the springs and install them too.

then the door installer came to install them and the door openings were wrong. fro a 16 foot wide by 13 foot tall door apparently the opening must be exactly that and the blue prints called for a 16 foot 4 inch by 13 foot opening. needless to say my contractor was beyond pissed off. I contacted ***** at American outback buildings and she confirmed it was a "misprint" on their part. so my contractor charger me for another day of work for 6 men to fix the "misprint".

**** is correct, the door measurement was misprinted in a typo on the engineering plans by the software we use. However, the actual building was manufactured and delivered correctly without any mistake. **** was advised of this fact during a phone conversation a year earlier when we caught the typo, but advised the parts would work as designed. Unfortunately, mistakes happen from time to time. We recognize that this is not ideal and have put in place backstops to catch these mistakes. In this case there were two backstops:
- the 1st was our own office check of the plans where the mistake was caught and **** was advised at the time. 
- the 2nd is the check of the list of materials before it is sent to the supplier for manufacture. The mistake was recognized and the correct product sizes and lengths were sent to ****. 

The problem here, while initially on the engineering, was carefully and quickly taken care of resulting in **** receiving a correctly manufactured building. The real issue here is the incompetence of the contractor, and the contractor's disregard for the proper installation required by the engineering plans. While the contractor may have been unaware of the misprint, the discrepancies should have immediately become obvious during building construction. Instead of seeking clarification, the requirements laid forth by the engineering plan were ignored by the contractor. On page 2 of the plans, under "structural general notes", #4-"Contractor Responsibilities", it starts with, "Contractor shall verify and confirm all existing conditions and dimensions. Ask 4 Engineering shall be notified of any discrepancies between drawings and existing conditions prior to start of work". It goes on to explain that ANY modifications will need written approval, and that any change made by the contractor will both legally and financially be their responsibility if not approved. The door openings said 16'4", but the door headers must always be exactly as the door openings, so being that the door headers were 16 ft even, not 16 ft 4 inches, it was impossible to install the headers in that wider space without modifying the parts, which the engineer would say compromises the strength of the doors. A simple phone call or email to American Outback or the engineer would have confirmed that all parts are for a 16 ft wide opening, and no mistakes or modifications would have been made. It appears that the contractors did not read or follow the plans.

 

Unfortunately, this was not the only issue with the building construction. **** sent us photos of the building questioning why his local township inspector rejected other installed parts which were indicated in the photos.  I immediately called **** and advised him to not use the building for any reason, and to immediately have his contractor contact me so I could direct them where to read on the plans the proper installation of the very important braces that needed correcting.  I was so concerned at what I saw that I forwarded them to our corporate head office and to the engineer. I received a prompt reply from both to indicate that there were some serious concerns with the construction. In fact, the summarizing comment was "In many, many years we have never ever seen anyone install product so blatantly wrong." In addition to the incorrectly installed door framing, there were incorrectly installed knee braces, incorrectly installed apex braces, and incorrectly installed strap bracing. Weeks passed, and I did not hear back from ****, and I never was contacted by the contractors, so I assumed **** instructed them to read the plans and the problem taken care of? But even more egregiously, after the initial problems were brought to light, and as we understand it, the incorrect parts were taken off the building and then re-installed, they again were installed incorrectly. Per the most recent building pictures we've received, the building still does not comply with the engineering plans. Those same braces were properly turned as instructed, and trimmed on one side, but not the other side, so they are still not installed according to the plans, and their intended strength is reduced. Also, the indicated quantity of bolts for each brace have been reduced to half of what is required.

 

then the door installer came back to finish the sectional door and all was good until he started on the second door and found that the shipment included 3 left bottom brackets and 1 right bottom bracket and one wrong length cable and 1 missing pulley. at this point I was furious, knowing they would say it was my fault and was miss placed, I did not even want to deal with American outback buildings or clopay doors again so

We are unable to comment on this as **** never advised us. The shame of this is had we been given this information of the extra parts, or mis-sized parts at the same time as the information about the missing springs, it would have helped the supplier to recognize that a mistake had been made with this door order. Even now, we are happy to go back to the supplier if **** would photograph the parts as I instructed this week, using a measuring tape in the photos next to the wrong size parts, and give us the detailed information with the photographs. **** should never had contacted the door manufacturer direcly, as I am his contact person for the building parts as well as the door parts.

I forked over another $1000 to be done with this. all in all I will NEVER order a steel building or door again from these people. it was so expensive and misrepresented and I was made to feel inferior, saying I misplaced all these items. I was to say the least very pissed off. ***** was very pleasant but this was so grossly misrepresented I have a very bad taste in my mouth about ever putting up any building ever again.

We deeply regret that **** has had a bad experience with our building system and want to continue to work toward resolution in this case. If he didn't contact the door company directly, he would not have been told he lost any parts or been made to feel inferior. We do not believe in that, as we just want to rectify any problems in a respectful way.

On Wednesday, the 4th, after speaking to **** at length, he said he would that same day take the close up photographs of other parts of the building that I'm concerned with as to safety, and also the incorrect door part photographs so I can try to get a resolution from the door company on his behalf, but I have not heard back yet, and it's now Friday.

 

American OutBack's record over the last 12 years is exemplary and we do not believe we misrepresented our product. Whenever we were made aware of an issue, we dealt with it quickly and always offered a solution. ****'s issues were dealt with in a fair and reasonable way to the extent that he involved us. The bigger concern for **** is the issues created by the builders that still remain on his building and are clearly detailed in the photos given to us (and can be provided as part of the evidence if required). We would very much like to see **** end up with a building that meets the engineering standard it was designed for and will work with him, providing information and engineering advice, to bring his building up to the engineering design code it was designed for.

Business Response: There are 2 attachments to this response.

While recently speaking to **** ***** on the phone, I asked him to take specific photos of the garage door parts that were left over with a measuring tape next to them to show that they were the wrong size parts, so that I could again try to get him a refund of the replacement parts that he purchased locally. He never told me at the time that he had extra parts instead of the missing ones. If he told me that at the beginning, I think I would have been successful in getting the correct parts at no cost to him, as they were obviously packed wrong at the door plant.  All orders are delivered to him directly from the factories.

I also asked **** for close up photos of the door jambs and headers, as I suspect they are also incorrectly installed. He said he was going to send the photos, but a couple of days later, he instead sent the same ones as before, so I responded with the attached email explaining again what photos I needed in order to try to get him the refund, and I also explained how he should repair his building, as it's installed very, very wrong, and can be unsafe.

He mentioned in his response to BBB that I said that his complaint would hurt my family, but he misunderstood what I meant. He had said in his complaint that I was very helpful to him and tried to get the parts replaced and all, etc, etc, but I couldn't understand why he said that in one hand that I did all I could, and then in the other had that I was at fault, so I explained to him that it's a family business and that a complaint to American Outback Buildings is the same as a complaint with me, so I couldn't understand how I could be helpful, and then not helpful??

As far as his building installers, they are extremely incompetent, (see the attached letter), and I think that's why they never charged him the full amount of the installation fee, as they knew they couldn't charge for a building that was not installed correctly and not to the plans. They apparantly are only experienced with a very lightweight type of constuction, and didn't read the plans or the instructions for a substantial building, but instead used the same methods of installing buildings as with their lightweight type framing. That's the danger of hiring people that think they know about all types of construction and never read what they're supposed to read. That's the most common reason why the homeowners themselves usually assemble their building kits much better than any construction crew, as homeowners put in the care, and the importance that they need to read the instructions, so they almost always do a better job. The attached letter I mentioned earlier from our corporate leader's office states that at least 60% of these buildings are built by the homeowners themselves, and I have found that figure to be about 90% with my own customers, as I always encourage them to call wtih any questions they have, and that they'll save the installation costs they would need to pay someone else. They always thank me later and are very happy that they erected it.

As I mentioned in my earlier response, the door member schedule that **** noted, where all the door sizes are listed, that's where the extra 4 inches was entered, but all the actual parts, the door itself, the door headers, the jambs, were all the correct sizes. There is a notation on the plans by the engineer, not by American Outback, that if there's any discrepancy at all found on those plans, to contact either American Outback or the engineering firm to question why there was the discrepancy. That's a common insertion on all engineered plans throughout the industy, and all construction workers are familiar with that statement if they build anything. The builders apparantly put no care into the installation, and just wanted to blame everyone else for their errors, and I must point out, still to the very end, did NOT read the plans to see that their second try at the fixes are also wrong.

Pertaining to the missing screws, **** could not have inventoried the screws either, because if they were missing, months and months before he hired the contractors, if he told us they were missing, we would have sent a replacement. Also, in 12 years dealing with the employees of the fastener warehouse, there has never been a whole bag of screws left out of a box, as they have a double check system installed to prevent that, but we still would have sent them as an included customer service.

The first inspector that looked at ****'s garage saw the installation mistakes, but the builder thought that it was still correct so he apparantly asked **** to request a letter from our engineer stating that the way they installed the braces were acceptable. That's when I saw the first photo and told **** that it had to be fixed, so no letter was necessary. When they 'halfway' fixed the braces, the new inspector failed to see blatant mistakes that still exist in the garage. An obvious error is that there must be 4 bolts on each end of the knee braces, but there are only 2, so one of the most important parts of the building is just at half strenght holding the roof up, so I consider it a dangerous situation.

In our history of providing buildings across the U.S., we have never had a complaint or an unhappy customer, and any question or issue that would come up is addressed immediately, and we would also be contacted in a timely manner.

Let me know if there's any further information needed,

***** ******
American Outback Buildings

Consumer Response: ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: **** ***** <*********************>
Date: Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 9:43 PM
Subject: *** *******: I do not accept the response made by the business to resolve this complaint
To: "info@mybbb.org" <info@mybbb.org>


regarding case #*******. I do not accept the response made by the company.
 
I have been contacted by ***** on a number of occasions and some have been handled well and the latest not well at all. all of the responses regarding the buildings safety have been met with run around and worthless details. she says fallow here details and then refer to the blue prints(which are wrong) or fallow the instructions and then the blue prints(which are wrong). problem being the blue prints were not printed correctly and the instructions and very vague and refer you to the blue prints for details. either way the county building inspector has said now on three occasions that the building is safe and built correctly and he has signed off on the building saying so.
 
 
and as for all the "help" ***** has "offered".......I am finished hearing her insults on everyone involved. she has no insight to why these issues plagued my building, she has consistently given me the run around with details that are not even for my building. she has  offered "solutions" that would not have helped our building and getting a straight answer from her without being insulted and belittled is impossible. I have no further interest in speaking with ***** or anyone from American outback. I have given her all the pictures and detail she has asked for and with no response to the last email with the detailed pictures with a measuring tape placed in the photos as per her request along with the extra parts that had to be replaced because they were the incorrect parts.
 
 
*****'s lengthy emails and the ones the BBB is forwarding to me from her are useless. #1 the details she is referring to have been met months ago and the building is signed off by the county. #2 she has not assisted, other than talk for any form of help in replacing the missing or incorrect parts. #3 her continued insults are unnecessary and unprofessional.
 
the only resolution possible is ***** and her company admit there failure and refund me my losses because of those failures.
 
P.S. if she calls or emails again insulting me, my family or anyone else in this fiasco I will take legal action against her and her company. she has no right insulting people who did there job and well. American outback screwed up. period.
 
sincerely
**** *****