Deceptive Sales Tactics, No Permits Pulled for work done, Quoted work not completed.
I am filing this complaint on behalf of my 75 year old mother, as I am her Power of Attorney, as she has moderate dementia. In late 2015, I was contacted by this company, while my mother was hospitalized. At the time, they advised that they had received a client list from a company that previously worked with my mother. I explained to the gentleman calling, that we had a new company, Majestic Mechanical, and that we are very happy with them and do not need their services. At the beginning of April 2016, my mother was contacted cold-called at her home phone number by a representative of Seabee AC & Heat to schedule routine maintenance. She believed that she was being contacted by Majestic Mechanical (who installed a new AC system in Sept. 2013) and scheduled an appointment. When the Seabee representative visited, they advised that her ductwork was more than 40 years old, falling apart and that she was going to burn out her new unit by air conditioning the attic. We feel they used high pressure scare tactics and deceptive business practices to coerce my mother into these services. They quoted a 10 point duct change out, removal of all old duct board, install R-6 flex ductwork, hung on the rafters, mastic and seal all new ducts for $5,240. They said if she decided that day, it would save her $2,000. She gave them a credit card deposit of $747.00 and agreed to finance the rest for 18 months. We discovered this past weekend, that Seabee (Not Majestic Mechanical)did the work on 4/7 and 4/8/16, but saw that old ductboard remains in the attic. It also appears that not all 10 ducts were completed. During the work, workers knocked a light fixture loose in her hallway and did a very poor job repairing it. My mother is not one to complain or confront, but as you can see in the attached photos, the repair looks shabby. The company did not pull permits in Hillsborough County for this work and we have initiated a complaint with code compliance as well. This company exploited my mother into committing to spend money using fear and high pressure.
We wish for this to be investigated and for it to be determined by a professional if the work done is what was quoted. If the work done, without permit, is not what was quoted, we would ask that the work be done at no additional cost to her. We believe this to be exorbitantly expensive and would ask that a fair estimate of this work be made by a third party. We ask that she be allowed to cancel the financing agreement and that we will pay the remainder of what is determined to be a fair cost for these services, though I would prefer not to give this company another dime.
Better Business Bureau
Serving West Florida
2655 McCormick Drive
Clearwater, FL 33759
RE: Case ********** *************** *************************
To whom it may concern:
The first statement Ms. ******* has in her complaint is we have deceptive sales tactics, no permit pulled for work done, quoted work is not complete. First of all, it is NOT deceptive sales tactics to tell a customer the truth. The truth is the ductwork was original to the house built in 1973. The ductwork WAS 43 years old. There was a mix up in the paperwork with one paper saying duct repair. We found
out it was a duct change out and that is when the required permit was pulled. That is the reason for the delay in pulling the permit Duct repairs do not require a permit. It would have been harmful to the air conditioning system because the ductwork was falling apart and would have caused a strain on the system. As to the work not being completed, we need to be able to go back and check to see what has
and has not been done before we can reply to this complaint.
How can ANY company know a customer has a Power of Attorney unless the customer tells the company??? Ms. ******* NEVER told any of our personnel she had a Power of Attorney and the daughter is the Power of Attorney. We need a copy of that Power of Attorney for Ms. ********** file.
Had we been aware of that fact, we would have contacted ***************. How is it a person with "moderate" dementia can use a credit card as Ms. ******* did for the deposit in the duct change out??
How is it a person with "moderate" dementia is allowed to drive a car??? Doesn't Ms. ******* care if her mother loses her way home??
We did NOT talk to Ms. ******* as she stated in her complaint. According to the worksheet our
representative used shows there was No Answer at Ms. ********** home on December 7, 2015 when he
called her the first time. No one talked to Ms. ******* because there was no answer and we did NOT
have Ms. ********** phone number, only her mother's. The second time we called Ms. ******* was on April 6,2016. Our representative told her we had purchased the customer base from her old air conditioning company, Winton's AC. He talked to Ms. ******* for quite a while as you can see by the statement our representative wrote. (See enclosed copy of worksheet and statement.) Ms. ******* was
very much aware she was talking to a representative of Seabee AC & Heat, Inc.
According to the customer survey Ms. ******* filled out she gave us positive responses to the seven questions. Question number 4 says, "Did the representative fully explain the services performed or any additional services to be performed in a professional and non-pressuring manner?' To which Ms. ******* responded "Yes" and she initialed the answer. Question 7 says, 'Overall, how would you rate
the value you received from Seabee AC & Heat Inc.?" She checked off excellent and also initialed her answer. There were NO high pressure tactics used. We do not tolerate such behavior from our employees. Ms. ******* was of Sound mind when she wrote a hand written note with the information she was given by the technician who sold her the ductwork. Looking at her note, it does not say if she
bought the ductwork that day, it would be discounted another $2,000.00. She wrote everything else the
technician told her, why not that? The $4,493.00 is the amount she financed with a deposit of $747.00
charged to her credit card for a total of $5,240.00 for the duct change out. (Copy enclosed.)
This is the first we are hearing about our technicians knocking a light fixture loose in the hallway and not
doing a good job repairing it. No one has contacted our office about this problem. We were never told about this when the ceiling was repaired on April 21, 2016. Until we are allowed to go back and inspect the duct charge out, we cannot answer the part of the complaint that says the job is incomplete.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the aforementioned response from Mr. *******, as a representative of Seabee AC and Heat.
It is shameful that a vendor would choose to make personal accusations about me as my Mother's Power of Attorney. It appears to be an attempt to take the focus off of his company, and we will not respond. Nonetheless, my Mother does have moderate Dementia.
My Mother told the tech (John C.) that completed the estimate of repairs that the current AC unit and air handler were installed by Majestic Mechanical. According to my Mother, John's response was that that company went out of business and is now being operated by Seabee AC & Heat. Despite Mr. *******'s assertions, my Mother believed, the entire time, that she was working with people who worked for Majestic Mechanical. She has always been very pleased with the care and professionalism that Majestic Mechanical has served her with since 2013. When completing her evaluations, that is the company with whom she thought she was dealing. Since Mr. ******* is not a licensed mental health professional, his estimations of my mother's state, given the fact that he was not aware he was dealing with an elderly person with dementia, are observational at best. The only evidence that he met my mother was when he went to check on the light repairs at the end of April. To his own admission, he did not enter the attic to see the work done by his team at that time.
In speaking with Mr. *******, he advised me that he did not search to see if my personal cell phone number was called by any of his sales staff in 2015. To this date, I do not know if he has checked that to see the evidence of the conversation. I can assure you, there was a conversation and I dissuaded them from contacting us again.
Following our complaints, Mr. ******* visited my Mother's home on May 16, 2016 and saw that the work quoted in the initial estimate, was not done. He seemed disappointed in his staff and even advised that a staff member was suspended for what had happened with my Mother.
When Seabee was notified of the fact that a permit had not been pulled, because we filed a complaint, they then pulled a permit for the work. We are being told now, by Mr. *******, that they MUST be allowed to finish the work quoted. The price offered is $3,800.
My mother does not trust anyone related to Seabee AC & Heat and does not wish to have them step foot in her home. She does not want to give them any more money for a job that was not done as quoted.
We wish to know if the permit Seabee pulled, AFTER the work was done, can be cancelled? If so, we wish to have that permit cancelled.
The work done to date, while not up to code or contract, has been estimated at $1000. We will be glad to pay $353 to Seabee for the work done and no more. They did not honor the work promised in their contract, nor have they taken full responsibility of their faults thus far. This is not yet resolved.
******* ******* *** **** *******
Final Consumer Response