Do Not Ever Hire Plumbing Rescue!
On August 31st, my sink was clogged and i contacted Plumbing Rescue after my efforts to undrain the sink failed. They came out the same day and had to cut through my kitchen wall and replaced some galvanized pipe with 40 PVC. After the plumber left, i noticed that my sink wouldn't drain unless i turned on the garbage disposal but thought it was just a minor inconvenience so i didn't complain. I didn't have the $1,620 at the time of service so they told me that i can use their credit service in 3 payments. I paid $270 at the time of service and waited for an invoice in the mail for the balance and to make a payment.
I did not receive an invoice or any further communication with the company until i received a letter in the mail from a collections attorney (Kass|Shuller Law Firm) indicating that if i don't respond within 10 days than they will put a lien on my house. I contacted the attorney and told them that they are in violation of collections laws which requires at least an invoice indicating the balance due and a notice to pay prior to being placed into collections. The attorney agreed that they did not follow proper procedures. I told the attorney that i will pay in about 1 week when I get paid.
The following week I was about to mail a check to the attorney when I noticed that the kitchen cabinet under my sink was flooded with water. The base of the cabinet was water damaged and i noticed that he pipe coming down from the drain was too short to secure into the fitting so water has been leaking out of the pipe for over 60 days. I immediately called the collections attorney and notified him that i will be paying the invoice until someone from the company contacts me to discuss replacing my kitchen cabinet or mitigating the amount due to fix the sink and cabinet. The attorney said that he will contact the owner to discuss the situation and get back to me. I sent the attorney photos of the damage and the area where the pipe was too short and leaking the same day i contacted him and received a read receipt via email.
Within 7 days from my call to the attorney, i received a notice that a lien was placed on my house in the amount of $1,350 which includes $1,300 for balance of services owed and $50 for collection attorney fees. I filed a small claims court lawsuit to remove the lien from my home and any amounts previously owned to Plumbing Rescue
On 1/13/12 my sink got clogged again and I called Benjamin Franklin plumbing that offers $76 to fix any pluming at anytime. When the plumber came to my house and I told them that I just had my plumbing fixed, they were extremely surprised and wanted to know who did the work. When I told them Plumbing Rescue, the employee told me that he is friends with the owner but gets calls all the time from customers to fix the work that Plumbing Rescue has done. He was a little reluctant to put the details of the issues from Plumbing Rescue on my quote but also indicated that Benjamin Franklin pluming gets calls all the time from Plumbing Rescue employees looking to change jobs. The employee at Benjamin Franklin plumbing said that their company won't hire any of Plumbing Rescue's employees because they only hire licensed plumbers and none of Plumbing Rescue's employees are licensed.
At 10:00 am on 2/14/12 I attended small claims court and the judge asked both parties if we would be interested in mediation. We both agreed. During mediation, I explained the details in my complaint but also noted that after looking up the lien laws, according to Florida State Statute 713.08(5), Plumbing Rescue had 90 days from the time of completion of service to file a lien on my property. The lien was filed on December 6, 2011, which is 7 days after Florida State Statute deadline.
The mediator asked me what I wanted from Plumbing Rescue and I indicated that all I want is for them to release the lien on my house and to drop the invoice amount that I owe since, based on quotes I received from other plumbing companies, I will need to get my entire pluming under my sink re-configured. The 2 other companies indicated that I will continue to have issues will my plumbing until it is corrected.
In response, Plumbing Rescue told the mediator that they think I manipulated the pluming under my sink and also replaced my garbage disposal in the past 2 months just to get out of paying them. I was appauled…They didn't even have the person that performed the work on my plumbing at the hearing so I can't believe that the owner is making that statement without knowing the configuration at the time of service. I am a small business owner myself and this case is taking up my valuable time and resources. I am not a dishonest person and Plumbing Rescue is the dishonest party here.
Upon private sessions with both parties, the mediator told me that Plumbing Rescue will not even consider negotiating with me and as a matter of fact, they told the mediator that I now owe them more than the cost of the service. I owe them for attorney cost of $250 to put the lien on my property and an additional attorney cost of $50 for collections. If I don't pay the $1,670 + $250 + $50 than the will continue with a jury trial. The mediator also told me that after consulting with them the owner of Plumbing Rescue said that the reason they didn't put the plumbing in my house up to code and correctly is because that my plumbing was old and they were concerned that if they fixed it to code than other problems will arise because the plumbing is old. I don't understand the logic here because if they were concerned, they should have refused the work and not charged me $1,670 for the lego plumbing services.
I refuse to let this company take advantage of consumers and use attorneys as the only contacts with their customers. I also think that I have a case of bait and switch because they advertise on their website to "$79 clear any drain anytime" with no stipulations except that the work must be performed under the sink which is what they did (this is the reason I called them in the first place). I am pursuing a trial lawsuit but want to be sure that this company never puts another residential customer through this again. I am also filing a complaint with the state licensing board and the City of Tampa. I want to ensure that this company either understands customer service and abides by their warranties or is not allowed to do business as plumbers and take advantage of consumers.