Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Makes a Good Company?

I'm sitting here so mad right now that I'm pretty sure there is actually steam coming out of my ears. Wait, wait...yes, there definitely is!

I have lived in my house for a little over two years now. We built the house with Ball Homes. I've been pleased overall with our decision with only a few real complaints. We've always noticed that the front room (currently being used as a play room but will be future Maxwell baby #2's room) was colder than the rest of the house. When I questioned Ball Homes about this fact during our one year walk through, they assured me it was because the room has three exterior walls. Made sense to me. What has continued to baffle me is how cold the closest in that room is. We've gotten to where, during the winter, we have to keep a blanket rolled up under the closet door to keep cold air from coming into the room...from the closest!

We've always known it was cold, but never knew just how cold it was until the other night. We finally got a thermometer and placed it in the closest. Now, keep in mind, we've been leaving the heat set on 70, because we have a hard time keeping the house heated. The thermometer said the closet was 51 degrees!!!! A 19 degree difference! And this wasn't even on the coldest night we've had this year, I can only imagine what it would have been on those nights.

After this discovery I decided something had to be done. Yes, I knew I was out of warranty, but come on, a 19 degree difference? Two years or not, there was a major problem there. I called Ball Homes yesterday and they had someone at my house within a couple of hours. He said he wanted his insulation guy to come out and look at it. They both returned to my house this afternoon. Both agreed that the insulation was good, but the insulation company, 31-W, was kind enough to offer to blow more in...just because. They also both agreed to what the real cause of the problem is, there just isn't enough heat flow into that area.

As I said before, the room has three exterior walls. The way the closet is built, it's like it was just added into the room, and it has two exterior walls. Now, technically, any space with an exterior wall is required to have a vent. The room, of course, has a vent, but with the closet not being very large, it's not typical that you would see a vent in there. BUT, it has two exterior walls and it's 51 degrees in there. Obviously something needs to be done! I was told to call the heating and air company and see if they would be kind enough to come out and correct the problem, even though we are out of warranty.

I put on the nicest voice I possibly could and called company S (I'm not going to disclose their name until I see where this thing is going) and told them my problem. The first lady listened to my complaint and seemed to understand and sympathize that there was indeed a problem. She then transferred me to another lady who was to schedule an appointment for someone to come out and view the problem first hand. I set the appointment up and then she dropped the bomb.

You do understand that there will be a charge for this visit, right?

What?! I replied, in still a semi-nice voice that no, I was not aware of that and that I would not be paying someone to come out view this problem.

You're out of warranty, we can't send anyone to your home free of charge.

By this point, any trace of niceness had left my voice.

Yes, I know I'm out of warranty, I told you that when I called. However, I would like to thank that you would be a company that would stand behind your product and surely you can't think a 19 degree temperature difference in a 1464 square foot house is normal?

All I can do is take your name and number and have someone call you. But you won't get a call today.

That's fine, but I expect a call tomorrow. And if I haven't heard from you by lunch tomorrow I will be calling back. And I will continue to call back until I speak to someone who can actually do something for me.

That was how the phone call ended. I honestly hope that company S decides to do the right thing in this situation, as there is obviously something wrong. I consider myself to be a very nice person, but I will stand up for myself and won't back down when I know I'm in the right.


Colin's Mom said...

Good for you! I'm all about standing up for yourself. Unfortunately, we have a similar issue with our entire upstairs. We recently had an independent company come to look at it (the insulation, thermostat, duct work, etc). Come to find out, the builder basically did a shotty job on the duct work, ran it the wrong way, and it can never work effeciently the way it is now. The only way to rememdy the situation would be to rip it all out and start again. Um, no thanks! I hope your solution is better than that!

Ashley said...

We have about a 15 degree difference between our upstairs and downstairs. It is CRAZY!

Brooke said...

I have asked myself the same question several times in the past two months! As you know, we've tried just about everything to keep our house warm! In the process, we've had to deal with crazy companies who almost put me over the edge! In the end... I'm a little crazy and we are spending a fortune!