On 12-24-2011, Mr.Rooter was called to address the issue of sewage backing up into the basement.
"J" agreed with the previous plumber that a cleanout was necessary to accommodate a larger snake. A "Valued Customer Protection Plan" was purchased to receive discounted pricing on future services. The stack that was installed was greasy, filthy, and looked like it was pulled out of someone else's sewer line. A few minutes after installing the cleanout and into the drain cleaning process, "J" claimed that he was unable to get the snake very far into the line.
He said that he would ask his buddy "E" to come out and camera the line the following morning as a courtesy. "J" said he would deny it anyone was told that he volunteered his buddy to video inspect the sewer line. It is important to realize that the camera inspection, performed on 12-25-2011 and the diagnosis given of "draining slow" was made PRIOR to signing any invoice agreeing for work to be done. At no time did "E" explain the reason why the line was "draining slow," other than it was clogged.
"E" claimed that he could not get the camera past the same point in the sewer line that "J" claimed that he could not get the snake past. We thought we had licensed master plumbers reviewing the situation and believed that their recommendations would solve the problem. Prior to signing the invoice and rights away under the FTC, "E" was asked multiple times if the sewer line replacement he suggested was going to solve the problem and he kept claiming that it would. After the invoice was signed, "E" and "J" got shovels and started digging.
"E" made a red flag statements when explaining the situation, "Be prepared to sign away your life savings. You need a complete sewer line replacement." Upon reviewing the invoice, there is no display of what the prices were for each service performed within the contract (camera, hydrojet, replacing approximately 30 feet or less of the sewer line - even though they only video inspected 10 feet). If you refer to the first invoice, there are task numbers possibly indicating that those are the jobs in the price book; however, nothing like that exists on invoice 105738 written on 12-25-2011. Everything is lumped together for $10,000.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that the membership pricing was received to which we were entitled to according to the "Valued Customer Protection Plan" as purchased the previous evening. After signing invoice 105738, THTMA's website was checked in order to be sure we were in compliance with their stated processes, especially after just relocating back to the area from NY. On the website, they specifically state to CALL THEM FIRST. The THTMA stated that they inform the homeowner if they need to contact a plumber.
We had never experienced sewer line problems in any home that we lived in; therefore, we entered into the agreement based on the recommendation of who we believed were "licensed master plumbers." "E" showed up before the excavation crew on 12-26-2011. We explained her findings on the township's website and expressed our concerns about signing for work that the township should've been called in to assess FIRST. In response, "E" told us that township's website was wrong and that we were supposed to call them first. We were reminded that the contract was already signed and paid in full, locking us into the work stated on the invoice (whether or not we needed it).
On 12-26-2011, the daughter of the homeowner was overseeing the work, asking questions and reporting all actions performed by Mr. Rooter employees to her mother with photos and videos. When it was safe for her, her mother ventured to check in as often as possible in addition to receiving updates from her daughter. During the course of the first part of the excavation, we figured since the basement floor was already getting torn up that it would be easy to add a toilet.
"S" said to ask "E" about the toilet when he came to camera the line the following day, 12-27-2011. On 12-27-2011, the hydrojetting truck came to pressure wash the inside of the sewer line for the first time. After the hydrojetting procedure was completed (10 minutes or less was spent actually in the sewer line), "E" arrived to camera inspect the rest of the sewer line. The camera inspection revealed a yellow #2 pencil, a 9-volt Energizer battery, and a clog.
Due to the proximity of the neighbor's trees to where the clog was in relation to the home's lateral sewer line, "E" said that there could be "possible root damage" as he claimed that he could not get the camera past the point identified in the yard to the main sewer line. So, because he never went past that point in the yard, "E" NEVER performed a full camera inspection of the home's ENTIRE lateral sewer line as implied from the previous invoice, "camera outside sewer." The full length of the home's lateral sewer line, the part of the sewer line that the homeowner is responsible for, was supposed to be fully inspected and diagnosed by Mr. Rooter. "E" said, again, that the only way to solve the problem, once again, was doing a full sewer line replacement on the rest of the sewer line, approximately 50 feet or less, for around $12,000-$15,000 in addition to the first invoice.
We told them, "No" and asked what other options were available to address the problem of the sewer line being clogged (research was done after the first sewer line replacement invoice and some knowledge was acquired about the different processes relating to sewer line restoration, but allowed "E" to talk.). "E" told us that there was a liquid that could line the sewer in the ball park of around $5,000-$7,000 that only carried a 1- year warranty. So, they wanted $5,000-$7,000 for a sewer line restoration procedure that wasn't guaranteed to last. Pass.
The only reasonable option that we thought we had at that time was to authorize the pipe burst procedure that "E" said would cost about $8,000-$9,000 and came with a 50-year warranty. "E" explained the the pipe burst procedure (actually, a slip lining procedure. pipe bursting is pulling a new smaller diameter pipe into the place of the existing pipe while a machine breaks up the old pipe.) entailed inserting a 4" pipe into the existing 6" pipe that would be untouched. The $8,000-$9,000 is what "E" quoted for the procedure.
Before we signed the invoice, we insisted that he go get the price book in order to be certain that membership pricing was being applied as per the valued customer protection plan purchased and paid for on 12- 24-2011. "E" retrieved the price book and pointed to two jobs within the book. One of the jobs was supposedly given the membership price which was $4300. What the price is actually attached to is not defined within the invoice.
The other price was $5200 and it was not given membership pricing consideration because "E" said that we were getting a toilet at no charge. At the time and under stress from moving and having sewage backing up into the home, we didn't think about the relationship between "E's" verbal statements to us and what he actually wrote down in the invoices. It became clear when evaluating the invoices and the experiences with Mr. Rooter after Mr.
Rooter failed to remedy the problem of sewage backing up into the home. "E" told us that he was going to give us something that he didn't. The price difference between the actual price of the job that he pointed to in the price book and the membership price was $400; thus, he charged $400 for the toilet he claimed that we were getting at "no charge." The toilet was not free as the invoice states; therefore, "E" and Mr. Rooter of Pittsburgh lied on a business contract; hence, committing fraud.
Upon closer inspection of invoice 105742, it actually states the following: "replace outside sewer stopping 2' shy of main. bed oil pipe in gravel. additional cost 9500. prior cost 10,000.
new job total 19,500. all cost are cpp discounted. installing new toilet no charge due to cpp membership. paying 9500 by check." Upon completion of the job on 12-30-2011, we were under the impression that the sewage backup problem had been adequately resolved as promised by the employees of Mr.
Rooter of Pittsburgh. We were wrong! One week after Mr. Rooter completed the projects, the sewage backed up into the basement and created a more extensive mess than previous backups due to the false sense of security provided to us by Mr.
Rooter - that they had successfully solved our problem. Mr. Rooter was called to address the situation and, in response, they sent out a hydrojetting truck. The hydrojetting truck ran pressurized water through the line, assured us that we should be fine, and left.
One week after Mr. Rooter's hydrojetting truck came, the sewage backed up into the basement again. Mr. Rooter was contacted about the second backup, to which they responded by sending out another hydrojetting truck.
The African American gentleman from the hydrojetting truck claimed that we had a "soft clog." For a "soft clog," he had a very difficult time trying to clear it. His hydrojetting stream rose up out of the clean out approximately 3 or 4 stories like a geyser. He told us that had never happened before and that he didn't know why it was doing that. We decided to call the township to come out to evaluate the line as should've been done from the beginning.
The township arrived as the Mr. Rooter hydrojetting truck technician waited around to see what the township was going to say. The township sent a camera up their main line and hydrojetted it. We specifically recall that the Mr.
Rooter technician asked a township employee if the section of our home's lateral sewer line could be replaced from where Mr. Rooter's work stopped to the main. The township employee told him, No." Then, the township sent a camera up our home's lateral sewer line and couldn't make out what the blockage was. The township decide to go ahead and hydrojet our home's lateral sewer line from the clean out (where Mr.
Rooter's work ended) to the main. The Mr. Rooter Hydrojetting technician said that the township has better equipment and should be able to get the sewer line flowing (isn't that what they advertise they can do?). Additionally, the Mr.
Rooter tech said that he was afraid of getting the hose stuck in the sewer line and having to pay to get it removed. Prior to the township hydrojetting our home's lateral sewer line, the Mr. Rooter technician left. One week after the township's intervention, another sewage backup occurred.
we decided to skip calling Mr. Rooter, yet again, for a problem that they are obviously unqualified to address. Instead, we called the township. The township arrived at our home and, as a courtesy, camera inspected the work that Mr.
Rooter had completed in order to be sure that it was done properly. The township determined that it was. They proceeded to hydrojet our home's lateral sewer line from the clean out located near the basement door to the main sewer line. On this visit, they did not camera to check that the line was clear; however, they observed flow and thought that it was good to go.
In order to address the regular frequency of sewage backing up into our basement, the township decided to make an appointment to clean out our home's lateral sewer line using the camera to make sure that any blockages were cleared and to be sure that no additional work on our home's lateral sewer line was necessary. In a letter to Mr. Rooter of Pittsburgh, sent on 1-22-2012, it states exactly what frame of mind we were and are still both in. We were and are angry and extremely dissatisfied to have paid $19,500 for a sewer line replacement/sliplining process that was supposed to be done up to within 2' of the main (it wasn't), and then find ourselves no better off than before we signed the invoices to have the work done.
Mr. Rooter didn't do anything to solve the problem in which they were contracted to solve. Apparently, upon receiving the email, "E" decided to show up at the house the following day just a few hours before the township arrived to do a camera-assisted clean out. First of all, we don't recall calling or receiving a call from "E" or inviting "E" to park his van in the back of our home (they advertise that they don't park in your driveway, but they did without being invited to).
In fact, we didn't even know anyone was on our property. That is, until we noticed a man walking across the porch, and then peering in the windows like a "Peeping Tom." It took a few minutes to realize that it was "E." We opened the door to find out what he wanted. He wanted to sell us a $5,000 back flow preventer, claiming that it was the only way to prevent sewage from backing up into the basement again. At that point, we informed him that the township would be here in a few hours.
We followed him to the back to be sure he got in his truck to leave and did not touch anything based on reviews we found online. "E" spent quite a bit of time walking around talking on his cell phone before he finally left. After the township had arrived to camera inspect and clean our home's lateral sewer line (of grease), they determined that everything was fine. Since the TOWNSHIP cleared the grease out of OUR HOME'S LATERAL SEWER LINE, the line that WE are responsible for and that Mr.
Rooter was contracted to restore flow to (but didn't restore flow at all), there have been NO SEWAGE BACKUPS in a little over 11 months! Furthermore, we are extremely unhappy with the fact that the concrete slab in front of the outside basement door has a crack running where the old concrete meets the new concrete. When they first did it, it looked fine; however, after it dried, it cracked. The remainder of the concrete slab should've been jackhammered and re-poured as it was obvious that no bonding agents were appropriately applied.
Another thing that we are not happy about is that the drain for the basement shower was moved from its original location, making it hard to find a new shower base. All we had to do in order to use that shower (prior to excavation), was to replace the plumbing. Now we would have to worry about moving the drain or custom forming the shower base. Access was needed to a shower because the bathtub is very difficult to get in and out of due to a mobility disability.
In conclusion, NONE of the work that Mr. Rooter did contributed to solving the problem of sewage backing up into our basement. Mr. Rooter engaged in the following behaviors during our experience: high pressure and misleading sales tactics; breech of contract; and the inadequate completion and delivery of services!.
To date, they have continued to victimize us - this time for reporting the truth". Our side of the story is consistently told every time, but their's isn't…In communication with the BBB, Mr'. Rooter Plumbing of Pittsburgh informed them (remember the invoice read a diagnosis of "draining slow") that there were massive amounts of grease in the sewer line (there were about two or three areas in the sewer line where Mr!. Rooter removed grease and one area where the township removed grease which was against where they stopped work short of the main sewer line) to sending a photo claiming that a drain cleaning machine made the holes in the solidified grease (yes, the hydrojetting machine that was in the line unaided by a video camera for less than 10 or 15 minutes max - they spent more time setting the equipment up?.
maybe if the hydrojetting process was performed longer (like the 6 hours roto-rooter spent cleaning out some other person's line of grease in an article found online), it would've eventually started to break the grease up and move it along but that would've taken time and doesn't cost as much as a "dig" or "replacement/restoration" product) to claiming that the line was completely blocked and that the matter would be settled in court?. Really? They went from the diagnosis of "draining slow" on the invoice to completely blocked'. If a line is draining at all (even slowly), then it isn't completely blocked'.
At the claimed completion of the sewer line work, we were told that we should have no problems for 50 - 100 years, but the sewer backed up repeatedly for about 3 weeks. Mr. Rooter advertises they can remove years of grease accumulation from a sewer line with the hydrojetting process (we wish we would've called A1 Sewer Cleaning Specialists and avoided this nightmare all together because if they don't clear the line, then they don't charge - camera inspection is an additional fee but that is ok because it would still be cheaper and more effective!). Mr.
Rooter advertises that they fix the problem right the first time (we had the same problem and no resolution, so they don't do that). Mr. Rooter Plumbing prides themselves in delivering "World-Class Customer Service" and claims to "have customer service down to a science:" we believe they better retest their theory because it either isn't getting implemented or it is a faulty process." Stay anonymous when you try to warn others because the reality is that they probably won't move forward with you in an honest, respectable, and reasonable manner and, in our case, may attempt to punish you into silence and prevent you from speaking about the details of your experience.
Be very careful and have lots of witnesses, take lots of photos, take lots of videos, and never leave them unattended at your home! 30b0740