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Unhappy consumer

I had a bad experience with them. Melissa Mason was the main contact and her partner's name was Verna. At the beginning it started off so well because it sounded like they knew what they were talking about. They were so nice that before I even signed the contract, I gave them a gift of some drinking glasses they admired that were at my house. They did a full check of my house and did a blow test. They didn't go up to my attic area (afraid of heights?) but deemed it necessary to put down more insulation on top of the 12 inches that was already there. They wanted to charge over $5,000 for all the work that needed to be done. I pressed in in spite of some misgivings. When they ripped out the old insulation, they found some staining in the wood. They immediately stopped working and said that if that was active mold, there would need to be an immediate remediation of the problem before they could proceed. They could remediate it themselves for $1,500 but I would need to let them know immediately. I paid them $50 to send the samples for testing. The samples came back as live mold that was a very common mold that is typically found on most surfaces inside and outside the home. When I told them I wanted to hold off on the next step, they became a bit aggressive and threatening. They sent a bill for $940 plus a $311 inspection fee. When I emailed her to question the charges, she immediately suggested I either call remediation or contact her attorney. When I spoke to Melissa on the phone, I could hear her partner telling her to hang up on me. I found out that the cost of arbitration was going to be $1000 so I just decided to pay her to be done with the debacle. Did I mention they left 3 huge contractor bags of garbage on my driveway that they were supposed to get rid of? I would have put more details in about other ways hey failed but think enough was said. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, would not recommend to a friend.
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It is truly a shame that we were not able to satisfy all of Mrs. Matos’ impractical requests & requirements. However, it is nearly impossible for a company to stay in business by giving away products & services, as she eventually demonstrated was her desire. We were asked to complete an energy audit on the home the Matos family had recently settled on. During the audit we discovered fiberglass insulation on the roof rafters in the attic space. We cautioned Mrs. Matos that this was a concern because if there was ever a roof leak, no one would know until the water penetrated the vapor barrier, and in the meantime, the area could hide many dangerous elements, such as mold.

As is customary for our procedures we asked Mrs. Matos several questions in regards to her home and how she lives in it to help pinpoint any energy conservation, as well as any health and safety concerns. She did not know the answers to our questions-which made diagnosing the home difficult. After completing the energy analysis we sent Mrs. Matos a proposal for an Energy Retro-fit, which included removing the fiberglass insulation from the roof rafters. Mrs. Matos confided in us that she was only approved for a $15,000 loan-(& did not sign the loan documents).

We attempted to keep our costs as low as possible for her because we believed she understood energy efficiency & wanted to invest in the energy efficiency of her home and because she mentioned there was no hot water in the home-since there wasn’t a working heating system in the home. It was at the contract signing that we began to see a change because all of a sudden she wanted to add nearly $2000 more in products & services to the work order. About a week later Mrs. Matos called & asked if we could come and speak to her husband because he had questions that she could not answer. We made an appointment for late on the 3rd of July to accommodate them.

We were apparently so unprofessional that they felt compelled to give us a gift and we spent close 2 hours with the Matos’ discussing the whole project with them, in detail. They both indicated they understood everything and had only 1 additional question. Mr. Matos wanted an 80 gallon (DHW) instead of the 50 gal. that was already ordered and waiting for installation by our subcontractor. We explained how the appropriate size of a DHW is determined and asked that if they insist on the larger unit to let us know a.s.a.p. because their project was starting the next week.

On Mon. 7/8 I received a call from Mrs. Matos after 6:00 p.m. about how much the 80 gal. DHW would cost. I explained I would have to check with our sub and explained that since her install would be on Wed and the fact that the sub was no longer in the office, it would be difficult to get that answer, but I would try. On Tue. 7/9, again after 6 p.m. Mrs. Matos called and asked if I got the price. I explained I had not heard an answer and explained that everyone was in the field, that the turn-around time was not feasible, but that the question could still be asked in the morning when the crew arrived. After all of that when the sub explained that the larger tank, because it was natural gas, would cost nearly an additional $800, she declined to change out the unit.

We were scheduled to begin between 9 and 10 on the day of install. We arrived at 9:17. Mrs. Matos was not at home. I called her cell phone and she did not answer. After I left her a message she returned my call and said she was out, but would be home in about 10 minutes. We left our crew member to begin prepping the attic while we conducted other business. When we returned the insulation had been pulled and we could see what appeared to be mold in several areas.

We immediately alerted Mrs. Matos and explained our concerns. She told us that “you should have known mold was there because you did the audit and are mold people.” My business partner, Virna, and I both tried to explain we can only see what is actually visible, that what we now see, since the insulation was no longer blocking should be tested. (Short of toxic or hidden items, such as mold, it is our company policy not to charge for what we should have discovered while taking measurements. For instance, if a cavity was thought to be 6”deep and it’s actually 9” deep, we do not charge the customer-we eat the cost of properly insulating the cavity). We cleaned up for the day and placed all rubbish on the side yard for pick up the following day.

We charged only $50 to have the substance tested by an independent lab. She then began to question our credentials & insisted we should be able to test onsite. Independent lab testing is not only our company policy, but also a requirement of NAMRI (of which we are a member) and Anabec Systems, who underwrites our 30 year warranty for mold remediation. Additionally, per BPI standards, finding or suspecting mold on a project is an automatically cause to cease work on a project. Knowing that her loan amount was already fully allocated we offered to work with the family in regards to remediating the mold; & we also let her know that if she wanted to hire another mold remediator to let us know when the project would be completed so that we could move the energy retro-fit completion date. (how's that for bullying)

We returned the following day to pick up the rubbish from the first day of work that was left on her side yard. It was at this time that she paid us for the mold sample. When the mold report came in I spoke with Mrs. Matos and explained that the substance was mold. I asked her about her plans and she said she wanted to end the project. I asked her if there was anything we could do to help her and cautioned that since she had central A/C she should take care of the mold. She told me the family planned to do something about it later. I explained that we still needed to check on the work our sub was installing. She said she didn’t want us back and still insisted that somehow we should have known there was mold.

In order to qualify for the low interest rate loan the project had to include certain energy conservation measures. So when she asked me how much of the project was completed on the energy side, I had to explain to her that the preparation work we began was negligible in regards to the requirements of the loan she was seeking. Then she began asking questions about the line items on her final invoice. It was once we sent a final invoice that Mrs. Matos began to behave as though she had issue with us or our work.

Believing that the family was under financial constraint & thinking we were still on “friendly” terms I explained that we decided not to charge her for the day of work we completed & would simply apply the down payment to the day of work & the inspections that would need to be done on the HVAC work; something that would have been completed while we worked in tandem with our sub-if our contract not been breached. The following week she began to email me about the final invoice, stating she did not agree with what we charged for the day of work & inspections. I explained that she was NOT being charged, that what she saw was where I applied her deposit, which I was NOT required to do, but did as a favor to her. I explained the only balance was for the HVAC work. I asked her if she was satisfied with the HVAC, she indicated she was.

I was in training, & emailing with her did not seem to help her have something to refer back to & understand. I tried calling her but she did not answer my calls & she did not return my messages. However, she was calling the sub contractor & she was calling the financing company. Both companies tried to explain the same thing to her & requested she speak with us and that she needed to pay us.

Finally, on Tue. 7/30 Mrs. Matos called me. I stopped everything I was doing to talk with her at length, hoping we would come to a consensus. We spoke on the phone for nearly an hour. I explained that once she decided to breach her contract by asking us not to continue the work, & refusing to take care of the mold, we were not required to apply her deposit. However, despite the fact that we were not required to return her deposit we did apply it to the work we completed. I also, explained that if she wanted, I could send her a final invoice showing only HVAC charges, but the balance would be the same.

Upon realizing who I was speaking with, Virna added some information to the call, reminding Mrs. Matos that by refusing to sign her loan documents, & not paying when the work was completed 2 weeks prior, she was in receipt of goods she did not purchase. I did not tell Mrs. Matos that her deposit money went to supplies. I’m sure if you have read this far, you can see what kind of customer we were dealing with. If you are a contractor-beware of this customer-unless you don't care about being paid.

She received $17K worth of HVAC equipment for which she was only charged $11K & by the date of this post she STILL hadn’t paid us. If spending countless hours on the phone, computer, & email; + making multiple trips to the home, & undercharging for products & services; then insisting on payment & refusing to lower charges any more than had already been done-& STILL not charging more than the final bottom line makes us bullies, combative and unprofessional, then …

#437096 Review #437096 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Allentown, Pennsylvania

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