Browning Equipment Purcellville Accused of Unethical Practices & Unprofessional Business Conduct
PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA -- On July 11, 2008 Browning Equipment Inc of Purcellville, VA performed a generator service call on our property dispatching one technician and one salesman for approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours. The salesman, [snip], spent that time speaking with us and did not perform any work. In fact, he had cancelled several appointments stating that the technician was not available and that he was unqualified to perform the work himself.
We received an invoice dated 12/10/08 for 5.2 hours and have disputed the invoice because we feel the number of hours is misrepresented since only one half of the team was working that day. Their response to my dispute was that they felt the actual time spent was more like 8.4 man hours on that day and that they had a signed service ticket to prove it !! Since it is clear that they are doubling the charges for the time spent by one man we requested a copy of the service ticket. Upon inspection of it we have found an altered document with many handwritten notes bearing dates subsequent to the date of the service call with no hours indicated on the ticket other than a handwritten number 488.3 which appears in the hours field of the invoice but is undated.
Further, within two weeks of our sending a second letter of dispute we received a visit from the Clarke County Building Inspector, [snip], who stated that he received a complaint of a generator “improperly installed and bearing no County inspection sticker.” As [snip] continued to elaborate on the details of the complaint it became clear that he was reading the handwritten notes from the Browning Equipment service ticket verbatim which introduces yet another issue, namely that if Browning was able to identify the problems observed in their service call well enough to relate it to the Building Inspector, then how come they didn’t fix the problem or insist we hire an electrician to fix the problem? And why did they continue to further the notion that a surge suppressor was necessary to correct the problem at a still greater cost? In short, we now believe there is a question not only with regard to their billing practice but also with regard to the quality of their technical ability and their professional integrity.
In summary, the best thing that has happened to us is that the Building Inspector did clearly identify and explain the nature of our problem to us and that it took no longer than thirty minutes to inspect the generator, transfer switch and the main and sub electrical panels inside our home. He has committed to working with our electrician to correct the existing problems which Browning apparently left in an uncorrected, and perhaps unsafe, fashion on the day of their 7/11/08 service call.
We have requested, again, a copy of the original service ticket but it has not been received as of this date nor has there been any further communication from them, other than the malicious complaint to the Clarke County Building Inspector(in which no irregularities were uncovered)which arose over an unethical billing dispute.
Can you please make others in Loudon and Clarke Counties, Virginia aware of the unprofessional conduct of this company so that they are not compromised in the ways that we have been? We have also filed a report with the Better Business Bureau.
Thank you very much for your assistance in this matter.