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Culligan Causes Water and Mold Damage and Magically Disappear
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FREDERICK, MARYLAND -- Complaint against:
Culligan Water Conditioning
501 Maryland Avenue
Hagerstown, MD 21740
culliganman@earthlink.net
(P) (301) 797-0311
(F) (301) 797-7231

Culligan Water Conditioning installed a water system to neutralize the pH, reduce the iron levels, provide water softening and an activated charcoal filter to improve taste. They also installed a booster pump to increase the water pressure throughout the house. This required me to miss an entire day of work. Soon after the installation, a joint near the booster pump failed causing a leak around the water system. Culligan promptly responded to repair the problem. This occurred two more times with varying amounts of water leakage into our basement with Culligan promptly responding. These repairs required me to take four partial days off from work. The fourth repair resulted in a flood of our finished basement and again Culligan quickly responded. They authorized a water mitigation firm (Service Master) to clean up the water.

The water mitigation firm was authorized by Culligan to remove carpet padding, paneling, and drywall to determine the extent of water and mold damage and to dry the basement. Drying the basement with a vacuum and industrial dehumidifiers took over a week. (This involved me having to go to work later three times) Service Master suggested that all of the paneling in the vicinity be removed to allow for a complete mold inspection. The level of the mold was at the same level of water that wicked up the drywall from the last leak. There were distinctly different water levels on the drywall directly correllating to the number of leaks. Culligan's insurance company (Liberty Mutual) was brought into handle the complaint. Mark Stoner of Culligan at this point essentially washed his hands of the problem and the insurance company indicated that all they have to do is order Culligan to replace the pump.

Initially, Culligan employees, including Mark Stoner, had no problem indicating that they ensure their customers happiness and that they always do the right thing for their customers. They were even happy to say that with a handshake. I complained that I have missed way too much work for them to do further work during their business hours and Mark Stoner said, "don’t worry about that, we can arrange repairs around your schedule." Mark Stoner sent us an email on January 30, 2008, that they could do the repairs to the pump at 1.5xhourly rate at our expense. Mark Stoner is not living up to his agreement, appears unethical, and is dirtying the name of Culligan. The insurance company will not authorize removal of the remaining paneling in the vicinity of the water damage thereby preventing further inspection for water and mold damage. Considering the health hazards of mold, I am surprised that the insurance company, and Culligan, are willing to take on this liability.

I have yet to hear if the insurance company will repair the damages caused by the leak or by the water and mold mitigation company. I am openly amazed by this experience, the amount of time I have had to take off work, the inconvenience to my family, and the lack of integrity shown by Mark Stoner, therefore Culligan, and Liberty Mutual.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-01-31:
Don't attempt to fight the insurance company by yourself. That's how they get away with pay for the damage. Consult a lawyer to see if you can sue for the damage done by the leaks.
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Free estimate?
Posted by on
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA -- I called for a free estimate and got billed. Frankly, I only called them because there was existing equipment in the house. They told me I needed two things that added up to over $5000. It was kind of a hard sell which raised my concern. So I got two other estimates and went with another company.

I called both the local office and the regional office repeatedly about the bill and kept being told they "would look into it" they would "take the bill away" they would "check with the manager" No one ever called me back, in spite of the fact that I called maybe a dozen times and was repeatedly told that they would. No one ever tried to say, sorry this is a valid charge.

Now I am in the hands of a collection agency. When I called to talk to the regional office, I calmly explained the situation to someone in billing. She handed the phone to Rhonda, the woman in charge, who yelled at me, told me I had to pay the bill and hung up on me before I could say one word. Watch out for Culligan. They are scam artists.
     
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poppapia on 2007-07-03:
Did you sign a contract, and, if so, did you sign it in your home? If you signed it in your home, you are allowed 3 days to change your mind and cancel the contract. If the sales rep failed to give you this document, you are automatically relieved from paying any debt, but you need solid evidence if this did, or did not, occur. You had to have signed something for Culligan to be holding you to this bill, so I hope you saved all of your paperwork.
krow on 2007-07-03:
I did, and said hey this was supposed to be free. Oh no problem, he said. Just call the office. I just need this to show I was here.
dwayneneal on 2009-01-31:
Culligan Water Conditioning installed a water system to neutralize the pH, reduce the iron levels, provide water softening and an activated charcoal filter to improve taste. They also installed a booster pump to increase the water pressure throughout the house. This required me to miss an entire day of work. Soon after the installation, a joint near the booster pump failed causing a leak around the water system. Culligan promptly responded to repair the problem. This occurred two more times with varying amounts of water leakage into our basement with Culligan promptly responding. These repairs required me to take four partial days off from work. The fourth repair resulted in a flood of our finished basement and again Culligan quickly responded. They authorized a water mitigation firm (Service Master) to clean up the water. The water mitigation firm was authorized by Culligan to remove carpet padding, paneling, and drywall to determine the extent of water and mold damage and to dry the basement. Drying the basement with a vacuum and industrial dehumidifiers took over a week. (This involved me having to go to work later three times) Service Master suggested that all of the paneling in the vicinity be removed to allow for a complete mold inspection. The level of the mold was at the same level of water that wicked up the drywall from the last leak. There were distinctly different water levels on the drywall directly correllating to the number of leaks. Culligan's insurance company (Liberty Mutual) was brought into handle the complaint. Mark Stoner of Culligan at this point essentially washed his hands of the problem and the insurance company indicated that all they have to do is order Culligan to replace the pump. Initially, Culligan employees, including Mark Stoner, had no problem indicating that they ensure their customers happiness and that they always do the right thing for their customers. They were even happy to say that with a handshake. I complained that I have missed way too much work for them to do further work during their business hours and Mark Stoner said, "don’t worry about that, we can arrange repairs around your schedule." Mark Stoner sent us an email on January 30, 2008, that they could do the repairs to the pump at 1.5xhourly rate at our expense. Mark Stoner is not living up to his agreement, appears unethical, and is dirtying the name of Culligan. The insurance company will not authorize removal of the remaining paneling in the vicinity of the water damage thereby preventing further inspection for water and mold damage. Considering the health hazards of mold, I am surprised that the insurance company, and Culligan, are willing to take on this liability. I have yet to hear if the insurance company will repair the damages caused by the leak or by the water and mold mitigation company. I am openly amazed by this experience, the amount of time I have had to take off work, the inconvenience to my family, and the lack of integrity shown by Mark Stoner, therefore Culligan, and Liberty Mutual.
dwayneneal on 2009-03-20:
This is an update in regards to Culligan Stoner Enterprise unethical behavior in regards to damages to our home caused by a defective part.

COMPLAINT ACTIVITY REPORT Case # 36035012 The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland

Consumer Info: Neal, Dwayne Business Info: Stoner Enterprises, Inc. t/a Culligan Water
7413 Skyline Dr 501 Maryland Ave
Frederick, MD 21702-3651 Hagerstown, MD 21740-6217
- 301 693-5242 301 797-0311


Location Involved: (Same as above)

Consumer's Original Complaint :
Culligan installed a water system to neutralize the pH and reduce the iron levels and further water conditioning with a water softener and activated charcoal filter. They also installed a booster pump to increase the water pressure throughout the house. Soon after the installation, a joint near the booster pump failed causing a leak around the water system. Culligan promptly responded to repair the problem. This occurred two more times with varying amounts of water leakage into our basement with Culligan promptly responding. The fourth repair resulted in a flood of our finished basement and again Culligan quickly responded. They authorized a water mitigation firm (Service Master) to clean up the water. The water mitigation firm was authorized by Culligan to remove carpet padding, paneling, and drywall to determine the extent of water and mold damage and to dry the basement. Drying the basement with a vacuum and industrial dehumidifiers took over a week. Service Master suggested that all of the paneling in the vicinity be removed to allow for a complete mold inspection. The level of the mold was at the same level of water that wicked up the drywall from the last leak. Culligan's insurance company (Liberty Mutual) was brought into handle the complaint. Culligan at this point essentially washed their hands of the problem and the insurance company indicated that all they have to do is order Culligan to replace the pump. Initially, Culligan employees, including Mark Stoner, had no problem indicating that they ensure their customers happiness and that they always do the right thing for their customers. They were even happy to say that with a handshake. I complained that I have missed way too much work to do further work during their business hours and Mark Stoner said, don't worry about that, we can arrange repairs around your schedule. Mark Stoner sent us an email on January 30, 2008, that they could do the repair at 1.5xhourly rage at our expense. Mark Stoner is not living up to his agreement. The insurance company will not authorize removal of the remaining paneling in the vicinity of the water damage thereby preventing the further inspection for water and mold damage. Considering the health hazards of mold, I am surprised that the insurance company, and Culligan, are willing to take on this liability. I have yet to hear if the insurance company will repair the damages caused by the leak or by the water and mold mitigation company.



Thank you,

Dwayne and Andrea Neal



Consumer's Desired Resolution:


BBB Processing

02/25/2009 JG BBB Case Received by BBB
02/25/2009 JG BBB Case Reviewed by BBB - Member
02/25/2009 Otto EMAIL Send Acknowledgement to Consumer
02/25/2009 Otto EMAIL Notify Business of Dispute - Member
02/25/2009 JG BBB RECEIVE BUSINESS RESPONSE : Justin,

I have attached copies of my most recent email communication with Mrs. Neal. I have also included a copy of our insurance companies brief conclusion to their investigation.

I first would like to respond to the claimed water damages stated in the original complaint. When the initial call came in that there was another leak and that there were water damages due to the leak, we responded that same day, which was a Sunday, and the leak was corrected. Information was given to our service technician that there were water damages caused by the leak. Our technician contacted a senior manager about the situation. That senior manager approved contracting Service Master to visit the residence and clean up the water. This approval was based upon the information provided to him by our technician and in turn by Mr. Neal. However, after further investigation by myself and our insurance carrier, it has been concluded that the water damages in question were not caused by any component of the water treatment system and has the very strong appearance that the damages were pre-existing. Therefore, the claim for damages has been denied by our insurance carrier.

In the complaint, it was stated that I assured the customer that we would openly work with their schedule in making the needed repairs on the booster pump system. While we always try to work with our customer's schedule as much as we possibly can, it was never promised that the repairs would actually be done outside of our standard business hours. In an effort to find a time convenient for all parties in order to make the needed repairs, I sent an email to Mrs. Neal on Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:20 AM. Within this email, I requested that they provide me with three (3) possible dates that they would be available for the repairs and I would then coordinate those date options with a licensed plumber. There has been some email communication since this email was sent, but no offers of any dates have yet to be provided. Please see the attachment to review this email communication.

At this point, I am still waiting to hear back from Mr. and Mrs. Neal so that we can schedule for the repairs to be completed. Once I hear back from them, I will arrange for those repairs to be done. Due to our insurance company's investigation finding us not at fault for the damages, I suggest that Mr. and Mrs. Neal contact their homeowner's insurance company for such damages.

I believe this will provide an ample response to the complaint. Feel free to contact me anytime should you be in need of any further information or have any questions.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Stoner

Mark A. Stoner
Senior VP, Risk Management
Stoner Quality Water, Inc.
T/A Culligan Water Conditioning
5201 Williamson Rd.
Roanoke, VA 24012
540-366-9078
fax 540-362-9652
mstoner18@aol.com
02/25/2009 JG EMAIL Forward Business response to Consumer
02/26/2009 WEB BBB BBB REVIEWS CONSUMER REBUTTAL TO BUSINESS RESPONSE : (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The Stoner installed water system has visibly leaked on numerous occasions and was observed by Stoner employees. The extent of the leaking however is hard to determine as the booster pump is at a dark corner of the basement and the location of water damage to the finished part of the basement is a low traffic area. There is evidence of water flow from the booster pump to the low point of the basement where the largest extent of damage to the structure of the house occurred. Since Ohio Casualty and Stoner have records of the multiple complaints and service calls in regards to the leaking water system, they cannot deny the extent of the leaks.
Each water leak occurred at the same joint above the booster pump and the pump shows etching due to water flow that obviously did not occur in one weekend or even in a few months. The last of the leaks caused an obvious flood of the basement due to a generous leak. This leak required urgent action to stop further damage to the basement. I turned off the water to the entire house until I was able to obtain assistance from Stoner. Stoner instructed me on how to bypass the system leak so that we could maintain water service to the rest of the house. Stoner did not correct the leak, which means that we currently have very little water pressure. Mark Stoner personally indicated that the particular model of the pump installed in our house by Stoner is known to be defective and that the presumed cause of the water leaks was that the booster pump over heated causing the joint nearest to the booster pump to fail.
There is no question that the two inches of water in our basement we found was caused by the leaking booster pump. Water was pouring out of the joint above the pump until I turned off the whole house water valve. Ohio Casualty refused to acknowledge our declaration of such. Since we have owned the home, we have never had any water leaks in our basement other than the several times we discovered that the Stoner installed water system was visibly leaking. Neither Stoner nor Ohio Casualty are able to offer any other explanation for the standing water discovered by us and witnessed by Service Master, nor the dry rot to the framing or the mold found on the dry wall after Service Master removed the paneling. It is beyond common sense as to how Ohio Casualty and Stoner can justly refute that the dry rot and mold were possibly caused by the multiple leaks from the faulty water system installed by Stoner. Ohio Casualty had not defended their decision with any expert references. I have provided them with one, but they have not acknowledged it. The reference is from the home inspection bible; Real Estate Home Inspection by Russell W. Burgess, 5th ed., p. 60 which indicates "With moisture penetration and temperatures exceeding 40 degrees F, failure-causing decay from dry-rot will occur in between six months and two years." The damage to our basement structures certainly falls within the scope of these specifications.
Stoner urgently responded to the last leak by assigning the water mitigation to Service Master. Service Master as part of the mitigation cut out carpet padding, tore paneling and dry wall from the walls closest to the booster pump. Service Master indicated that mold and dry rot remediation were necessary and required a licensed remediation company. They also indicated that the cost of remediation of this kind was quite expensive.
When Ohio Casualty's adjuster called me, he was rude, arrogant, and condescending. The adjuster from Ohio Casualty did not have any references to back up his claim that the water damage was due to pre-existing standing water. Ohio Casualty did not perform due diligence in obtaining information from the site, myself, my wife, or suitable references, nor did they provide a reasonable cause for the denial of liability.
I maintain that both Ohio Casualty and Stoner are fraudulent in regards to their legal obligations. I maintain that the amount of time and the number of water leaks from the Stoner installed water system is a probable cause for the extent of damage to the structures of our basement. Further evidence is that the carpet was less than two years old and even the tack strip was dry rotted. The tack strip also was two years old as the old flooring was vinyl tile.
Stoner admits that the standing water mitigated by Service Master was due to a leak from the Stoner installed water system. Stoner admits to assigning water mitigation to Service Master. Stoner admits that Service Master caused injury to the structures of our basement by removing carpet padding, paneling, and drywall. It is evident that Stoner, at minimum, is responsible for replacing the faulty equipment of the water system, and must compensate us for the injury caused by the remediation of the standing water by Service Master. Stoner has acknowledged their legal obligation to replace the faulty equipment. However, we have not allowed Stoner to replace the booster pump at this time under advisement from our attorney. Once the issue of the damages to our basement has been resolved, we expect Stoner to replace the faulty equipment. If Stoner does not compensate us for the damages, then we will seek compensatory and punitive damages.
03/04/2009 HE EMAIL Forward Consumer Rebuttal to Business
03/16/2009 HE BBB RECEIVED BUSINESS' REBUTTAL RESPONSE : RE: Consumer complaint case # 36035012; Dwayne & Andrea Neal
Dear Ms. Engel:
The purpose of this letter is to respond formally to Mr. Neal's rebuttal of my response to his original complaint.
First, I will defer my response involving the claimed damages, circumstances around the claimed damages and insurance investigation directly to:
Joel A. Russo
Senior Investigator
Liberty Mutual Agency Markets
Special Investigations Unit
275 Grandview Ave., Suite 300
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Cell: 717-805-0940
Fax: 717-541-9584
In Mr. Neal's rebuttal he made the following statement: ''Mark Stoner personally indicated that the particular model of the pump installed in our house by Stoner is known to be defective and that the presumed cause of the water leaks was that the booster pump over heated causing the joint nearest to the booster pump to fail.'' This statement is not with completely accurate. Yes, it does appear that the leak was caused by the booster pump to continuously run and, in turn, causing the pump to run hot. However, this is not due to a defective pump. The actual cause is from a component of the pump called the flow sensor. This flow sensor is the component that activates the pump to turn on and off. When water flow begins to pass through this sensor, it activates the pump to run, and when the flow stops, then the pump is deactivated. This flow sensor is the source of the problem.
Mr. Neal also states the following in his rebuttal: ''Stoner acknowledged their legal obligation to replace the faulty equipment.'' We, at Stoner Enterprises, Inc. do acknowledge our obligations in honoring all manufacturer's warranties and the contract terms and conditions. The manufacturer's warranty is as follows:
''Davey products are warranted to the original user only to be free of defects in material and workmanship for a period of 12 months from the date of installation, but no more than 24 months from the date of manufacture. Davey's liability under the warranty shall be limited to repairing or replacing at Davey's option, without charge, FOB Davey's distribution center of authorized service agent. Davey will not be responsible for any costs of removal, installation, transport or any other charges that may arise in connection with the warranty claim.''
As a footnote, Davey is the manufacturer of this booster pump and Stoner Enterprises, Inc. is a provider of this pump. The contract terms and conditions are written as follows:
1. When purchasing, the customer receives a service warranty of 1 year from the date of installation. Dealer will make any necessary repairs and keep customer's purchased equipment in proper operating order without any additional charge during the first year, unless repair or replacement is due to customer's negligence, misuse or because of changes to water quality characteristics. Customer bears risks of loss or damage to equipment by fire or any other acts of God. This service policy excludes such things as salt, chemicals, pre-filters, modules, U.V. bulbs and any other miscellaneous materials necessary of proper product performance. The cost of these items is the responsibility of the customer. Any labor fee involving the addition of or changing of the above items will also be the customer's responsibility.
2. Any service performed by an authorized Culligan service representative after the first year of installation will come with a 30 day serve and labor warranty. In order to be covered under this warranty, the service must be performed on the same problems as the original service done within the last 30 days.
3. All Culligan equipment purchases are covered by manufacturer's limited warranties on materials, parts and workmanship. These limited warranties will vary in length depending upon equipment purchased. For repairs or replacement of covered parts after the first year of installation (See Service Warranty at #1), any service call and labor fees charged will be the responsibility of the customer. Customer will receive a printed limited manufacturer's warranty card upon installation.
4. Only guarantees and warranties given to customers in writing by Culligan or Stoner Enterprises, Inc. will be honored. No other verbal or written guarantees or warranties not authorized by Culligan or Stoner Enterprises, Inc. will be honored.
Culligan has committed to Mr. Neal to effectively repair the booster pump system, as per our warranty obligations. The scope of such work will include, but not limited to the following:
1. Replace the failing flow sensor.
2. Replace approximately 3 to 4 feet of the inlet and outlet plumbing with a material other than plastic.
On Friday, January 30, 2009, I sent an email to Mrs. Neal in an effort to make arrangements for the necessary repairs to the booster pump system to be completed. Later that same day Mrs. Neal responded to my email with a couple questions. I in turn replied that same day to address her questions. Either party made no other communications until Tuesday, February 10, 2009. It was then that Mrs. Neal apologized for the delay. She stated that she had been sick and that she did not yet have any proposed service dates for me. She stated that she would get back with me in a couple days. After not hearing anything more for almost a month, I emailed Mrs. Neal on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 again to attempt to schedule a time to service the booster pump system. Finally on Thursday, March 5, 2009, Mrs. Neal did provide to me three (3) possible service dates. I replied the following day asking for the service to be completed on Friday, March 20, 2009 between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM, which was one of the proposed dates and times provided by Mrs. Neal. I asked for her to confirm with me for that date. Confirmation was never received. On Wednesday, March 11, 2009, I sent an email to Mr. Neal in an effort to get service conformation, as well to provide a scope of work that will be performed. After my receiving a series of intimidation tactics and personal attacks, Mr. Neal and I did agree with the service to be performed on Friday, March 20, 2009 at approximately 3:00PM.
I have included a copy of the manufacturer's warranty, Culligan's terms & conditions and a full text of the email communication between Mr. Neal and myself on March 11. Feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have. My card is enclosed.
Sincerely,
Mark A. Stoner
Senior VP, Risk Management
03/16/2009 HE EMAIL Send Business' Rebuttal Response to Consumer
03/17/2009 WEB BBB CONSUMER REJECTS BUSINESS' FINAL OFFER : (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I am thankful that Mark Stoner selectively included our email correspondence even if they are irrelevant to this case. I have not broken any binding agreements with Stoner, nor have I broken any handshake agreements with Stoner. I have not coerced him in any way to repair the booster pump as I have provided him with alternative actions to his current proposal, which is to do as he has already promised. I thought it only fair to provide him the details of my current and future actions if I remain a poorly treated customer, as my right as protected by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Stoner Enterprises refuses to accept responsibility for the damages to our property or the binding agreement (handshake agreement in MD is binding) to replace the defective booster pump (the flow sensor is a part of the pump). The outer casing of the pump is etched from the water leaking due to the failed joint that failed due to the overheated booster pump; shouldn't the outer casing be restored to the original appearance too, especially when we spent $10,000 on the water system?). I am in disagreement with Stoner in regards to the pump. The pump overheated from the day it was installed; therefore, the pump's life expectancy is severely diminished. If a used car salesperson tried to sell you a car that you knew had been on blocks, and had the engine revving on high 24/7 for the past year, would you buy it? The answer by most reasonable consumers would be ''No'' as they would not trust that the car would have a reasonable life expectancy. When this example is applied to the booster pump, I believe my position is much clearer. I would expect that most consumers would agree that a modern car engine that is designed to withstand more than 200,000 miles of use would be able to withstand a year of continuous use better than a booster pump designed for intermittent use and has a life expectancy of only about five years, as according to at least two representatives of Stoner Enterprises. How is repair to a booster pump that has run 24/7 for over a year fair to the consumer? To add further evidence in regards to Stoner Enterprises' responsibility in the matter, I told Stoner's tech's on each occasion that the joint was repaired, that the pump was running 24/7. The issue of the intermittent joint failures occurred over a year before the last failure that caused the flood to our basement. The tech's fixed the failed joint each time but they never took actions in regards to the constantly running booster pump. It took a flood and nearly $7000 damage to our basement to get Mark Stoner's attention.
After the flooded basement from the last failure, one of Stoner's employees asked me what would make me satisfied in regards to the pump. I told him replacement of the pump and later Mark Stoner himself, indicated that the pump would be replaced. Mark Stoner asked me if that would be acceptable, I replied yes, and we shook hands on that agreement in front of two witnesses and while doing so, Mark Stoner said that he "does right by his customers." Yes, I am frustrated and angry that he lied directly to me.
Mark Stoner made a petty argument about having difficulty scheduling an appointment to repair our pump. We initially agreed to replace the pump and I told him that they could replace it that week. Stoner said that his office would schedule a time for the pump replacement as soon as it arrived. I never heard from his office as he presumably had already decided to renege on our contract. After his insurer gave him approval to replace the pump, Mark Stoner pressured us to repair the pump. We were still under the impression that the pump would be replaced. In an email dated 30JAN09, Stoner began to use the word repair of the booster pump system, but not specifically of the pump. It took many emails to get clarification from Stoner that by repairs he meant, and this is a direct cut and paste from part of an email dated 11MAR09:The scope of the repairs to be performed on the booster pump system are as follows:
1: The specific repairs will be made to the pump will involve the replacement of all necessary parts that are bad. Most specifically, the flow sensor.
2: The replacement of the inlet and outlet plumbing connections. The CPVC will be removed and will be replaced with a metal type plumbing, most likely brass. However, the exact material changed to will be at the discretion of the master plumber performing the work.
As clearly stated in the email from Mark Stoner's last response, I agreed to have the pump ''repaired'' on the 20th after 3pm, but only due to coercion by Stoner.
We needed time to initiate the process to have our home insurer investigate the cause of the damages to our basement, to estimate the cost of repairs, and for our insurer to find in our favor for which they cut a check for the damages minus the deductible of $1000. It is duplicitous for Mark Stoner to pressure us in regards to setting an appointment when it took Stoner Enterprises over a year to figure out that the cause of the four failures of the joint that caused the water leaks as well as taking two months for Stoner and his insurer to do their investigation and provide us with a denial of claim! In fact, Mark Stoner began to pressure us to set an appointment even before we got the denial of claim from Ohio Casualty. We can only presume that he was trying to force us to agree to a repair before we were able to pursue our rights as a consumer as he referred to in an email dated 4MAR09:
I understand that you are seeking legal advice, which is your right as a consumer. However, I am unable to hold the warranties forever. All warranties, including parts and labor, will be extended until April 3, 2009. All services performed will then be charged at our prevailing rates at the time of service. This only applies to the booster pump system. All warranties, whether still applicable or not, on the rest of the water treatment system will remain in full effect and without change.
So, what proposed resolution is to our satisfaction? We have a claim letter from our insurer's investigator indicating that the clear source of the damage to our basement was the flood created by the failed joint caused by the overheated booster pump. We were given a payout from our insurer for damages to our basement minus the damages to the water system and our deductible of $1000. The total damages to our basement came to $6,800. We are not asking for punitive damages at this time, and we agree to ignore our right to pursue punitive damages if: Stoner Enterprises pays us our deductible, replaces the booster pump with a pump of equal or greater quality and cost as the defective pump, and replaces the undependable plumbing that contributed to the leaks to our basement with suitable plumbing.
Thank you for allowing my response.
Best wishes,
Dwayne and Andrea Neal
dwayne@racerneal.com; andrea@racerneal.com
03/18/2009 BBB MORE INFO RECEIVED FROM THE CONSUMER : I would like to refer you in regards to inquiries about my insurer's investigation that has found Stoner Enterprises at fault in regards to the water damage to our property:
Liberty Mutual Group
P.O. Box 1053
Montgomeryville, PA 18936
Phone: 1-800-998-4011
Cell: 443-844-8551
Fax: 866-462-8564
Joe Divine
Property Loss Specialist II
Mid-Atlantic Property Loss Unit
joseph.divine@libertymutual.com
Property Loss Specialist II
Mid-A
03/19/2009 HE BBB Move Complaint Into ADR Offer Phase
03/19/2009 HE EMAIL Send Offer to Arbitrate to Member
03/19/2009 Otto EMAIL Send Offer to Arbitrate to Consumer

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Late payment problem
Posted by on
I purchased water softener and drinking system from Culligan company on Feb 2005 and got a “1 YEAR SAME AS CASH” finance promotion for about $2700 through Culligan Finance Company (A division of Aqua Finance Inc.). I paid minimum payment every month for 11 months without any delay and finally sent the last payment of $2,032.49 on last Feb 2 through the on-line bill payment of my bank Hudson United Bank to meet the last payment due date Feb 12. The money was withdrawn from my account on Feb 6 and the bank said the check was actually sent out on Feb 3. However, the Culligan Finance said it has been arrived on Feb 13, the next date of the due date and charged me $423.87 of accrued interest for one year. My bank and I contacted to Calligan Finance Company and showed them the cleared check saying that it was written on Feb 4 but they wouldn’t consider it and keep asking me to pay the interest due the payment delay. I feel very bad about this problem and the Culligan Finance Company looks very greedy. I know I can not complain to US postal service about delayed mail because they don’t guarantee that delivery date for regular mail. I thought Feb 3 is early enough because normal delivery of first-class mail can be done within 3 days. And this is true for my previous payments to this company. How can it be delivered for 11 days ? Unfortunately, the last payment due date (Feb 12) was Sunday when mails are not delivered. I asked Culligan Finance Company to consider this but they don’t care about it. Finally they waived $123.87 and want me to pay $300 until the end of this month. But I think $300 is still false charge and, I’d like to take any action to avoid paying it. I even suspect that the Culligan Finance Company held my check on purpose to charge me the large amount of interest. Please let me know whom I have to complain about this and how I can do it.
     
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User Replies:
melrick20 on 2007-09-25:
Hello,
How are you. I just wanted to comment a bit on your post. First, I myself had purchased a system through Aqua Finance. I had a 180 day same as cash promotion. The salesman did not inform me that I had to make a payment every month, so I was late the first month. That was not a very pleasant experience. However, I explained to them that same thing, and they waived my late charge. I did end up paying that off because after that incident, I figured it would be a good thing for me to READ THE CONTRACT. So I sat down and read the contract. There was a sheet of paper in there called "promotional credit addendum". I read that, and it CLEARLY explained the details. So unfortunately, even though it may sound like they are being greedy, I have to go with them on this. The only thing they are doing is following the terms of the contract. I looked at it this way. There has to be a cutoff some day. And in the contract, it would have been stated that. Sorry
culligan4life on 2008-09-21:
I have used online bill pay for years. It does have to issue a check in some instances to pay bills if it's not an electronic transfer.It has taken as much as 7 days for my bank to issue a check and get it in the mail. Waiting until the last day's is risky.
I'm sure they don't have a basket that says "checks to hold until after promotion ends".
smcmorrow on 2008-09-24:
Thank you for the info. I paid mu account in full today and then closed my account.
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Unfair price differences
Posted by on
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- On May 22nd I purchased a Medallist 8 series for $1796 from our dealer here in Indpls. I told them that it seemed like a lot of money.

Here's where it gets interesting. The very next week my daughter's water softener went out. She lives in Shelby Country,so I had by law buy hers from the dealer in her country.

After talking to her county dealer, I found out that his price is ONLY $995 for the same exact softener that I had just bought. Can you believe $800 difference??? I sure couldn't, and still can't. My dealer could not tell me why the two prices were so far apart. What a world we live in!!
     
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Anonymous on 2007-08-13:
Have you ever heard of comparing prices before buying? Did you have to buy it from that dealer? Where is Shelby COUNTRY btw, I CANNOT find it anywhere in this world we live in.
Slimjim on 2007-08-13:
Products like this carry quite a range of mark up. Was the pricing including the installs? Could be some different factors there too.
cobraof colorado on 2008-06-19:
one thing to ask also is if they are corporate owend or a franchise. if its one of there corporate owned stores you purchased from there prices are set by there corporate office in rosemont,IL if its a franchise they can charge what ever they like. hope this helps. this is from a corporate culligan man
culligan4life on 2008-09-21:
Each dealer set's their own prices based on their market conditions. A perfect example would be in a certain area they may have to compete with 15 other mom and pop owned companies so they have to drop prices to even compete.
This may seem unfair but each dealer is a franchise and may charge more or less depending on where you are located.
In the long run you will benefit by having used a company that has been around since 1936.
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