HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA -- I have read Mrs. Wilkenson's complaint and also the reply from Jeff Benton Homes. I purchased my "new" Jeff Benton home in 2002 (Fieldridge Subdv). I have fought Septic problems from 2005-2009. My "new" septic system that should have lasted 15 yrs, started having problems 3 yrs after the purchase in 2005. It has now cost me a total of $7000 to date. I am factually aware of at least 4 other "new" systems in my small neighborhood that have experienced severe problems. There appears to be a clear trend. Here are some key facts related to my experience.
1. Jeff Benton Homes is factually incorrect when they stated that they "are unaware of ongoing issues related to septic problems". When I first had problems in 2005, I did contact Jeff Benton Homes by phone several times. I was not allowed to speak with a representative. I left messages but received no call-backs. The person who answered the phone said that since my system was out of warranty, JB would not help me nor would they discuss with me. JB is clearly not interested in hearing the voice of the customer "after the sale". This was/is my chief complaint. From that point, I was literally "on my own" to solve this problem over the next 4 years.
2. I immediately involved the Madison County Health Department. An engineer visited my home numerous times. He suggested that I hire a professional engineer, who in turn suggested that I purchase a terra-lift ($2000 plus engineer fees).
3. Continued problems led to the health department suggesting that I hire a contractor to dig until they "find a problem" (another $1200 incl pumping fees). They found a crushed main line. The health dept commented that the system workmanship appeared to be poor.
4. The system still didn't work well, so the health dept finally gave me a permit to replace the entire system ($4000 more!). When digging began, we could clearly see the problem. The gravel bed system was as clean as the day it was installed. At least 2 of the field lines were choked off from the very beginning. The contractor that I hired said that the original system was incorrectly installed.
My key complaint with Jeff Benton Homes was their decision not to return my calls and at least speak to me in the beginning. Perhaps they could have leveraged their strength with their septic contractor to at least investigate the cause at a reduced out-of-pocket cost to me.
Today, my personal experience coupled with their reply to Mrs. Wilkenson, confirms to me that they have no interest in reaching out to hear the voice of the customer. So, to all prospective JB customers all I can say is, "WE REPORT...YOU DECIDE".
Read Company Response
Company Response on 09/22/2010: We are deeply sorry about the quality issues you have had with your septic tank and will contact our supplier to research more fully this issue. Our commitment to quality has been our top priority for the 23 years we have built homes in Huntsville/Madison County. Each of our homeowners receives a written warranty upon closing and we stand behind the warranty. Since you have not included your name, we can not contact you so please call our office at 256-430-4301 and ask for Wendy Lee. She will be happy to discuss this issue with you. We will research this claim and appreciate the opportunity to make things right.