MAPLE GROVE, MINNESOTA -- My experience with Service Master was something less than stellar. First, the background. We came back from vacation to find 3 inches of water in our basement - a flood warning had gone out for the area, the only time in the 22 years we have lived here, and the only time our sump pump really needed to kick in. The pump failed, leaving us with a disaster. Because everybody was so booked, we ended up pumping out the water and doing what we could to siphon off the excess moisture from the carpet ourselves
After first contacting Service Master, I was rerouted to so many different numbers, I can't recall them all. In the end, I got lost in the rerouting, and had to start all over again. Since there were a LOT of flood calls coming in at the same time - Service Master had brought in people from other states - I can't fault them too much for this. When Service Master did finally come out to begin demolition, the young men cut our wall out at 3 feet high instead of the 2 feet we'd originally been told. This sent our insurance claim higher since, in order to repair the damage, the adjuster had to price it out at 4 foot wide drywall sections all the way around.
After the debris had been removed, Service Master left fans and dehumidifiers to dry the basement out. One of the fans was not working at all. The dehumidifier they plugged was not working. And the second humidifier wasn't plugged in at all. Yet, Service Master initially tried to charge me for ALL fans and humidifiers (they backed off once I pointed out the error), and insisted on charging me for the first day of equipment rental even though nothing was done because the dehumidifier wasn't working. I should also point out that, when my claim adjuster reviewed the Service Master bill, he could not in anyway figure out how it came out to such a high price.
Finally, once the bill came in, I tried to remit payment over the phone with a credit card. Service Master told me that if I did pay with a credit card, they would charge me an additional 2.2% to cover the processing fees. Who does that? Isn't that a cost of doing business? In a nutshell, my experience with Service Master was less than satisfactory. I would never EVER recommend them to anyone.
WILLISTON, VERMONT -- In March of 2013 I had a baseboard pipe freeze and burst. It flooded part of the upstairs and most of our downstairs. I contacted our insurance agent who contacted and sent ServiceMaster to respond and give an estimate and they were contracted to clean up the water and start removing the damaged property. The guy who was in charge had a contract that needed signing and on it said I was responsible for the $500.00 deductible. We talked and he told me "we'll work it out", indicating they probably would absorb it into the estimate.
ServiceMaster completed their job and a construction company, Bergeron Construction from Keene, NH, which I would highly recommend, was called in to do the repairs. They were in many instances were disgusted at the way ServiceMaster HD done their job such as leaving parts that had to be removed still attached, just basically not doing the job. The foreman for Bergeron had to call them on several different occasions to return to the house to complete the work.
Anyway, Bergeron completed the job and I'm a satisfied customer with Bergeron Construction. I received several payments from the insurance company and immediately forwarded them to the appropriate companies and thought everybody was square.
On January 4th, 2014 I received a snotty letter along with a bill from the collections dept of ServiceMaster. This is the first correspondence I ever received from them. The letter said how they had responded in a timely manner and properly handled and managed the damages and how I owed them a balance for costs the incurred to the tune of $500.00. Now I was sure that the guy in charge when they first arrived said it was going to be absorbed into the estimate. Now they pulled this on me. I'm wondering if they are double dipping, having the employees work up the estimate and then hit the homeowner for the deductible which would be free money for the company.
I called the company and spoke to a woman named ** whom didn't take long for tempers and voices to rise. To make a long story short, she told me I had to pay the total amount and that it was not their problem that this bill was almost one year old. She claimed it was tied up in the insurance companies hands.
I shouldn't have played the cancer card but my temper got the best of me and I told her I have terminal lung cancer and if she couldn't work with me on this bill, like making payments, the company may not get a dime because I'm going to be dead from cancer in six months (according to my oncologist who told me this 2 months ago so it really may be four months). I told her again about the dates of the construction and the billing and I could not dish out $500.00 just like that.
She told me she was going to call me the next day with a plan and I'd have to accept it. I told her I may not answer because I had a doctors appt and she said "you'd better call back within a day if I leave a message" and hung up on me. This was on January 8th, 2014. No one called until January 13, 2014 and I told her that a plan had to be worked out that it was unreasonable to expect me to pay $500.00 in 13 days. She pretty much said she didn't care and she felt sorry for people who had cancer because there were people like me who claimed to have it and using it as an excuse. I hung up on her after a few choice words.
I then called her supervisor who said she had heard the conversation and she said the $500.00 was due at the end of the month and furthermore she didn't care that the bill was tied up with the insurance company and she was going to charge me 18% interest monthly on the bill for the past year even though the insurance company had the bill. So that is my complaint that these people may be double dipping. They are definitely not customer friendly when it comes to paying a bill. I probably will pay the bill but it will be after I file a complaint with the Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Division and a payment plan with no interest.
CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- "Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure", or so the saying goes. On December 28, 2012, my husband Arnold and I bought the home that was to be the fulfillment of our lifelong dream. On June 1, 2013, that home flooded from the top down, as a result of a ruptured toilet supply pipe.
We called our insurance company and they told us to call ServiceMaster Professional Cleaning of Chambersburg to do the dry-out. We did, and, not knowing any better, we also hired them to do the renovation/repair work (to the tune of our $24000 insurance settlement!), based on the prompt and professional response of their dry-out team, and on the fact that they said they could begin working on the house right away, and would probably be done by September. Since it was mid-summer and all the other contractors in our area were pretty well booked up, that sounded pretty good, and so we went ahead and hired them to do the job.
Five months later, we fired them. Our home was still not finished - nearly every phase of the repair had been bungled: the recently installed drywall needed to be cut open to repair wiring damaged by ServiceMaster "professionals" while reinstalling the electrical receptacles, and to insert a beam in the kitchen that the drywallers "forgot" needed to be installed; our curtains and cabinets, which were undamaged by the water, were badly damaged by ServiceMaster personnel, and our kitchen was still a tent in the backyard and a BBQ grill.
Now here it is Christmastime, here we sit in our ruined house, and we have to come up with more money to pay a different contractor to repair the things that ServiceMaster Professional Cleaning messed up, such as leveling out the drywall around the windows and doors so that the woodwork can be installed; $300 to an electrician to reinstall the outlets that ServiceMaster's team of "professionals" loused up by cutting the openings in the drywall too large, and still more to patch the holes in the drywall after the fix is done;
$172 to the furnace repairman to replace an electrical connection between the furnace and the thermostat, shorted out when ServiceMaster's demolition team tore the thermostat out of the wall along with the paneling it sat on, without turning off the power supply to the thermostat; money to a carpenter to actually install the support beam that ServiceMaster said they had installed, but didn't... the list goes on and on.
Perhaps the biggest insult of all is that we actually paid $637 of our insurance settlement money for a portajohn for the ServiceMaster employees, who used it for a total of five weeks, even though it sat here in our yard and ON OUR DIME for six months, and all the while, we thought that SERVICEMASTER was paying for it!!!
NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS -- Used this service for immediate drying of a basement area caused by water back up from power outage/sump pump. This company immediately determined all carpet needed to be removed (although they were called within hours of it getting wet). Then they proceeded to dry a concrete floor for 3 days, claiming the walls had gotten wet. Our insurance company paid them over $3000 for "removing carpet". Once we saw the detailed bill, we realized we had been taken. They claimed the walls were wet, they had readings and needed to keep equipment there. Total scam - do not use this service!
ST. LOUIS PARK, MINNESOTA -- The city of Eagan, MN's sewer backed up into my basement and of course it was not their fault. So I called ServiceMaster on a Saturday to give me some help. VALUABLE LESSON. This is why you never do anything without an estimate up front. The tech for ServiceMaster ** called me and said they were on their way at about 330 pm. I asked him how much he thought this would cost. He said he would talk to me when he got to my house about the cost. When he and a helper arrived around 4 he said he was unable to give us an estimate because the office was closed on the weekend.
He made us feel better by telling my wife and me that ServiceMaster was willing to work with the homeowner when insurance companies were not involved. ** and his helper did a great job and did it very quickly. My family and I moved the furniture; they cut the carpet into squares and hauled it out to their truck and then vacuumed the floor dry and sprayed an anti-microbial agent to kill the germs. They were gone after about 3 hours and 45 minutes. I also rented 5 fans and a dehumidifier to help dry out the basement. ** was able to tell me the cost of renting the equipment. 10 days later I received an invoice for $3770.80. I was shocked.
I thought maybe a $1000.00 for labor, because it was on a weekend, plus the rental fee for the equipment, which was another $600. I complained to Todd their representative in St. Louis Park, MN about the high cost and he did make some adjustments down to $3479.99. Everything was charged by the square foot. I still do not understand why they could not have given me an estimate if it was based on square footage since they were standing in my basement. So remember to get an estimate up front.
I feel like they are taking advantage of me and I have learned a valuable lesson not to trust people when they act like they are doing you a favor and trying to help you. I realize people have to make a living, but this really seems extreme. I have emailed them a few times about resolving this, but they do not respond.
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA -- Service Masters, Shreveport LA, located at 851 Hope St., Shreveport, La 71101 was called to do water restoration work on my master bedroom and master bath after a water leak. Service Master came and installed blower fans and dehumidifiers that were NOT HEPA filtered air filtration devices that are required for a water restoration job. During the initial visit Service Master's technician confirmed that there was no signs of mold. I hired a mold inspector who confirmed that there was no mold. However she raised concerns that there were no HEPA filtered air filtration devices without which there was a higher chance of mold growing.
She also recommended spraying mold retardant immediately. Even after multiple reminders to Service Masters in the coming days, the mold retardant was NOT sprayed. No mold retardant was sprayed even a week LATER. No mold retardant was sprayed even on the day the fans were taken out. Service Master technician casually forgot to bring the equipment to spray the mold retardant.
At this point the sheetrock had started to discolor. I hired a mold inspector who confirmed that the discoloration on the sheetrock was mold. I called Service Masters multiple times but they didn't pick up my phone calls. A day later they came and sprayed the mold retardant but it was already too late.
Service Masters Shreveport, LA is definitely not equipped to do any water restoration job. They DO NOT HAVE the required filtered air filtration devices. They did not spray mold retardant in a timely manner. Mold/fungal control and inhibition steps were not completed by Service Master within the time frame required to prevent the mold from growing.
Because of their negligent behavior mold was allowed to grow. Airborne Mold and Fungi in air is very dangerous especially for toddlers and pregnant woman. I have a 2 year old and I had to pay out of pocket to do mold restoration on top of the water restoration due to negligence and unprofessional service provided by Service Master.
On top of it Service Masters, Shreveport LA DID NOT take responsibility of their negligence and UNPROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE. During the whole fiasco I was told the management was on spring break and would address my issue once they are back. I cannot imagine how a company is just put on a standstill if the management is on spring break!! A month and several emails and phone calls later, my issue still remain unresolved. No steps have been taken by Service Master to rectify their mistakes. TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL!! I am shocked that Service Masters would franchise their name to such management!
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- On July 24th 2013 a defective toaster caused a kitchen fire in our home. I am a single mother of three teenagers and my daughter has just had a child. We did not have renters insurance but my landlord had homeowners insurance that he had been carrying for a lot of years. Service Masters got the contract through the insurance agency to restore the home. I was given 4 days to remove the entire contents of our home and find another place for us all to stay.
My landlord told me it could take anywhere from three weeks to a month for them to complete the job. Rent has been paid consistently on time every month, even the last two in which I haven't even occupied the premises. I spoke with my landlord today and he informed me that he spoke with the Service Master's overseer of the project and this man informed him that they were at a standstill until the cabinets they had ordered came in, could be this week or next. It has been six weeks already and I am broke and broken!
How does one get a company moving? I have watched the house sit empty numerous days and when someone did show up to work two weeks after the incident took place, there was only one man, who worked for another two weeks. How does a company that big not have enough people and our economy is screaming for jobs?
It seems to me that if they can rebuild a house in one week as we see on the popular Home Makeover show that someone who is getting paid handsomely could equally do the same, not that I expected that really, but six weeks and still counting seems ridiculous to me, especially with a family who is homeless as a result. Where is the compassion?
COMMERCE DRIVE, MICHIGAN -- Basement got wet due to some pump failure. It was 4 hrs. old and they came in and tore out my carpeting and put tons of equipment where only half of them worked. The equipment was filthy and had a horrible odor. They said it would take 3 to 4 weeks to dry. When they left still several machines were not even on. Bad experience. Ruined my wood floor hauling wet carpet through the house. When I saw the insurance bill they charged for all the machines that were not running. Do not hire this company. You will inevitably be sorry.
STEVENSVILLE, MICHIGAN -- The insurance company said to call these people for water remediation after my roof leaked causing plaster ceiling and wall damage. ** said "Don't worry. It can't get worse." He never wrote out what was to be done nor a schedule. He orchestrated a chaotic destructive and illogical disastrous demolition. He had a dehumidifier set up (why? the entire ceilings were dripping, looking back it just doesn't make sense to do this everything's demo'd). The dehumidifier leaked all over the already wet floor, contributing further to damage.
Workers put plastic bags (not large enough) over the bookcases. They did not protect the chair nor table nor sofa so I put sheets over them. Again, in retrospect, WHY didn't they put this furniture in the bedrooms?? It's relatively easy. They did not protect the bedrooms, the cold air returns, nor the heating ducts from the debris. I put towels under the bedroom doors but didn't think of the furnace till after. The electrical box, the boards holding it, and the light fixture itself were PULLED out of the WET ceiling by the workers, THEY never shut off the breakers!!! They broke two windows. They chipped and gouged the 1930's trim around the windows.
They tore down a support column, which then tore 2 feet of plaster and lath away from the wall which was not to be demo'd. At this point I was so shattered with dealing with all these stressors and with ** continuing confabulations surrounding these "incidents". He left the broken wall (in its entirety, including the part they had broken). When they tore down this support post, it necessitated removing the post on the other side and the arch. This then resulted in my having to replaster and repaint two other walls that had not been damaged. They also left a huge strip of lath along the edges of the ceiling.
The workers had also torn away wall paper border that was not to be pulled. AND it was NOT necessary at all for them to remove all the lath, only the lath that was damaged. In particular, the lath in the walls did not have to be removed. This is making restoration more difficult because a "layer" of the room is now gone. I was going to say, this made fitting the old baseboard difficult...
FORGOT to say, when they pried off the baseboard it was as if for a demo. It is deeply gouged along the edges and has cracks. I would have liked to re-use the 1X8's from this house built in 1929. I signed off just to get rid of them, but with a statement to have them fix the wiring on the sign off. It has cost me so much money and time to fix the disasters THEY caused. I hope that NO one ever ever uses them. PLEASE.
BURLINGTON, VERMONT -- After having an ice jam this past winter we needed a drying company to come in and mitigate the mold. Servicemaster was prompt but quickly cut a hole in the ceiling near the ice jam and proceeded to blow warm air right up onto the roof. This was after my questioning and speaking with a manager who insisted that this was normal practice. Needless to say, the ice jam problem quickly tripled in size. During this same visit the Servicemaster representative cut out part of our downstairs bathroom ceiling due to water damage. While doing this, balanced on the tub and toilet he broke the toilet bowl. Have they ever heard of a step ladder?
This was the least of the problem as vermiculite came pouring down on the service tech. Not knowing the dangers of asbestos in vermiculite, we didn't immediately question his cursory sweeping of the debris and the fans that they, once again, turned on to dry things out. Needless to say we were mortified when another professional warned us of the dangers of vermiculite and couldn't believe how they turned the high power blowers on and didn't isolate the area.
After much hoopla with the insurance company we were relocated for several days while another independent contractor in New Jersey checked the vermiculite samples for asbestos. Lucky there was none. When questioned the manager stated that they had NO policy for vermiculite.
I had to fire the company and nearly stand in between our roofing contractor who was called in to chop the massive ice off the roof above where they were pumping in hot air. I truly believe he was mad enough to flatten the manager. What a mess. DO NOT use this company. Try Servpro. When they came in the first thing they did was give us their hazardous materials information and deal with the problem in an intelligent manner.