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Water Mitigation Scam
Posted by Andibolan on 08/21/2012
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!

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Posted by Dave on 2013-06-29:
As a ServiceMaster franchise myself we are obliged to follow the IICRC standards which are guide lines for best practices. According to this standard your carpet was affect by cat. 2 water. The standard strongly recommends removal of the carpet and pad. As for drying the cement and walls, there is a standard that must be meet or it's possible that a mold issue could arise. We have moisture meters to check for high levels of moisture. Believe me the insurance companies know all of this and our jobs are audited. If there were any wrong doing than they would have contacted the vendor, and most likely not have paid the invoice.
Posted by Pete on 2013-09-13:
Same scam different day.
Called Service-master for water extraction from wet carpets.
What should have been a $500 (Holiday weekend rate) ended up being blown way out of proportion and Servicemaster charging $30,000 for drying equipment that was packed together so tightly that there was no walking room. They obviously get paid per blower per 24 hour period. Once we mistakenly signed what we thought was an authorization for water extraction (no copy was given to us an we made it clear there was no insurance for failed sump pump), they went nuts, exagerating the damages and tearing the place up. Good thing we have pictures before they started. Repeated requests for cost estimates from the job foreman were ignored once they had their sneaky authorization form signed. Remember, they left no copy. SCAMMERS!!!!!
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Servicemaster Customer Service is a joke
Posted by Tmccarthy23 on 09/14/2011
Servicemaster (SM) was contracted by our insurance company due to water damage that we had in our finished basement. They came on a Thursday evening to do the work. We were promised that they would contact us over the next three days to see how things were going with the equipment and the humidity level in our home. We were also told that someone would come to our home to double check the progress and the equipment. Of course, that never happened. We called the company and did not receive a call back regarding this.
In addition, I had to call to schedule an appointment for them to return to our home. However, they failed to show up at the scheduled time. We called during business hours and had to speak with an answering service. All told, we left 9 messages over a 4 hour time period to try to find out what was going on, and never received a call back. The following day, I again had to call to not just complain, but to have someone come get the equipment, that has now put a burden on my electric system. When I did reach someone, they actually said, "Well, let's see if I can get someone to your home today; I may not be able to." Rest assured, that was not acceptable. They did send someone to our home to retrieve their things and to check to see if the finished basement was dry.
I filed a complaint with the BBB in our area and I implore you to go elsewhere for your restoration needs. I wouldn't allow these guys anywhere near your home. They clearly could care less about customers.
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Posted by Alain on 2011-09-15:
Be sure and tell the claims adjuster and your insurance agent that this company did not do a good job for you.
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Don't Hire This Company
Posted by Billiehammel99 on 02/19/2014
One employee has been late 2 days in a row, never called. They have just started this job 2 days ago .They might get more work done if they did less [removed] and playing with their phones. Very unsatisfied with this company.
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Stay away from ServiceMaster Cleaning
Posted by Mgbolduc on 01/13/2014
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 disqusted 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. Anyways, 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 Layla 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 further more 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.

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Posted by jim bean on 2014-04-15:
It would be un ethical to not charge you your deductible as it is in your contract with your insurance company if you never payed your deductible and the insurance company found out you would be in breach of your contract an could or would be sued for the hole amount it would look as if you and the restoration company were trying to rip off your insurance as for the amount of money that the restoration company charges for there services that is not really any of your business as your insurance has picked up the bill and they know what is being charged and if they felt that it was excessive the would not pay it.
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ServiceMaster of Chambersburg Botched our Home Repair
Posted by Cindyjeanne2003 on 12/11/2013
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 the fact 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!!!
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2013-12-11:
I suggest hiring an attorney and engaging a civil suit against them.
Posted by cindyjeanne2003 on 2013-12-30:
I looked into that - the attorney said that I had a good case, but recommended that I sue them myself because his fees would use up nearly a third of the money that I'd get from them
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Destroyed Furniture and Ed the Manager Is Rude and Will Not Fix Anything
Posted by Andrea011457 on 09/11/2013
BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZONA -- My washing machine over flowed and I called Service Masters to come out to get all the water out and dried. The gentlemen that came out were the best. On the other hand the Manager Ed, was rude and he damaged 1 of my recliners that had been brought back out to me. I called him and he never returned my call. My insurance company had to call him to return my call. He denied all the slits in the chair and flat out didn't care. He said to me "Where's my money?" The insurance adjuster went to Service Masters and told me that my recliner was in perfect shape.

When Ed brought it back it was a mess. The main room that got most of the water had carpet in it that was like NEW. Ed threw it away and will not replace it. How he manages this business is beyond me. Never again will I use this company because of him. It took him 4 weeks to return all our furniture and I have now noticed more damage to my furniture. I am taking this to the Corporate office to file a complaint against him.

Hopefully I can save someone else from having to suffer like we did. All we had to sit on was a couch w/ no cushions and a recliner with slits in it that will soon open up and not be able to be used. The chair was my mother's who had passed which made this whole issue more upsetting. Please note that the guys that came out to do the work were GREAT. They are Jake and John. I feel bad that these 2 great guys work for such an a**
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Not Efficient on Time Frame of Restoration After a House Fire.
Posted by Veryblessed24 on 09/11/2013
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?
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Wet Basement
Posted by Noreply on 06/28/2013
COMMERCE DRIVE, MICHIGAN -- Basement got wet due to sump 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.

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Disaster Services? Yes, if you want a disaster call them...
Posted by Larjmarj on 10/10/2012
STEVENSVILLE, MICHIGAN -- The insurance company said to call these people for water remediation after my roof leaked causing plaster ceiling and wall damage.
Ken 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 disasterous 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 eazy. 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 Ken's continuing confabulations surrounding these "incidents". He left the broken wall ( in it's 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 necessary 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.
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Caused twice the problem they were called in for! - Burlington, VT
Posted by EJB on 08/09/2011
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.
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Posted by Alain on 2011-08-11:
File an official complaint with the New Jersey consumer protection agency via http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm
It sounds like you've had the problem addressed by the insurnace company, but if this hasn't covered your damages you may wish to consult an attorney.
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