Home Depot Complaint - Water Heater Installation Scam
FLORIDA -- Ordered by phone a replacement 50 gal electric residential water heater with installation service by a Home Depot sub-contractor. Answered various questions about the install, agreed to price and gave my credit card to be charged. Later the sub-contractor's office called to schedule the work. My install was of the quick and easy variety -- same size unit, no stairs and lots of space to work, as it was in my garage on a concrete platform.
Next day sub-contractor arrives with new water heater on his truck. He looks over the existing installation, then pulls out a tape and measures the platform height. It's 20" -- I had previously explained when ordering that it was about 18". The installer demanded an extra $70 "up charge" saying that any platform over 18" incurred this extra charge. I said $70 for 2" higher seemed absurd -- nobody had warned me about that. He became somewhat rude at that point.
I asked him to please wait a minute in my garage while I phoned his (the sub-contractor's) office. The office was firm about the policy. Not wishing to fall prey to this obvious scam, I canceled. On returning to my garage maybe 5 minutes later, I found the installer had left.
A short time later, Home Depot called to say they had gotten word from the sub-contractor that I'd canceled and that they were making $35 trip charge. After stating that I would vigorously fight any such charge because of the circumstances, the caller checked with her boss and reported the charge would not be made. We'll see.
I am very much of the view that this incident and probably other aspects of up charges for similar installs are scams. Sub-contractors to Home Depot probably give them low prices, then due to some little detail wind up making their money on exorbitant up charges...the ageless game of exploiting a consumer in distress.
In my case, I could have had a local plumber do the work on Friday but waited to have Home Depot do it on Saturday. Now I'll have to wait until Monday when the plumber's supply houses reopen. Yes, it's a considerable inconvenience to me, but I detest scams.