Cornerstone Chimney LLC Complaint - Use Threats To Force Customers To Pay Wrong Charges

Review by User123 on 2008-05-16
VIRGINIA -- I called Cornerstone Chimney LLC 1-877-317-3626 for free estimates of gutter cleaning.

1. They post "Free estimates" at the end of the "contact us" page on their website.
2. They never mentioned $45 estimates fee to me.

But then they put the estimate report with charge of $45 in my mailbox.
I called them but they threatened to use collection agencies and they abruptly hung up the phone.

I called again but they insisted there's no free estimates even though on their web page, it says so [on their website].

It's such a horrible business practice!
Comments:28 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-05-16
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-05-16:
I would print out a copy of that page, circle where it says free estimates and mail it back to them. If they turn you over to a collection agency, do the same thing to them - mail them a copy of the web page. But print it out soon, it might disappear pretty quickly.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-05-16:
Based solely on what was given on the web page I think I would have specifically asked if there would be ANY charge whatsoever.

I'm guessing they will tell you that yes, the estimate IS free. But the trip charge is $45.00.

Lesson to be learned: Nothing is free. Least of all that which is advertised as "FREE".
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-05-16:
According the the site, the estimate is free. I agree with both Hugh and tnchuck. Print the page and keep copies of it.
Next time, ask if there are any charges at all.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
when you called them, did you inquire about the "free" estimate? I always get a name or employee number to be able to hold somebody accountable.
Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
I called them and asked if they do free estimates. She said that they charge for the 'free' estimate is $65.00 and that if you get the work done with them, they don't charge you for the estimate.

Her exact words to my question were:

"Yep, we give free estimates. It's $65.00 dollars and you get that money off if you get the work done through us."

Doesn't sound like a 'free estimate' to me.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
Maybe it's what they call the "new" math.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
I have a brother who's a vendor who gives free estimates. Now with the price of gas, he won't even bother driving to a residence unless he thinks the odds of getting a profitable job is possible.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
i charge a $65.00 service call,an estimate is included.If the customer doesn't want the work done,I still charge the $65.00.
Im not going to waste my technicians time,and money I put into the gas tanks to go and give a free estimate to have the customer balk at the price quoted,and we leave empty handed....I dont work for free,and im sure NONE of you do as well.
Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
Rick and Steve:

I would agree EXCEPT for the fact that the website DOES say 'Free Estimates' not 'Estimate $65.00, charges will be subtracted from any work done'.

If they are not going to do free estimates (and it is their choice to or not to), then they need to redo their website so that it is not so misleading.

(please forgive any spelling errors-I'm fighting a migraine >_<)
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
I see what your saying Mrs.V,and I agree.They shouldn't be advertising "free estimates" when in fact they aren't free at all.

Posted by madconsumer on 2008-05-16:
as long as the money is returned, by law they can say "free estimates". does not matter if it off the final bill or upfront.

Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
Mad, I guess, but the problem is that, like in the OPs case, they came out, gave him a estimate, and then billed him. They did not warn him that there would be a charge for the free estimate.

The 'only' way to get the money back is for the OP to have this company do the work.

And I, for one, don't know that I would want that company doing the work if they are so dishonest.

Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
Doc, no need to be rude, dear.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
ill rip off whomever i want..oops

when I was starting out in this BIZ,the company I worked for advertised free estimates,but it is only if the customer agrees to do the repair,most companies bump up the labor charge to cover that cost,thats shady if you ask me
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-05-16:
An estimate is not free if they charge you for it with conditions of a sale for a rebate. That's non-disclosure advertising. I have not visited this website, but if what said here is true and there is no mention of "free" meaning off the bill only if a sale is made, I would mail a copy of the website to Virginia's attorney general office with a complaint NOW, be proactive. The company will have to answer and I doubt they will continue trying to collect this at that point. It also will prevent them from doing something stupid, like hiring a collector.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
what happened to my posts? I didnt't use curse words..did I?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
I know,but they should have left one of the posts up.I hate censorship!LOL
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
Mrs.V Dr.Who is jealous that i live in California and he is not.Right Dr.Who? LOL

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
oops..my bad.lol
Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
Sorry, doc >_<

I plead illness (migraine) for not realizing. Been fighting the dang thing all day *sigh*
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
I hate migranes.i hope yours goes away soon!
Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
Ahh, your both wrong.

Maryland is the best place ^_~
Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
Thanks ^_^
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
i live in marriedland
Posted by V on 2008-05-16:
"Mrs. V" Yep, married ^_^
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
San Jose has a great skatepark
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
Its getting that way out here in the valley.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
Down in the valley, the valley so low
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow
Hear the wind blow, dear, hear the wind blow
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow

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