A.O.Smith Informative - Will not own another A.O. Smith Water Heater
AKRON, OHIO -- This is what to expect of customer service for any warranty claim through A. O.Smith.
It all started when the pilot kept going out on just now a 2 year old water heater after each cycle.
I sent AOSmith an email stating this (4\3\09):
I purchased this heater (2) years ago to date. Since last week or so the pilot has to be reignited after every cycle. I'm thinking along the line of a thermocouple problem. Warranty should cover this correct?
No response from that after two days I sent this(4\5\09):
I submitted a question days ago, still have not received an answer. Your Customer Service is sub-par. The equipment alike. (2) years old and I have to replace parts. Will not use or refer your products in the future.
Still nothing, so I sent this(4\6\09):
4 days and still no response. You're right on top of things here. Good CS\PR you have.....which excuse will it be, First rodeo? Really busy? Family emergency? All techs are assisting others? Computers were down? Bad weather in Tibet?
Big "hurry" to take our money when purchasing your products, but thanks for "nothing" when somethings wrong with them?)
Finally, I get a response, or at least I thought it was. Typical reply from them asking for all the info that I'd already given them while registering onto their website(4\6\09):
We sincerely apologize for the delayed response to your email. We would like to ask a few questions for troubleshooting purposes. Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.
We will assume your issue has been resolved if we do not hear from you within 96 hours.
Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.<----"That's a joke!"
Pilot outages can be due to a variety of things.
We would like to help you with determining what the root cause might be, and will need the answers to some very important questions to do so:
1) When was your water heater installed?
2) When did you begin experiencing pilot outages?
3) How often is the pilot going out?
4) Does the pilot go out in conjunction with anything else in the home turning on or off or anything else that you can think of (temperature outside, winds outside, doors opening and closing)?
5) Where is the water heater installed in the home (basement, attic, closet, utility room, etc)?
6) What is the size of the room where the water heater is installed?
7) How is fresh air supplied to the water heater?
8) How is the unit vented (from water heater to outside termination, include number of elbows and degree - 45, 90, etc.)? What size vent pipe is used? What is the length of the vent?
9) What is the altitude where the water heater is installed?
10) Are you using natural gas or propane (LP)?
11) What is the system gas pressure, static and in use? And, what is the manifold gas pressure, static and in use?
*A plumber with a digital manometer will be able to check the gas pressure readings.
12) If this is a flammable vapor ignition resistant model (FVIR/C3), is the LDO screen (Lint, Dust, and Oil screen) clean and properly in place? (If the LDO screen was not in place or if it is dirty, there could also be debris within the water heater clogging the corderite disk and blocking air flow).
*The LDO screen is located on the front of the water heater, beneath the burner chamber. It is a black screen, similar to what you find on your household dryer.
13) How many people are using this water heater?
14) If you have a digital camera, it would be helpful if you could send pictures of the installation from water heater to termination outside. If you can do this, we will need them in. jpg or. jpeg format.
(I waited 80+ hrs for you to only be given 96 hrs to reply back to a 14 part questionnaire with requests of pictures and a manometer? What is this BS? Already gave date of installation, problems that are happening, serial & model #'s, name, info, first born...etc etc I've answered enough of your questions now please answer mine? I have receipt of purchase of the water-heater (2) years ago to date of the second of three submissions (4\3\07)I've sent to you. I've already had a licensed H\AC contractor here and diagnosed that the thermocouple is bad. Question is: Is replacement of the thermocouple for a just now (2) year old AOSmith 40gT Pro Max Gas Water Heater under warranty?)
(We apologize first of all that you had to wait for a response. I was out of the office due to a family emergency.) <----"Hmm, What did I tell you?"
(The thermocouple on this unit cannot be replaced as an independent part. The entire pilot assembly would need to be replaced. If your plumber feels this is the problem with the unit then he may go through the local distributor for the part in warranty however, if the problem continues we will not be able to assist you further without troubleshooting.
(Troubleshooting has already been assessed and diagnosed the thermocouple\assembly is bad? What will I need to pick up this [Quote:\]for the part in warranty[UnQuote:\]? I purchased and picked up the heater from the distributor, it will be myself (not the plumber) going to get the part.)
(You would need to contact the distributor where you purchased the unit to determine what they will require from you for the part in warranty.
(This is the whole reason I've contacted you or (A. O.Smith). The distributor where I purchased the heater from is no longer practical to which is why I followed instructions (As listed under "claim procedure"). The part in warranty that you referenced (thermocouple assembly) for the Pro Max GCV 6yr tank\6yr parts Ser#M06AO27556 Mod#GCV 40 100. All required warranty applications are in accordance as specified under terms and conditions. (See attachments) [Quote:\] A. O.Smith Water Heaters (the warrantor) will furnish the ORIGINAL OWNER, 1) a replacement A. O.Smith water heater of equivalent size and current model if the glass-lined tank in this water heater leaks and, 2) a replacement part for any component part which fails.[UnQuote:\] Photo's show proof of purchase per residential installation, residential gas warranty and rating plate.
I've purchased this heater to "heat" my water, it's not doing so. I've logged onto your website and sent the claim of the thermocouple assembly not working properly almost a week ago. Six days later you've referred me back to the original distributor along with apology including an unfortunate family emergency? All the while I'm still without hot-water. Please, just supply the name of a local (A. O.Smith) distributor that has the part in stock, address, phone # and a claim reference # to pick it up. Regards,)
The closest distributors in your area are Wolff Brothers and Johnstone Supply. A reference number is not necessary for warranty however, I do need to be sure you are aware that our distributors are wholesale only and some will only work with plumbers and contractors.
Thank You, Mary
The warranty doesn't say anything about wholesale, or retail distributors. Nor does it say this requires a plumber or contractor is needed to pick up a replacement heater or parts. Says under "Claim Procedure" Any claim under this warranty should be initiated with the dealer who sold the heater, (or with "any" other dealer handling the warrantor's products). Now I went to both Wolff Bros and Johnstone, they won't warrant the part because I don't have acct's there. To which is why I've been talking to you. Since there's already question on your behalf of knowing the difficulty of myself obtaining it through a wholesaler, why did you refer them?
I've received apologies for delays and family emergencies, asked and answered (with photo's) numerous questions for troubleshooting, had a licensed plumber diagnose thermo-couple being bad, referrals to wholesalers that won't help, no hot-water for over two weeks. I believe I've done everything just short of giving up my first born in obtaining this part. These actions alone should warrant a resolution on A. O.Smith's behalf of any further issue with cost of shipping\delivery charges of the part. If you cannot help in furnishing such request, please refer this matter to someone there that can.
This is the stores policy and it would have to be followed. Typically, they will charge you up front and reimburse you when the claim is filed. The other option would be to contact our Customer Care Center and the part can be sent out however, you will be charged for the shipping. The rates are:
UPS Ground $10.00
UPS 2nd Day Air $25.00
UPS Next Day Air $50.00
I have A. O.Smiths (warrantors) policy and it would have to be followed. This is your product, not the distributors. I've already spent seven days and well over the price for shipping costs with this charade following your referrals. What part of the last few emails that I sent don't you understand that those distributors will "not" warrant the part because they are wholesale only? Meaning, can't even "purchase" the part there to be reimbursed...... "contact our Customer Care Center"? I asked you to do such prior to your last five replies. I feel you have been biased, and done nothing but give sub-par answers, family emergency excuses, and run-arounds. Everything that you've presented has only escalated the problem. Nothing you've stated coincides with the warranty at hand. As stated in my last reply, I no longer wish to deal with you on this matter. Send this email of it's entirety over to whomever "manages" the customer care center to get my part. Not a customer care associate, the manager.
As of (4\8\09) I requested that I be sent to a CCC(Customer Care Center)Mary(A.O.Smith) replied (4\9\09) a run-around and made reference of contacting the CCC, I replied back yet again (4\9\09) to actually have this claim sent to CCC, it's now (4\12\09) and still had no assisstance\service from anyone from A.O.Smith.
Will update as it proceeds.......still in the works here.
As of Monday(4\13\09)Rapidly Replied:
I have sent your request to the supervisor.
Note: Due to a CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: Problem Resolved!
I do not (Recommend) by shown e.g. A.O.Smith heaters due to homeowner difficulty in finding\getting warranted parts. This is "my personal experience".
Hope this helped in your decision whether "YAY" or "NAY"?
Thanx for reading my (E-"vent"),