Wow, what a story I have for you unsuspecting readers! I’m going to give you the shortened version and spare many of the boring details. :)
So, many of you have heard me talk about the problems I have been having with a company Nathan and I bought a water softener from back in February called Water Quest. We were told when we bought it that they would move it for free within a year (we were anticipating moving at the time). A few months later, a lady called me to see if I wanted the unit serviced. I explained that we hadn’t even had it a year yet and didn’t need it serviced, but that we would need it moved. She gladly made the appointment for me. The time came, and they sent their guy to move our softener. After waiting for him for 4 hours, and waiting another 3 hours for him to move it less than a block away, he charged me $300. I was late for my closing, so I wrote the check and told him I’d take it up with Water Quest.
On top of that, when they installed the softener at our first address, the installer ripped out a huge portion of drywall in our furnace room, thus creating a fire hazard which we had to fix before we could sell the condo. Water Quest did send someone to repair it free of charge, but it looked horrible and should have been fixed in the first place.
Back to our move. A couple weeks after moving in, we went to the Home Remodeling Expo and Water Quest was there with two employees. We talked to them and explained what had happened, and they assured us that the company usually did free moves for new customers and to call the owner who would take care of us. I called the owner a few days later and left a message. He never called back, so I called again…and again…and again. Finally, he called me back and proceeded to explain that they don’t usually do free moves, but rather did an “exchange” where they sell our buyer the old unit and get us a new one. I explained that we had been told by 4 different people in his company that they would move it for free, and he told me he would be happy to pay me the money if I would give him the name and number of our buyer so he could try to sell her a unit to come up with the extra money. But he assured me he would pay me back either way and to give him a couple of weeks. I agreed and promptly called their secretary back with the information he wanted.
About 4 weeks later, I still had not heard from him. I called and left a message…nothing. I called and called and called and every time was told that he would get right back to me, he was just really busy. One time I even left a very frustrated voicemail where I made it clear that I was getting to the end of my rope and hoped that would invite a call back. Still, nothing. I felt deliberately ignored and, quite frankly, scammed.
I was seething over it in the shower this morning, when the idea popped into my head to call Get Gephardt on KUTV. When I get something in my head, it’s hard to get out. So, I went online and emailed the station. Within a few hours, I had a phone call back. They told me they were going to look into it. A few minutes later, they called again and told me that if I drove down to Water Quest there would be a check waiting for me. Hallelujah!
When I arrived at the Water Quest office, I could overhear the owner talking on the phone to KUTV. He was obviously quite annoyed that I called them. They finally realized I was there and he came out and confronted me. He basically tried to make me feel horrible for what I did and reluctantly handed me the check. He told me that he had it on his list to call me yesterday and didn’t, and now he was facing this bad press with KUTV. I just looked at him and told him that he should look at it from my perspective. I felt completely ignored and it would have taken one 5 minute phone call to avoid this whole thing. Oh…he also used the fact that they sent the drywall guy out for free to make me feel even more guilty. Come on! That was their fault in the first place!
Anyway, now that I have my check, I am happy. I honestly do like our softener (besides the fact that it was really expensive) but the business needs some work. Their installer is completely unaware of any sense of time and was not very considerate of our property when installing the unit. And the owner has no email or direct phone number to get ahold of him, so that needs to change. Anyway, if you are ever considering buying a water softener from Water Quest, make sure that you clarify with them what is and is not included and be prepared to wait a really long time for any type of installation, servicing, or customer service. I think they have the potential to be a great business if they learn to take better care of their customers and have better communication within the different departments.
I am being interviewed by KUTV tomorrow so look for an episode of Get Gephardt (10pm weeknights, channel 2) starring yours truly! This will be my second time on KUTV this year (first time was back in May when I announced my pregnancy in NYC on CBS). :) It pays to Get Gephardt!
I just got a phone call from the owner, and he was very apologetic and wanted to assure me that I am still a valued customer and it was an honest mistake that had just “fallen through the cracks.” He told me not to hesitate to call if I ever need anything in the future and that this is not typical of their company. He knows I am yet to interview with KUTV, but his phone call seemed very sincere. I do feel better knowing that there won’t be any hard feelings in the future. And hopefully this company does have a long future, since the softener has a lifetime guarantee and it would be nice to have the company that sold it around for that long. :)