Results 1 to 29 of 29
  1. #1
    Jacques Mountain's Avatar
    Jacques Mountain Guest

    Cool Better Business Bureau Complaint

    I recently received a letter from the BBB about a complaint against our company. It was stated that the homeowner wants a full refund of her home inspection. It was stated that " the inspector did not find a broken sewer cleanout in the front yard." I responded by telling the client that it was a visual inspection and she said her plumber knew it was broken just by touching the pipes. I refused to give her the money back and her we are. Just wanted some feedback.

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    I have to say, I have never kicked or "felt" a sewer cleanout out in the yard, may have overlooked many broken ones. I have noted a few missing caps or obviously broken pipes (above ground). If it were me, I would offer to pay the cost of the repair. But no refund unless she signs a release of liability for any future claims. If that's all she can come up with, you probably did pretty well.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    I recently received a letter from the BBB about a complaint against our company. It was stated that the homeowner wants a full refund of her home inspection. It was stated that " the inspector did not find a broken sewer cleanout in the front yard." I responded by telling the client that it was a visual inspection and she said her plumber knew it was broken just by touching the pipes. I refused to give her the money back and her we are. Just wanted some feedback.
    Did the seller, or her movers break it by driving over it ?

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Some more detail about the situation would be helpful.

    Did the client contact you prior to filing her complaint with the BBB?
    If she did, what was your response?
    Where exactly was the break in the cleanout (above grade, 1, 2, 3, 4 feet below grade level)?
    What does your inspection agreement say that may or not address this situation?


    If you really feel confident the issue is nothing you could have determined during the course of a home inspection, than you may want to stick to your guns. She's already filed a complaint with the BBB against you which will show up as a smudge against you regardless of the outcome of this.

    Did you have any contact with her prior to her filing the BBB complaint?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  5. #5
    Jacques Mountain's Avatar
    Jacques Mountain Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    The seller did contact me before the BBB call. The sewer cleanout is below grade about 3 feet and the price she paid for the repair was $600, which was way more than the inspection price. The client sent pictures of the plumbers work and asked me to refund the inspection price. I told her "no" due to it not being visible. She has been very unreasonable throughout the whole communication process.The plumber has tried to discredit my work from the day he showed up to help her. He told her that I could not have inspected the homes plumbing because the water was off at the meter when he got there. I kindly told the buyer that I cut the water off when I left per the agent. So by the time, he finds the broken pipes (which he may have done himself), she was smokin !!
    Yes, I do have a signed inspection agreement about it being a visible inspection. But she believes her plumber because he told her, all I had to do was just move the sewer cleanout pipe above ground and I would have known it was broken. Yeah Right!!!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Respond to the BBB with the facts and copy of your contract. Just because she wants a refund, does not mean she is entitled to one, but I might give her the refund just to clean up the mess. BUT she would have to sign a release and agree to rescind the mess with the BBB and I would admit NO liability if I was not at fault. Did she abide by any terms to notify you and permit your inspection (assuming that is in your contract)?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    all I had to do was just move the sewer cleanout pipe above ground and I would have known it was broken
    I always love this argument..... all you had to do was know which loose part you had to pull on. They're right..... EXCEPT to find the one that is loose you have to pull on EVERY part of the house.

    It could be the loose brick on the chimney, tile on the counter top. The rotted but painted siding board, the nearly rusted through garbage disposal.

    Or, know which of the seller's belongings to move. It's easy... all you had to do was pull up one small piece or carpet to find the damaged floor. Or, move one bin in the attic to find the leak stain.

    Unfortunately, these people lack common sense and we learn it too late.

    I'd say the good news for the OP is the BBB is just a fraction of what it once was. Dare I even say totally meanlingless? Maybe it's a regional thing but around here the only time I ever hear about it is once a year when I answer the phone and there's someone from the BBB trying to extort money from me to keep my "good standing".... whatever that is good for?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    A good example of why you should not belong to the BBB! If you are not a member they do not take complaints, unless they can see it being used as publicity.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    You should send a letter to the client and copy BBB stating the facts and documenting the phone calls, etc.
    Explain about defects that are not visible (as outlined in your contract I hope), and tell them that you do not have a crystal ball, nor x-ray vision. How it would have been impossible for you, or anyone to see something that is 3 feet below the ground.
    I would not offer them anything. However, if you think that she may take you to court, and you don't want to take time off from work to deal with that, then refund her inspection fee (hope you have that clause in your contract), after she has signed a full release.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winfield, IL
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    I recently received a letter from the BBB about a complaint against our company. It was stated that the homeowner wants a full refund of her home inspection. It was stated that " the inspector did not find a broken sewer cleanout in the front yard." I responded by telling the client that it was a visual inspection and she said her plumber knew it was broken just by touching the pipes. I refused to give her the money back and her we are. Just wanted some feedback.
    Jacques,

    Are you BBB accredited?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    BBB just called me a few weeks ago. After listening to their non-profit, consumer advocate spiel, the final damage came to $300 to register.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  12. #12
    Jacques Mountain's Avatar
    Jacques Mountain Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Jim Luttrall-
    She did not contact me prior to having the plumber do the work and allow for me to do a re-inspect. However, what would there be to re-inspect when it is underground? I do have a inspection agreement that says to contact me 72-hours before any repairs are made. She told me that she did not want to pay for the plumber to come out again, so she told him to go ahead and fix it!!!

    Eric Williams-
    No, I am not accredited by the BBB. They made that clear to me when the contacted me. They let me know that if I was accredited, they would cover arbitration but since I am not, I would have to pay $500.

    Jack Feldmann-
    I have contacted the BBB in writing and they send the response to the home owner. I am sticking to my guns.

    The lastest update from the BBB this morning. They buyer NOW wants the inspection fee PLUS the $600 she paid to the plumber for the repair!!!


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    Jim Luttrall-
    She did not contact me prior to having the plumber do the work and allow for me to do a re-inspect. However, what would there be to re-inspect when it is underground? I do have a inspection agreement that says to contact me 72-hours before any repairs are made. She told me that she did not want to pay for the plumber to come out again, so she told him to go ahead and fix it!!!

    Eric Williams-
    No, I am not accredited by the BBB. They made that clear to me when the contacted me. They let me know that if I was accredited, they would cover arbitration but since I am not, I would have to pay $500.

    Jack Feldmann-
    I have contacted the BBB in writing and they send the response to the home owner. I am sticking to my guns.

    The lastest update from the BBB this morning. They buyer NOW wants the inspection fee PLUS the $600 she paid to the plumber for the repair!!!
    You stated that the clean out was underground or covered at least. If that is a fact I would tell them to pound sand. Unless of course you are superman and can see thru ground.

    If it stuck up above ground and was PVC It could have been broken by anyone including a lawn service. If you did see it and it was not broken I stick to my first reply.

    If you did see it and did not report on it then, UH OH. As far as the inspection fee and 600 they are out of their minds. Dig around a pipe, add a new clean out.....600, I don't think so. Your inspection fee should be more than enough to cover it. If the plumber charged her 600 then she is an idiot for paying that much.

    If she was suppose to contact you first and did not then I would still tell them to pound sand. In Texas the client must contact the inspector before any repairs are done or for that mater before they call anyone else to come in.

    I have folks on occassion that try to get me for a leak under a sink months after the inspection. I take pictures under every sink and fixture. They always get pissed and I never hear from them again.

    This whole thing about paying for it and it will go away is insane. We would be paying for anyone's whim.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winfield, IL
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    Jim Luttrall-
    She did not contact me prior to having the plumber do the work and allow for me to do a re-inspect. However, what would there be to re-inspect when it is underground? I do have a inspection agreement that says to contact me 72-hours before any repairs are made. She told me that she did not want to pay for the plumber to come out again, so she told him to go ahead and fix it!!!

    Eric Williams-
    No, I am not accredited by the BBB. They made that clear to me when the contacted me. They let me know that if I was accredited, they would cover arbitration but since I am not, I would have to pay $500.

    Jack Feldmann-
    I have contacted the BBB in writing and they send the response to the home owner. I am sticking to my guns.

    The lastest update from the BBB this morning. They buyer NOW wants the inspection fee PLUS the $600 she paid to the plumber for the repair!!!
    Jacques,

    Interesting.. If you were accredited I would have suggested that you should pay to keep your BBB rating intact.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    Jim Luttrall-
    She did not contact me prior to having the plumber do the work and allow for me to do a re-inspect. However, what would there be to re-inspect when it is underground? I do have a inspection agreement that says to contact me 72-hours before any repairs are made. She told me that she did not want to pay for the plumber to come out again, so she told him to go ahead and fix it!!!

    Eric Williams-
    No, I am not accredited by the BBB. They made that clear to me when the contacted me. They let me know that if I was accredited, they would cover arbitration but since I am not, I would have to pay $500.

    Jack Feldmann-
    I have contacted the BBB in writing and they send the response to the home owner. I am sticking to my guns.

    The lastest update from the BBB this morning. They buyer NOW wants the inspection fee PLUS the $600 she paid to the plumber for the repair!!!
    If the BBB doesn't cover arbitration then why are they contacting you with her new demands? Other than an effort to extort a fee. Unless you pony up BBB $500 you will have what ever they report there, good or bad (and to what degree ).

    What is your state SOP for physical manipulating items to be inspected?
    If beyond the scope of your State SOP, was it beyond your contract of what was to be inspected and or methodology to inspect, do you normally physically manipulate exterior clean outs in other inspections you have done noting the result.
    Without you having the the ability to revisit the site before work was started you have no idea if there were other factors involved in the clean out being cracked.

    Not a Legal Weasel,
    1) She failed to conform to your the contract to inform you with 72 hrs.
    2) Repair was not an emergency.
    3) Her decision on not wanting to pay plumber return fee would indicate that she determined that you did not have any liability even after plumber said that you were responsible, she accepted responsibility for repair.
    4) Failed to contact you so you could have problem corrected.
    5) Do not think that she could get anymore than what it took to make her whole, ie. plumber cost $600. (you keep your insp fee)

    I would not pay her for her hasty assertions and actions.
    I would lay out a reasonable case to the BBB so that they can not interject anything into any comments that they may make in the future. Not having them mediate but putting facts on record.

    If you were to settle in any amount I would want to have release, drop BBB claim without any negative information to be reported by BBB , non disclosure (with heavy punitive damage listed), clause with punitive damage for even talking to anyone about anything related to you and your inspection. At best return insp fee. Get your pound of flesh from client.


  16. #16
    Jacques Mountain's Avatar
    Jacques Mountain Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Gary,
    That was Great and I will stand my ground.

    Plain and simple - It is underground plumbing which is not visible. It was not a part of the SOP and she did not follow the protocol of the inspection agreement.

    THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP !!!!!!!


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    BBB is part scam ,IMO.
    You only get an A+ rating if you pay them.

    Simply putting a logo on your site does not mean you are a good business of any kind but does mean you paid for the privilege of placing their logo on your site at premium yearly rates.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    The premise that somebody would expect us to take their word for it that a defect existed and went unreported, and proof is no longer existing, and still expect us to pony up, is absurd.

    A few years ago, a friend of mine had his sister call me after she had her home inspected by another company. The inspector noted that their deck had no flashing and gave an estimate range in his report as to what it would cost to fix the issue (something like $800). Well they moved in, started doing some digging around themselves behind insulation in the rim joist in the basement and found rot from moisture. They got a quote for repairs for the moisture damage somewhere around $2,000.00+. They ended up taking the entire deck off the house and wanted to know if I would come out to view the carnage and let them know if this was something the inspector should have seen. And I would be looking at.......what? A dismantled deck? They ruined any evidence they had.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Nick,
    With every License you get membership in the psychic connection. Just hold a piece of the old deck to your forehead and you will see all as it was.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    I recently received a letter from the BBB about a complaint against our company. It was stated that the homeowner wants a full refund of her home inspection. It was stated that " the inspector did not find a broken sewer cleanout in the front yard." I responded by telling the client that it was a visual inspection and she said her plumber knew it was broken just by touching the pipes. I refused to give her the money back and here we are. Just wanted some feedback.
    I've come to the conclusion that there is no one way to deal with complaints. It really depends on the person and the situation. You may need to offer condolences and sincere regrets at first, then clearly state your side of the case. "I don't inspect for broken pipes out in the yard".
    Some people will continue to scream foul, because this has worked for them in the past, maybe. Coughing up cash is a last resort, but sometimes the lesser evil.

    The people at BBB in my area are reasonable in that they realize there are always 2 sides to these complaints. Write them a letter and keep notes of all correspondence.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Nick,
    With every License you get membership in the psychic connection. Just hold a piece of the old deck to your forehead and you will see all as it was.
    That's a good one.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    I'm lost here. The seller/homeowner has made the complaint. There's a buyer involved. Who's your client?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  23. #23
    Jacques Mountain's Avatar
    Jacques Mountain Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Eric -
    The home buyer made the complaint.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    Eric -
    The home buyer made the complaint.
    All you can do is point out your contract and the SOP you follow.
    The key is communication.


  25. #25
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    All you can do is point out your contract and the SOP you follow.
    The key is communication.
    I never mention SOPs in the complaint (never had a real one). Mentioning the SOPs and sticking to your guns only gets someone more involved and now they tear apart you report in every detail of the SOP so they can say "See, he does not even follow the SOP." There is something in everyone's report that will not be completely adhered to as far as SOPs. We are human...I think! I would just say that it was buried at the time of the inspection and could not be seen. That would about end that one. Especially when he was contacted after the repair and the new clean out is more than likely sticking out of the soil so it is no longer under ground.

    Short, simple sweet and an added "Pound Sand" (nicely) note should about take care of it.

    I had a man give me a bad review over everything I mentioned in his report (and he did not fix and it was written up a year later when he was trying to dump the home) . I had a marketer write a bad review when I finally was a bit rude to get rid of him. In a bunch of good reviews and a bad one thrown in most of the time folks will ignore the bad one.


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I never mention SOPs in the complaint (never had a real one). Mentioning the SOPs and sticking to your guns only gets someone more involved and now they tear apart you report in every detail of the SOP so they can say "See, he does not even follow the SOP." There is something in everyone's report that will not be completely adhered to as far as SOPs. We are human...I think! I would just say that it was buried at the time of the inspection and could not be seen. That would about end that one. Especially when he was contacted after the repair and the new clean out is more than likely sticking out of the soil so it is no longer under ground.

    Short, simple sweet and an added "Pound Sand" (nicely) note should about take care of it.

    I had a man give me a bad review over everything I mentioned in his report (and he did not fix and it was written up a year later when he was trying to dump the home) . I had a marketer write a bad review when I finally was a bit rude to get rid of him. In a bunch of good reviews and a bad one thrown in most of the time folks will ignore the bad one.
    Well so far I have been lucky (fingers crossed) and the only complaint came about three years back that I had not notated the exact location of every loose outlet plate in a multi unit building.
    Tons of issues with most of the systems in a old building with gutted piping but they came back at me for that so I agreed to meet them and check plus notate the exact locations .

    (go figure)


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    The sewer cleanout is below grade about 3 feet and the price she paid for the repair was $600
    I think I would report the plumber to the BBB for charging $600 to fix that!


  28. #28
    Jacques Mountain's Avatar
    Jacques Mountain Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Does anyone have a waiver of liability already created that I can use?


  29. #29
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
    Daniel Leung Guest

    Default Re: Better Business Bureau Complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques Mountain View Post
    Does anyone have a waiver of liability already created that I can use?
    For your reference, BCIPI has a fair home inspection contract dated July 2011 http://www.bcipi.com/documents/SOI-Ver09.pdf
    A sample of release agreement online Release Agreement Form from LawDepot.com


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •