We scheduled for powerwashing and window cleaning for Friday 5/2/08 between 8am-Noon. On Friday, 5/2/08, nobody from B&A called and nobody showed up. At 2:30pm, WE had to call THEM to inquire of the ETA of technician. We were told the technican tried calling us in the morning to get directions but didn't get an answer. (FYI: We were home all day and our phone never rang.) In hindsight today, in this day and age, companies don't print out MapQuest or similar driving directions? When a company is doing a service for money, they don't take necessary steps to ensure the technician can reach his/her destination? That's odd, isn't it?
We rescheduled for Friday 5/16/08 at 7:30am (we were told this is the first appointment). On Friday, 5/16/08, by 10:30a.m. nobody from B&A showed up and nobody called. So, again, WE had to call THEM. We were told they don't do powerwashing in the rain.
They never called us, they never told us when we scheduled any of the appointments of possible reasons they wouldn't show up.
Because nobody from B&A ever called us, NOT EVEN ONCE, to advise of arrival delays/problems, we advised B&A on 5/16/08 that we'd have to find a more reliable service provider and that we would NOT be rescheduling with them.
On Saturday, 5/17/08, we received a bill for $219 with the "attention" that a $50 service fee will be charged if we don't pay within five days. Then, on Saturday 6/21/08, a new bill arrived with a $21.90 late fee accessed, for a total of $240.90, plus the note that the invoice had been turned over to collections.
Are they kidding me? They expect us to pay for services NOT rendered? AND now they expect us to pay for late fees for those non-services?
So, on 6/21/08, I sent B&A Power Washing Inc an email advising them of their erroneous billing and further advised that any future billings we received from them would be considered harassment and that we'd have to take appropriate actions; i.e., contact Better Business Bureau, IRS, USPS Mail Fraud, local courthouse and licensing bureaus, etc.
On 6/21/08, B&A responded to my email, "Please disregard the late fee. My apologies we were not informed of this in the office. Please remit payment for 219." They either don't understand English, didn't read the whole email, just don't care, they are taunting me, or any combination of these. And, I'll freely admit, my response to their email was anything but friendly, in fact, it was rude....and I'm NOT apologizing.
On 7/5/08, I received another bill, an EXACT duplicate of the bill received on 6/21/08. Interestingly, the first two bills were received five weeks apart while the third bill came two weeks after my 6/21/08 email. Also interesting, the first two bills had a few differences, specifically the first bill referenced a service date while the second bill provided an online payment link. The third bill was an exact duplicate of the second, as if somebody xeroxed it and re-sent it. I'm wondering if they sent the third bill to call my bluff.
So, on 7/5/08, I did exactly what I said I would. I sent complaints to the BBB, USPS Mail Fraud Division, Maryland and Virginia Consumer Affairs Offices, and to B&A's online billing service provider Freshbooks. I also sent B&A an email to advise them of this information and to further advise them that any billings received prior to the resolution from any of the authorities I'd contacted would result in my contacting a lawyer for possible suits of small claims and/or civil for liable and damages.
On 7/5/08, I received an email from B&A which said, "Sounds great and have a wonderful holiday weekend! God bless america!!!!" You can just hear the sarcasm dripping from those words. Also interestingly, I attempted to call B&A on 7/5/08, both their VA and MD numbers, but both were immediately re-directed to their answering service. However, exactly 15 minutes after I sent my email on 7/5/08, they could respond with their own email. They can't answer their phone but they can answer email? Odd.
Like I said, B&A Power Washing's customer service is deplorable and inexcusable.
A previous complainant to RipOffReport (http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/186/RipOff0186609.htm), in April 2006, had issues when she tried to cancel her service with less than 24-hour notice. At one time B&A charged a $50 fee if appointments were not cancelled within 24 hours. The owner, at that time, Brandon Frye, stated, "canceling the day of the job really hurts our business and our schedule. She did not seem to mind that she was doing either."
Since that statement should go both ways, then I'd like to know what B&A refunds their customers when they don't show...TWICE??? B&A obviously didn't mind disrupting our schedule....TWICE! I wonder if B&A realizes we were trying to be exemplary customers by removing all obstacles from around the perimeter of our home so the technican(s) would have easy and safer access while power-washing our home? Furniture, flower pots, hose-reels, etc were removed on 5/2/08, put back in place when B&A didn't show up, then removed once again on 5/16/08, and once again returned to place because B&A failed to show up AGAIN.
Hmmm....let's see. If I charged B&A $50 for each time they didn't show up nor cancel, that'd be $100 they owe me. Plus, since we worked ourselves to assist their technician(s), an hour both days, that'd be another $170 using our salaries. Plus, if we add in all the work I've had to do to resolve THEIR problem, including damages for the stress and anquish they've caused, well the fee would then be astronomical. Maybe I should contact Freshbooks, open up my own account, and start sending B&A invoices with a warning that a $50 late fee will be assessed everyday until THEY PAY ME.
Businesses need to be held accountable for their errors. This business in particular also needs lessons, many many lessons, on proper customer service skills.
Saint Leonard, Maryland