• Report: #467947

Complaint Review: Clockwork Home Services - Benjamin Franklin Plumbing - Mr. Sparky - One Hour Heating & Air Conditio

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  • Submitted: Thu, July 09, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, February 18, 2013

  • Reported By:Indianapolis Indiana
Clockwork Home Services - Benjamin Franklin Plumbing - Mr. Sparky - One Hour Heating & Air Conditio
50 Central Ave. Sarasota, Florida U.S.A.

Clockwork Home Services - Benjamin Franklin Plumbing - Mr. Sparky - One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning Done in by Benjamin Franklin, Mr. Sparky, One Hour Heating & AC? Sarasota Florida

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: so true

* : One Hour Clockwork is a well designed sales scam.

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Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Mr. Sparky and One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning are all national brands of Clockwork Home Services, Inc., Sarasota, Florida. Clockwork owns some stores, but most are franchises. It has earned itself a reputation for deceptive sales tactics and excessive overcharging, which are built into its training program. There may be some ethical franchisees who spurn Clockwork's unconscionable training practices, but they seem to be few and far in between.

The experience of one elderly customer who refused to be hornswoggled by a dishonest Benjamin Franklin plumberand reactions from independent plumberscan be read at:

http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26018

If you have a similar experience with any Clockwork-allied company and cannot get satisfaction from its manager, the next step would be to take your case to the attorney general of your state as well as local and state licensing boards. If your case involves fraud, coercion or elder abuse, they will all be interested in your story.

Jim
Indianapolis, Indiana
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/09/2009 01:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Clockwork-Home-Services-Benjamin-Franklin-Plumbing-Mr-Sparky-One-Hour-Heating-Air-Conditio/Sarasota-Florida-34236/Clockwork-Home-Services-Benjamin-Franklin-Plumbing-Mr-Sparky-One-Hour-Heating-Air-467947. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

so true

AUTHOR: hvac installer - (United States of America)

i was an employee of 12 years and someone hit the nail on the head. i left the company because i could stand being caught up in the smoke and mirror scams that were happening
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#2

One Hour Clockwork is a well designed sales scam.

AUTHOR: ExOneHour - (USA)

The previous post is accurate. I worked at One Hour Heating as a "Comfort Adviser." My job was to go to people's homes and sell furnaces at exorbitant prices. As stated in the previous email, the one hour chain is a franchise. Some of the companies you encounter will be honest, however, they all attend the same sales training.

The sales training course is intensive and salesman spend upwards of 2 months learning the sales approach. After 2 months of training--my knowledge of furnaces was almost non existent. They prefer that their salesman have as little technical knowledge as possible because spechs don't sell customers.

Salesman are given two appointments a day. They are required to close one of the appointments at the person's home. This requires a great deal of con-work to close on the spot. The salesman is paid purely on commission. They earn 8% of everything they sell. The average salesman makes $80,000+ a year. This translates to 1 million in sales. They are able to pay this rate because of the high markup on the furnaces.

They have a number of ways of getting in your home, but one of the common ways is a letter from the owner discussing how he has a limited number of furnaces left over that he needs to get rid of at a ridiculously low price if you buy the AC. (1) These furnaces are not leftovers--they are purchased as needed, (2) they are not cheap--by the time you buy the AC and the furnace it still works out to be more than most other companies, and (3) the furnace is an 80% efficient hunk of junk--80% is the lowest government standard.

Now hear is where the fun starts--their so called "Comfort Evaluation."
(1) The salesman enters the home and he is told to spend 20-30 minutes talking with the customer about non-furnace related things.
(2) He then measures the heating and cooling loads of the house. Now this can be done simply by measuring the square footage of the house, but they will insist on measuring each room individually as well as each window of the house. This is not necessary. It is merely to walk from room to room to establish a greater rapport with the customer. It gives them the ability to see how the person lives and find out more about them.
(3) From here they will look at the furnace. The salesman probably knows less about the furnace than the homeowner. No matter what--it will need to be replaced.
(4) Then they goto the dining room table. Here they will get pushy and use their techniques.
(5) They will show you pictures of dangerous installs from other companies. It will be the same four pictures that will be shown across the country.
(6) If you tell them that you have found something cheaper--they will then give you an article about a man who went with a cheaper company and from doing so his daughter was raped and killed...and my favorite question...was a $1000 really worth his daughter's life. Then you will get the statistic that heating and plumbing are the number 1 and 2 professions out of prison and that they are the only company to nationally criminally background check.
--something to the effect of, This person will be coming into your home twice a year to clean your furnace--Don't you want it to be someone who you know isn't a criminal?
(7) If you try and talk to them about brand they will tell you that brand doesn't matter. That all of the parts on the inside of furnaces are all the same. This is not true--there are bad brands of furnaces, however,
(8) they will then give you their shallow warranties--if you are unhappy in the first year they will come and uninstall your furnace and call a contractor of your choice. This never happens and it is impossible to get them to actually do it.
(9) They throw in a couple other "guarantees" that actually cover nothing, but sound good to sell you the furnace.
(10) When you set up your appointment you'll notice that they ask if the husband and the wife will be home. This is to ensure that you will not be able to say that you need to talk it over with your husband or wife. If the salesman gets to the house and only one is home, they will generally leave.

I'm not saying that they are a scam or not a scam...just be aware that everything they do in your home is calculated and planned for a reason (they use yellow notepads because people associate it with lawyers) Do not sign anything on the spot. Get at least one other estimate. Their sales program makes car salesman look like amateurs.

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