In 2005 a pipe in our basement began to leak near the floor. My husband is very ill with MS and at the time was unable to help me decide whom to call for plumbing repair service.
I went through the phone book and (unfortunately) chose Gillece to call because they had the biggest ad. Almost 4 years later this action is still haunting me and my family.
The guy (Bob) showed up and spent not more than 5 minutes in our basement. He returned upstairs to sit down and write a 5-page estimate which came out to almost $7,000. He convinced me that the pipes in the basement needed to be dug up and replaced from inside the house out to the curb. He said that this was absolutely necessary to prevent drastic problem which were certain to occur if I didn't have this work done immediately.
I am female and must admit that I know nothing about plumbing -- or plumbers. My husband was desperately ill and unable to help me make a decision. I didn't have $7,000 so I called my bank and on my word alone they told me they would write up the paperwork to begin application for a home equity loan to pay for this work. I took "Bob" at his word and trusted that he was telling me the truth. I had NO water in my home for 3 days while this was going on.
I signed the contract -- AFTER Bob told me repeatedly that I had 3 days to cancel if I changed my mind. I was terrified to spend the money, yet terrified to NOT fix the problem.
After "Bob" left, my husband, who had been sleeping, awoke, and I gave him the bad news. He was extremely upset with me, mostly because he told me that we had water-and-gas line protection insurance through our local natural gas provider. I immediately dug out a bill from them, called them, and was assured that our problem was covered and that they could come out and fix it within 8 hours.
What a huge relief this was! It had not yet been an hour since "Bob" had left my home, so I immediately called Gillece's number and thanked them for their time and the estimate, but that I now wanted to cancel our contract -- I believed, as Bob had assured me -- that I had 3 (THREE) days in which to do so.
Well, there was silence at the end of the line for a moment. "Bob" told me that he would have to charge me $400, even though I was canceling the contract only about an hour after he had left my home. I was astounded! When I asked why the $400 charge, he told me it was because they had already dispatched a backhoe operator to our home and that was what they would have to pay him.
I was not polite after that. I told him that he had explicitly promised me that I had 3 days to cancel our contract and I had done it within the hour. Gillece had done NO work in my home.
Unbelievably, a few weeks later, a sheriff showed up at my front door and handed me a summons to appear in court. Gillece was not suing me for the $400!
Long story short, I show up at the first court date -- wait over half an hour -- no Gillece. They never showed up. Now, you'd think that if the plaintiff in a case just doesn't bother to show up, the defendant should, by default, win the case. NOT SO. After having missed a day of work in order to show up for this circus, not only did Gillece not have the decency to appear in court, but they had the right to bring me to court again to pursue this idiocy.
I showed up at the 2nd court appearance with a Mr. Joe Benz, business manager. He made it sound as if I and my husband had cheated him out of over $400. My jaw dropped. Unfortunately, I had (unknowingly) signed a small box on the contract that allowed Gillece to begin "emergency" actions on my job -- thus, they called a backhoe operator within moments of leaving my home after giving me the estimate. This is why the court ruled against me, and I lost the case. I was forced to pay these predators $427, and an additional $230 in court costs.
These thieves never did a second's work in my home. The most interesting part of this is that when the actual plumbing repair was made through our gas company's plumber, it took about 35 minutes, and their plumber told me it would have cost about $90.
I am still struck almost mute by the absolute predatory manner in which this company has hounded us and driven me to absolute frustration. My husband is unable to work because he is almost totally disabled by MS. I can only work part-time due to this situation. We live on very little income. Gillece not only completely over-estimated this job by about $6,900, but then aggressively pursued me and my family into court to collect over $650 from us -- for doing NOT ONE THING. I doubt to this day that they ever had to pay a backhoe operator.
This had to be the all-time 5-star rip off if I've ever seen one. NEVER ever call this company if you need plumbing, heating, AC repair. If you don't march to their tune, you will be pursued and crushed.
Finally, I just checked the Pittsburgh Better Business Bureau Web Page and.... I wish I had checked this before I called them.... they show an UNSATISFACTORY rating. Sigh.