This past December, my furnace was not functioning, and I was completely without heat.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
I placed calls to numerous heating and
air-conditioning companies, to compare services and prices. For each, it
was necessary to leave a message, with my address and description of
the heating issue.
While waiting to receive return calls, I was
informed that a fire burned down the building which connects to my
business in Milford. I rushed from my home to assess whether there was any damage to my building and business.
While in route to Milford, I received a call from
Mid Atlantic Heating and Air Conditioning Service. John, identified
himself as the owner, and told me his workers were at my house! He said they found my door wide open, and out of concern, they entered my home. He then told me that while they were in my home, they checked my unit, (?) and assessed the problem.
I was surprised by the contents of the call; especially upon hearing they had entered my home without permission! At
the same time, I wanted to believe they had strictly altruistic motives
and my more emergent focus was my own small business in Milford. Caught
in a moment of weakness, I decided that even though I had not scheduled
an appointment with anyone from their company, having someone respond
to my initial query so quickly was positive.
The temps were in the 20's and 30's and I was without heat. I'm from
Maryland, and entering my home raised concerns...but I'd been told
'slower lower' was a more laid back way of life, so I decided in this
situaiton, to simply trust.
John explained that the return motor had gone up.
He assured me that they could order the part, and have it installed the
following morning. He shared his concern for my needing heat during these cold months. I asked what the cost would be. He said it 'wasnt a very expensive part and the labor as well wouldn't be very expensive.
I agreed that he should order the part, and we agreed to meet later that day so that I could provide payment.
Upon leaving Milford, we talked again, and I met
him at Wells Fargo on Coastal Highway, where he said he was going to be
in a banking meeting. I wrote him a check for $375.00 and we agreed upon
a 9 am service call time the following morning to repair the furnace.
Friday December 28, 2012
The following morning, I waited for Johns service men to arrive they did not show. At 11 am, I called John regarding a service status. He apologized, saying the part had been ordered, but not as yet delivered from American Express. He assured me that his men would be at my place within the hour.
At noon, another company knocked on my door, in response to my initial query calls from the day before. I informed that I had already hired a company - Mid Atlantic, and was in fact, waiting for the repair men as we spoke.
A few more hours passed no service men. I placed several calls to John leaving messages. In one call, I even told him that while I was waiting for his
men to arrive, another company had stopped by and Id informed that
company that the service contract had already been awarded to John with
Mid Atlantic. So, where were my repair men?
No return calls, no repair men.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
now been 2 days since I paid Mid Atlantic, in full. Yet they did not
deliver their service as agreed upon. I placed another call to Johns
voice mail. At 3:00 that afternoon, I received a voice mail from John,
saying he was blown away by what was happening, and that his men had
been to my home 'several times' (What?! This is untrue.)he mumbled
something that sounded as if he said his men had called me, but didnt
leave me a message..(Again, what?!) He continued by saying that 'his men
would not enter a home, or get involved in a job, if a business
competitor was a the same location performing the service.
Obviously that made no sense to me. I'd paid them
to perform the service. And if they had been to my home, why not knock
on my door? Even if they pulled in while the other company was there,
why not knock and talk to me directly to find out what was taking place?
What respectable business operates in such a shady manner?
I called him back - 3 times - each
time, I received Johns voice mail. Each time, I was forced to leave
him messages to call me. He never returned my calls.(I find it curious
at this point, that suddenly, I am unable to reach John...initially, he
answered his phone, or at least returned my call immediately...that is,
more specifically, before he received payment.)
Monday, December 31, 2012
Having given up on John returning my calls, at 9:30 am, I called the office number for Mid Atlantic. A gentleman answered the business phone immediately. I
told him I was angry, and attempted to explain my situation. He cut me
off, saying he understood that Mid Atlantic cancelled the work because
another company had performed the service.
I replied, Oh really? If that is true, when am I to receive my refund? I paid $375.00 to John last Thursday! There
was a moment of silence. He mumbled to someone else, and then
returned to the phone, saying two service men would be out immediately
to repair my furnace. I asked him how long until they arrived. He replied that they 'were being dispatched immediately, and on their way.
I waited over an hour then called back for an
update (always using my cell phone.) Naturally, my call went directly
into voice mail.
Thinking on the phone situation, i called again,
this time, dialing their number from my house phone, instead of my
familiar cell phone number. Interestingly, when the call came
in from a different phone number, the same gentleman promptly answered
the phone. When I identified myself, he told me the service men had to
go to the warehouse to pick up the part first, but they would be at my
house within the next hour.
Again, I waited again, Mid Atlantic did not arrive.
Out of alternative phone numbers from which to
dial, I had no choice but to dial from my house line and cell line..I
called at 1:30, again at 1:45 and 2:00 pm. (thinking maybe there was a lunch break/office closed.) All of my calls went directly to voice mail.
So I called my husband, Vic and asked him to call
Mid Atlantics office from HIS phone. Again, coincidentally, when the
call rang in from a new number, the same man immediately answered the
phone! My husband identified
himself the same man told him that they were not repairing the furnace
because another company had been called in! (Oh, here we go again?!?!)
My husband replied, Why would my wife hire another company, after paying Mid Atlantic? The man who answered the phone then turned the call over to John.
John apologized to Vic. He said he had not
fully listened to my voice message regarding the other business arriving
at my door. He accepted full responsibility, and assured Vic that his
men would come to the house before the day was out to deliver on their
contract and repair the furnace. He
even said that if I had business to conduct, to feel free to leave the
house and 'simply leave the door unlocked so his men could enter'.
I waited most of the day for them. At 4:00 pm, I
finally left the house to run errands. To cover all bases, I taped a
HUGE note to the door with my phone number, asking the service men from
Mid Atlantic to call me. I never received a call.
It's now been 5 DAYS. Mid Atlantic never showed to
repair the furnace....However, Mid Atlantic did cash my check on
December 31, 2012...5 days after not delivering on their end of the contract.
It is now January 2, 2013. I
still have no heat, my pipes are in danger of bursting, and I am
without the funds to hire another company to repair the damage. Mid
Atlantic initially entered my home without permission and has since
dodged my phone calls, does not return my voice messages, and in
actuality, it is my opinion that by cashing the check 5 days after not repairing the furnace, they stole $375.00. I believe this is the definition of fraud (/) The definition for fraud is 'deliberate deception for financial gain'.
It is my opinion that I am a victim of poor business practice, trespassing, illegal
entry without consent, fraud, theft and breach of contract. I would certainly not recommend this company.