Report: #20757

Complaint Review: ARS/Rescue Rooter aka Sundance Plumbing

  • Submitted: Mon, May 13, 2002
  • Updated: Thu, September 20, 2012
  • Reported By: Marietta GA
  • ARS/Rescue Rooter aka Sundance Plumbing
    770 Pickens Industrial Dr., Suite A
    Marietta, Georgia
  • Phone: 770-427-6446
  • Web:
  • Category: Plumbing

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Plumbing company charged $1745 to install a "house brand" water heater of lesser grade than one it replaced afte representing that I would get just what I had before (a name brand unit).

House brand does not offer same features or carry a warranty as long as name brand units AND is only available in Atlanta from this one plumbing company, locking in the customer for service. The effective hourly labor rate charged is in excess of $100 per hour! The company "upcharged" for installing the water heater in comformance with the building code!

Comparable installations of name brand water heaters from Home Dpot or Lowe's, with significantly longer warranties and easy avaialblility of parts can be obtained for approximately 1/2 the amount this company charged.

Marietta, Georgia
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/13/2002 12:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Why trust you with big things when you didn't do the small things?

AUTHOR: Teresa - ()

Sir, I'm not at all sure you should be believed.   I called ARS Rescue Rooter to do the clean and checkup on my A/C systems  for the upcoming summer season, cost?  57.00 per unit, (great price).

The young man was pleasant and professional acting. He informed me that the compressor on my upstairs unit wasn't working and due to the age of the unit (14 yrs) he suggested that I might want to get an estimate to replace it.  He called the office and arrangements were made for someone to come see me the following day.  I was given a reasonable quote for replacement, even was offered 5 years worth of twice yearly service on both units.  

NOW comes the interesting part,  Why was I charged for servicing the upstairs unit when It has a bad compressor ? There was no cleaning done on it, no service except he turned it on.   The next day, after the man giving me the quote had gone,  I go look at my unit, and it was clear to see that the downstairs unit had not been cleaned either.

I've seen the cleaning done before,  coil cleaner and lots of water used etc. Then the gauges put on to check the freon, and all the  various and sundry other things tested with meters.  While he may have checked some things while I was inside...he did not clean the unit.  I paid 114.00 for the cleaning of 2 units, one of which was broken and not worked on...and the other wasn't cleaned.  If your company cannot be trusted with the small things, why should I trust you with the big things?
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#2 UPDATE Employee

ARS Rescue Rooter

AUTHOR: ARS Rescue Rooter - (United States of America)

ARS is the premier provider of heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality, plumbing, drain cleaning, and sewer line services to homes and businesses.  While current marketplace trends determine our pricing structure to continue providing exceptional service, please contact us at (866) 803-0879 to discuss your specific situation.
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#3 Consumer Comment

The cost of business isn'y understood

AUTHOR: John - (Canada)

It's easy to think that home Depot or the local hardware store is not ripping you off because they are in appearance charging less. I would challenge any home hardware, home depot, etc.. to deliver the same value for the same or lower price than the plumbing firms.

Have you ever had to have your gas valve on your hot water tank replaced under warranty? I'll guarantee that the plumber supplied and installed tank will be looked after the same day or at least faster than the big box office store tank would be. The plumbing firm will pay it's professional installers better than the stores. They have a vested interest in the livehood of their employees.

What do the stores care about the livelihood of the plumber subcontracted to install tanks for them? They don't! Would you visit Home depot to have your teeth fixed? Why would you purchase a hot water tank from someone who is there just to make a sale and nothing more. Your Plumber has your best interest at heart. There's a lot more to a transaction than just price. Wake up people.

The stores are ripping you off by under paying their staff, under paying their installers
and not having true professionals looking after your needs. I bet that the plumbing firm being attacked in the report for charging a fair price offers a much better in home warranty than Home Depots one year labour warranty. And they'd look after any problems associated with the tank during the warranty time at a much faster speed than home depot.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The Real Facts

AUTHOR: Craig - (U.S.A.)

You can't come to a complete conclusion without the whole picture. In 30 years with the plumbing service trade many changes have come and gone. The flat rate system can be a wonderful tool for the homeowner, properly supervised. Hourly charging customers does not work. One plumber can be so much faster and better than another. The good plumber is punished by how good he is and the customer is punished by the bad plumber which there are many. A.R.S. management strives for fairness with customers. On the other hand all companies have to work to keep out bad plumbers. The people would be better served with stronger, more demanding testing and credentials for licensing plumbers. They are giving the cards away to any idiot who can pass the weak test instead of insisting on a real track record of actually doing the work instead of just talking about it. Concerning the guy with a problem with 100.00 per hour, read up on free market economy. If you think that is too high open your own company and show all of us how to do it.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Large Vs. Small Companies

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

I'm sorry Justa. It seems that you think that just one experience has affected my reasoning. I will try not to be as condescending as you were, since I believe most readers are more intelligent than you appear to give them credit for. Myth #1. This could only have been written by someone without a license. No license, no permit, no permit, no inspection, no inspection, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN FOLKS! Sure, every state or local jurisdiction has a dollat amount that you can operate within without a license. I also know people who are unlicensed who are quite knowledgeable. This is known as "The Exception to the Rule." Give me 50 people who are not licensed and 50 who are. Where would you put your money folks? On the 50 who are, or, can I sell you some land in Florida? Or North Carolina? By the way, you have just made all the readers of these posts think that $25.00 is the going rate in your area. How I yearn for your cost of living rate.

Myth #2. There are dishonest consumers as well as dishonest contractors. Listen folks, make sure your contractor has both liability and Work Comp insurance. Period. If a contractor were to hang up on you when you asked this question, consider yourself lucky that you weeded out this unethical company (or person (see Mom and Pop). Myth #3. I worked for the largest plumbing company in the U.S. I was responsible for 140 plumbers as the Regional Manager. I don't recall any "Smooth Talk" training in my 24 years there, nor any training in how to pass the buck and avoid responsibility. There never were any "numbers" there. Every customer was valued, and repeat business sure saved us A LOT of advertising money.

Myth #4. Finally some truth and sense. Referrals are the way to go. Find someone you like and stick with them, large or small. I just had hardwood floors done in my house. The company was not a big one in this case, but reffered to me by a reliable source.

P.S. Not every one of my 140 plumbers was on-call every night, but someone was always available to make all of the many repeat customers happy. And no, they didn't particuarly like going out late, but the were VERY well compensated for it. Whoops, sounds like I just said we charged more than the "going rate."
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

large company vs small company

AUTHOR: Justa - (U.S.A.)

Its funny how consumers here can make accusations against a small company after one measley experience.

Myth #1: Liscense is not necessary in every town and every state. Sorry but it's true. A liscense no more guarantees quality work than a wrench guarantees he's a plumber. I have awesome clientele. I'm not liscensed. I am exceptionally successful, and ALL my customers (99.9%) are extremely happy with my work. My phone rings off the hook, and I can't do it all, and most of my business is repeat. I am legal for what I do, and only do what I am legal for. Don't ask if they are liscensed, ask if they are legal for what they are asked to do. There is a difference. There are all types of liscenses. There's several liscensed plumbers here in this county that I wouldn't let water my dog, and the 2 best plumbing repairmen in this county I know personally are NOT liscensed. One recently retired. He has FORGOTTEN more about plumbing than the big boys will ever KNOW. He only charged $25.00 per hour, and he was GOOD. Much better than I. Their customers are satisfied, they don't need to advertise. They're work says it all.

Myth #2 Insurance is necessary, YES! but it's NOT for the consumer IT'S FOR THE PLUMBER!!! To protect himself against YOU!!! The CUSTOMER!!! yep. Sorry it's true. There's a big handful of consumers looking for a way to get rich fast. Of course I'm heavily insured. But my neglect isn't my concern. I haven't made but one small mistake since I started, and it wasn't a problem, it dried with no damage. What I worry about is the consumer setting me up for a fall. That's why you should never ask the plumber if he's insured, he may hang up on you. He's probably wondering what you are up to. His ad should say INSURED. If he pays the ridiculous premiums and not advertising it, it's HIS stupidity. If he's not insured he's a fool.

Myth #3: Big business means responsibility. Sorry that's NOT usually the case. The big boys have staff trained in the art of smooth talk. Many are trained to pass the buck and avoid all responsibility. The little man depends upon "word of mouth". He knows that ONE bad comment goes further than 10 good ones. He will more likely bend over backwards to help you because he NEEDS you. The big business treats you like another number. Don't pick the biggest ad in the book, don't go for the smallest, go for the middle of the road. If his ad is that big he's not depending on "word of mouth". He's depending on mass work.

Myth #4: Everyone has an opinion. The fact of the matter is if you call a Big Box Depot or Home Warehouse they really do sell an inferior product. They demand their suppliers to give them a cheaper price, and when they do, they cut the product, not the price. If you want quality go to a PLUMBING ONLY supplier. not a Lumber store, not a Hardware store. If you hire a Big Dog plumber you may have awesome results and if you hire a small local guy he may shaft you. noone knows. The simpliest trick is ask your friends and family who they like then choose that person. Chances are they value your friend or family member (if it's a small guy) and they want to make you BOTH happy. Because now 2 customers are on the line. Treat them like you trust them even if you don't and they'll be better to you. If the rate sounds fair, smile and pay them and you'll have a plumber. It's basic common sence.

PS Just for the record: we plumbers have familys and a life. We are not on call 24 hours a day reguardless of what our ads say. How would you feel if your boss called YOU in the middle of the night? Use a little common sence.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Large Vs. Small Companies

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

I have to take issue with Ben's response. I have called both small and large companies in the past for various types of home repairs. I learned the hard way. Most of these small one or two man operations lack what I want in a service-type company. I want to know that if my property gets damaged, they have insurance to cover it.

I want to know that when I call back they will still be in business. I want to know that they will honor a warranty (if you can even get one) and that my complaints won't be brushed away by the owners wife.

So I suppose if you do not care about a company being licensed, insured, or bonded, or any of the other safegaurds that a larger company can provide, then you should call call your neighborhood Joe. I will say this, you will always get exactly what you pay for. My homeowners insurance went up when I had to file a claim with them because my neighborhood Joe caused water damage to my hardwood floors due to his own negligence.

I subsequently found out that he has changed his DBA twice in the past, even though there were people out there who had recommended him. Go figure. I should have paid the higher price to begin with and saved myself the costs and indignity of having Mrs. Joe tell me what I could do with my problem.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Expensive Water Heater

AUTHOR: Ben - (U.S.A.)

Ok Folks listen up:

All the major Plumbing companies use a "flat rate" system of pricing. It is advertised that
it "saves the customer money" This is a LIE.
Let me repeat that. A LIE. The flat rate system
simply allows greedy owners of large companies
to pay the men a percentage of the revenue and
nothing if they don't produce. By "produce"
they mean gouge your eyeballs out. This is
how they all work. Roto-Rooter, ARS, ServiceMaster, Mr. Plumber, every large outfit.

If you are smart, you will call a small company
or one man outfit.

Or you can continue to be the mark in the con game.

I know, because I worked there.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Know the Real Truth ..trained for sales not plumbing

AUTHOR: mike - (U.S.A.)

ARS was aquired by service master in 2000 and I worked for a very reputable company until ARS got into the mix. Their plumbers are trained for sales not plumbing and if the plumber doesn't make the quota then he does without on his paycheck, They even brought sales professionals in to teach them how to walk into a house to fix a faucet and walk out with a complete plumbing remodel and to insure that you are getting a plumber ask to see his or her license its the LAW and its your right.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Quit Bitching

AUTHOR: Karl - ()

I don't have anything to do with the ARS people,
but I do own a plumbing company of my own and
I get so tired of hearing people b***h about the
price of their service.These people have no idea
what it cost to run a company and they demand
world class service but want it at handyman prices.

I don't know anyone with the ARS operation and my
guess is that they gave ole Bill a price for the work to be completed before they started and the price was good while ARS was working,but when ole
Bill had hot water again,then all of a sudden the price was to high.

If he did get a price before the work eas started,I don't think ole Bill has a b***h coming.
Sorry Bill,Next time take a cold shower.
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