I am writing in the hope that Ripoff Report can help in the following matter since the Better Business Bureau has been unsuccessful in its efforts.
This past June, I contacted Gold Medal Service to repair a leaky drain on my kitchen sink. Prior to performing the work (and after an aggressive sales pitch on new and very expensive kitchen sinks), the Gold Medal repair man explained that he would look at my sink’s entire drainage system and replace its components for which the charge would be $372.25. I considered the charge exorbitant, but being unknowledgeable about the standard rate for such work and with the understanding that my entire drainage system might need to be replaced, I chose not to dispute the charge at the time and signed-off on the estimate to proceed with the work.
Less than 40 minutes later, he completed the work informing me that the only piece he had to replace was the J-trap (PVC tubing which, I later discovered, costs an average of $5 at most plumbing supply stores and doesn't require a tool to install), yet he still charged me $372.25 for the work, which was supposedly a 'discount' from the original charge of $382.90 plus tax! I reluctantly wrote a check for the charge but later contacted Gold Medal's business office to request an explanation of the charge (i.e., cost for labor, cost for materials, etc.), since the invoice that I was given did not include a detailed breakdown.
After several unreturned phone calls requesting this information, I finally received a call later the next day from a Gold Medal supervisor (Mike). I asked him to explain the charge but he said he was unable to do this and refused to refer me to someone who could. I later contacted the Better Business Bureau to enlist their help in obtaining an itemized breakdown of the charge from Gold Medal -- information I am entitled to as a paying customer; however, after numerous exchanges to date between me, Better Business Bureau and Gold Medal, the company still refuses to provide me this information claiming that the pricing information is proprietary.
I suspect Gold Medal is refusing to provide me an itemized invoice for the work they did on my sink because the charge was arbitrary -- made up to take advantage of a female minority customer, as is the case with many businesses, unfortunately.
Since it appears BBB has no leverage to compel Gold Medal to provide me this information, I hope you can prompt an investigation of this case and assist me in obtaining the information I am seeking. It is unfortunate to have to escalate this matter to this level when I am simply asking Gold Medal to provide me information to substantiate the huge fee I paid for a service. I am not even asking for a refund -- though I believe at least a partial refund is warranted in light of the exhorbitant charge for a repair that, in my generous estimation, should not have cost more than $150-$200 given the inexpensive the piece that was installed and the minimal effort required to install it, but at this point I don't even care about getting a refund.
I believe Gold Medal's refusal to provide a paying customer with an itemized invoice for work performed is indicative of a more serious problem of business integrity and warrants an investigation in the interest of protecting prospective customers.