Report: #772372

Complaint Review: The Basement Doctor

  • Submitted: Fri, September 02, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, September 15, 2011
  • Reported By: DR — Powell Ohio United States of America
  • The Basement Doctor
    13659 East Main Street
    Reynoldsburg, Ohio
    United States of America

The Basement Doctor J&D Basement Systems Tried to get more money after contract had already been signed and insurance claim paid Reynoldsburg, Ohio

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Company response to Mr Ruma's concerns

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I think its important for anyone needing repairs done in their basement thats considering J&D Basement Systems, also known as the Basement Doctor, as their contractor to read this story.  My home was built in 2005.  A serious construction defect caused by the basement sub-contractor has left me with a major water problem in my basement.  I have a poured wall foundation, which requires weep holes at the bottom of the walls to drain the outside of the foundation.  My sub-contractor poured my basement floor too low (right on top of the footer), blocking all of the weep holes in my walls.  This prevented the drainage of any water outside my foundation.  I now have 15+ cracks around the foundation and water seepage.  I hired an engineer and personally opened up the floor in three places to confirm the problem.  I initiated discussions with my insurance company.  After a year they finally conceded that they were responsible for my problem. 

When we started the process of determining the costs involved, I contacted J&D Basement Systems/The Basement Doctor.  They gave me a proposal to fix the problem in my basement.  During a six month process of negotiating a settlement amount with the insurance company, I met with Wes Martin of J&D Basement Systems on a few occasions and traded several emails and phone calls.  I was concerned that in order to get a settlement payment, the insurance company was asking me to sign a release, indemnifying them from further responsibility.  I spent a great deal of time making sure I had all the costs covered before I signed the release.  Wes Martin gave me every assurance that he had all the work I needed included in my bid.  As I said, I met with him to discuss this specifically.  We proceeded to sign a contract for the work and scheduled a date to start.  Approximately two weeks later I got a letter in the mail stating that J&D Basement Systems was terminating my contract.  There was no explanation included. 

When I inquired about why they wished to terminate the agreement, I was told that the amount of work anticipated was not covered in their contract amount.  Specifically, Wes Martin told me that he wasnt sure how many cracks were in my walls that would require repairs, and he couldnt verify the amount of my existing drainage system under the floor that would need to be replaced.  Both of these are items we specifically discussed.  Not only did he assure me that any cracks they found would be repaired, but he also stated that most or all of the existing drainage system would be replaced.  These were not items that were overlooked during the process.  We specifically discussed them.  I was then told that the job could be completed for a possible up charge of $4,400, depending on what they found when they started the job.  Needless to say, I can no longer go back to the insurance company and ask for an additional $4,400, and J&D Basement Systems claims no responsibility in their apparent miscalculation. 

In my opinion, because all of their reasons for requesting additional money for this job were specifically discussed prior to them preparing the estimate, I believe this is a deceptive effort to get more money out of a client.  Im sure J&D Basement Systems and Wes Martin would disagree, but either I am correct, or they are incredibly incompetent.  In either case, I cant imagine why anyone would choose to hire this company for their basement repairs.  This explanation is based entirely on facts.  I am not an angry customer thats fabricating the truth to try and get back at my contractor.  Because of the tactics of J&D Basement Systems (aka The Basement Doctor), I simply believe anyone considering them deserves to know what type of people they are dealing with and what to watch out for.  Better yet, I would recommend that you look to someone else for your basement repair needs.
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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Company response to Mr Ruma's concerns

AUTHOR: J&D Basement Systems - (United States of America)

It is always disappointing when we cannot meet a clients expectation. In 1996, we implemented a procedure that all jobs contracted would have a pre-construction inspection by our installation department prior to accepting the job. The intent of this procedure is to minimize misunderstandings that can occur during verbal communications by our representatives with the customer at the signing of an agreement to contract.  While written agreements do spell out the parameters of work to be completed, in many cases they do not deal with all the details and expectations of the customer.    Our pre-construction inspection procedure has helped our company keep misunderstanding to a minimum.  The clients who contract with J&D Basement Systems appreciate the extra step we take to insure their project is completed in a professional manner.    This is just  one of the many reasons we have  achieved  a very high level of customer satisfaction as demonstrated by the substantially A  ratings we have on Angies List,  the A+ Better Business Bureau Ratings. In addition we have received thousands of letters from satisfied customers since our central Ohio office opened in 1987.  

While I understand  Mr. Rumas negative perceptions of The Basement Doctor's performance considering his experiences, there are a few gaps in his complaint presentation that needs filled in order to complete the facts.  First, No work was started or completed as he indicated in his statement.    In February 2011, we had given  Mr. Ruma an  itemized estimate  in the amount of $25,000  that outlined all the work we could observe during a visual inspection that would be required  to solve his  basement water issues. We were not provided a copy of an engineers report. On August 8, 2011, our project manager executed an agreement to contract with him for $15,400.  

On August 18th, after one postponement to accommodate Mr. Ruma, our production manager of 23 years, did a pre-construction review of the project as outlined in the agreement, at his home.  He observed many cracks on the exterior of the foundation that typically would be on the inside as well.  Mr. Rumas expectation was that we would deal with those issues on the inside as well.  Based on the inspection it was clear that there were many unknowns behind the finished basement walls that indicated we might not be able to solve his water seepage problems within our signed agreement to contract work.

After reviewing the agreement, the pre-construction pictures, and discussing the concerns with our  production manager, I reluctantly chose to exercise our right to cancel the agreement  that is printed in bold letters at the bottom of the agreement  which Mr. Ruma signed and reads as follows: DEALERS RIGHT OF ACCEPTANCE : The Basement Doctor has the right to accept or reject this agreement or contract within ten business days after the date of this contract.  A  notice was sent to Mr. Ruma, to allow him more than three weeks to find another contractor for his project.

Mr. Ruma did propose paying an additional amount to cover some of the unknowns behind the drywall that would need to be removed in order to observe the cracks in the basement walls.  That still left open the possibilities of a substantial amount of work necessary to solve the water problems he was having.  Therefore, we could not come to terms as to who would be responsible for the unknowns.  He then decided to submit his complaints to Angies List, The BBB, and RipOff Report.  

Since 1987, J&D Basement Systems The Basement Doctor has achieved a very high level of customer satisfaction that is reflected in our high ratings with Angies List members, the Better Business Bureau, and tens of thousands of satisfied customers in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.  While our goals are to achieve 100% customer satisfaction, we recognize that we come up short at times.  Unfortunately, this was one of those times.

From Tom Johnston, President, J&D Basement Systems

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