Report: #223100

Complaint Review: Culligan - Ann Arbor Michigan

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Ann Arbor Michigan
  • Author Confirmed What's this?
  • Why?
  • Culligan 3735 Plaza Dr Ann Arbor, Michigan U.S.A.
  • Phone: 734-662-5665
  • Web:
  • Category: Plumbing

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I contacted Culligan about installing a water softener in early 2006. We subsequently signed a contract and they came to my house and installed the required units.

Three weeks ago, during a plumbing inspection related to an addition to the house, the inspector saw that the installtion was done improperly and issued a citation. The building code calls for a backflow preventer be installed on the main water supply line and an expansion tank on the hot water heater. He mentioned that only liscenced plumbers are allowed by code to make new installations of water softeners and that Culligan's technicians do not have any sort of plumbing qualifications to do they installation that they did.

I spoke to both the Operations Manager (who came to our house) and the Genral Manager on four seperate occasions. The Operations Manager acknowledged that the code calls for the indicated backflow preventer and and expansion tank, even though they did not serve any value. He promised to contact the building inspector and contact me which he never did depite numerous messages left with him. I escalated to the General manager at the office who also indicated he would investigate and respond, which he never did. I called him back and he repeatedly said Culligan is authorized to do the installation that they did even though it was in contravention of the building code. He finally said that it was the homeowner's responsibility to know the building code and to make arrangements for a proper installation. It appears they are blatantly performing installations and hoping not to get caught.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/30/2006 03:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/culligan/ann-arbor-michigan-48108/culligan-water-conditioning-water-softener-ripoff-installation-in-violation-of-building-co-223100. 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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#7 Consumer Comment

Michigan Plumbing Code Requirements to Water Treatment Installers

AUTHOR: Eric Sturm - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I am doing research on the plumbing requirements of each State on Water Treatment installations. The Plumbing Permit Application for the State of Michigan states: "A license is not required for the installation of domestic water treatment and filtering equipment that requires modification to an existing cold water distribution supply and associated water piping in buildings if a permit is secured, required inspections performed and the installation complies with the applicable code." Backflow prevention devices and expansion tanks have absolutely nothing to do with the installation of your water treatment equipment. The only fault of the "Culligan Man" was not getting a permit for the installation. But the violations you cited have nothing to do with installing your water treatment system correct or not. Citing this Company as a Ripoff because of these non-related plumbing violations is a false allocation. The only wrong-doing would be they should of had their work inspected & then the inspector may or may not have found these other non-related violations.

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#6 Author of original report

I wasn't aware of the building code requirements at the time of installation and Culligan's salesman and technician

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

POSTED: Thursday, November 15, 2007

did not mention them. They considered it to be a completed installation when they left.

I am confused about your point regarding our addition. We hired a contractor to handle everything and, yes, building inspectors had to okay every step of the process. We did not attempt to pull the wool over anybody's eyes.

The time lag between the installation of the Culligan unit and my contacting them about the incomplete/illegal installation was due to my being unaware of the building code requirement. I had Culligan out here the day after the building inspector filed his violation which he noticed while doing addition-related inspections. They promised action and then went into hiding.

In doing an unauthorized installation, Culligan misrepresented the costs of their solution. As a consumer, I was unaware of the requirements for a backflow preventer, etc. I expect a certain level of competetence from a national company whose core business is water treatment. The building inspector told me he runs into situations all the time where Culligan is doing illegal plumbing modifications. He said Culligan rarely gets caught because not many people have building inspectors in their homes.

Culligan has told me repeatedly that the inspector is wrong and promised to provide a copy of the building code which verifies their qualifications to do the installations. They have never followed up on this despite promising it half a dozen times.

The Culligan unit will be pulled and a Sears unti installed by a professional plumber soon. Culligan is an unreputable company IMO. Luckilly, I did not buy their unit and will stick it in my driveway and call them to come and pick it up. Glad to hear you have had good luck with your water softener--it makes me feel better about ripping out the Culligan WS.

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#5 Author of original report

Better make sure the your building inspector agrees

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

POSTED: Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Because they did not in Ann Arbor. The AA building inspector informed me that Culligan's installation personnel are not licensed plumbers and, by code, should not be touching anybody's plumbing.

I never said the softener didn't work. It works just fine. The problem is the installation was missinh two required components accoring to the State of Michigan and City of Ann Arbor. They left us with code violations. This despite their slick marketing material indicating the installations "will be carried out by qualified personnel". That is a fallacious statement. They are not licensed plumbers and the installation was sub-par legally.

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#4 Consumer Comment


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

POSTED: Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What does a backflow preventer on the main water line and an expansion tank for the hot water heater have to do with the water softner? You would have needed those items even without a water softner. Looked at culligan units and thought they were vastly overpriced. Bought another brand and installed it myself. It cost me around $400. It's the second one I bought. The first lasted about 10 years outside. Thought that was cheaper then paying culligan's $2 or $3000 or whatever it was. Figure anyone who spends THAT kind of money on ads, is overpriced. Did YOU get all the permits for your addition to the house and are all the contractors licensed? You would have never thought of it if you hadn't done the addition.

You waited over a year to find out, so you didn't know and could have cared less. That doesn't make culligan right. They should send a licensed plumber to re-do the installation of the softner, but I still don't know what the backflow and the expansion tank has to do with the softner.

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#3 Consumer Comment

I Got Outstanding Service from Ann Arbor Culligan

AUTHOR: Hot Under The Collar - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, November 14, 2007

As a potential customer of Culligan, I became concerned when I read the review that was written on 11/30/06. I called the Ann Arbor store and spoke to the general manager who assured me that they would do everything they could to make sure I was satisfied with their service.

I have to say that the service I received was OUTSTANDING! The service guy was courteous, and very knowledgeable. He explained everything he was doing and did not seem to mind all of the questions I asked about the R.O. System. He cleaned up the work area and took all of the discarded packaging back to the truck.

I could not be more satisfied with the service I received from the Ann Arbor Culligan dealer. I will recommend this dealer to anyone who may be interested in a water treatment system.

And, by the way, the R.O. produces the best water we have ever had. Our coffee is the best!

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Contact Your Local License Board

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

POSTED: Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What they are doing is illegal. You have to have the proper licenses to perform plumbing work over $500 (that figure can differ from state to state). They are in violation of your states contractor licensing board and you should report them. It irritates me when un-licensed company/individuals perform work "on the side" trying to get away without having the proper licenses, insurances and bonds.

In my opinion, Culligan should be fined and I hope the state reviews the last year of installs they did and fine them for those as well, maybe after that they will learn to do it right or leave it to the professionals!

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#1 UPDATE Employee

Who to call for help

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

POSTED: Tuesday, December 12, 2006

If you are still having issues call Mark Seals at 847-205-6125. He is the CEO and that is his direct number. Merry Christmas

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