Public Mediation

Ken Bricker vs. Wilbur Heating & Plumbing

Taking advantage of an old man! Shame on YOU Wilbur Plumbing & Heating!

K. B. vs. Wilbur Heating & Plumbing
6508 Brandy Lane, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, 17050-2844, United States
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Statement of Claim
Claimant says:
"My furnace quit running probably the coldest night of the year. I called Wilbur Plumbing and Heating and the Service man said it will cost $129 to just get him there to investigate the problem, because it will be an emergency service call. This unfortunately this happened on a Saturday. The service man was prompt and efficient. He found a blocked oil filter, pump screen and nozzle. I was happy to pay the $129 for the service call, however the 1 1/2 hours plus an oil filter, screen and nozzle seemed really steep at $425.00. I paid the bill, what else could I do. I'm 83 years old and I got to have heat. I have not slept very well since I feel that I was taken advantage of by some very ridiculous prices of material and labor I believe he gouged me with. I went to the place of business and asked if they could explain these charges. If they could tell me what each part costs and I came away with nothing other than a run around and more frustration."
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Additional Communication Between Claimant and Wilbur Heating & Plumbing Hide
  • Feb 24, 2016, Wilbur Heating & Plumbing (responding party) added:
  • Mr. Bricker
    Thank you for using our services. I appreciate you admitting we live answered your phone call for service on the coldest night of the year and that we promptly responded to your home. Your phone call was received at 6:08 p.m. on February 13, 2016 and our technician dispatched from his home at 7:49 and was onsite at your home at 8:10. He was clocked off duty at 10:00 p.m once he returned home.
    Jon Beck our technician was greeted and followed to the furnace area by your son who assumed was the home owner. Your son stayed with him most of the time during his diagnosis and repairs according to Jon. Someone mentioned that the oil furnace had not been cleaned or serviced in 3 or 4 years. The 3 items that were found wrong and replaced were all things that were preventable with yearly maintenance. Jon mentioned quoting pricing prior to performing the repairs as we always do. It was then that he realized this wasn't your son's home but yours. Jon asked to have you come down so he could review the findings and pricing but was advised "That is not necessary, the furnace needs fixed". We have your signature on the electronic receipt approving the repairs and agreeing to pay the amount quoted.
    We don't set prices by happenstance or what our competition charges or what we feel the market will bare. We charge enough to pay all the expenses involved with running a professional Home service company and maintain a 10 percent net profit after all the expenses are realized. We think that is fair. Keep in mind those are $45,000 trucks with $10,000 of inventory and tools on board. There is a building mortgage to pay, accounts payable/receivable person and accountant, dispatchers and a working manager like myself. Along with all the insurances, licenses and general business expenses it is expensive to do what we do. You mentioned being pleased with the technician. We pay top wages and benefits to attract and retain good people. They deserve to compensated well. Jon is married and a father of five and our folks many times after working a 40 hour week are called away from their families on weekends and evenings. They are paid time and a half wages plus a $50 spiff when they are called out after hours. You mention 1.5 hours at your home. Our policy is we pay a technician while he is in a company vehicle from when he dispatches until he arrives home on after hour calls. So our GPS tracking shows 2.18 hours associated with your job. I'm sure you appreciated having a live person receive your after hours phone call for service. Again this is an expense where we pay a third party to answer our phones and dispatch a technician in the event you need emergency service. A lot of companies just have answering machines leaving you to wonder if you will get a timely response if at all.
    I am not willing to refund any money for the 3 repairs that were done to your furnace. Our pricing is inline and cheaper than most who offer true emergency service. The emergency fee of $129 could have been avoided altogether if you had been pro-active and performed periodic maintenance to your furnace. The repair charges of $425 for a total of 3 repairs performed on a weekend is more than reasonable.Your furnace still needs cleaned and is not in a dependable state as it is now.
    I'm sorry you feel the charges are to much. But after 30 years we know what it takes to keep the doors open. We have never serviced your furnace before and we do offer reduced rates for our Comfort club members. Please contact us if that is of interest to you.
    Jeffrey A. Wilbur, president
    Wilbur Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

  • Feb 24, 2016, Claiming party added:
  • Thank you for your timely response. I understand it cost a lot of money to run a business. I also understand to pay a quality employee a fair wage especially on an emergency call. I am also 83 years old and haven't done a very good job in maintaining my furnace. I guess at my age I am still learning things. However when I get repairs done on my car, the place I am doing business always provides an itemised list of the parts and the price for each part. They also will put how long they took and sometimes they even put there hourly rate. I am not asking for compensation, I just want to know how much each of those parts cost. I am thankful for the young man who serviced my furnace! I think you should give him a raise! I am disputing the costs of the parts. A filter, screen and a nozzle should not cost hundreds of dollars. Maybe I am wrong, been wrong before. I also know I was born on a weekend, just not last weekend.

  • Feb 25, 2016, Claiming party added:
  • So if I understand you correctly, I paid for three separate services on my furnace and according to your first email, you said " Your furnace still needs cleaned and is not in a dependable state as it is right now." There seems to be a contradiction here. I know full well I could purchase the replacement parts at the local Home Depot for around $30. I paid for an emergency service, and according to you I paid for three separate services, and according to you and $425 out of my pocket my furnace still needs cleaned and is not in a dependable state. Thats like ordering a $425 steak without any plate, silverware, napkin or table. The steak was good, it was awfly expensive, but I leave a greasy mess and very unsatisfied.

What Claimant Wants Hide
Just make me happy!
Claimant invites Wilbur Heating & Plumbing to make a fair offer.
1. Other – Pay for claim posting cost Mar 09, 2016 $7.99
Cash total : TBD
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Respondent's Counteroffer

There has been no response to this claim from Wilbur Heating & Plumbing. This claim will remain posted until resolved
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