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B A Power Washing Inc / Wrongful billing

1 Chantilly, VA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

We scheduled for powerwashing and window cleaning for Friday 5/2/08 between 8am-Noon. On Friday, 5/2/08, nobody from B&A called and nobody showed up. At 2:30pm, WE had to call THEM to inquire of the ETA of technician. We were told the technican tried calling us in the morning to get directions but didn't get an answer. (FYI: We were home all day and our phone never rang.) We REscheduled for Friday 5/16/08 at 7:30am (we were told this is the first appointment).

On Friday, 5/16/08, again, nobody from B&A showed up and nobody called. So, again, WE had to call THEM. We were told they don't do powerwashing in the rain.

Because nobody from B&A ever called us, NOT EVEN ONCE, to advise of arrival delays/problems, we advised B&A on 5/16/08 that we'd have to find a more reliable service provider and that we would NOT be rescheduling with them.

On Saturday, 5/17/08, we received a bill for $219 with the "attention" that a $50 service fee will be charged if we don't pay within five days. Then, on Saturday 6/21/08, a new bill arrived with a $21.90 late fee accessed, for a total of $240.90, plus the note that the invoice had been turned over to collections.

Are they kidding me? They expect us to pay for services NOT rendered? AND now they expect us to pay for late fees for those non-services? Yeah, uh, I dont think so.

So, on 6/21/08, I sent B&A Power Washing Inc an email advising them of their erroneous billing and further advised that any future billings we received from them would be considered harassment and that we'd have to take appropriate actions; i.e., contact Better Business Bureau, IRS, USPS Mail Fraud, local courthouse and licensing bureaus, etc.

On 6/21/08, B&A responded to my email, "Please disregard the late fee. My apologies we were not informed of this in the office. Please remit payment for 219." They either don't understand English, didn't read the whole email, just don't care, they are taunting me, or any combination of these.

On 7/5/08, I received another bill, an EXACT duplicate of the bill received on 6/21/08. Interestingly, the first two bills were received five weeks apart while the third bill came two weeks after my 6/21/08 email. Also interesting, the first two bills had a few differences, specifically the payment due dates were different and the first bill referenced a service date while the second bill provided an online payment link. The third bill was an exact duplicate of the second, as if somebody xeroxed it and re-sent it. I'm wondering if they didn't send the third bill to call my bluff.

So, on 7/5/08, I did exactly what I said I would. I sent complaints to the BBB, USPS Mail Fraud Division, Maryland and Virginia Consumer Affairs Offices, and to B&A's online billing service provider Freshbooks. I also sent B&A an email to advise them of this information and to further advise them that any billings received prior to the resolution from any of the authorities I'd contacted would result in my contacting a lawyer for possible suits of small claims and/or civil for liable and damages.

On 7/5/08, I received an email from B&A which said, "Sounds great and have a wonderful holiday weekend! God bless america!!!" Also interestingly, I attempted to call B&A on 7/5/08, both their VA and MD numbers, but both were immediately re-directed to their answering service. However, exactly 15 minutes after I sent my email on 7/5/08, they could respond with their own email. They can't answer their phone but they can answer email?

Like I said, B&A Power Washing's customer service is deplorable and inexcusable.

At one time B&A charged a $50 fee if appointments were not cancelled within 24 hours. Since that should go both ways, then I'd like to know what B&A refunds their customers when they don't show...TWICE??? B&A obviously didn't mind disrupting our schedule...TWICE! I wonder if B&A realizes we were trying to be exemplary customers by removing all obstacles from around the perimeter of our home so the technican(s) would have easy and safer access while power-washing our home? Furniture, flower pots, hose-reels, etc were removed on 5/2/08, put back in place when B&A didn't show up, then removed once again on 5/16/08, and once again returned to place because B&A failed to show up AGAIN.

Maybe I should charge them? $50 per day they didn't show, plus time we spent helping them, plus damages from stress? What's that worth?

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  • As
      8th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Customer Satisfaction Guarenteed
    Customer had scheduled a window washing & house wash for 5/02/2008. We could not locate the customers property in St. lenord, Md(actually came up Port Republic, MD) and called customer for directions. Customers home phone 410-495-7825 rang busy everytime we called. Therefor the work could not be completed on that date for failure to locate house.
    We spoke with customer and rescheduled house wash for the 17th. The house washed was completed and we left an invoice.
    We never heard anything from the customer again until 2 weeks ago when they received their bill. We then get the following email. Please see excerpts from the customers email.

    'Do you or do you not understand plain English? We are NOT remitting payment for $219. You obviously don't seem to understand my problem. For the last time, here it is again, and I suggest you read this very carefully or you find somebody who does understand ENGLISH so they can translate this into simple terms for you because I certainly can't make this any clearer myself:


    This is taken directly from customers email. We invoice customers after the work is completed if there would have been a problem we would have sent our tech right back out to the property but to be treated like this is absolutely horrendous. We have been in business for over 16 years. We take customer satisfaction very seriously and have been trying to resolve this with customer to no avail. We have called customer several times the phone number given is still busy and the work number we have no one ever answers how do suppose with fix any problems with service when we can not get a hold of the customer. We have responded to every email and have done our part. If you would like to remedy the situation please contact our office and ask for Brandon he is the owner and would like to speak to you personally.

    here is another excerpt from customers email-

    'So here's my 'ATTENTION': If we receive another bill/invoice for SERVICES NOT RENDERED, we will consider this harassment and will take appropriate action; i.e., the Better Business Bureau will be contacted; local courthouses and business licensing bureaus in Maryland, DC, and Virginia will be contacted; the IRS will be advised of your billing practices; the US Postal Service will be contacted for possible mail fraud; and, the FBI's Fraud Schemes will be contacted...just to name a few off the top of my head. '

    Basically customer would like to not pay for service rendered or she will report us to every Internet consumer reporting agency. Which she is following through with her threats. We as a company have to stand behind our employee who states that the work has been completed.

    We have been trying the customers phone number everyday to speak her about these issues but until her phone gets fixed or they pay thier phone bill it rings busy.

  • Mi
      8th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    On 7/8/08, I spoke with B&A owner/manager Brandon Frye regarding this matter and we settled it amicably.

    To clarify something in Mr Frye's rebuttal, this matter was never, I repeat NEVER, about us trying to skip out on paying a bill. It was always about not paying for something I never received, about B&A sending the matter to collections, and our logical assumption that our credit reporting would be marred.

    Another clarification, we rescheduled for Friday, 5/16/08, not Saturday, 5/17/08. I know this because we have every other Friday off and we always schedule things such as this for those days only. The invoice we received on 5/17/08 was delivered via USPS Mail, which is delivered at approximately 11:30a.m., with a post-mark from 20152, which I believe is a Chantilly, VA, location. We were home all morning...I know this, too, because Saturday's are our days to catch up on sleep we miss during the week and/or just laze around the house...hence why we schedule things such as this for our Fridays off.

    Now, because Mr. Frye included my home telephone number in his rebuttal (which he should not have done since my personal identifying information isn't public information without my last name to search on google and/or white pages), I invite anybody still reading this to do a google search on reverse phone number look-up, find my address and drive-by to take a look at my house for yourself. Better yet, call the # and you'll see my phone works just fine. I'll give you directions to my house. From the street, which you'll appreciate once you are in front of my house and see how far away you really are at street level, you’ll easily see the orange/rust colored stain on one of the upper story window casings. It’s been there probably two years, maybe longer. It’s either from the A/C run-off from the attic or a pteradactyl flew over and aimed just right. Ask my neighbors how loud my tiny and ancient electric power-washing machine is and just how long it took me to wash just the porch area three weeks ago...which had grown to embarrassing proportions with all the cobwebs and bug corpses. We don’t use the front door so we are hardly ever on the porch. When new guests arrive, it was embarrassing for us that they had to walk thru unseen webs and crunch bugs under their I caved in, rolled up my sleeves, and washed this area myself...soon realizing I should’ve worn a bathing suit because within minutes I was soaked. But the shutters look good after I applied many squirts of Armor-All and lots of elbow grease. Then, take a look at the wood decking...I started power-washing the floor but quickly realized how much effort that was going to be so I stopped. About two square feet were done...same goes for the cement side-walk. But you are welcome to come around to the back deck, if you don’t mind large dogs greeting can write “Joe was here on x/x/xx” in the very visible dust, dirt, muck, grime, whatever it is, on the siding. There’s no way anybody with even a tiny bit of vision could mistake that for having been on the receiving end of soap and water and power...just not possible.

    I did not initially contact B&A on 5/17/08 when the first bill arrived via US Mail because I was hopeful it was just an oversight. I just assumed the bill was produced during a mass mailing for outstanding bills (because the bill listed 5/2/08 as the date of service provided) and was printed prior to them removing us from their system. Afterall, we advised them on 5/16/08, after their second no-show, that we’d have to find another company. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have contacted them immediately. When the second bill arrived on 6/21/08 with the notice that it had been sent to collections...well, let’s just say my back went up and the claws came out. My husband and I have strived since day one to maintain and strengthen our credit rating. To be told a matter was sent to collections, we knew credit reporting wasn’t far behind. And since I knew I wasn’t paying for something I didn’t receive, I sent B&A an email advising them of their error and further advised I’d have to take other action if I received another bill.

    The response I got back from B&A did not address my issue and it was obvious the email was not read, or not understood...which prompted my second, and admittedly much more rude, email. The two excerpts in Mr. Frye’s rebuttal are my words in those emails; however, those two excerpts are out of order. When I received my third bill, I was forced to take the actions I said I would. These actions were not threats as Mr. Frye contends in his rebuttal, they were facts. I don’t mince words, I mean what I say, I say what I mean. The response I received from B&A on 7/5/08 was “sounds great...”. Obviously getting a serious response from B&A was not going to happen. Following the recommendations found on Federal Trade Commission’s website for issues consumers have with businesses, I followed the prescribed path with one exception...I did not contact the media...which would have been next along with a lawyer.

    When the phone calls finally, FINALLY, started coming from B&A, I did not immediately return them. (BTW, our phone works fine, our house phone hardly ever rings because most people know to call our cells, and our caller ID does not have any of B&A’s #s in its memory until Monday, 7/7/08.) On Monday, 7/7/08, I was not able to return their calls. Tuesday, 7/8/08, I was at work and knew I’d get loud and unprofessional in my office space so I initially avoided answering my phone when their phone # appeared. Unfortunately, my automatic voice message provides an emergency number for a coworker. Mr. Frye, not knowing who my contact # was going to be, a subordinate, a manager, a boss, or an executive, called my emergency contact #. He was very loud with her, as if she had any part in this situation. He was so loud, in fact, I, as well as others in the vicinity, could hear him clearly. My coworker ultimately had to excuse herself from the conversation because she herself was getting louder and abruptly discontinued the call.

    In Mr. Frye’s rebuttal, he obviously stands behind his employees, which I applaud because that’s a wonderful trait for a manager...I should know, I used to train newly hired supervisors. Unfortunately, the technician who was assigned our house washing is mistaken. That, or s/he went to the wrong house because ours is still dirty. And, BTW, this technician no longer works for B&A.

    Was this an unfortunate situation? Yes. Did this rise to unnecessary levels? Probably. Did my actions of contacting appropriate authorities/entities finally get their attention? You bet.

    The bottomline is this: Today, 7/8/08, Mr. Frye offered to come out to my house, take a look at the siding and offered to wash the siding and clean the gutters free of charge. While that was certainly a gracious offer, it is not the remedy sought. I’m not about getting something for free. I only wanted a letter or email verifying that this matter is considered closed and no further billings will be sent, which I received today. I promised to retract or edit my comments made online and discontinue any cases opened by the proper authorities, which I’m doing now.

    Lastly, there are plenty of websites where other B&A customers have applauded the services they’ve received. Mr. Frye is obviously passionate about his business and reputation, which I completely understand and respect. Likewise, I’m passionate about my squeaky clean credit report and for not paying for things I didn’t get. I certainly hope Mr. Frye does not still have doubt about whether or not services were rendered. I can not express nor explain any more clearly that our house has not seen soap-n-water in the eight years it’s been built, except for the porch I did myself!

    If Mr. Frye is reading this, I have some recommendations:
    a) if it’s within your budget, get tracking devices on your vehicles so that you can specifically see if your vehicles are where they are (or were) supposed to be;
    b) print mapquest or similar driving directions prior to the technicians leaving the office. My house is extremely easy to get to...from the capitol beltway there are only four turns to my street;
    c) I used to work in pest-control many many years ago and we had gauges on the hand-held chemicals to track how much chemical was used during any one visit. I recommend something similar as a back-up tool. (Granted, a less-than-honest tech could just dump it on the ground, but it’s still a tool.); and, probably most importantly...
    d) watch-dog who’s responding (and what they’re saying) to the emails you receive at The few I received with no names were certainly not great representations for your business and was one of the two catalysts deciding the avenue I pursued.

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