Bosch Hot Water / horrible company, horrible product, horrible customer service!
Our home came equipped with a bosch aquastar 125b ml hot water heater. Within a month of moving in, we began to have problems with the unit. Approximately two weeks ago, the unit broke, and failed to provide any hot water. My husband contacted bosch customer service, and spoke with a "technician". The technician was very rude, asked many irrelevant questions, and was severely lacking in knowledge regarding bosch products. The technician stated that the problem was a defective thermocouple. We were told that a website called www.houseneeds.com is the only place where bosch hot water heater parts can be purchased. So, we logged onto that website, and had a new thermocouple overnighted to us. Due to the fact that the technician wasn't very knowledgeable concerning bosch products, he was unable to provide us with a part number. So, when the part arrived, we realized that we had ordered the wrong one. The website that bosch sells their parts from doesn't provide customers with the opportunity to enlarge pictures of the parts. When we entered the information (Model number, serial number, etc.) for the unit that we have, houseneeds.com provided us with two different thermocouple options. Again, since the bosch "telephone technician" was unable/unwilling to provide us with a part number, we weren't sure which thermocouple to purchase. The fact that houseneeds.com refuses to provide adequate pictures didn't help our situation. Bosch and houseneeds.com have a strict no return policy. So, we were stuck with a thermocouple that didn't go to our unit, and we were out nearly $30 for overnight shipping costs. Upon realization that we had the wrong thermocouple, we purchased the correct one from houseneeds.com - again, because the telephone technician told us that the thermocouple was the problem - and again had to overnight the part (Another $30 in shipping fees down the drain.) when the second thermocouple arrived, we installed it into our unit. Still nothing. By this point we were going on over a week with no hot water, and we have three children! We went to the bosch website to find service providers in our area.in our entire state, there is only one service provider who deals with bosch water heating products. We contacted this individual, who was extremely uninterested in helping us. He stated that it would be several days before he would be able to come and look at it, and that once he came to look at it and determine the problem, it would still be several days before repairs could be performed, due to the fact that nobody other than www.houseneeds.com carries bosch parts. He too was very rude, and had absolutely no people skills whatsoever. We then proceeded to contact at least 20 different plumbing companies, all of whom stated that they were completely unwilling to service bosch products due to the fact that bosch hot water heaters were "garbage" and that parts were all but impossible to come by. Finally, as a last resort, we contacted our propane company to ensure that our hot water heater wasn't malfunctioning as a result of gas pressure that was either too high or too low. The service technician for our propane company came out, and was able to determine that the cause of failure was a missing pilot oriface. One tiny little part that should cost no more than $0.25. Of course, since bosch parts aren't available anywhere, and one is forced to do business with www.houseneeds.com, we are unable to order just the pilot oriface, and instead are forced to order the entire pilot assembly, and again be out a minimum of another $30 for shipping if we want hot water anytime soon. I contacted customer service at bosch this afternoon to register my complaint with the entire process. When the individual answered the phone (After being on hold for 30 minutes) I immediately asked for a supervisor. The rep informed me that every single supervisor had left for the day. I told him that I didn't believe that, and that it was highly unlikely that every member of management had left, and left an entire crew of employees to fend for themselves. The rep argued with me, and told me that it was common practice, and that the reps are always left by themselves in the evening hours. I proceeded to explain the issues we've been having to the rep, and told him that the way things have gone so far is highly unprofessional, as well as completely unacceptable. He stated that if the original phone technician had told us to purchase a thermocouple, then they would refund the cost of parts and shipping fees. He placed me on hold, and then returned only to tell me that he couldn't find any notes left by the previous tech suggesting that we purchase a thermocouple. I explained to him that the previous tech must have failed to include proper notes in his entry, and that we didn't just purchase a thermocouple on a whim. He continuously interrputed me, raised his voice, and kept repeating that there was nothing they could do for me. I told him that it is ridiculous that there is only one bosch service provider in the entire state, and he proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for not researching properly. I asked him what he meant and he said "bosch parts are hardly available, and there are very few service professionals contracted with bosch. People should look into that prior to purchasing bosch products." I explained to him that I did not purchase this bosch product, and that they should stand behind their merchandise and make things right. Again, he decided to cut me off, and keep repeating himself that there was nothing he could do for me. I again asked to speak with a supervisor, and he said "there is nobody I can transfer you to. Just me." I said "I don't believe for a second that there aren't any supervisors there." at which point he said, "I didn't say that there weren't any here, I said I can't transfer you to anyone." he then proceeded to tell me that he would not be speaking to me anymore, and that I should call back tomorrow. His behavior was totally appalling, and completely unacceptable. Even though we did not purchase this particular bosch hot water heater and it was in the house when we bought it, we are still being forced to order bosch parts and bosch is still making money (Too much money!) off of us, and therefore we are still bosch customers and should be treated accordingly. I have read pages and pages of negative reports concerning bosch on many websites, including /link removed/ and https://www.complaintsboard.com. This company should not be allowed to remain in business if they can't even stand behind their own product!
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