Home Depot Home Installation Services / water heater installation surprise charges
I needed a new water heater to replace the one that went bad.
While this is a job that I can do myself, in view of my busy schedule, I decided to go with Home Depot to get the unit installed.
I went with a 50 gal electric heater priced at $349.00 and the installation charge quoted was $285.00. I felt that this was reasonable, considering that I needed the heater the same day and I was unable to get out of my busy schedule.
I was also told that if there are any code related improvements then I will have to pay extra.
The installer was a great guy and I have nothing to complain except for some additional items he said I needed to get into city code compliance. He said I needed the following items and they are detailed below.
1. A stand to keep the heater above the ground level. It is a galvanized 21" x 21" X 16" high stand capable of supporting the weight of the heater and the water.
I was told that it will be $195.00 plus taxes.
2. I was told I need a pan under the heater for collecting any leaky water. It is an Aluminum pan that looks like a Pizza pan, made of .032" aluminum. I was told that it would cost $90.00 plus taxes.
3. The 3rd and the last item I needed was a ball valve for water shut off, and I was told that it will cost $95.00.
These 3 additional items along with taxes were $391.00. I asked the installer why is it these trivial items are so expensive and I was told thats how much they cost. I had no choice at that time to go myself to the store and buy the 3 items for under $65.oo, becaus ethey can't wait while I am shopping. Basically I was put on a spot and had no choice and had to go with the situation I amm stuck in.
Since I am dealing with Home Depot, I said I was going to take care of it with them rather than the installer. On calling Home Depot about the exhorbitant prices for 3 items ( more than the cost of the new heater), they said they have no control over what contractors charge.
My question is: I pick Home Depot based on the fact that they select contractors based on their work integrity, service ethics, and their honesty and reasonableness of cost of services. I go with them because I feel that I won't get ripped off. In this case it was a grand day light robbery. The gal at the other end at Home Depot couldn't help resolve the robbery.
Just around the time of completion a Home Depot service manager stopped by to see if every thing went OK. I brought the above subject on the over pricing, and his answer was that these are fixed by Home Depot... (contrary to what I heard from the gal earlier who wanted to get my credit card approval for extras). He was just a good old boy nodded head and told me to see the store manager.
I found the stand, and the pan at Lowes for $34.98 and $15.98 respectively. The ball valve is no more than $15.00. So here I am being shafted $391 for 3 items that cost $65.00, and don't require any installation work.
What a rip off. It is not over. I am trying to get all the information on price of the items with a proof, and confront the store manager to explain the rip off, and if he can not resolve I will take it to corporate, and the blogs, and may be to the local TV station to let every one know.
Moral of this Experience: Never trust any body, be it the Joe Blow repair man or the corporation like Home Depot. They are all Crooks. They are all in it and work together to rip you off.
By the way, this comment above does not mean that all repair men are bad. I am only referring to those that rip off people. I know and I have dealt with some very honest ones and have recommended them to many of my friends.
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