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Reliance Home Comfort


Hot water heater rental

Complaint Rating:  92 % with 52 votes
92% 52
Contact information:
Reliance Home Comfort Limited
London, Ontario
I have just moved to Ontario and have been exposed to the scam of the hot water heater rental business. On arriving I received an invoice for $35 from Reliance Home Comfort to set up an account (what other business charges you to open an account with them?). I have also been informed that my quarterly rental charges for a hot water heater are $38/qtr - this for a hot water heater that is more than 12 years old. If I want to get rid of their heater and buy my own, they want to charge me $200 to close my account, and $125 to remove it from my premises.
How can anyone get away with this kind of criminal behaviour?
Complaint comments Comments (32) Complaint country Canada Complaint category Equipment Leasing & Financing


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A  17th of Dec, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Strongly agree!!!
N  5th of Jul, 2017 by    0 Votes
@Juliusz_22 Just FYI my insurance company SUED Reliance successfully over the damage done to my home from their leaking hot water heater and got me my $1, 000 deductible back.
My best advice is to buy a hot water heater with a long warranty.
A  17th of Dec, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Strongly agree!!
A  15th of Apr, 2010 by    +1 Votes
EXACTLY!!! I just bought a house with a Reliance water heater and they charged me $35 to type my name into their system and I have to pay the $200 if I don't want to deal with them anymore. It's extortionary! I'm complaining to the Better Business Bureau and I hope you all will too!
N  26th of May, 2010 by    -3 Votes
Hello I work for Reliance

Hydro and many other companies, Cogeco etc all charge you an Admin fee. If your Tank is over 10 yrs old and you return it to us yourself it cost only $45 Admin closing fee. If you have your water heater disconnected either by yourself or have someone else do it and call us to pick it up, there's an additional $65 fee. If you call us to cancel your rental agreeement and want us to come and disconnect the water heater and remove it there is a $125 additional fee. You can't expect them to come and disconnect it for free. If you return your water heater to us yourself and its over 10 yrs old it only cost you $45 Admin fee. The cancellation fee covers the Guy moving the water heater around & unloading it in the warehouse, covers the data entry girl who looks up your account and processes the cancellation request, which may include cancelling a bank draft, issuing a Credit when you have paid in advance, the bill was due after you returned it but were charged the full amount. They figure iout how many days were left at your rental rate, how much we owe you including GST, it's far more complicated than you think Sir/Madam.

Reliance appreciates your buisness and thanks You. We strive for Customer Satisfaction and should you have any other questions please call 1-888-490-3011 and press option 4 . My man # is 2295 feel free to tell them I sent you, Thanks and have a good day
A  10th of Jun, 2010 by    -2 Votes
There are better companies such as National home services that now have entered th emarket. Finally there is a choice rather than a monopoly running the water heater business. National Home Services by comparison is better although Reliance will have you belive it is a scam. How else would Reliance instil fear in you to switch. NHS actally offers free service (reliance doesnt), they have a 4 hour turnaround time is service is required (Reliance cant or doesnt), there is free maintenance (Reliance - not even close), in fact think about the last time a Reliance came out to "maintain" your tank- never.
My point is there are choices- like any other rental or purchase you should do your own homework. Reliance tried to sell me when they knew I had switched over. In fact, many of my neighbours received calls and letters bashing other companies. It was actually amusing . reliance only cared when they werent going to recive money from us. I will be starting a website shortly so all can post the Reliance experience which I cant imagine was good at all.
NHS als matched the price I was paying with Reliance and I recieved a brand new ENERGY STAR rated tank.
How can you go wrong. All my neighbour are happier
N  23rd of Jul, 2010 by    0 Votes
Good Afternoon Mr. Rossi,

I have just had a very unpleasant experience dealing with your company - and it has wasted over 2 hours of my time - and still I do not have any satisfactory answers. I hope the following scenario will help you to more effectively train your support personnel.

I called 1866-735-4262 (the number on my bill) this afternoon at approximately 2:25 PM. to inquire about purchasing my water heater - which I now rent from your company. I waited through your prompts to get to the correct department, then gave my name address and telephone # - I was speaking to Mini. After being on hold, with no music or sound, for over 10 minutes the call was disconnected and I was listening to a dial tone. I immediately called back and this time spoke with Bev - who, after asking me for my name address and telephone # put me on hold - while she supposedly tried to connect me with the right department. I had waited through the prompts and thought I was at the right department. I was put on hold at approximately 3:00 PM at 3:07 PM she came back on the line to say that this was a high volume call time and that she was still trying to connect me - well, at 3:18 PM - the line went back to the main menu prompts and I hung up - really frustrated by this time. I then went online to get another number 416- 490-4554 - called this number (at my own expense) and asked to speak with someone who manages customer service - I was put through to Arlene (employee number 1763) - explained the situation to her and she promptly connected me to Robert (Rob) - he has been with your company for 2 years and apparently has no employee # - or he wasn't willing to share it with me. After going through name address etc. - for the 4th time today with Reliance - he said it would cost $700 plus 13% HST to buy out my present water heater. I asked when this would be less as the heater was aging and how much it would cost if I waited and for how long. He could not answer this as it happens once per year - he is not sure when and does not know by how much it would depreciate. He would not let me speak to his Supervisor as if he knew he would have told Rob. NICE! I then asked Rob where I could write to complain and who the President / CEO for the company was - he told me Rob Jutrias and even spelled it for me. I had to hold for an address. He also explained to me that the reason I was not able to be connected to his department at 2:30 - is because they were all in a meeting for a half hour and were not taking calls - guess your policy is to just hang up on customers if this is the case! I then said cancel my contract and come and get your heater - he proceeded to explain that there would be a $40 cancellation charge and a $125 pick up the heater charge. Or I could drop it off myself in London or Ottawa. I then wanted to know where this is explained - he said in the terms and conditions - well I assumed this water heater rental when I purchased my home 7 years ago - he thinks I was given the terms then. He did not have a copy to e-mail or send me - but told me to go to your website - under water heaters / terms and conditions. Well, I did that - that is when I discovered that you were the President & CEO - perhaps all employees should know this and the address? Just a suggestion. Nowhere on the website could I find the terms and conditions for water heater rentals - I did find them for the website (bottom of the page). Feeling super frustrated - I called Arlene back - went thought the whole scenario with her - guess what? She couldn't find the terms and conditions on your website either. She is, however, going to put a copy in the mail to me and/or e-mail me a copy, if possible.

I want you to come and get your heater - it will be at the bottom of my driveway. That is how frustrated I am with your company!

I would very much appreciate a response.
N  31st of Oct, 2010 by    0 Votes
Decided to switch to National this summer. They removed my old Reliance tank and said that they would return it to Reliance for me. Reliance said that National has not returned the tank and is continuing to bill me for the tank rental. National says they tried to return the tank but Reliance would not accept it without a "reference number." We supplied National with the reference number given to us by Reliance but now, 3 months later, Reliance is billing us for 3 months in advance and threatening to send our bill to a collection agency if we don't pay up. National says that the matter is before the courts and to hold tight and send Reliance nothing. I don't want my credit ruined and feel like I'm in the middle of a finger pointing routine! Anyone else have similar problem or solution? Craig in Windsor
A  3rd of Nov, 2010 by    0 Votes
I would also like to know the laws of how utilitie companies are allowed to Bill. I received a bill today from Reliance for $125 from November 3rd until January 30th. How are they able to bill me ahead of time???? This is ridiculous, in this day and age when its hard enough to make ends meet I surely do not want to pay for a service in advance. I tried to call in as well and gave up after being transferred 3 times over 35 mins.
A  9th of Nov, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I just got in the same situation - that company charges people even without any signed contract or agreement, even without you confirmation by phone that you know about these charges and you agree with it. When you call the Reliance asking "why", you get the standard robotic ansew from any personel you can reach. Reliance just got a smart way to make money. All the time there are some stupid people who will pay that company 200$ or 125$ for getting back nothing - no services and no goods. And the most unbelievable thing that there is no "power" in the province to stop that FRAUD.
N  19th of Nov, 2010 by    0 Votes
Craig 14159
I have just heard that a National Home Services customer sued Reliance because he has given authorization to National to act on his behalf when it came to returning the tank and getting a removal number(bear in mind the removal number was never part of the original terms and conditions and Reliance implemented to try and minimize their attrition by making it hard for you/National to return the tank). Long story short th ecustomer won and the courts rules that National did have the right and it can be concluded that Reliance should have accepted the tan back and seized billing.
I have reserached all this because i was in teh same predicament. I am glad I switched over- reliance hadnt done a damn thing for me 0 didnt replace my old tank- never called me(only recently because they lost my $, plus they are an American company...ill stick with supporting the Canadians especially the way the economy is..plus from what I have heard National has better service(havent needed it yet!)

I recall reading that Reliance has lost 10s of thousands of customers to National and continue to lose hundreds a week- I am not surprised in Reliances attempts to discredit National- I read it all over the place and have heard they have post degrading billboards discouraging customers from signing with National...just goes to show what kind of people work at Reliance- dont get me wrong - I am all for competition- but keep it clean and may the best business succeed...
N  4th of Dec, 2010 by    0 Votes
We live in a capitalist society. The best thing about capitalism is that there is competition. Competition is one of the best things that can happen to consumers. I am going through the process of trying to return the water heater rental from Reliance and what they are doing is atticious. It is absolutely absurd and should be fined for all the resources that this is taking consumers. I would recommend that anyone who believed in competition and the free competiton world, remove themselves from service with Reliance.
Their heater that I had was 19 years old and they would not replace it for me. I had called them twice. As such I decided to switch. I would be willing to pay double to ensure that I never ever in my life receive service from Reliance.
N  13th of Dec, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I worked for Reliance Home Comfort and here is my inside scoop...
If you have an old Reliance Water Tank, call Direct Energy and they will remove it for free to put in theirs.
If you have a Direct Energy tank, call Reliance and they will put theirs in for free.
This backward industry can't afford to remove their own tanks when they reach 10 years old because they get the rental fee from customers until the tank litterally breaks down (ie if you paid $20 a month and the tank lasts 20 years you paid $4, 800!!!). Therefore, they'd rather steal a customer from the competitor and gain a new customer because they don't have to worry about their millions of customers finding out that they will replace tanks at a certain age. They simply couldn't afford to remove millions of tanks and put in new ones. They are hoping they don't lose customers by keeping them in the dark and answering their phones (in the Phillipines) on time and claiming they have impeccable customer service...They may be great on the phones but are they ever there on time? Do customers find that certain items are not paid for by their monthly rental fee? If you want to remove the tank do you have to pay? Did you ever sign a contract? They cannot make you pay any extra for any piece of equipment, nor can they charge you to service it. You've never signed anything (unless you are unfortunate enough to have signed a contract during the past year or so) and they own it!! If your rental car breaks down, do you pay? NO!!
Do yourself a favour and buy your tank and put companies that claim their "renting" their exceptional customer service is a smart decision out of business. We are told never to buy extended warranties on any products, this is simply a monthly fee for insurance and if we can pay $200 for car insurance where people are whizzing around at 140km an hour, how the hell can we justify $30 on something that sits in a room with other immobile objects??
If you are worried about it breaking down, put $25 a month into an emergency account and keep it at a worst case level...If your furnace needed replacing and your water heater at the same time how much would it cost? Keep it at that level and use the money out of it when you need to service it...
A  5th of Jan, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I had the same experience as craig from windsor listed. To the T. I am currently stuck smack in the middle of this petty warfare and reliance won't even send me the contract that I apparently have with them. I purchased my house thru a foreclosure. So I automatically assumed the water heater bill from reliance. So they say. I haven't signed nothing. I've been paying for over two years just to find out there is no contract. If I assume payments does that make it legally binding??? that's what the twit at reliance was telling me. I find that very hard to believe when there is no contract.
I swear it was all scripted, she had done this a thousand times. I would know, I worked at a call center for eight years.
I will spread the word as far as possible. Reliance are crooks. BTW for all of you claiming that national are a better company. read your terms of agreement. you are locked in for the lifetime of the tank. and guess what the cancelation fees are.
They (national) have met me have way and waived the evil conditions.
Whatever happened to just fair business practices?
all over water heaters...I've wasted a good 5 hours of my life on this crap.
N  7th of Jan, 2011 by    +1 Votes
I'm in the same boat as Craig and Seipster . I just received a final notice from Reliance (the 3rd I might add) about referring my account to a collection agency. I'm through writing letters and explaining and hope this time they'll actually do it so I can refute the debt and take them to court. If you receive a leter from a collection agency (they must notify you in writing before calling) send a reply by registered mail advising you wish to refute the debt . The matter will then be returned to Reliance who must serve you, you then need to file in Small Claims Court (not a big deal then wait for your court date) you do not require a lawyer as Small Claims court is very informal. My bill is for $154.00 if Reliance want to send a representative to court for that amount then they are even dumber than I thought and quite frankly you will win anyway once you articulate what has transpired. I made a complaint to the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services about Reliance and they forwarded correspondance to them in late Nov. 2010 so far they have not replied . Iam currently writing a story for our local newspaper about my experience with Reliance and look forward to watching more customers dump them.
A  26th of Jan, 2011 by    0 Votes
I seem to be the latest victim in the same kind of scam situation as AshOrr, Craig, and Seipster. Reliance has been giving me the runaround since September 2010 (it is now the end of Jan 2011, so that makes a good 4 months!). They are adept at shielding their supervisors from you, and avoiding putting any responses in writing. They claim on the phone not to be able to find their supervisors, or give you a telephone number or extension at which you could call back to reach a supervisor. Anyone you get on the telephone claims to be working as hard as they can to resolve the issue... and then NOTHING meaningful or substantive is accomplished. 110 days after cancelling their service, they have acknowledged that they did take away my hot water tank, and that the account should have been closed months ago... and they still send me bills. Like AshOrr, I am simply going to let them pass it to a collection agency, then formally refute the debt and see if they are stupid enough to take me to small claims. I have fought these large faceless companies before and won.
A  6th of Apr, 2011 by    0 Votes
We inherited the water tank rental when we moved to the house. The Water tank was installed in 1993 and about 46 days ago I made my first service call to them.

The service guy came out the next day and said he can't do anything because the tank was installed wrong. The venting was going from a 4" pipe down to a 3" adapter right at the chimney. He said this has to be fixed for everyone's safety in the house and it can be done by simply installing a liner (which they don't do). He said that he is giving me a Type B infraction which has to be fixed in 49 days. When I asked him what happens in 49 days, he avoided the question by saying that it's plenty of time for them to do the work. He then proceeded to tell me that I need a new Furnace and an A/C and that if I had this done with them not only will they absorb the cost of the chimney liner but I will get a free LCD TV. When I asked him about price he said it's better to speak with the salesman about that and then he handed me my infraction paper and left. I read the infraction paper and as it turns out I have 49 days to repair the fault or Union Gas will shut off the valve to the appliance.

What I have found out since then is that the Chimney Liner is required by code, however going down to a 3" pipe was never allowed and it was shoddy installation to begin with. When I spoke with a couple of the managers at Reliance about the visit they defended the service mans judgment of having a liner being required and NOTED that it was REQUIRED for SAFETY reasons. However, neither of them could tell me why the occupants of the house could be put into an UNSAFE SITUATION for almost 20 years due to Reliance shoddy installation.

To the RelianceTech above, there is no good reason to charge for removal, the 400% markup that was earned on the hot water tank over the rental period should cover it!
A  10th of Apr, 2011 by    0 Votes
I have exactly the same situation as Craig, Seipster, Ashorr, Linus and a few others here. The hot water tank was in the house when I bought it. The tank was 12+ years old and started leaking, so I called for service. I went through 9 service calls -- NINE -- including one set up by their "head office" though nobody came out; when I called to ask about that, they told me I was mistaken. The final verdict on their part was that I don't use enough water so the water heater has too much pressure. As it was "my fault", they couldn't do anything. They wouldn't replace the old tank, either, without charging a fortune and leaving my finished basement wall/ceiling torn apart. Ridiculous! Thus, I eagerly switched when I had the option. The new company is great -- did all the work, updated the pipeline to new code standards, and told me that the issues before were caused by the expansion tank which was too small for the former unit. I gave them authorization to deal with Reliance for me and was glad to be rid of the problem. My tank went out November 15 and they tried to return it to Reliance November 16th but it was refused. Reliance would not accept the tank until January and have billed me for all the time that the tank sat in a warehouse! I had already paid October through December 27th on my previous bill, yet they claimed I still owed about $75 for the additional months! If anything, they owe me for the time after November 15th!! After several infuriating phone calls, I received a "final bill" from Reliance; they had "adjusted" the amount owed, charging me "only" for January -- $27! -- and telling me that I should keep better records! So, let's just recap here: My tank was removed in November, they refused to accept its return for two months, and now they want to charge me for the month in which they finally DID accept it?! I feel like I'm caught in the Twilight Zone! They've already sent me more than $27 worth of threatening mail! I refuse to pay them -- it's become like extortion at this point. I get harrassing telephone calls on an almost daily basis, and letters threatening to take me to court and damage my credit rating because I haven't paid their ridiculous $27 bill! I have called them several times only to get the same scripted response and increasingly more bad attitude and rudeness from their agents. The last agent I spoke with was condescending, interrupted me three times, and told me that I was unreasonable and misinformed! I really hope this lawsuit is settled soon. It's driving me bonkers. There really are more pressing things in my life than the bloody hot water heater!!!
A  11th of Jul, 2011 by    0 Votes
I'm just starting down the same path with Reliance. Last year my 14 year old tank started leaking. I called reliance for service but they "warned" me that if the service person can't confirm the water is from the tank then I will be billed for the call. I did nothing, and the leak got worse. In March the leaking was so bad I removed the tank and put in a used one. I called reliance who wanted the "Plate" to confirm the water heater is removed. It turns out the "plate" is a sticker affixed to metal that won't come off. I called back and they said to just send in a letter saying the plate won't come off. I had the old water heater remove for free by a scrap metal collector. 2 months later I get a bill for water heater rental. I called reliance again and they say they need a receipt proving it was hauled away. How do I get that 2 months later (from a guy I found on Kijiji). Reliance "warned" me again that I better pay - this is my problem. WOW.
N  20th of Jan, 2012 by    0 Votes
OH my goodness! I'm in the same boat!! I'm getting really pissed off ... I thought of calling
Roger Rossi himself however, it looks as though this may also be futile?
I cant believe a company is allowed to do this.
A  10th of Jul, 2012 by    -1 Votes
I moved 3 months ago and just revived a bill to a person wrong first name, correct last name at my address. Set up fee plus months of service per billed. Our water heater was PURCHASED with the house - no rental. SCAM. They are receiving notice of houses being sold and sending bills hoping people will pay it. Don't pay!!!

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