Friday, May 18, 2007

Buying a hot water heater? Read this first. Don't buy Rheem

I want to share a personal experience with anyone considering buying a hot water heater in North America. When my wife and I moved into our house in Vancouver, we soon found we needed a new hot water heater. After much choice, we went with a Rheem brand since it was sold to us as a high quality, North American brand with a 8 year warranty. Were we ever taken for a ride though. The warranty turned out not to be worth the paper it was printed on. While the warranty did state it was "limited", we were lead to believe by Hillcrest Plumbing that if anything happened to our hot water heater, it would be replaced within the warranty period. After all, what does warranty mean? According to Rheem, even today you are protected on parts but don't be fooled. They are unscrupulous and are lying to you.

Our water heater let go and we had to call Hillcrest during off hours. They told us that Rheem and Hillcrest are no longer honoring their written warranties and due to a change in design and rules , would not be able to honor their warranty on parts. WFT??? This is a clear case of a large multi national company imposing a unilateral change on a contract due to their own lack of foresight. We, the people are being ripped off.

My advice:

1. Do not believe anything Rheem promises in terms of warranty. They lied to us and did not honor their own written warranty. This website could just as easily be lying.

2. I will also never do business with Hillcrest Plumbing again. I urge you to consider this when looking for a plumber. Get references from any plumber. By contrast, there are lots of reputable firms like Roto Rooter and others who have never ripped us off.

3. Rheem Canada also seems to handle the Ruud brand. Be wary.

4. If you are a contractor looking for a line of water heaters/holding tanks
to carry and install, consider how your customers will feel about you if this happens to them. It will cost you money if too many people experience lies like this.

If you are one of the 10,000 people who read this blog every month, please pass this on to others in North America.

30 comments:

  1. Dude - thanks! Rheam took you for a ride. Good on ya mate for fighting back.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My husband and I had a similar experience with them. They said it was due to some new law. I think that you hit the nail on the head with unilateral. We felt ripped off too. A warranty is protection if something happens. Rheem broke their promise

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's all relevant though. How long did it last before it broke?

    ReplyDelete
  4. It broke after only 4 years, less than half the life promised. By contract, lots of others have warranties that last the same or longer and will actually probably be honored. Don't be suckered by a Rheem Canada Warranty.

    They are not worth the paper they are printed on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. BTW - every word written here is true. If it wasn't, I suspect they would ask me to take it down or sue me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I guess you could say you got Rheemed ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have used Hillcrest in the past and have been totally dissatisfied with them. The first plumber they sent in (subcontracted from Lew plumbing) used an auger that was not clean and covered my kitchen in Shite and the second plumber that showed up gave up and left without a word. I was then given a bill for roughly $700. I fought them and had $300 taken off but they will never again get my business.

    Thanks for the heads up Duane!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the info Duane. As you know we just purchased a place and we most definately not buy anything from these guys. My brother in law is also in the process of building a new house - I will let them know too!!

    K

    ReplyDelete
  9. You might want to leave a note at http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/rheem.htm

    I also did a quick search for class action suits against Rheem. Didn't see anything recent. (BTW, http://classaction.findlaw.com/index.html is a good source for such things.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. No - they "rheamed" you a new a$$hole. LOL. Companies like this need to die and the idiots that run them need to be laid off for making shitty public policies that steal from people.

    Kai-Lynn S.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you. I took your advice and posted this text to ConsumerAffairs.com. I think I will hit better business bureau and as many boards as I can.

    ConsumerAffairs.Com
    Add a Complaint - Complaint Added

    The following information was successfully added to the ConsumerAffairs.Com database

    Name
    Duane Nickull

    Address:
    3247 6th Avenue
    Vancouver , Other v6k1x7

    Country:
    Canada

    Home Phone
    604 647 1099

    Work Phone
    604 726 3329

    Email Address:
    duane@nickull.net

    Company Name:
    Rheem

    Company Contact:
    Brad Steves

    Company Address:
    n/a
    national (Canada)

    Country:
    Canada

    Company Phone

    Incident
    want to share a personal experience with anyone considering buying a hot water heater in North America. When my wife and I moved into our house in Vancouver, we soon found we needed a new hot water heater. After much choice, we went with a Rheem brand since it was sold to us as a high quality, North American brand with a 8 year warranty. Were we ever taken for a ride though. The warranty turned out not to be worth the paper it was printed on. While the warranty did state it was \"limited\", we were lead to believe by Hillcrest Plumbing that if anything happened to our hot water heater, it would be replaced within the warranty period. After all, what does warranty mean? According to Rheem, even today you are protected on parts but don\'t be fooled. They are unscrupulous and are lying to you. Our water heater let go and we had to call Hillcrest during off hours. They told us that Rheem and Hillcrest are no longer honoring their written warranties and due to a change in design and rules , would not be able to honor their warranty on parts. WFT??? This is a clear case of a large multi national company imposing a unilateral change on a contract due to their own lack of foresight. We, the people are being ripped off. My advice: 1. Do not believe anything Rheem promises in terms of warranty. They lied to us and did not honor their own written warranty. This website could just as easily be lying. 2. I will also never do business with Hillcrest Plumbing again. I urge you to consider this when looking for a plumber. Get references from any plumber. By contrast, there are lots of reputable firms like Roto Rooter and others who have never ripped us off. 3. Rheem Canada also seems to handle the Ruud brand. Be wary. 4. If you are a contractor looking for a line of water heaters/holding tanks to carry and install, consider how your customers will feel about you if this happens to them. It will cost you money if too many people experience lies like this. If you are one of the people who read this board every month, please pass this on to others in North America.

    Damage Resulting
    Had to pay the same cost as buying a new water heater. The big laugh? The sales man said the new one was covered by a brand new \"rheem warranty\". What a turd!!!

    Have Lawyer Contact Me
    N

    Thank you for your submission. You should receive an e-mail confirmation shortly

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hillcrest sucks! My landlord sent a guy to my house and he tracked crap all over the floor. He didn't even respond when I asked him to clean it up. It figures they would act like this. I'll never buy rheem. I think they had a deal with Briggs and Stratton (spelling???) too. I am suspicious of briggs warranties too if it is the same company.

    Len~

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the advise - good on you indeed for taking the fight to them. Fortunately I have a different water heater which was recently repaired and the work and service were tip top.

    I was about to suggest approaching the OCA but was beaten to it. :-)

    In such matters, standing firm is the best approach. I had an experience with respect to cleaning services I had contracted for my window coverings. The coverings were never satisfactorily cleaned, and only by standing firm did the service provider assume the responsibility for the work.

    Best of luck with this....

    ReplyDelete
  14. haha - see http://www.discovervancouver.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=165842 This should get the word ouyt.

    Also - you should hit them where it counts. Find the bulletin boards that discuss stock prices for the parent company.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes. I plan to find out who the parent company is and take the fight to them. Investors get nervous about consumer boycotts. We have to hit them where it counts.

    I doubt the CEO fo the parent company will do anything as a result. Another option is a class action lawsuit. have to talk to a lawyer next week. I still haven't ruled out taking them to court too.

    In short, I don't want to rest until their business is disrupted and they go bankrupt unless someone takes a stance in the company and does the right thing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rheem is a polluter too:

    "Mr. Morse said Union Bank has submitted evidence in support of its claim that Rheem and Raytheon are responsible for contamination at the site and should be named as parties on the site cleanup order. "

    This is an excerpt from the REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD - SAN FRANCISCO BAY.

    This company sucks!!!

    http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb2/Agenda/01-11-06/1-11-06-4minutesamended.doc

    Loni

    ReplyDelete
  17. So what is new? you're not ht eonly one who gets ripped off by Rheem/Ruud.

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff17495.htm

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi, sorry to hear about your bad hot water heater experience. Thanks
    for sharing it. We bought ours and got installed through a family
    friend who is in the business. We also got our furnace through him. He
    is very reliable, fair, and good to deal with. His company is Coutts
    Heating and his name is Jeff Coutts. 604-785-6872. Can say heard about
    him through Leana and will be sure to treat you well. Feel free to
    pass along.

    L.B.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am going to pass that info to some peps in this co-op I live in cause we are ding hot water tanks right now so thx, do you know anyone interested in the market for a surfboard, I'd like to do a trade, I have Kaleebs old "gun", I want something perhaps a little wider. Thx

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
  20. What kind of hotwater tank do you have now? I'm thinking of going to Home Depot and buying one of the GE tanks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I got "rheemed" in a whole different way. I ordered two new 50-gallon hot water heaters to be installed in my home by Home Depot's affiliate installation company, Plumb-in-Line, during September 2007. The temperature and pilot controls were very different on the two tandem Rheem units (both built in 2004). Now I have to figure out how to set controls and light pilot light for each hot water heater. I am also wondering which one may not be covered by their lousy warranty program.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just had our Rheem tank go too!
    It was installed in August,2003 by
    Hillcrest.
    They now equip gas water heaters to an FVIR code.
    The FVIR (Flammable Vapour Ignition Resistant)notice was out in July of 2003.
    Seems Hillcrest was selling off their old stock!
    Called them about the warranty, they said it would cost $290.00 for labour (high, but fair enough) but they also wanted an "Upcharge Fee" of $250.00, plus a $65.00 permit fee(for which they didn't charge for 4 years ago).
    Rheem charges $90.00 for the Upcharge, so Hillcrest is making another $160.00 by passing it to the consumer!
    http://www.emcobc.ca/Menus/Document%20Library/BC%20pdfs/Upcharge%20NRCan%20discontinue%20April_05.pdf
    (or Google FVIR/NRCan )
    The FVIR is useless regulatory bullshit, as most gas hot water heaters are located next to the gas central heater, which have no flame arrestors anyway!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I do feel sorry for you. Together, Rheem and Hillcrest really seem to enjoy screwing customers. It is good that others have seen this and have not bought as a direct result even though it doesn't help people like us who Rheem and Hillcrest stole money from.

    If we did this, we would be in jail (it is illegal). They are corporations and walk free.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just a comment: other plumbing companies (...rooter etc) charges exorbitantly. I once had a clogged toilet. Calling three different "larger" companies got me estimates at $200 to $300. I finally looked at the classified ads in my local newspaper and got a plumber who can and did the job at $50. I paid him $60 in appreciation of his honesty.

    Kenny
    Burnaby BC

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kenny:

    Would you consider publishing the name of the honest plumber for the rest of us? I think such heroes need to be rewarded and recognized for their works in Vancouver.

    Thanks

    Duane

    ReplyDelete
  26. and Rheem needs to be punished for their evil lies!!!!!

    Don't buy Rheem!!!

    D

    ReplyDelete
  27. I got Rheemed by Rheem: Bought a 175 L electric hot water heater 5 years ago and it is leaking. Shorted out the top element and thermostat. What garbage. The hot water heater I had before that one last 25 years. If you want to buy a new hot water heater every 5 years, buy Rheem and get Rheemed...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Plumbing costs in Vancouver can be outrageous. I used a small local company. Plumbing and Drain Rescue, http://plumbinganddrainrescue.ca, same as Kenny... I ended up paying about $100 versus the $400 something fees of the other guys.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think it's time for a class action lawsuit against this substandard ripoff company. My 50 gallon water heater was in less than two years and failed causing property damage. It was a holiday and the water heater that goes for over $500 they said they would reimburse me for what they say is the going rate of $270 with $270 for the install that cost over $600 on a holiday. The property damage they told me to submit to my insurance company which would of course then become a water claim as well.
    How has this company gotten away with this type of business practices?
    Feel free to respond @ craigrealley@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. If you talk to a lawyer and start one, please count us in. It is time for a class action suit. They are criminals.

    ReplyDelete

Do not spam this blog! Google and Yahoo DO NOT follow comment links for SEO. If you post an unrelated link advertising a company or service, you will be reported immediately for spam and your link deleted within 30 minutes. If you want to sponsor a post, please let us know by reaching out to duane dot nickull at gmail dot com.