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.