Hot Water or Lack There Of

Saturday Morning as I mentioned before our hot water heater stopped working. We rent ours from Reliance Home Comfort. I called them on Saturday early afternoon to discover that their earliest appointment was Monday between 1 and 5 pm. I was advised to turn off the gas and water going to the heater and to try to find alternate arrangements for hot water.

I normally wouldn’t have an issue with being inconvenienced with this however now having a child my priorities are slightly different and when you are dealing with a 5 month old hot water as much as I hate to say it is a necessity. I can handle not showering for a few days however changing diapers and then washing your hands in either ice-cold water or waiting for a kettle to boil is inconvenient. Washing bottles in hot water – very important. Then what about baths for Adam?

I’ve not been able to run my dishwasher and am now going to have to boil water, empty the dishwasher and do all the dishes in there by hand because I have no clean knives, forks or plates, and until I have running hot water I am refusing to cook dinners dealing with raw meat because I just don’t want to take the chance of contaminating anything.

So Monday came along and the technician showed up a little after 3 pm, proceeded to tell me he had to replace the water heater and that my pipes weren’t up to code and I had to replace them. I was expecting that so the $180 price tag to do so didn’t shock me. He worked away and just before 5 pm the work was done. He said it would take 45 minutes for the water to heat up and the problem was fixed. At 6 pm we tested the water and there was water coming out but it was far from hot. I went down and cranked the thermostat up to as hot as it would go. We waited, ran the water and still no hot water.

Reliance, who every time you call them is happy to tell you that they are available 24 hours a day , 7 days a week to assist you with all your concerns received another call from me. I told them the technician was out, replace the heater and I still wasn’t getting any hot water. There is a light on the thermostat that has codes associated to its blinking and that little blinking light indicated that there are flammable vapours present. Well this doesn’t sound good, as well as the venting fan isn’t running. I’m assuming there is a safety mechanisms built-in that if there is too much of a flammable vapour that the pilot light won’t ignite.  

The person on the other end of the phone (whom I assume is in India) told me the soonest that someone was able to come out was between 1 pm and 5 pm tomorrow. She apologized when I said that it was unacceptable. I told her that she had to do better to find me a better appointment. I was put on hold and she came back saying someone will come between 7 am and 11 am. That was a little more acceptable but I am still not happy with that.  We will be going onto day 4 without hot water in the house and as much as they apologize on the phone that isn’t going to fix the problem, which should have been repaired today.

I told her I was not a very happy customer at the moment and that they are going to have to earn my business back, I would like some compensation for their inability to properly fix a problem on the first visit. It’s inconvenient to me and my routine and as much as they probably don’t care they should. I was then told she wasn’t in a position to do anything for me but her supervisor would be the one I would want to speak to. Great! I would like to speak with him please. Oh wait, you’re telling me he went home for the day and he will call me back tomorrow?

WHY is your call center open 24/7/365 when you can’t really be of any help to me? You better believe I have an earful for this supervisor.

I was sitting here doing the math. I pay Reliance over $300 a year for this water heater rental. We’ve been doing this since October of 2007. So in October of this year we would have paid them about $1,220 in rental fees for this unit. Home Depot has the same size water heater for $749.00 brand new, plus if you call them before noon during a week day they have guaranteed same day installation. It has a 1 year in home warranty and a 12 year parts warranty. Things that make you go hum, and considering Reliance didn’t even install a new water heater for me. I received a refurbished one making purchasing my own more appealing.

The amount of money they are making off of people is probably huge. I’ve paid for at least one brand new water heater for them, I wonder how many brand new water heaters they use for their rental customers. I would assume none.

Tomorrow between 9 am and 10 am I am to receive a call from the supervisor to discuss this situation. I certainly hope that their customer service presents a strong case to make me a happy customer again.

On a side note the technician who installed it was a nice enough guy, I can’t complain about him – except the problem isn’t fixed yet!

I will post later on if they’ve corrected the situation to my satisfaction. I understand now why mothers get so emotional when it comes to providing things for their children.


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