The Power of Twitter and The Road to Hot Water

This morning I woke up early and was dressed and presentable by 7am because my appointment with Reliance was between 7am – 11am. The tech showed up at I think it was 8:30am which had me super excited. I would be able to get what I was going to do on Monday done today. I took him to the water heater and he reset it. He pointed out that the sensor is super sensitive and could be picking up the ammonia from the cat’s litter which was moved across the room. He recommended I find a different location for it because it could cause issues. Fine, I don’t have many other places to put 2 cat litter boxes but I will find a spot if it means hot water.

He left and I waited the 25 minutes he said it would take for the tank to heat up. I was finally getting some hot water. I started the dishwasher with joy and went to the basement to get some photo editing work done. I went into the laundry room to check on the water heater and it had stopped working again. I only had the hot water in the tank. The valve was flashing the 2-1 code again which meant it picked up flammable vapours. At this point I just about lost it. Thinking that maybe it was residual cat litter in the carpet surrounding the area of the water heater I frantically started to steam clean the carpet. The litter boxes were already moved – could the sensor really pick up ammonia from a room away? Was I going to have to call Reliance every single morning and have to sit around waiting to get my water heater reset? I was at the end of my rope and the positive, roll with the punches persona cracked and I called Reliance to book yet another appointment.

This was around 11:00am. The 9am – 10am call I was promised from a supervisor never came, I again had to fight with the water heater and what little hot water I had I needed to ration. I called the 1-800 number balling my eyes out. I couldn’t help it, I had tried the nice sweet customer, I was the forceful, polite yet unsatisfied customer and I finally reached the hysterical end of my rope with a crying baby customer. The lady who helped me said she would have a tech to my house between this moment and 1pm. This was good. I wouldn’t have to wait all day. I hung up the phone and had a very long cry.

At 11:55am I received a call from this same lady and said that there was an error and the tech would only be able to come between 1pm – 5pm. Where have I heard that before? That sent me into furious customer. I have things that need to get done, other issues that need addressing and I had to sit waiting for another tech. I did the only thing I know how to do.

I went to Twitter and posted:
worst #customerservice RELIANCE home comfort. How many visits does it take to fix a hot water issue? Day 4 without hot water.

At 1:49pm I had a message from @RelianceCares asking me to e-mail my account information.

At 2:18pm I send a long e-mail describing the adventure to get hot water and how I was not a very happy person at the moment.

At 2:30pm I had a personalized letter back from an actual employee of Reliance apologizing and explaining what he was going to do.

The next technician came at 3pm and he was the best one of them all. Maybe it’s because he has 3 kids and his youngest is 3 months older then Adam, or maybe its because he cared. He took much time to talk to me, test the electrical components. He even didn’t want to waste my water so he had me run my dishwasher to test the hot water so it was at least getting used while we were testing. He replaced the sensor in the heater and explained all the things that could effect it. He also told me if it did start acting up again what he would have to do. However he was pretty sure he’s got it fixed.

Just as he was leaving the phone rang. It was a number from in the city. I picked it up and it was his boss calling to check up on me. He knew about Adam so he read the e-mail about my issues. The technician was still there so he gave me the holy grail of phone numbers. His CELL PHONE number. If I have any issues I am to call him directly, if it stops working again they are going to bring out a new unit. He didn’t want to keep me on the phone and he will call me back in a few days to discuss things. I told him that would be a good idea to call back after I have a shower. I’ll probably be in a better mood anyways. He completely understood and I hung up the phone. The tech thought it was hilarious that I sent a Tweet and got action. What was even better he was able to understand my hysterics from earlier today because he’s a Dad. I thanked the tech up and down the wall for being so enjoyable and we parted ways hoping to never have to see each other in this capacity again.

I’m looking forward to a very long hot shower tonight followed by some quiet time in bed with a book.

My lesson for today is never under estimate the power of Twitter.

On a side note I was wrong about the call center. There are 2, one in the Philippines and one in Brampton. I was told that if I was unable to understand the person on the other end it was the Brampton call center. Go figure.


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