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Esteemed Advisor
Kay/NC
Posts: 9,881
Registered: ‎05-13-2010
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Due in court this morning...

[ Edited ]
...in Virginia, at the county courthouse neighboring our home county. This is to testify for the little lady who called me in early September, about the water heater she could not register for warranty, because someone had registered it to my name.

I think this woman is one of the few people with worse luck than mine. Her $700 consumer problem has morphed into a $5000 safety nightmare. Taking my advice to call her county building codes inspector, in order to insure that she and her housemate were safe, a multitude of problems was unearthed.

She had caught us at home by phone on a trip to Jenna's house. This was by tracking down my legal name with the telephone company. When we first talked, I had opened the state database of licensed contractors online, and her " licensed" plumber was conspicuously absent from it.

By the time the building inspector was done, the list of safety violations was extensive, and expensive. A reputable contractor was hired in, and made her house safe. The inspector volunteered to be called to testify at her court hearing against the contractor. He was that peeved.

I guess he is as concerned about this guy killing a houseful of kids in their sleep as I was...to start with, he had left the LP leaking underneath this lady's home, and driven away. Three holes in her floor, a five-inch hole in her ceiling, and another one that big through the roof overhead.

As if the gas leak wasn't bad enough, he had used too small a gauge of wire to connect the new electric water heater...which could, of course, burn the house down. That was just what he did wrong in one day, on one small job.

This wasn't the first time she had hired this contractor, so the inspector went back over every bit of his previous work, and found way more code compliance problems than expected. Contractors are, by law, responsible for code violations in their work forever, so she has good grounds to sue this jerk.

Fortunately for her, she had the money in the bank to fix these issues. I expect she will get a judgment easily...collecting it may be a horse of another color. Will probably be an interesting day, unless I end up driving over a hundred miles just to hear that the contractor gets a continuance.

I am hoping for a quick hearing, since my part of the testimony is really more about fraud at the plumbing supply house that sold the water heater. Turns out, she has uncovered a scam where they were claiming warranties on water heaters, registering them in an employee's name, and then evidently picking mine out of thin air.

You get free replacements that way, and can evidently sell two heaters for the price of one, hoping that no one bothers to register the warranty....which was how this lady's problems began. Her water heater had a serial number that the manufacturer said was already registered to me. Thing is, I had never heard of anyone...not the plumber, the supplier, the manufacturer. Own a lot of water heaters, but not that one.

The manufacturer has dropped this distributor. She is getting the Feds in on that fraud.

Like I said, she is probably the only person I have talked to with luck anywhere near as bad as mine. Going to be an interesting day, just meeting her.

How do I get dragged into this stuff?
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