Moving into our first home should have been a memorable experience for the right reasons, but unfortunately we will always remember it for the wrong reasons. The first time we attempted to do laundry, our basement flooded. It turned out that we had a collapsed floor drain that was hidden under a tile when we completed our home inspection. We called Drain Rescue for a second opinion. The technician seemed honest and clearly explained what would need to be done. He even pointed out what he would do that the first company we consulted claimed would be too difficult and expensive.
We agreed to let Drain Rescue fix the floor drain. Once the floor was opened up, tree roots were found in another part of the sewer line. Despite the fact that we had just purchased our first home and had next to no money left, we agreed to have the second problem fixed. We agreed to the second job in large part because the technician implied that since they were already there they could “give us a deal” (more on this later) to do the second job at a reduced rate.
The work was completed and we thought our problems were over. We resumed using all of our sinks and our upstairs washroom. A couple of days later we went into the basement to do more laundry and noticed a great deal of water on the basement floor. We tested the upstairs plumbing, and every time we used the kitchen sink or upstairs bathroom water and waste was pouring onto our basement floor.
We called Drain Rescue and after a few days they finally sent the same crew back to us. It turned out that they made two huge mistakes in the original work. This meant that after spending over $4000 on work from Drain Rescue, we went days without being able to use any plumbing above our basement. Most significantly, they did not hook the kitchen drain back up to the main stack, which meant every drop of water that went down our kitchen drain ended up on our basement floor. The connection between the old stack and the newly installed stack also leaked very badly. They corrected this problem and left.
We then noticed some water damage on our kitchen ceiling. We initially thought that this was related to the work done by Drain Rescue. The drain rescue technician came to our house again and agreed that they could be at fault. It turned out that it was a leaking supply line and not their fault, but even this simple job did not go well.
We needed 20 feet of pipe in our ceiling replaced to fix the leak. Since Drain Rescue investigated the problem, we were stuck using them to fix it. Initially, Drain Rescue quoted me $1050 to replace this pipe. I am not a plumber, but even I knew that this price was ridiculous. After arguing with a manager at the company I managed to get the price down to a high but reasonable level. The manager tried to argue that this price was fair because his people had been at my house so many times. It did not seem to matter that most of the visits were because they could not do the work right the first time. Incidentally, the company’s slogan is “we do it right the first time.”
During the first visit for the most recent job, we overheard part of a conversation between the plumber and his boss. While the plumber did not say or do anything inappropriate, we were greatly disturbed by the advice given to him by the technician. Essentially the technician was telling him to recommend as much work as possible to get the most money out of us. He also told the plumber that no matter what he recommends, when he gives us a price that he should “make it sound like we were getting a deal.” This comment was not only dishonest and horrifyingly unprofessional, but it made us question all of our quotes and work completed by this company.
Every job they did was pitched to us by the technician as lower than what he would “normally charge”. I then did some checking into what we paid for previous work, and it turned out that all of the prices were on the high end of what is appropriate for the work involved. We can only conclude that this was a regular sales tactic. His tactic appeared to be to over quote for every job and then knock some money off to “make it look like a deal.” Maybe this works for used car salesmen, but we do not feel that this is appropriate for a plumber or any other contractor.
It took Drain Rescue 3 visits and many hours to complete this simple job. Even when it looked like the job was done, it turned out that the plumber had crossed all our lines in the ceiling. The bathtub hot and cold taps were backwards and the bathroom sink had two cold taps and no hot. Despite not being done the plumber left for a few hours and did not come back to complete the job until late in the evening.
Finally after $5000, four visits from the “make-a-deal” technician, three visits from an excavation crew and three visits from a plumber, many days of disruption and lack of usable plumbing, we were left with a demolished basement floor, badly water damaged tiles and basement walls, destroyed kitchen bulkhead and ceiling, but working drains and a repaired leaky supply line.
In the end, everything is working again, but it should not have taken so long, cost as much money or done as much damage to our home. Most disturbingly, the behaviour of the technician calls the honesty of the company completely into question. Needless to say, we would not recommend Drain Rescue. We will NEVER hire Drain Rescue again and will make sure that everyone we know and come into contact with will never hire them.