FIRST TIME & CURRENT CUSTOMERS- PLEASE READ!!!!
List of major issues due to AC installation by Francis Home Environment Heating and Air:
-Damage to an adjacent wire due to an electrical arc and left a noticeable welding burn on the electrical panel case (due to work performed on a LIVE panel).
-Irreparable damage to the dishwasher circuitry due to electrical surge from the electrical panel (due to work performed on a LIVE panel).
-Potential damage to fixtures and wiring downstream of the impacted circuit due to the electrical surge (due to work performed on a LIVE panel).
-Subsequent damage to the existing furnace and hot water tank.
Installers left the water valve to the hot water tank shut off and left the water main closed. We found this issue after they had left our home.
-After fully paying for the AC unit- we were left without a functioning AC for over a very hot 48 hours and no compensation provided.
-No substantial actions by management to ensure our homes safety for over 72 hours.
Our experience with Francis Home Environment Heating and Air has been without a doubt extremely disappointing and frightening. It all began with a call to have one of their technicians come by our home and repair our AC. After a brief assessment we were told that it was not fixable and we required to purchase a completely new system. Later in the day, their sales rep Kevin arrived to our home to provide a quote and discuss their packages.
My partner and I initially gravitated to the first package worth $4369.00 but we’re told that they did not have any 13SEER units available at the moment and we would have to wait a few weeks just for the unit and another 3 weeks for installation. “Luckily” they had one 17SEER unit priced at $6945.00 available. We chose to go with that package because we desperately wanted AC and were also told that it carried better warranties than the 13SEER package and had additional guarantees from Franics Home Environment Heating and Air. After several discounts were applied, the final price we settled on was $6200.00 (before tax). We were consistently assured of the quality of workmanship, training, qualifications and that their services were the best in Ottawa-this was guaranteed and written all over their contract. We signed the contract and we’re told that the installation date was set to be the following Monday.
Day of installation
The day after signing the contract we received a phone call from Paul (Sales Manager) saying there was a cancellation and that we can get our AC system installed today. We were thrilled!
The technicians arrived and after a brief conversation the installation began. Everything seemed to be going well and after 4 hours they were finished. The technicians turned on the AC and quickly had my partner initial some of their paper work and left without demonstrating or explaining the new system. Us not knowing any better and seeing that the AC was working and blowing cold air we thought the installation was a success.
2 days after installation
We discovered that part of our basement had no power. We quickly checked the breaker on the electrical panel and everything seemed to be on (the breaker for the basement is right below the breaker for the AC). After examining the panel we noticed that the black wire that connected to the fuse was severed in the middle and a large weld mark was apparent adjacent to the wire. After turning off the fuse in question, we phoned Francis Home Environment Heating and Air tech support and explained the situation. We were extremely concerned at the state of the electrical panel. Not being electricians we requested an immediate inspection by a licensed electrical contractor on the basis of health and safety. Our friends home was severely damaged by an electrical fire due to neglect contractor errors- so we were deeply concerned and frightened. We communicated the urgency to the Francis Home Environment Heating and Air tech support employee and we’re assured that a technician was being called to visit immediately. An hour later, Dean (On call tech) arrived and completed a brief assessment of the electrical panel. His provided solution was to reattach the broken wireless back to the fuse. Please note he is not a licensed electrical contractor. After confirming his qualifications Dean agreed it would be everyone’s best interest to leave the wire in its current (with the breaker off) position until a licensed electrical contractor can inspect it. Furthermore, we asked Dean if he had confidence in the AC electrical installation and if he could guarantee it was safe to use the AC. Dean could not guarantee that the AC was safe to use and turned the AC breaker off until an electrical inspection could confirm the installation was done correctly. Even thought Dean suggested to take all the precautions listed above, he mentioned he will talk to his management team on Monday (two days later)… MONDAY?! Clearly, the fact that our electrical panel was damaged and that we were without AC was not an urgency for Francis Home Environment Heating and Air. This is day one without a working AC.
3 days after installation
My partner called Francis Home Environment Heating and Air to request the two following items 1- work order 2- a licensed electrical contractor to do an assessment on the electrical panel. We made it clear that this was an emergency and that public safety was a major concern since the home could be at risk of an electrical fire. Once again, we were told by tech support that another urgent email will be sent to management and that we will receive a call later on in the day. We never received a call. This is day two without a working AC.
4 days after installation
At this point, we weren’t confident that Francis Home Environment Heating and Air would come through with the safety inspection request, so we contacted several electricians to perform an inspection at our expense. My partner called Francis Home Environment Heating and Air AGAIN requesting the same two items from the day before (work order and a licensed electrical contractor) and our concern that this was an emergency and that public safety was a major factor since the home could be at risk of an electrical fire. Just as expected- the tech support sent another urgent email to management and we were told once again, that management will be giving us a call very soon. Two hours later, we received a call from Mike from National Capital letting us know he will coming by our home to look at our electrical issues. Mike inspected and repaired the damage caused by the installers and performed a thorough inspection of the electrical wiring going to the new AC. Please make note that Mike stated that this situation is not the worst he has seen from Francis Home Environment Heating and Air installers. We were assured that the electrical to the AC was safe, however we choose to leave the AC off.
Shortly after Mike left our home, we returned Gary’s (Operation Manager) call. Long story short, he did not share the urgency and safety concerns we had and offered Home Depot gift cards as compensation for our “inconvenience”. We made it very clear that we have no confidence in the quality of their workmanship nor we would like to further continue a business relationship with a company that does not take urgent and safety concerns seriously. Gary mentioned he will escalate this situation to management.
An hour later, we received a call from Kevin (Sales Rep). Kevin overheard the conversation we had with Gary and wanted to discuss what happened. ONCE AGAIN, we explained the whole story and ended the call with the same promise that the situation would be escalated to senior management.
5 days after installation
Jodie Baker (General Manager) called to discuss the situation. ONCE AGAIN, we explained the whole story and all of our major safety concerns. Jodie was surprised that this could happen and assured us that something like this has never happened before. Jodie asked what we would like to do and we reiterated to him that we would like to end the business relationship and start the process of removing the installed AC system and refund. No compensation or (serious) attempts to keep our business were ever made by the management team. We agreed on a date for the removal.
7 days after installation - Removal Day
Gary (Operations Manager), Andrew and Abdul (technicians) arrived early in the morning to remove the system. The process was very quick as they elected only to remove the evaporator condenser unit (Outside unit), cap the piping and abandon the remainder of the equipment at our home not to cause any further damage. Once finished, Gary mentioned that the abandoned equipment is in lieu of our old AC unit that they removed during installation. At this point, they did not do us a favor since no other HVAC contractor is willing to use the abandoned equipment due to quality of the initial installation and brand compatibility. Gary’s parting words were “No hard feelings, alright?”. AMAZING.
Overall, we are extremely displeased and worried about the damage that was caused and unknown long term effects of the installer errors. They issued a refund 5 days after removal. We have filled a complaint to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority). Altogether, the really expensive (mid-range efficiency) AC unit from Francis Home Environment Heating and Air was off more than it was on.
We strongly recommend that if you choose to have Francis Home Environment Heating and Air in your home that you observe their work diligently and if you have had work performed by Francis Home Environment Heating and Air recently, to request a full electrical assessment to be performed by a licensed electrical contractor to make sure your home and your family is safe.
- Approximate cost of services: