Several months after a recent move, we received two invoices and several harassing phone messages from Crown Crest Financial, a company that took over a number hot water heater rental businesses, including one that we had a contract with. Consistent with the “invoice first, ask questions later” approach that others have complained about with this company, they were invoicing both us and the new owners of our former residence for the same device, probably hoping each would see the invoice and just pay it. We later found out they had also been raising the monthly fee at about four times the rate of inflation (it turns out the fine print of the contract allows them to raise the fee whenever and however much they want to) over about 8 years.
Far more importantly, the two invoices made us realize that the company had actually been billing us for two water heaters for over three years, even though we only had one device in the house. This excess billing totaled over $1,400. (The charges appeared lumped together on the main page of our utility bill as “Charges from other companies,” with the two charges only broken down on the last page of the bill.)
When we finally reached a live voice, we asked him to provide the contract that these payments were based on, citing the invoice number they had provided earlier. While he did provide the first contract for the water heater that was actually in the house, he admitted that he could not find a contract for the second. He initiated an “investigation” and promised to get back within 48 hours. Nearly two weeks later, having heard nothing from them, we emailed and then called. They responded by merely providing us once again with the first contract. When we emailed back that we wanted the contract that was basis for the second set of payments (again citing the invoice # for reference), we received no response.
After a fourth round of calls/emails, and a fourth time going over everything from the beginning, they committed to have the billing department refund the excess charges. They steadfastly refused to commit to any time period in which that this would happen, or when we would hear from them on this. That was over a month ago and we’ve received nothing despite a further round of calls.
I’ve seen other complaints about this company’s questionable invoicing practices on this and other sites. Sounds like an excellent candidate for a class action suit.
Update July 2019: In July 2019, the company provided a partial reimbursement of $950.21 for their double billing of our account. However, on our records, there is still $516.89 owing, based on the amounts they charged us between Sept 2015 and Dec 2019. The company has ignored phone and email messages that I have left regarding this, and they have ignored repeated requests for a written account of what they owe us.