Plumbers comment on pipe thaw, price issues - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Plumbers comment on pipe thaw, price issues

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Montez Wilson felt taken advantage of in a time of need.

He first called Benjamin Franklin plumbing to thaw his frozen pipes, but when the repairmen left, the job wasn't done.

"But they say when they come out and if they don't get it fixed or can't get though, they've still got to get paid," Wilson said. "So I guess that's how they work."

He paid them $800 in cash at the time of service. When they left, his pipes were cut and the water meter was left dangling by a wire. Representatives of the company say it was left this was in agreement with Wilson. Wilson said he had a tough time getting them to return.

Company records show the initial visit was Feb. 28. They returned to the house Friday, March 7.

"Well sometimes our schedule doesn't go where we can get there the next day," Thomas Hutson, owner. "We have a lot of other customers to take care of."

Hutson said the plan was always to return Friday. Wilson said the visit was rescheduled.

Wilson first spoke to KWWL Wednesday. That same day, Operations Manager Brad A'Hearn for his side of the story Wednesday. He wouldn't comment by phone. The company sent a statement the next day, but A'Hearn still disputes some facts.

I asked him, what other facts he'd like included in this report.

"Well, again, without the paperwork in front of me it's hard to comment, but I'd be happy to sit down and go over it with you," he said. "Do you have a copy with you?"

I told him I did.

"I'd be happy to sit down and visit with you off-camera about it."

I told A'Hearn we would only speak on the record, with cameras rolling.

"If you're not bold enough to sit down with me, man to man, I don't care to discuss it."

Both parties agreed to the bill before the service started, but Wilson still said it felt too high.

"You just going to give him $800 and let it go?" Wilson said. "That's doesn't seem like a good deal, right?"

"For 9.5 hours that's more than fair," Hutson said.

"But the job wasn't done," I said.

"No, we can't... We told him up front that we cannot guarantee. And, any other plumbing company in this town will say the same thing. We can't guarantee, we're not Superman.

Either way, Friday afternoon, A'Hearn and Hutson came to Wilson's house, and fixed the pipes. Now, his water is running again.

"Yeah I'm glad it's over," Wilson said. "We can get back to the regular routine, you know?"

A'Hearn made the decision that they'll finish the job for free. They will not refund the $800 though. A'Hearn made it clear in an email that they do not apologize for their prices.

Wilson said he can accept the amount, as long as the work is done.

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