After my cold weekend, I contacted Hamco during business hours and advised my home heating situation was not acceptable. That garnered some results, as the sales person came to our home with someone who had the capability to reprogram our unit. This individual expressed he had not seen the problems our unit was experiencing, and applied programming that had worked before. He also advised he would send the information he had obtained from our unit to the manufacturers.
This reprogramming seemed to work for a while. It wasn’t perfect - but resetting the system once or twice a day compared to every 24 minutes felt like a holiday to us. Each time it went out I would advise the salesman by text so he could be up to date and aware the reprogramming had not rectified the problem entirely. He advised he had ordered a new gas valve for us, and would be out to our home by the end of the week.
The end of the week was Friday February 1st. And by Friday February 1st, the unit was stopping every 24 minutes as it had before. I texted the salesman at 8:22 am to advise him, and ask when he was coming out as he had said he would. I received no response. I called the office at noon and spoke to the woman who answers their phone. She advised she would contact the salesperson. I specifically asked what would then happen? She said she would call me ‘of course’. By 2:00 pm I called her again as I had not heard back. She advised the salesperson had asked if they could come out tomorrow. ‘Of course’ she had not called me to tell me she had spoken to the salesperson. I advised no; my unit was shutting off every 24 minutes and tomorrow would not be acceptable. She told me as the salesperson was on the phone, yet not in the office, she would call him and advise of this.
At 3:08 pm she contacted me and advised no one would be coming today, but tomorrow someone would come to replace the valve. I asked if the reprogrammer would be attending as well, as that had been the only thing that had resolved this problem previously. No, she did not have any knowledge of this. When I asked therefore to speak to the salesperson, who I had been trying to reach since 8:30 this morning, she advised she did not have his phone number (?) and would have to again get back to me.
At 4:20 pm I called into Hamco again, as no one had gotten back to me. When I asked for an update, I was advised someone was coming out tomorrow to replace the valve. I had to remind them what they told me they were going to do when we last spoke. I was told that hopefully the valve would fix the problem. I asked then, what I was to do if it did not? And advised frankly I was not going to spend another weekend resetting my boiler every 24 minutes, and telling me if the valve didn’t work I was to wait until Monday, was simply not acceptable. Again, I was told she had to call the salesperson, and she would call me back.
She did not call me back.
The salesperson chose to not contact me AT ALL.
I cannot express to fellow consumers more emphatically - do not purchase this unit from this company. We have had this system for three months, and it has never worked properly. I have found Hamco to be unhelpful (emergency service), evasive (salesperson and phone reception) and incapable of managing this problem that they sold to us.
Concern #1 - Lack of knowledge in what they are selling.
We replaced our previous home heating system on October 30, 2018. We chose the Riello Family Pro 42 KIS-IS. As we were converting to natural gas, we had the ability to start from the beginning. This unit would not only heat our home, but would also heat our water, which would save us money on electricity as we would no longer need a hot water heater.
A few weeks after installation, the unit began shutting down on its own. At first infrequently, but then escalating to daily. I called HAMCO, and was advised they were aware of this problem, and they were wondering why I hadn’t called. I, of course, wondered why they hadn’t called me. I was told in programming the unit from Italy’s metrics to Canadian metrics, the unit was not translating well, and it had to be reprogrammed back to Italy’s. Forgive my paraphrasing; I am not a heating expert. Two men from Italy came to my home, along with a HAMCO representative and reprogrammed the unit. It worked without shutting off for a few weeks. Then it began again, eventually escalating to far more frequently.
When a service man came to my home the second time, I’m assuming he did what he could, then told me he had a call into the manufacturer for consultation. Although he had some ideas on how to proceed, he wanted to check with them. That’s reasonable. He didn’t say, so I asked to make sure that HAMCO would contact me once they had heard from the manufacturer. He advised yes. That was Tuesday. As I write this, Hamilton has been hit with our first snap of winter in 2019. The unit is now shutting down approximately every 20 to 30 minutes. My home has not gotten above 58 degrees Fahrenheit this entire weekend. And I have not heard back from HAMCO.
I was also told by the service person that these units are very sensitive, and it may take a year to sort this out. This is not reasonable. If I had been told this fact by the salesperson, I would not have agreed to this purchase. I would have asked for a system that was reliable, and one that the company had knowledge of to manage going forward. But this was never shared. Which is why I am telling others.
Concern #2 - Service.
Obviously I’ve been in contact with HAMCO often these past few months. It has already been noted in reviews that the initial contact point for the company when you call is unprofessional and unhelpful, and I will echo those comments. And point out that despite the public voicing these concerns, the problem continues.
The first weekend that the unit was shutting off every 30 to 40 minutes, I contacted their 24 hour service number. I waited about 3 hours, before I called back for an update on when I could expect someone. I was told the service person had not called back. Alright. I asked then what the company’s policy was when that occurred? Did she move onto service person # 2? How long was she to wait until she took that step? Or did she call management? She could not answer those questions. There was no policy. There was no second step. At least not one that she could share with me. She could do nothing but wait. I think this is important information for a consumer to know when choosing a heating company. And I think it’s irresponsible for a company to advertise emergency service when they do not have policies in place to address actual emergencies from their clients.
The following weekend was after service had been to my home and advised they were calling the manufacturer, and the unit is now shutting down every 20 to 30 minutes. When we reached their emergency service, we were told we would be charged over $100 for a service call on the weekend. Of course given the circumstances we protested this. Then after the service person contacted management (Which is interesting. The service person can contact management, but the emergency operator cannot. Here, it appears, is a gap in their communication plan) we were advised there was a file open about our situation, they were waiting to hear from the manufacturer, and there was nothing they could do.
And so here is my point. HAMCO does not have the knowledge to manage the system that they sold us. I have no choice at this point, but other consumers do. I write this review to tell others of my experience so they can make an informed decision for their own homes - which includes what system to purchase and what company to rely on for service.
As I write this I am waiting for my husband to finish plowing the driveway so I can take a shower. Because of course, not only is our home sitting at 57 degrees Fahrenheit currently, no one can shower unless someone is sitting in front of the unit, ready to reset it, or there is no hot water. It’s just something else I thought consumers should know.