I want to thank Scott from SOS Maintenance for helping me out of a bind. In order to explain how he helped me, it is necessary to give the background story. This is what happened.
The water pressure from the jets in my hot tub had weakened. I called the store that is the current authorized dealer for my brand of spa. They sent their contractor who told me the valve in the bottom of the canister was bad. The canister is the plastic cylinder where the cartridge filter goes. The valve couldn’t be removed so the repair required cutting the canister out and replacing it in its entirety. I was given a price of about $500 including the parts, with the caveat it could be $100 more depending on parts and fittings needed. I gave the go-ahead to do the work.
The contractor ordered the canister and set up an appointment with me to complete the repair once the part had arrived. The contractor said he couldn’t make it when the day of our appointment came. I had visiting family and was leaving town so he agreed to come while I was away. I received a text from him once he arrived to do the work and started work telling me that my tub was plumbed different than most and the price was now going to be $1000 to $2000 instead of the $500 originally quoted. I told him I did not want him to proceed at that price. He then texted me and asked me to let him know if I wanted help getting rid of the tub. I had no intention of doing that. I wanted time to consider how I would proceed with the repair. So I told him that I didn’t want it removed and it could still be used even though the jet pressure was weak. That’s when he told me that he had already cut out the canister, which of course made the spa inoperable.
I was astonished. I had made a service call to the authorized dealer for my spa and they sent someone who didn’t know how the plumbing was set up until they cut parts out?!! So I asked the contractor why the price was so high and the price range was so broad. I was told that in order to complete the repair the hot tub needed to be moved and lifted up. The cost of that task alone would be $480, maybe even $50 more than that. He further explained he had calculated a revised price of nearly $1300 and usually gave himself a range to account for unforeseen issues. That sounded to me like the new price was $1300 to $2000, not $1000 to $2000.
I thought about calling the dealer who sent the contractor at that time but my feeling was that I would be overpaying even if they mitigated the issue somewhat. So I called the dealer where I bought the hot tub from originally. Even tough they were no longer the authorized dealer for my brand of hot tub, I thought they might be able to help. I explained the whole story to them and they said that they would get back to me. A few days later I called them because I hadn’t heard from them. That’s when they told me that they had figured out that the contractor that they use is the same person that the other company uses! They would only be sending the same contractor back to me so they said they couldn’t help me. I was quite surprised to learn that two major hot tub dealers were using the same contractor to do their service.
That’s when I went to HomeStars and found SOS Maintenance as a highly rated company. I gave them a call and spoke with Scott. He came the same day and assessed the situation. He said that he couldn’t believe the price that I was quoted. He said that he doubted that the tub would need to be moved, and even if it did, that he would simply move it. No $500 extra!
I still needed to get the part so I called the authorized dealer (who had originally sent the contractor) and they said to buy the part from the contractor who had already ordered it. I told them I was good with that as long as he didn’t gouge me and then they told me that they wouldn’t order the part for me. The tone seemed spiteful. I don’t think they really understood the gravity of the matter in that they sent someone who made my tub inoperable and then increased their repair price quote significantly. They also mentioned that they looked at the specs of my tub and said the plumbing was complicated. They, or the contractor, should have done that before cutting out the old canister. But before I took things further with them I decided that I would speak with the contractor and was fortunately able to acquire the part at a fair price.
Scott came and completed the repair and everything is working great! He didn’t have to move the hot tub in the end. SOS charged me $480 including costs for fittings and such. I paid a few hundred for the canister from the original contractor. All in, it was less than $1000, even after factoring in HST on the part and the repair itself. This is far less than what I would have paid had I not called SOS. I felt comfortable dealing with Scott from the time we first spoke and had every confidence that my problem would be resolved at a reasonable price – and it was! Top marks go to SOS Maintenance. I will call them first the next time I need spa service.