This is my first Homestars review.
I give the installers 10/10. They went above and beyond getting my oil tank removed and new furnace installed just a few days before Christmas in 2013. I have owned 2 homes and have many installs. I have never been so impressed with any crew on any job. Also Jeff the technician has been to my home twice over the last few weeks - 10/10. Very polite, professional and explained everything.
Buttons had a booth set up at my local Home Depot store. I asked the lady to send someone to my home for a quote. Nigel came by and made 3 things very clear. First is their Homestars rating. Second is that they stand behind their products. Third is their Homestars rating. I asked him what he recommended for my home. He presented a few options and I choose one. I checked Homestars and found that he was right. Almost every review was 10/10. I decided to hire them based on the reviews and Nigel’s word. Buttons did the install Dec 2013. Payment of $4738 was made to Home Depot Installation Services.
Less than 2 years later, I’m having serious issues. The vent motor in my furnace has been making a very loud winding noise that has been getting worse over time. So I called Buttons. The first appointment on Dec 7, they didn’t even show up. The Tech was to be at my home before 7pm. He called me at 8:40pm to say he would be at least another hour. I told the tech don’t bother, I get up before 6am. I waited a couple days and heard nothing from Button’s. I called and made second appointment and the technician came Dec 15 and just by listening to the furnace he said the vent motor needs replacing. That’s a bill of $129 + tax (which I was advised of when I called). He didn’t have the parts so he would have to come back and repair (replace) it which will be another $139 and a $49 administration fee plus tax. Total $358.21.
I called Nigel Dec 16th to voice my concerns. As a customer who choose Buttons because of their reputation, I feel a $358 bill is excessive. His response was that the $49 admin fee doesn’t apply to me; it only applies to those who did get the extended labour warranty. I explained that I still felt that cost was unfair. His response was that is why they offer extended labour warranty.
Days later Buttons contacted me to book an appointment to do the repair. I told her that I will be using another company and to send me the bill for the $129 diagnostic.
A couple days later I received a call from one of the owners asking why I am using another company. This is what I got from our conversation;
My furnace was made overseas and has a life span of only 10-15 years. The admin fee does apply to everyone and Nigel was incorrect. I should have the furnace tuned up once a year ($129+tax).
He did offer to waive the admin fee. I explained to him that if Nigel told me my new furnace has a life span of 10-15 years, I would have never purchased it. I thanked him for calling me and said I will be using another company.
Dec 29, I went to the Home Depot store that Button’s had the booth in. I spoke with the assistant manager and told her my story. She seemed surprised to even get a complaint about Button’s. I told her that I’m as surprised as she was on how Button’s is handling this. She said if I brought in the$129 bill from Button’s that she would pay it. I explained to her that I am just making her aware of the situation and I don’t expect her to resolve it. She asked me what I wanted as a resolution. I told her even if Button’s offered to do the repair for free, I’m not sure I would want them in my home again and that I’m not going to let this experience diminish her store’s reputation. Nigel had a chance to make it right. The owner had a chance to make it right. I expected Button’s to take some responsibility and meet me half way.
After reading all the reviews and the quotes on the Button’s website, I truly expected someone to step up and say – We installed a furnace in your home with a bad motor, we recommended the product, we installed the product, we took your money, we will work something out. The diagnostic and the repair took less than 30 minutes in total. Even with travel time $358 is a little steep.
I would have been fine with a bill of 1 hour labour. I don’t expect anyone to work for free. If this was 5 years after the install, I wouldn’t be complaining, motors don’t last forever. This motor only operates when the heat is on so it only has a couple months of total running time. $358 for a defective product that is under warranty, that they installed less than 2 years ago is too high. Will I be paying $358 for another motor next year?
I had to use Button’s to do the warranty work because they had already received the motor. Trane would not release another motor under the same warranty claim. I called Button’s to make the appointment and was told $129 to install the motor and $139 for a tune-up. I asked why they aren’t billing by the hour. She repeated - $129 to install the motor and $139 for a tune-up. Now my bill is $268 +tax even though the original quote states tune-up and vent motor replace for $139. Now they are separate fees. At this point I had enough and declined the tune-up regardless, whether it was included in the bill or not.
What’s important is not the 3 hours the installers were in my home, but the how the product functions over the next ten or twenty years. The missed appointment doesn’t bother me. The motor needing to be replaced doesn’t bother me. Things break, mistakes happen. This is what bothers me;
A Quote from the Buttons website Jan 14 2016 – “Still owned and operated by the brothers, their friends, families and their extended families, the Button's take great pride in their company and in their customer's satisfaction. A Button's customer is treated like a friend, family and neighbour, because that's what we are.”