Reliance Home Comfort dealings...

2016, Jan 18    

To whom it may concern,

The following is the 7 day ordeal of being a customer trying to get their tankless hot water heat working from Reliance Home Comfort. Please forward to those parties that can deal with this extraordinary situation. We have been unable to get anyone to deal with this situation in a professional manner.

We noticed that the hot water was not running on November 19, 2015 from our Navien CR-210A tankless gas water heater. Upon checking the unit in the basement we clearly noticed a huge amount of water flowing out of the unit itself. The fact that water was flowing out by itself and no cut-off valve stopped the flow is extremely disconcerting. A finished basement would have been flooded very quickly! The front door was removed and it was clear that there was a massive leak. The LCD monitor on the side of the unit was giving an error code of E037 indicating a water leak inside the unit. The hot water valve was then turned off and a call was placed to your company, Reliance.

Upon closer inspection there was a blue wire that was clearly hanging and broke off from a component inside the unit. The owner's operation manual has a section that shows all component diagrams and parts. The blue wire is actually a thermistor that attaches to another part that is called the buffer tank adapter. The thermistor as clearly shown in the schematics plugs into the buffer tank adapter. Since the wire was hanging loose it is very evident that there would now be an open hole in the buffer tank. This is the reason as to why there is water flooding inside the unit.

A technician was scheduled for Friday, November 20, 2015 between 12-5 pm. I cannot believe in this day and age that you would expect people to wait for a 5 hour window. These used to be the insane tactics of cable and telephony companies 20 years ago. These companies do not even employ these practices anymore due to outrage over the years but it seems perfectly acceptable to your company. Not surprisingly the technician showed up at 4:30pm and was here for approximately 5 minutes. The blue wire ie. the thermistor was pointed out to the technician and he deemed it unimportant. This thermistor and accompanying buffer tank adapter is the reason why the unit is not functioning.   He then took a picture with his phone. The technician indicated that he would order a part and hopefully get the part on Saturday.

A call was placed by us on Saturday inquiring about the status of the part and was told that the technician had a family emergency and was unavailable. The part availability was still unknown. Later on a call was placed by us to your company trying to figure out what could be done and get some hot water to our residence. This is the start of a 6 hour ordeal dealing with your employees trying to come to a rational solution to the problem at hand.

We were in contact with numerous people who had no authority to do anything, no managers, no executive customer service and in general a very anti-customer attitude. Eventually we arrived with an individual named XXXXXX who at least gave a direct line to her. Her contact information is as follows: XXXXXX. Unfortunately, I learned that she liked to listen but had no authority to actually resolve the situation. We were told by her that we would receive a phone call very shortly from your senior management so that this issue could be resolved that day. This phone call from senior management never occurred. At one point I mentioned that the company could pick up the tab for a hotel stay since we had guests that weekend and she seemed to latch on to this idea. This is nice and all but does not solve the situation that we are currently in. Numerous times we were told she would call back in 10 minutes and she never actually returned calls. The only callback we received was at 5:30pm on Saturday, November 21, 2015 and offered a $200 hotel reimbursement if we showed them a receipt indicating this. Outrageous! I told her to apply that as a credit on our account. We were then put on hold for 10 minutes while she discussed the situation with someone who could actually make these types of decisions. She came back on the line and said she would pay $100 from her own departments budget and she would have to check with management about the other $100. We would be informed by her that we would be receiving a call Monday, November 23, 2015 from senior management about this remaining money. She also said that she would be calling us personally on Monday morning to follow up in regards to repair and reimbursement.

The major issue of not having hot water was NEVER resolved on Saturday. The reason for our calls was to get hot water flowing in our residence. This was seemingly overlooked for some strange reason. The priority is getting the unit fixed!

That same Saturday we were able to get in contact with a person in your service department. She was able to schedule a person but only on Sunday morning. This woman had no idea about our situation and was not surprised in the least about our dilemma once explained. This scheduling was no problem and done immediately unlike what we were told from your call center people. They indicated that technicians were very hard to come by and that they were completely overwhelmed with escalating issues. The service department scheduler made it very clear that if the technician could not fix the unit that day, a replacement unit would be installed immediately so that we would have hot water that day.

Sunday arrives and the technician arrives and we point out once again that the blue wire is an important part and is the reason of the malfunction. Once again, he dismisses the thermistor and takes a picture of the unit with his phone. During his visit, we received a phone call from a third technician indicating that he has the part (water flow sensor) and wanted to know when he could come. The phone was passed to the second technician who spoke with this third technician and left. The third technician indicates that he will come and install the part between 12-4pm. Not surprisingly he arrives at 3:45pm and we clearly indicate using the schematics what the issue is. This technician says you are completely correct. The water flow sensor is not the issue. He knew before even arriving that this new part was not going to fix the unit. I could not believe that technician actually agreed with our initial assessment. This also means that if this was diagnosed properly as we indicated multiple times, we could have had the correct part ordered and installed at this time. This behaviour is completely unacceptable!

The repair was not completed on Sunday and, of course, the unit replacement that was promised was never discussed. We spoke to numerous customer service representatives that day indicating that the part that was ordered was incorrect and what steps needed to be taken to get the correct part. Nothing came of this. Your people were so off base that they thought we were trying to bar entry to our premises. I have no idea where they got this idea, we want to have this unit fixed not hinder the process. We were trying to get the issue resolved because you will have wasted another day with no backup plan to get the unit fixed. An adversarial position was immediately taken by multiple representatives when we are trying everything within our power to keep you in the loop and get some backup plans going. The communication is absolutely abysmal and treating me like an enemy solves nothing!

Monday, November 23, 2015 arrives. There is no phone call from either XXXXXX or senior management. This is not surprising in the least due to your current track record. A complaint from us was sent from your website using the following url: An automated response around 1:00PM was received indicating that our complaint was registered and to be expecting a response in 24-48 hours. A message was left for XXXXXX, our only contact at 1pm asking what's going on with our situation. As of 4:00pm still no response from anyone. A call was received from an unknown party who indicated that a part was available for installation between 6-10pm. The last technician that was sent on Sunday arrived on Monday at 8PM to install the correct part. The part was installed and working by 8:30PM. This man went out of his way to get the correct part and install it in a timely manner. It was evident the this technician was the only person looking out for our best interests. This is a very sad example of your company's complete lack of respect for their customers.

The installed part was not a complete fix to the issue at hand. The burner inside the unit does not heat up to the required temperature thus the hot water would only remain hot for about 5 seconds. A call was placed on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 around 10:30AM and a technician arrived around 1:30PM. He was troubleshooting the issue while on the phone with the unit's manufacturer, Navien. The main PCB is supposedly the new issue. I made it very clear and the technician agreed that if this part does not fix the unit that it should be replaced. You cannot keep replacing part after part and waiting indefinitely for a fully functioning unit.

A part was delivered to our residence on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 around 10:30AM. A call was shortly placed to Reliance and a technician is scheduled to arrive between 12-2PM. The repair person arrived and replaced the 2 ordered parts but that did not fix the issue. All manners of tests were done but the unit still refused to give any consistent hot water. Upon exhausting all options he let Reliance know that the unit should be replaced. We currently have an appointment on Thursday, November 26, 2015 between 8-10AM to install a brand new Rheem tankless water heater.

Two installers arrived on Thursday, November 26, 2015 at 10:00AM to install the new Rheem unit. The device was installed by 12:30PM and is currently providing hot water. I would not be surprised in the least if something goes wrong in the near future considering our track record.

As evidenced by our case, your company has serious issues to address. Executive customer service representatives are an absolute requirement as they are the agents with the skills to resolve major issues that your frontline people cannot. I have never dealt with a company that has no managers or executive customer service agents. How can you address escalating problems with 1st line customer service representatives? Your representatives in general take a defensive position and clearly make the customer seem like the enemy. Your company must follow through with what is said over the phone. Callbacks must be returned especially when numerous people are involved. This is business 101 and there is absolutely no excuse for not returning calls. Hold times also factor into this equation as you don't know if the line is connected or disconnected. You cannot keep people on hold for over 10 minutes without having someone check that you're still on the line. Your contact us form on your website might as well be a black hole as there is no response at all let alone within your own stated 24-48 hours.

Due to your incompetence you have completely ruined not only mine but my company's weekend. The rest of the week has been a nightmare. We are exhausted and the stress has been relentless. This ordeal has been drawn out for a total of 7 days. I've not even had a single apology from anybody regarding anything.

I expect a response and remuneration equivalent to the gross negligence in this case.



The preceding information was emailed to XXXXXX (CEO) among others. A phone call was received by XXXXXX who was told to do so on the behest of XXXXXX, the President of Reliance. He apologized for the situation and agreed to honour the $200 reimbursement and that this would take effect immediately.   This entire situation was going to be used as a training exercise to improve customer service. He indicated that the installation of a tankless water heater would never have been recommended for our residence as these units are unreliable and tend to flood the basement. Too bad we signed before your company arrived on the scene!

I checked my bill on December 17, 2015 to find a rude awakening. The $200 reimbursement that Mr. XXXXXX said was already on our account is nowhere to be seen. I immediately called his "million dollar number" in his words and received another individual picking up the phone. XXXXXX seems to be on vacation at the moment and XXXXXX is dealing with his calls. She found no documentation on my initial call but said she would call me back in 15 minutes with more information. Surprisingly, she did in fact call back within the allotted time frame. She told me that the $200 dollars was immediately credited to my account and that she would be sending me a screenshot of my account on "her end" to show that the credit was indeed applied correctly this time around. This "supposed" reimbursement will now be applied on next month's bill and not the current one. This is unacceptable as your mistake should not have even happened after I was assured everything was in order. I was also informed that this entire conversation was to be relayed to XXXXXX when he arrives back at work. An additional phone call is to be expected from XXXXXX on Monday, December 21, 2015.

I don't really know what to say at this point as every dealing with Reliance proves frustrating and stress is not what I need.


The following was emailed to XXXXXX on December 22, 2015 and received an out of office email saying she won't be back to work until Monday, January 4, 2016.

I still have not heard from XXXXXX. You mentioned he was on holidays and would be returning and calling me on Monday, December 21, 2015. Two days have now passed and I don't see any sign of him following up on his mistake.

I want an explanation from him as to why my case has not handled properly.

The following was emailed to XXXXXX and XXXXXX on December 23, 2015.

You should be aware by now that I called last week seeking your assistance in regards to my $200 credit that was not applied to my account.

I spoke with you on the phone on November 26, 2015 in regards to my email that was sent to XXXXXX regarding my poor experience with Reliance Home Comfort.

Examining my bill on December 17, 2015 I noticed that the credit that you told me was active on my account was clearly not even applied! I called your "million dollar" phone number, in your words, to find out that you were on vacation. XXXXXX was answering your calls and eventually applied the credit that you yourself were supposed to have made weeks ago.

I was informed by Ms. XXXXXX that you were coming back into work on Monday, December 21, 2015 and that I was one of the first calls that would be made by you giving an appropriate explanation for this error. As usual, no communication has been received. Ms. XXXXXX who was nice enough to give me her email address, is now apparently on vacation until Monday, January 4, 2015 and cannot forward the information.

Your company has already put my family through the ringer with no hot water for 7 days and your phone call in November was supposed to resolve the situation in a swift, professional manner. The ball was dropped yet again and there is absolutely no excuse for this!

I am expecting a phone call from you and a very thorough explanation as to why my account was not credited as stated by you on Thursday, November 26, 2015.

Upon checking my bill dated December 31, 2015 the reimbursement was still not applied!

I called XXXXXX on Monday, January 4, 2016 and asked why my credit was still not applied to my account. She is now supposedly crediting the monthly debit directly to my bank account and the money owing will be now be coming out of the $200 credit. I also mentioned that XXXXXX never returned any phone calls as requested. He actually called me 20 minutes later and apologized yet again and explained that the billing cycle did not catch the credit. When I last spoke with XXXXXX back in December she made it explicitly clear that the new billing cycle would apply the $200 credit; obviously it did not.

The refund has finally been applied properly on the Monday, January 18, 2016 dated bill.