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Rental hot water tank bad service, waited more than 3 months to send technician

  • Last Updated:
  • May 7th, 2018 8:15 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 7, 2011
13 posts
4 upvotes

Rental hot water tank bad service, waited more than 3 months to send technician

Hi,
Our hot water tank is a rental one and we requested a service since October 2017 and waited more than 3 months for the service provider before they send someone over for service.

Here is the whole story:
We first requested the service on October 12, 2017, waited for a month and no body came or called back. Then we called back in November 2017 and was told someone will call us back. Waited for another month and no body called back. Then we called Enbridge and Enbridge placed a hold/dispute on the hot water tank rental provider to stop from collecting our money without providing service as promised. And Enbridge told us the provider will call us once they see a dispute. Waited for another month and no body called.

In January 2018, our builder came to do service work and we told the manager what's going on. The manager found it ridiculous and called this rental water tank provider. It was until then this hot water tank rental service provider sent someone for "service".

We paid a monthly premium of close to $50 a month to rent this water tank including the service. However, the company is not able to provide service when needed. And we wasted so much time and energy just to get someone to service the tank. Honestly we don't feel like paying such a high monthly premium when we realize they can only provide crappy service.

We tried to request this hot water tank rental provider to lower their monthly premium but they refuse it and only refund 2 months of premiums.
The reason of refusal is that their rate is similar to other companies. I argued with them and told them even the premium rate is similar to other companies but their service is far below industry standard.

What should I do since they are refusing to lower the premium? Is not able to provide service for more than 3 months a strong reason to ask them to remove the tank and stop the rental contract with them? Thanks in advance. Any other suggestions are welcome.
16 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 13, 2003
9093 posts
853 upvotes
Which company?
One blind human - a tragedy
Ten blind humans - a disaster
One million blind humans - a statistic
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
1495 posts
555 upvotes
Alliston, ON
You're stuck in the rental and there isn't much you can do unfortunately.

Why did you wait a month between calls if getting the water heater serviced was so important to you? You should have called them after a week of getting no return calls
Newbie
Oct 19, 2013
23 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto
schade wrote:
Mar 11th, 2018 7:45 pm
You're stuck in the rental and there isn't much you can do unfortunately.

Why did you wait a month between calls if getting the water heater serviced was so important to you? You should have called them after a week of getting no return calls
We have yellowish water from hot water tank. Sometimes it becomes normal and when it becomes yellowish again it reminds us so we call again.
We pay monthly premium, but we didn't expect our request is totally ignored.
The builder manager called them and they sent someone over the next day.
Basically they don't respect the customer who pays the money because you already signed their unfair agreement.
The agreement listed unfair items like how much you have to pay you break the contract but never mentioned about anything if they are not able to provide service.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
27788 posts
3595 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Builder? Sounds like a new home and it’s within 12 months of you moving in. Take a close look at your rental agreement. You’re paying $50 per month and your contract is for 180 months. That’s 15 years. Read the fine print. They can raise the rental price annually $5.

Assuming they don’t raise the rental price. $50 x 180 = $9,000

If you paid $3500 for a water tank, the $6500 will pay for a lot of service calls over the next 15 years. You can even replace the tank after 7 years and still come out ahead.

Buy out your tank or find a way to cancel the rental.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 12, 2004
9545 posts
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Ottawa
engineered wrote:
Mar 11th, 2018 6:42 pm
They have you in a contract where you pay many times more than it costs to install, then have no reason to provide you with good service when you need it.
great-water-heater-rental-scam-1126945/
The cash-grab aside, you have no say who owns your contract. That's where the government should step in. It's just like if I were to walk into a Best Buy looking for a mobile phone, I buy a phone, sign the contract and then they tell me: "Ok you're with Rogers" or "Looks like you'll be doing business with Bell for the next 2 years"...."but I want to be with Telus". ..."You'll be with whoever we tell you you're with so shut up" This is ridiculous, its exactly like being in a communist country FFS.

These companies have absolutely zero incentive to provide service. The more they pay the builder the more contracts they get...the more the pay the builder the less money is left to service these contracts.
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
- Mark Twain
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 11, 2007
6734 posts
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Oakville
soupmaster666 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 3:34 pm
Reliance wants to charge me a $200 disconnect fee and $125 pickup fee to end my contract on a 15 year old Electric water heater from a company that doesn't even exist anymore.

Some day when I have a little time off I might put my oxidization chemistry knowledge to work, maybe set up a nice bath of sodium hypochlorite (Bleach) or acetic acid (concentrated vinegar), maybe some sodium chloride (Salt), and a good 12V 20A cathode in there. I figure with the right calculations I get get that sucker to rust through in under a day.

Good luck charging me $325 when your tank explodes all over my basement.
You can DIY it if you have a car to deliver it in. Or just hire some handyman to deliver it (or the plumber doing the new install).
Deal Addict
May 4, 2014
2928 posts
2369 upvotes
Toronto, ON
soupmaster666 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 3:34 pm
maybe set up a nice bath of sodium hypochlorite (Bleach) or acetic acid (concentrated vinegar)
That produces toxic Chlorine gas... don't do it... it will kill you
Member
Apr 6, 2008
471 posts
160 upvotes
soupmaster666 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 3:34 pm
Reliance wants to charge me a $200 disconnect fee and $125 pickup fee to end my contract on a 15 year old Electric water heater from a company that doesn't even exist anymore.

Some day when I have a little time off I might put my oxidization chemistry knowledge to work, maybe set up a nice bath of sodium hypochlorite (Bleach) or acetic acid (concentrated vinegar), maybe some sodium chloride (Salt), and a good 12V 20A cathode in there. I figure with the right calculations I get get that sucker to rust through in under a day.

Good luck charging me $325 when your tank explodes all over my basement.


Or just save yourself the hassle and drill a tiny hole in the bottom.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
6734 posts
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Oakville
If the tank fails, won't they just replace it with a new one and a more expensive contract? Not to mention you just flooded your basement?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
27788 posts
3595 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
When you return the tank, they just throw it out. They don’t recycle any tanks, even if you return it after a month. It is just not worth the hassle or risk for them to install a used tank.
Member
Apr 6, 2008
471 posts
160 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 1:32 am
When you return the tank, they just throw it out. They don’t recycle any tanks, even if you return it after a month. It is just not worth the hassle or risk for them to install a used tank.
Well, the old tank goes to a scrap metal recycling plant, so in essence it is recycled. But no, they wouldn't install your used tank in someone else's home.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
Cas77 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 1:30 pm
The cash-grab aside, you have no say who owns your contract. That's where the government should step in. It's just like if I were to walk into a Best Buy looking for a mobile phone, I buy a phone, sign the contract and then they tell me: "Ok you're with Rogers" or "Looks like you'll be doing business with Bell for the next 2 years"...."but I want to be with Telus". ..."You'll be with whoever we tell you you're with so shut up" This is ridiculous, its exactly like being in a communist country FFS.

These companies have absolutely zero incentive to provide service. The more they pay the builder the more contracts they get...the more the pay the builder the less money is left to service these contracts.
I just came across a client who has an Enercare hot water tank. (Enercare took over Direct Energy) It was installed prior to the client purchasing the home. The client hasn't paid anything in three years do to a mix up on names on the invoices.
Enercare's new rental agreement, (which my client never signed, or even was aware of) specifies that the only way you can exit the rental agreement is to buy out the tank. In my client's case, Enercare wants $1100 for a seven year old tank.
I'm not conversant on contract law in Ontario, but I find it outrageous that these rental companies pull this off. The only thing I can think of that would be comparable would be a construction lein. In that case, the lein has to be registered against the property, and it shows up when a title search is done by the real estate lawyer. In the case of a hot water tank rental, it only ever shows up in the property listing, and with no mention of who the rental is assigned to. The assumption of a contract without ever seeing or signing a contract with the rental company is just plain wrong.

I found a blog post with info on this Enercare Hot Water Rental Anti-Competitive This may be the only recourse of my client, but they are going to speak with their lawyer beforehand.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
6734 posts
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Oakville
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 9:13 am
I just came across a client who has an Enercare hot water tank. (Enercare took over Direct Energy) It was installed prior to the client purchasing the home. The client hasn't paid anything in three years do to a mix up on names on the invoices.
Enercare's new rental agreement, (which my client never signed, or even was aware of) specifies that the only way you can exit the rental agreement is to buy out the tank. In my client's case, Enercare wants $1100 for a seven year old tank.
I'm not conversant on contract law in Ontario, but I find it outrageous that these rental companies pull this off. The only thing I can think of that would be comparable would be a construction lein. In that case, the lein has to be registered against the property, and it shows up when a title search is done by the real estate lawyer. In the case of a hot water tank rental, it only ever shows up in the property listing, and with no mention of who the rental is assigned to. The assumption of a contract without ever seeing or signing a contract with the rental company is just plain wrong.

I found a blog post with info on this Enercare Hot Water Rental Anti-Competitive This may be the only recourse of my client, but they are going to speak with their lawyer beforehand.
Isn't a lawyer going to cost more than $1100? That's how these guys continue to get away with this scam.

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