The only silver lining on this whole episode is that I got a full refund at the end of this ordeal. This occurred in August of 2014, but I am finally calm enough to right a proper review. I had a 2 year old, and my wife was 8 months pregnant at the time and we were without hot water for a week. They tried to take advantage of my situation.
The short story here is the "plumbers" who came to my house were scam artists. It appears that they are payed a commission and try to sell as much as they can to make themselves more money. There may be some good employees, but based upon my conversations with managers in the aftermath, they seem to encourage this behaviour. I will NEVER be calling A#1 again, and I implore you not to as well. I have included the whole story below if you would like to see why.
We had a slab leak that manifested itself with hot floors and hot water coming out of our cold taps. Our water meter was spinning even with all taps off. At first, I thought I had caused the leak after doing some plumbing work so we called A#1 and they sent out a truck on Saturday afternoon. The plumber came in, and said it was a slab leak, and he would have a truck out Monday morning at 9am to find the leak. 9am came and went, and I finally called A#1 and asked for an update. A little after 10 they arrived. With out actually doing anything they confirmed it was a slab leak, and that we had 2 options. We could either have them dig up the floor and replace 2 feet of pipe and hope that was it, or have them reroute the hot water pipe through the attic. Both options would be roughly $2800. They then proceeded to charge me $286 for leak detection service. The has yet to be found. After paying them, they said they would come back tomorrow at 9am to find the manifold and start work on rerouting my hot water.
Tuesday morning, 9am came and passed. I had the cell number for one of the plumbers and I called and asked for an ETA. In an hour or so was the response. It was 11 when they finally arrived. The cut open the wall behind the water heater and said that the manifold was not there. They wandered around the house and cut holes in the walls in where ever they pleased. After an hour or so of cutting they they said they could not find the manifold and would need a pulsar unit. One of the "plumbers" said that he didn't think this would be the case but he had done a house that had a manifold underground, and they had to redo all the hot water pipes. At this point my quote went up to $3700 because they would need to run a pipe from the hot water heater to the manifold and from the manifold to the kitchen. Why they would need to do this was never explained to me. They said they would have the manifold tomorrow (Wednesday) and call me by 9am to say when they would be here.
Surprisingly, 9am came and went. It wasn't until 10:30 that I got a call saying they did not have said pulsar unit and have it tomorrow. They would call me at 9am to let me know when they would be here.
Thursday, No call. I called them at 10 am and asked what was going on. They said they were going to the pulsar factory to pick one up and would be here within an hour. 12:15 a supervisor called and said he was on his way to pick it up and the "plumbers" would be here no later than 1:30. In case you weren't expecting this, they weren't here at 1:30, 1:45pm I called the supervisor to ask where they were. He said they just left and would be here in 20 minutes according to their GPS. 20 minutes plus another 40 minutes, they finally showed up. They told me how this pulsar unit could find a manifold that was buried up to 100 ft below my house. I was wowed. They searched and searched but alas there was no manifold. I was told they would have to build a manifold and reroute every hot water line in the house. When I asked about the cost they told me they would have to go to the office and build up a quote.
By this point I had already lined up 2 more plumbers to come out and give me a quote. The "plumber" from A#1 called and said it would cost $7200 for the work to be done and they could start Monday morning. It would take 2 days. I asked them to email me a quote that broke everything down. He said ok. He called back 20 minutes later, and said that "Bubba" agreed to cut the cost to $6900.
That night 2 plumbers came over and both were shocked with what I had been told by John and Jason. They told me that code would never allow them to put a manifold underground and that they were trying to take me for a ride. We hired one of these plumbers, who both quoted roughly the same amount of 1500-1800 depending upon where the manifold was actually located. The plumber we hired found our manifold in less than an hour and did the work in 5 hours.
I promptly sent an email to the owners and within a few hours got a call back and a refund, but still have holes in my walls. I didn't want them back in my house to fix.
RESPONSE FROM A#1 Air:
We appreciate you feedback and letting us know about your experiences with us. We do apologize again for any inconvenience all this may have caused to you and your family last August. As requested by you last year, we did provide you with a prompt refund, as well as offered to take care of the damages to the drywall, but this was declined by you just as you stated. We do have 100% satisfaction guarantee and wish you would have allowed us to provide you with that. You will be receiving a letter from Management shortly to see if we can be of any further help to you now &/or take care of anything that may not be handled as of yet due to the services last year. Thank you.