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NEWSPOWER <br> THE NEWS HELPS SOLVE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS

Q:I called Town Insulation in late August and in early September to complain about a situation I recently discovered while another contractor was working at my house. I have received no reply from the company as of Sept. 27. I paid $1,230 to Town Insulation to blow wood fiber insulation into the second floor areas, as recommended, and install 10 soffit vents to provide air circulation for the roof. I was having repeated problems with ice buildup on my roof, and these were the solutions the company proposed.

Town Insulation also closed off the two gable vents to ensure air flow from the soffit vents to the ridge vent. This work was done on Dec. 8, 2001. This did not seem to help with my ice problems. I spoke with one of the employees on Dec. 5, 2002, about my concerns. He referred my call to another employee, who basically told me the style of my house led to these problems, and that Town Insulation had fulfilled its obligations, as contracted.

Every winter has been a battle. I even had ice wires installed on my roof, but I couldn't stop the ice buildup. Last winter led to more leaks and more damage to my ceilings.

Fast forward to five weeks ago -- trying again to solve my problems -- I hired a new contractor to look over the situation. I learned there is no insulation in the walls on the main floor. Certainly not Town Insulation's responsibility, but definitely, something that was missed.

Secondly, when the new contractor removed the soffit vents that Town Insulation installed, he found every one of them completely blocked by old insulation with black plastic backing and two very small (one inch), totally insufficient holes under the 4-by-16-inch vent covers. These vents were worthless and considering that Town Insulation closed off the gable vents, I believe that actually reduced the ventilation around the roof, and likely worsened the problems.

I would like someone to come to my house and see this ridiculous situation, and then correct the problem, or refund my money. I also contacted the Better Business Bureau. -- Diane J. McIvor, Hamburg.

A: The Sanborn-based company says it's more than willing to address your concerns. In fact, Town Insulation owner Rick Anzalone told us (before press time) that he planned to inspect the problem at your home and meet with you on Oct. 22. "If there is anything wrong, we'll go out and fix it," Anzalone told us in an interview. "If there is a problem, we've got to make good on it."

Anzalone said he intended to apologize to you in person. "It sounds to me like there is a problem," he said. "Somebody took a shortcut on our end."

It was wise of you to copy your complaint to the Better Business Bureau. Anzalone said he is working on the issue after receiving a call from the bureau. "It won't cost her a penny," Anzalone said of additional work at your home. "We're not like that."

Anzalone said that he'd previously been told by one of his sales employees that the repairs had been done. "If someone says we did something wrong, and the (work) has been covered over, how do I know?" he said.

"If a repair had already been made by (another contractor), there's nothing for me to do." But after looking into your matter, Anzalone said he feels his company owes you some additional repair work. "We will be doing that at her convenience," he said.

We checked back with McIvor on Oct. 22 and she reported that Anzalone came to her home that day. She said she's more than satisfied with his plans for Town Insulation to redo what hadn't been done correctly.

Have a consumer problem? Send a letter summarizing your problem to News Power, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. Attention: Karen Robinson, or e-mail newspower@buffnews.com or fax a question to 648-3012. To be considered for publication, readers must fully identify themselves by name and the town in which they live. Clearly explain your problem, and be sure to include a telephone number. Not all questions can be addressed.

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