Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ron Calls.

So Ron called this morning.  I have no idea why.  I was in a meeting and he didn't leave a voicemail or return my text asking what he wanted.

Six months ago the optimistic me would have thought that he was making an effort to finish the job I paid for a year ago.  I know better than to get my hopes up now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Private Sewer and Water Picks up Another BBB Complaint

The Private Sewer and Water Corporation received yet another BBB complaint this month.   And as is their trend recently didn't respond.  The details of the complaint aren't available at the moment. I'll post an update when they are.

As of today the Private Sewer and Water Corporation has more the twice as many BBB complaints as any other company in their industry.  Here's a chart from the BBB page.

Out of 208 businesses, 11 have complaints.   10 of those 11 have at most four complaints.  The Private Sewer and Water Corporation has 9.   I think the numbers speak for themselves.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Private Sewer and Water Modus Operandi

Some interesting things occurred tonight.  Some guy posted a comment on my Facebook review of Private Sewer and Water Corp.  He said he's getting screwed too and posted his contact info because he might be able to help me out.  Its weird because Ron hid the reviews on his page after he got a bunch of negative reviews last week.

Turns out if you search a little harder you can find people's reviews.  This dude had posted the  confusing three star review I mentioned a few weeks ago.   So I did a little more digging and I found this on Google's cache of the Private Sewer and Water Page:

Private Sewer And Water Actually gets a Good Review

Its a 5 star review on 8/2/14.  I remember when this review originally showed up because Ron was blowing off a scheduled appointment at my house to do this job.  The review reads:

Thank you guys a million!!! The Jetting worked great!  Just in time for the baby shower tomorrow.  Ron, Sam, Eric and Anthony were incredibly professional and down to earth.  It is as if they were already family.  They have the bug picture knowledge and addressed every question to a T.  Can't say enough good thing about this company.  Outstanding work guys!!!!

Pretty nice right?  Doesn't sound anything like the lying conniving thieving Ron Janis that I know.

Then Ron Janis Shows his True Colors. 

 If you go to the guy's Facebook page now and find the review of the Private Sewer and Water Corp you get this:

Note this is an updated review from above.
Ron is a Lying thieving conman of the worst kind.  He lied to my face, hit on my mother and took us for $2000!  Called him over 20 times talked to him 12 times and every time he made up and excuse or didn't show up when he said he would costing days of work having to stay home to wait for no shows.  May god have mercy on your soul Ron

So here you have a customer that was so pleased with their service that he wrote a 5 star review.  You would think that Ron would go out of his way to make this guy happy.  Especially since he is helping to combat all of the negative reviews that Ron has been getting from so may other people.  At least that's what I would do.

Not Ron Janis though.  He'll apparently just use his loyal customers as a free money source and scam them.  Its almost the exact same thing that happened to me.  You think they are doing a good job, and you're happy with the service and so you pay them for the full amount of the project.  And then Bam!  You never see him again.

The Private Sewer and Water Scam

So this is the scam:
  • Find someone in an emergency situation.  This way they don't have many options and can't shop around or check up on you.
  • Solve their immediate problem. Make them trust you.
  • Get the customer to pay for a number of additional services.  
  • Keep the money and run
  • Keep telling the customer that you are going to finish the job.  Schedule a time if you have to, just never show up.  
I'm sure they've been doing this for years and the internet if finally catching up with them, or if for some reason Ron is short on cash and is trying to make it up through nefarious means.  Either way there's an increasingly large number of people that are making it known publicly how much of a con artist Ron Janis is.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ron responds. An Exercise in Cluelessness

Yesterday Ron made another post to his Facebook page about how cold it is. A picture of one of his tractors and a comment of  "Six below zero...no problem!!! Try to stay indoors today if you can!!!"

This is where it gets fun.  I commented:

Interesting.  It was warmer than this last year when you stopped showing up in the middle of our job, claiming it was too cold.  Coincidentally that was right after we paid you.  Still waiting on that refund.  Are you going to steal these people's money too?
That's right.   A little less than a year ago and almost as soon as we had paid them, the Private Sewer and Water Corporation stopped showing up at our house.  After  a week of no shows we finally got a hold of Ron.  He told us that it was too cold and that since they had already finished the major work, they would wait until it was warmer to finish.

At the time it didn't seem like a big deal  Ron seemed trustworthy and the remaining items weren't critical.  We made the mistake at taking Ron Janis at his word. Something I would never ever recommend to anyone else.  11 months later and we've heard every excuse in the book as to why he can't finish the job.  But he can advertise on Facebook that he works in the cold.

This morning I got a notice that Ron had responded to my post:

 At least acknowledge we solved your sewer problem!!!

This would be funny if he hadn't stolen my money.  One of the other customers he's screwed over, and I think I saw it on the BBB site complained about this same thing.  The Private Sewer and Water Corp finished half of the job that they had been paid for and when the customer complained their response as "At least we fixed part of the problem"

That's not the point, and the fact than Ron doesn't understand that is astounding.  Its like going to McDonalds and ordering a burger and fries.  If they only give you the burger I'm pretty sure you're going to pissed off that you didn't get the fries you paid for.  Imagine going back to the counter to inquire about where your fries are and having the cashier tell you "At least you got your burger"

My response:

You sort of solved it.  We still flooded last summer despite your guarantees that we wouldn't.  That's not the point though.  If you had only taken money for the sewer repair we'd be done and we wouldn't have a problem.  I probably would have even referred you to a number of friends.  But no, you gave us the hard sell for additional work that we didn't want in the first place.  You took money for that additional work and have not performed the services promised.  In addition to the money you've stolen from me you've wasted my time for a year by continually scheduling times to complete the work and then not bothering to showing up.  Give me my money back for the work you failed to deliver on and we can go our separate ways. 

He did sort of solve the sewer problem.  Originally we hired him because we got a sewage smell throughout the house whenever we ran the washing machine.  He solved that problem.  Congratulations.  Have a cookie.  Solving one problem doesn't mean you get to charge for others and not attempt to solve them.  Originally I didn't want to remove the catch basin or install the ejector pump.  Ron talked us into it.  And then after we paid him, he never did the work.

Ron responds:
You didn't flood again c'mon now
Notice how he ignores that part about him stealing my money. There is really nothing he can do to defend himself against that.

Actually we did.  We got a couple inches of water in our basement the week prior to our block party on 8/23

No way. You would have been all over us and blowing up every phone imaginable.

Again Ron demonstrates how incredibly clueless he is.  He seems to think that if he solves the flooding issue then he can do whatever he wants.  Here's the thing:  I didn't hire him to solve the flooding issue.   I hired him to solve the sewer stench issue.  He took it upon himself to claim that we wouldn't flood anymore.  I didn't believe him when he said we would never flood again and I was right. So when we did flood I wasn't surprised.  My whole neighborhood flooded. I didn't consider that a failure on his part.  The fact that when the flooding occurred he had been in possession of my  money for over six months without moving  to finish the job, that is what angered me.

My response to Ron:

Problem with that is you never answer your phone.  I'd been calling you for six months at that point and gotten no where so why would this have been different?  I'll send you a picture next time.  Honestly I never thought you would be able to completely solve the flooding issue and that wasn't really why we hired you in the first place.  I'll give you that we probably flood less than we would have but that doesn't give you the right to skip out on other parts of the project unless you want to refund my money.  I'm not pissed about the flooding, I'm pissed about the theft.
Again, why would I call him then?  He already demonstrated his dishonesty by failing to complete the work that he had been paid for.  Why would I call him back?  If he won't refund money for work he didn't do, why would he refund money for shoddy work that he did actually do? And again, I didn't think his solution would solve the flooding issue.  It did help, but I think there are city wide improvements that need to be made before the issue can be fully resolved.

Ron's response:

I'm pissed that you keep motherf*****g us on the internet. If you removed every bulls**t stalker post you put on yelp, citysearch, web, etc. I'd gladly remedy the entire situation.

Uh Oh.  Someone's mad.  I don't know what to do about this other than laugh.  Its not like I posted bad reviews about him for fun. I'm way too lazy for that.  I posted bad reviews because he took my money and repeatedly lied to me.  That is something that is 100% under his control.  If he didn't want bad reviews he shouldn't steal from his customers.  He should also have the decency to show up for scheduled appointments.  Its not rocket science.  The fact that Ron is mad about this is  pathetic. I don't know what he expects.   Maybe he is used to scamming people before the internet when they couldn't fight back.

Also I don't know what he means by citysearch, web, etc.  I haven't put a review on Citysearch yet.  the top one about him hitting on the dudes' mom is to funny for me to replace.  Maybe he found this page and that is what he means by web.  I doubt it.  I have done nothing to promote this site yet.  If he found it he would have to be going way out of his way to search for himself.  Not that I rule that out.  Although if he did find it already then that means I don't have to put as much effort into publicizing the site as I thought I would.  But I digress.

My response:

You've offered that before and failed to follow through.  Why should I expect this to be different?  All the reviews I've put up are an accurate representation of my experience dealing with you. If/When my experience is improved I'll update my review. If you find an inaccuracy you let me know and I'll correct it.  If you don't want bad reviews then you should treat your customers better.  You give bad service, you get bad reviews.  That's how it works.  Stealing my money and wasting my time is bad service.  If you had done your job in the first place we wouldn't be here. Give me money back and I will never visit your FB page again.

The funny thing is that he has offered this before. When I submitted a BBB complaint and called him to see if he was going to respond before they closed it he said the same thing.  Then ignored me for a month.  When I posted a negative review to Yelp he told me he would be at my house promptly at 11:30 the next day and if when I removed the review he would finish the job. As usual, he didn't show up.

Again, I don't know what he expects.  If he think's I'm going to let him just take close to $2000 and not do everything in my power to get it back then he has surely underestimated me.

At this point Ron deletes the comment thread from his page and responds with

We'll be in touch

He may have commented something before than.  I got a FB notification that he did, but by the time I got out of my meetings all that was left was the above comment.

Over/Under on when he gets in touch?   It will be Tuesday or Wednesday because that is when I'm going to remind him.  I would be astounded if anything happens before that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ron looks for work before finishing the jobs he's been paid for.

Its still ridiculously cold here  Ron posts a picture of the channel 7 news graphic showing how cold it is with a comment of "Keep warm today - leave the hard work to us!!!"

I of course follow up with a comment:
Maybe before you go soliciting new work you should finish projects that you've already started.  For example you could finish the project that I paid you for in full almost a year ago. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one waiting for you to honor your commitments.
Seriously.  I'm 98% sure that I'm not the only one that he's screwed over by only doing half of the job he's been paid for.  If he's low on work maybe he should focus on finishing up those projects.

No money to be gained there though, so why bother?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Private Sewer and Water works in the cold... Unless you've already paid them.

Its pretty cold in Chicagoland these days.  Ron posted a picture of his crew working in a crawlspace with the following comment:

When it's -3 outside, a creepy crawlspace isn't so bad! Stay warm today!!!

Trying to be diplomatic I offered the option of finishing the part of the job that I've already paid for that is indoors.

If you still want to work inside you can install the electrical that you owe me.  I only paid for it 11 months ago.  Or you could give me my money back so that I can hire someone reliable.

Per usual, I got no response.  I'm assuming that his logic is why work on job that he's already been paid for when there is new business to chase?

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, No movement from Private Sewer and Water

Its the New Year and I haven't heard from Ron since I alerted him that he broke his facebook page.   At the time he said he wanted to resolve the issue, but as is typical there has been no follow through.  He posted a generic New Year's graphic to Facebook which I commented as follows:

Happy New Year Ron.  You ready to resolve this?  I'm pretty sure I did my part when I paid you almost a year ago. Now its your turn.  Or are you going to give me another year's worth of excuses? 

As expected I got no response.  I'm not sure what he expects me to do. As I mentioned I've already paid for the job to be completed so the ball is in his court.