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This blog is an attempt to document the struggles that my wife and I have had to go through in order to get the Private Sewer &Water Corporation to finish a job that they were paid to do.  The hope is to make the owner of the company Ron Janis realize that his actions have consequences and that he can't take advantage of his customers with out having it reflect on his business.  The other goal is to serve as a warning to future potential customers that the Private Sewer & Water Corporation and specifically Ron Janis are not to be trusted.


The Story So Far

We originally hired the Private Sewer & Water Corporation during the final week of January 2014.   Prior to hiring them, whenever we ran our laundry machine, and occasionally when we ran our dishwasher we would get a strong smell of sewage in our basement.  We couldn't figure out where it was coming from and neither could any of the other plumbers that we had come out to look into it.


Ron thought that it was the result of a broken sewer line that needed to be dug out and repaired.  He also wanted to install a check valve to prevent backup coming back from the city's water line.  We live in Berwyn IL and for the last 5 years we've been getting would have been 100 year floods.  The city's sewer system can't handle all the water, so it backs up into people's homes. The check valve would block that from happening.  So far so good.


Ron also pushed really hard for us to connect the pipes in our catch basin and to then remove the catch basin.  He claims that it will help with resale value of the house since catch basins are very outdated.  We didn't want to do it but ultimately agreed to.  Our reasoning was that we needed to have it repaired anyway since the large maple tree in our back yard was pushing the concrete around.  The difference in price to have Ron do it Vs. just getting it repaired was only $500, and then we would never have to deal with it again.


A few days into the project Ron also started pushing really hard to install an ejector pump.  I was against this because other basement flooding experts who we've talked to thought that with the amount of rain that we had been seeing, there was just too much water for a pump to handle, or even two to handle.  Also we really couldn't afford the additional charge.  Ron assured us it was necessary and guaranteed that we would never get water in our basement again.  We ultimately gave in.


We paid Ron for half the work when he started, and then a few days later for the pump work.  Finally as we were nearing completion of the project we paid him for the remainder of the scheduled work.  He gave wife a song and dance about how he needed the money right away to help him secure a loan.   


At this point we have paid for everything in full.   The sewer line is repaired.  The pump is installed, but there  are no outlets near it to plug it into. Ron had assured me that he would run electrical to the pump.  Also they have not touched the catch basin, or filled in the hole in the front yard where they installed the check valve.


And we have not seen them again.  It is now almost 10 months later.  They still have almost $2000 worth of work to complete and they won't show up to finish it.  Ron Janis is at best oblivious to his customer's time and schedules and at worst an outright liar.  He has no ability to properly schedule his work.  He seems to just go to whichever opportunity is currently the most profitable.  If you've already paid him then he has nothing to gain by working on your job.  Especially when there are so many other people with emergencies that he can take advantage of.



Actions Taken

In an effort to get Ron to finish the job that I have paid for in full I've taken the following actions.  Thus far none have worked.


  1. Paid him.
  2. Let him reschedule to a time that is more convenient to him.  (multiple times)
  3. Tried being nice
  4. Tried yelling
  5. Tried threatening bad reviews
  6. Left bad review on Facebook.
  7. Offered to take down review upon completion of job.
  8. Left bad review on Yelp
  9. Agreed to remove review from Yelp when Ron showed up the next day to complete the job
  10. Threatened complaint to BBB
  11. Filed complaint to BBB
  12. Warned Ron that he had not responded to BBB complaint
  13. Asked BBB to extend window to give Ron more time to respond
  14. Threatened complaint to Angie's list
  15. Filed complaint with Angie's list
  16. Threatened to complain to the City of Berwyn and the IL Attorney General
  17. Complained to City of Berwyn and IL Attorney General.  
  18. Started this blog.
Number 1 on that list should have been enough.  It was February when they first stopped showing up and the cold was a reasonable excuse at the time, so number 2 on the list should have been more than enough.


Lessons Learned



People always say that you should never pay contactors until they have finished a job, and people like Ron Janis are why.   Its has been an expensive lesson for us to learn both in terms of time wasted trying to track him down, and money we paid for work that was never done. 


If you happened to come across this page before doing business with the Private Sewer and Water Corporation then I have to warn you that whatever you do, do not pay them until they finished the work you agreed on.  I'm not the only one this has happened to.  Do some research before hiring them, and really any contractor.  Even if they are recommended by a friend.  We first called Ron because my father in law, who is very hard to please was raving about him. 


Check yelp, check the BBB, check Angie's list.  I'm sure most business have a complaint or two over the years. Sometimes things don't work out.  But when you notice a pattern of the same complaints maybe you should find someone else.  Its not worth the headache.







1 comment:

  1. BEWARE OF ANY COMPANIES WITH NAME OF RON JANIS owner
    beware of home plumbing & heating 225 W SAINT CHARLES RD VILLA PARK
    OWNED BY RON JANIS SR--I BELEIVE TO BE FATHER OF THE SCAMMER
    THERE MUST ALSO BE A LITTLE SHINANIGANS GOING ON HERE ALSO
    BBB GIVES THIS COMPANY GRADE C+ KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY WHEREAS
    THE PRIVATE SEWER & WATER CORP GETS GRADE F BY THE BBB

    ReplyDelete