Disasterous boiler diagnosis costs homeowner

Seven On Your Side
March 15, 2013 8:27:06 PM PDT
It has been an extra cold winter for one Long Island homeowner after his boiler went bust.

But he says the real deep freeze hit after his oil company gave him a disastrous diagnosis that cost him more than a grand to fix.

"This is one of the walls that they were trying to find the pipes," said Sal Santoro, a homeowner.

Sal Santoro's walls are now Swiss cheese.

"They cut these three here, the one on the side," Santoro described.

Holes in his basement, the garage, and now an even bigger hole in his wallet.

"The plumber bill was 480," Santoro said.

"And to fix this would be?" 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda asked.

"$550," Santoro said.

It was over a thousand dollars down the tubes for the high school softball coach and dad-to-be.

But the real kicker is that none of this work was ever necessary.

"The lines were not frozen, this line also not frozen," Santoro said.

Sal was told the opposite by his oil company, Slomin's, who inspected his boiler after his heat shut off end of January.

"Right in the cold snap the day that the cold rush hit, I came home from work and realized it was 50 degrees upstairs, so I called up Slomin's," Santoro said.

Their tech's diagnosis was frozen pipes and to call a plumber.

"How long was he here?" Pineda asked.

"About 10 minutes," Santoro said.

The plumber came, searched, didn't find any frozen pipes, but found the boiler was broken.

"I put him on the phone with Slomin's and he told them, 'You know you have a broken feed valve that why the water's not coming out,'" Santoro said.

Slomin's came back and this time discovered their boiler was the problem.

"So it went from nothing's wrong with the boiler to it broken in three places," Pineda said.

"Exactly, yeah," Santoro said.

But when the long time customer asked to be reimbursed, he says they offered him a hundred bucks.

"They said, 'Fine, bring us to court,' and then actually my mother-in-law saw your show and said, 'Why don't you write 7 On Tour Side,'" Santoro said.

He did and 7 On Your Side gave Slomin's a shout.

"So did we turn the heat up?" Pineda asked.

"Yes, you did, you saved me! I got a letter saying they're going to refund me $1,072 and give me the year after, 2014, free oil contract," Santoro said.

Slomin's owner told 7 On Your Side his tech's diagnosis of frozen pipes was correct and that Sal's plumber broke the boiler.

But since Sal's a long time customer they paid every cent of Sal's bills and gave him a free year of service.

"That s quite a ways from $100," Nina said.

"Yes, a big difference," Santoro said, "Thank you so much 7 On Your Side you saved me so much I appreciate it."


Facebook: facebook.com/wabc.7onyourside
Twitter: twitter.com/wabc7onyourside