Chimney trouble

Seven On Your Side
March 18, 2013 3:09:07 PM PDT
The job looked legit - a chimney contractor installing a liner to help a crumbling chimney. But when the homeowner says the company's own workman said the job was shoddy, it took consumer affairs, a judge and then 7 On Your Side to help her out.

"I trusted what they were doing was correct. Apparently it wasn't," Pat Hogan said.

Pat's talking about United Chimney Corp. She saved the receipt. Back in 2004 she paid thousands to have them install a liner in her chimney.

But Pat says more than eight years later, when the very same company's workman did a routing cleaning, he found a big problem.

"They told me, 'you got the wrong sized liner lady.' It was like you been had," she said.

The chimney liner was 6 inches wide. Pat said United's tech along with 3 other chimney company's inspected and agreed that liner was too small to properly vent her heating system. A 7 inch liner was needed.

"It was getting full of soot. And it wasn't properly drafting and I was using more oil, which cost me more money," Hogan said.

No fear. Pat had a "lifetime warranty" with United Chimney, but Pat says the warranty was worthless.

In January, Pat took United Chimney Corp to court and won. She was supposed to get back half the original purchase price, or $1700, but Pat says they never paid up.

"I had to go to consumer affairs, then I had to go to the court, now you guys," she explained.

That's right, so we called United Chimney Corp and just 2 days later?

"It was fast too. As soon as they heard 7 On Your Side, bingo, they got me the check," Hogan said.

United put a check in her hands to satisfy the judgment - $1,700.

United Chimney Corp told us that they stand by their original work on Pat's chimney. They said they were going to appeal the judge's decision, but thought against it and paid after we called. One saving grace for Pat is she kept all the original documents and receipts. Documentation is easy to do and can help you get back thousands of dollars, even years later.