Complaint / review text:
I had a kitchen fire in November 2012. The first night, Servpro of Gig Harbor, Washington came out to do a board up & I told them I had no money to pay for anything. The sales person gave me information & left. Meanwhile, the holes in my roof went uncovered for the night. The next afternoon, Servpro of Bremerton, Washington came out. He was a very smooth talker & since I had never had a house fire before, I signed a contract with them. NO prices were provided; nothing was talked about what Servpro was going to do & I didn't have any idea what really needed to be done to my house.
I had made plans many months before to be away during the Thanksgiving holidays. So off I go thinking my house was in good hands. DO NOT EVER THINK SERVPRO WILL TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR HOUSE!!! When I came back the week after Thanksgiving, I was shocked by what I found. The kitchen fire had gone up to the roof. Servpro had taken down EVERY ceiling in the house and destroyed EVERY light fixture that was in the ceiling. The first bathroom was COMPLETELY gone. There was nothing left, not even the walls. ALL the cabinets in the kitchen were taken out, even cabinets that had no damage. There was no drywall left in the kitchen, dining room or living room. EVERY room in the house had drywall either completely removed or had taken drywall part of the way up the wall out.
Every day that I would come to the house, Servpro was removing something from some room in the house - EVEN IF THE ROOM WAS AT THE BACK OF THE HOUSE. Do not expect Servpro to come every day, because that is not how they work. If Servpro showed up in the morning they were usually gone for the day by lunch time. Many times Servpro would not show up for days at a time because they had an emergency call someplace else. After over six weeks of "work" and having 5 construction companies tell me Servpro was taking out things that did not need to be taken out, I told Servpro they had 4 days to pick up everything they had pulled off the walls & ceiling and to clean up all the mess that they had made. The last two days, Servpro tore out more of the house which also increased their bill.
It was during this last week that the EPA showed up to find out if the asbestos inspection had been done. Maybe I should be thankful that Servpro DIDN'T do the inspection because the $400.00 inspection might have cost $1,200.00 or more. Also, Servpro had never told the dump that they were dumping fire damaged drywall and insulation which was a violation. Needless to say, to protect myself, I quickly ordered the asbestos inspection & contacted the county dump to let them know what Servpro was doing.
Servpro got around all the regulations because everything they took to the dump was in a black plastic bag. No wonder Servpro did not have a dumpster. They didn't want to comply with the law. Pictures that were taken of my personal items were NOT taken where they were right after the fire. ALL of Servpro's pictures were taken AFTER they moved my property. Servpro charged for a dumpster, BUT NEVER had a dumpster at my house. Servpro charged to clean and my insurance company paid them for cleaning BUT Servpro NEVER did the work.
I had to fight with the insurance company to deduct the over $3,000.00 from future payments. Servpro bought packing boxes from Lowe's that cost 76 CENTS and charged me almost 5 times as much and that did not include the cost of tape & packing paper. Servpro ESTIMATED box counts and when I called them on the number they were charging for, Servpro told me that is how they bill. A total of SEVEN bills were presented to my insurance company & I instructed my insurance company to not pay bills till I looked everything over.
Many of the bills had the same item on several of the bills. My personal property was stored in "pods" type boxes and put in a large warehouse. Servpro charged me for the cost of the ENTIRE WAREHOUSE. When I called Servpro on charging me for three months of storage at over $1,000.00 per month when I had ONLY USED TWO MONTHS, Servpro changed the cost per square foot of the entire warehouse to reflect the same cost as if I used their storage for three months. I was able to find a heated 300 square foot storage unit for $179.00 per month. I made arrangements for Servpro to bring me back my personal property to my storage unit and they brought the items back in a small panel truck, thus having to make two trips which increased the cost by double.
After going through my items, a lot of my electronics were not returned. It took several days for Servpro to find them and when I went to pick up the items at their warehouse, Servpro had done NO smoke cleaning of ANYTHING, I had THREE boxes of food in this batch and most of the boxes were only HALF full of my items but filled up with packing paper. After looking through these items, I discovered that Servpro had given me items that belonged to someone else in the Bremerton area. The other person's items had personal information that showed the names of everyone in the family, dates of birth, IRS returns, pay stubs, driver's license number and anything else that a person would need to steal this person's identity.
I contacted the person and found out that these items were from two years before. We met and he provided me with a notarized statement so if my insurance company questioned me on many of the items that were not pictured and NEVER RETURNED to me by Servpro, I could show the insurance company that Servpro does not keep good records on where they put customers' personal items when they take the property out of the house. There were quite a few items that Servpro said they had no pictures on and I did not own that I was able to provide receipts for from Costco and other companies. Servpro charged to clean my personal items either by the piece or the box.
After looking over the cleaning bill I discovered that some items that were charged per item were then put in a box and Servpor charged for cleaning that box also. Most of the boxes were only half full but I was charged as if the boxes were full.in one box was only a metal mixing bowl and I was charged over $20.00 to clean that box. I repacked EVERY BOX and ended up with less than half of the boxes with my items in them. Needless to say, after showing pictures to my insurance company Servpro was only paid for the FULL boxes for cleaning and box count.
My dining room table left the house in one piece, BUT was returned in THREE PIECES. I was told this was so the table would be able to fit in the storage "BOX" and be able to be transported back to me. I also did not pay for the charge to clean the table. The first time I went through all my "clean" items, the next day, the skin on my hands started to blister and peel. I called Servpro & asked what they used to clean my items with, but was never told what it was. It took almost a week for my hands to heal. After that, until I could clean everything again, I used work gloves to handle my items.
The fire was bad enough, but having to deal with Servpro and their dishonesty, overbilling and billing for work and things they did not do was 100 times worse. I have no idea why the State of Washington, or any other state for that matter, has not investigated Servpro for their business practices. Companies like this should not be allowed to continue to be in business!!! Think one hundred times before you hire servpro!!! Hire a contractor, a cleaning company & you will then have enough insurance money left to repair your home - NOT have to tear it down because Servpro left you with a shell of a house. If I knew how to attach pictures to this I would because I would show you what type of work Servpro does!