Leaking shower turns into plumbing contract dispute
Tampa Penalty Box
His Tree & Landscape Inc.
COMPLAINT: Nancy Wuerth, Gulfport, Fla.
"I hired Re-Bath of Tampa Bay to re-do my shower, tile the floor and change out fixtures. When I signed the contract, they stated I had a broken shower pan and the shower leaked.
"After this meeting, I gave them $3,200. They were to return eight weeks later to begin. I had three business days to change my mind. Four business days after the contract expired, I found mold and discovered the problem was not a leaky shower, but rather a leaky roof.
"I assumed Re-Bath would be understanding and contacted them. They kept saying they would try to contact the owner. For some reason, they could never locate him.
"I got in touch with the owner myself about a week later. He told me he would review my contract and get back to me the next day. He never did. I called four days later, and they stated they were going to keep half of my down payment as a penalty.
"I contacted consumer protection, and Re-Bath told me they would refund all but $888. After that, consumer protection closed the case and I haven't heard from anyone since.
"Re-Bath told me I had a broken shower pan when I didn't, then wouldn't let me out of the contract without a penalty.
"I've had mold experts in here, and it was proven that I had a mold problem due to a roof leak. I have all my phone records to prove that I called Re-Bath to cancel on Sept. 15, 17, 23, and 24."
DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I would appreciate a full refund. I can't afford to give them $888 when they lied to me about my shower leaking."
RESPONSE: James F. Bennett, CEO, Re-Bath of Tampa Bay
"She signed a contract with our company on Sept 3. Our records indicate she called us Sept. 21 and spoke with Matt Konway.
"She explained that she had lost her job, her insurance company was not going to cover her leaking shower pan, and she needed to cancel her contract.
"Matt stated that it was well beyond the three-day rescission period and he would have to pass her file to the owner, who then reviews her request.
"I spoke to her three days later and informed her that I would review her file and get back to her no later than Sept. 27 with a decision regarding any refund. She called the company three times over the remainder of the business day with threats and demanding a full refund.
"Four days later, I spoke to her and informed her that even though she was beyond the rescission period, the company decided in good faith to refund her $2,140, which reflects a 25 percent restock/processing fee on Re-Bath materials only.
"Our contract clearly states that any contracts allowed to be canceled after the rescission period would be subject to a minimum 20 percent restock fee. Her job materials were already processed and received at this point, which constituted the additional five percent.
"In closing, in the nine years I have owned this company we have encountered folks with hardship and have always listened with consideration. The company's response is that it will offer a refund to her in the amount of $2,362, which equates to our minimum restock fee of 20 percent.
"We state her accusations to be slanderous and false."
Editor's note: Wuerth declined the company's offer.