Two years ago, I selected Porter and Heckman out of Lapeer, MI to perform my Geothermal heating and cooling system installation, comprised of two separate systems: a WaterFurnace Series 7 Geothermal heat pump for the home with a pre-heat tank, whole house air cleaner, humidifier, all duct work and exhaust venting, and a zoning system with 5 separate thermostats in the house. The second system included a WaterFurnace Series 5 geothermal unit for the detached garage with all duct work, humidifier, and zoning system with 2 zones. In addition, a Symphony unit was installed for remote operation of both systems along with a water alarm. Since Porter and Heckman does not do their own loop fields, Michigan Energy Services was used to perform all well drilling and loop field installation. The total cost spent with Porter and Heckman was $75,142. Initially I had some issues with the system. The compressor during the winter months was very loud, and the vibrations could be felt and heard throughout the home. Ted was my main contact who provided me with all sales quotes and invoices throughout my experience while Gary was a backup. During our first set of issues, technician Chris was sent to our home. Chris was informative and knowledgeable. Unable to quell the compressor noise, both Gary and Ted arrived at my home within a couple of weeks, accompanied by a WaterFurnace certified technician. Several noise tests were conducted. The WaterFurnace representative, Ted and Gary, deemed the noise and vibration levels, “within the acceptable decibel range”. Several panels on the furnace were tightened up, which helped somewhat with the vibratory noise, but not entirely. I also had a former Porter and Heckman customer come to my home to give his opinion on the noise. He agreed that this noise was unacceptable. I chose to go with geothermal for many reasons, but most importantly because WaterFurnace, along with Porter and Heckman, markets this unit as the “Cadillac of heating and cooling systems”, a product that “meets the highest standards” with “computerized testing and quality control procedures instituted on every unit”. I was also told that a geothermal system would significantly decrease my utility bills in the summer and winter. Although my gas bill in the winter only averages $40-50, I was floored when one billing cycle cost me over $500 in electric alone. My house is 2,450 sq. ft and the electric backup on the house only (not the detached garage) is in use during the winter months (detached garage was kept at 63 degrees with no electric backup connected). When I copied my utility bill and sent it to Ted via email, his response was “that doesn’t seem that high for two systems”. Prior to signing with Porter and Heckman, Ted stated to me that the heat pump comes with a 10 year warranty while all accessories have a 5 year warranty. Fast forward to August 2017. I’ve been in my home for just 19 months, and my furnace began making a howling sound through some of the air ducts recently. My zoning air pump also went bad as evidenced by a very loud vibration from the unit. Chris came out on August 11th and stated that the furnace noise was due to a dirty air filter. He also agreed that the zone pump was clearly defective, and that since the zone pump was an accessory, it was covered under the 5 year warranty. This was diagnosed in just 10 minutes. Chris did not have the zoning part with him and stated he would be back the following week. He came back 2 weeks. The swap out took no more than 15 minutes, and a week later I received an invoice from Porter and Heckman for $120 for the air pump. I left a message with Ted asking why I was being billed for a component that I was told was covered under the 5 year warranty. I did not receive a call back after several days. I subsequently called again and spoke with his secretary. She informed me that I would get a call from Dave or Chris. I received a call from Dave who stated that “Ted asked me to call you and explain that any accessories that were not made by “WaterFurnace” are only covered under a 1 year warranty.” I kindly reminded him that I paid over $75,000 with Porter and Heckman for “their top of the line system” and was not made aware of this. He agreed but stated I would have to take it up with Ted. Since I was unable to reach Ted via phone, I emailed him and apprised him of my concern. What transpired is listed below verbatim: Me: Ted- I just spoke with Dave about this. He said to follow up with you and explained that all of the water furnace accessories are covered under the 5-year warranty but this technically is not a water furnace product. When Chris came out he said that this would be covered under the 5-year warranty. Again, we spent over $75,000 with you guys on our heating and cooling systems and have only been in the house for just over a year and a half. I didn't foresee having these types of issues with such an expensive system. Nor was I made aware that this is not included under the 5-year accessory warranty. We went with Porter and Heckman because of their purportedly good reputation and also after speaking with several of your customers. Can you please shed some light on this? Ted: HI Mike, The part in question is not a Water Furnace part and was not purchased from Water Furnace it is a zoning part that we purchase from Retro Zone out in Texas. The warranty is only one year. I see Chris was out on 8/11 for a noisy furnace and found the filter plugged from a sanding project. This could also be the cause of the pump failure if the pump was exposed the dust as well.. That call should have been a billable call since it was a maintenance related issue. The Trip charge should have been $75.00 plus he was there for an hour. That should have been a $222.00 service call. The pump cost us $80.00 we mark up parts 15% which would make it $92.00 plus he was there ¼ of an hour which would be $36.75 totaling $129.00. your quote clearly states that Water Furnace accessories have a 5 year warranty, that’s only parts ordered from Water Furnace. Your preheat tank, humidifier, and zone pump and other related zoning parts purchased from other venders, only have a one year warranty. Looks to like you got a great deal at only $120.00 Me: When Chris was here on 8-11, it only took him 10 minutes for both of us to determine it was the filter. The rest of the time was spent talking about putting in a future zone in the sunroom and what that would entail, as well as discussing the water situation in Flint. It didn't take him that long to diagnose the issue. More importantly, he verbally stated that the part was covered under warranty. I would be willing to meet you at half of the price of this since you're stating that it's not covered under warranty but he said it was. I can send you $60. Ted: Come on Mike, You got a great deal for a none warranty part. You can send the $60.00 for the part but I’m going to charge you the $75.00 trip charge for 8/11 plus the diagnostic charge of $36.50, with the $60.00 for the part that totals $171.50 that works for me. And Chris says thanks for throwing him under the bus on this, he says he told you he thought it was under warranty. He knows it’s not covered by the Water Furnace warranty he thought it might have had a two year from Retro Zone. Me: Throwing him under the bus? Are you kidding me Ted? Is this how you treat a customer who spent $75,000 with you? My offer has been rescinded, I will have my attorney contact you and the owner and I will be putting all of this on social media. Ted: I thought I was treating you fair by excepting the $120.00 and not charging for the 8/11 service call which would have been $111.50. So you ended up only paying $8.50 for the pump. It cost us just shy of $150.00/ hour to have a tech with a van on the road. He made two trips to your house. If you feel you need to have your lawyer call I am one of the owners and would be glad to speak with him. Clearly, the sarcasm in Ted’s responses is quite obvious and unfortunate. After several more weeks, I received an email from Gary asking to call him so we could review what had transpired (he was out of the office for a month). Gary, always one to address concerns in a professional manner, agreed that the warranty on the zoning system was indeed a gray area. I suggested all warranty information for purchased zoning systems should be illustrated to future customers. He agreed. He waived the fee and sent me a confirmation via mail with a zero balance. For the life of me I can't understand why this took so long to resolve. Nonetheless, it shouldn't have gone this far and Gary agreed. Aside from this issue, service with Porter and Heckman as been good. Chris is knowledgeable and informative when he's here for technical issues. Dave is always pleasant to work with, and Gary's customer service skills keep things in check. I don't know that I would go with a geothermal system had I had a chance to do it over, perhaps the electric bill would be lower if there was a way to use a natural gas backup option instead of electric. And unfortunately I'm still having the howling sound through the ducts in one particular area of the house. Otherwise, because of Gary, I'm obliged to give them good reviews overall.