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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-08-2021

Best Buy Installer flooded my basement - Best Buy won't take responsibility

I purchased a refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave from the Portage, Michigan Best Buy location on January 12, 2021 and scheduled an appointment to have the refrigerator delivered and installed on January 16, 2021. I paid for Geek Squad 5-year warranty on the item. I gave a cellphone number to contact me at which was included in the order by the salesman. I was told to wait for the delivery person to arrive and that they would call me when they were 1/2 hour away. I never got the call because they called the Google Voice number on my Best Buy account instead of my cellphone number, and they left a message that I did not receive.
 
On January 16, around noon, the Best Buy installers arrived. My old fridge was not emptied yet, and the water to it was not yet shut off. The installer went down into my basement to find the shutoff valve for the water to the old fridge. I did not ask him to help me find it. While in the basement, we found a valve with the same size pipe as the refrigerator, and he indicated it looked like the valve. It wouldn't budge, so he went to his truck to get a wrench. When he returned, I asked if I could help and he told me to go upstairs and work on emptying the old fridge because he had another appointment he had to get to and it would speed things up. I went up and began emptying the old fridge and freezer.

He returned upstairs after a few minutes and tried the water to the fridge, which was still running. He looked under the kitchen sink, and found the actual shutoff valve to the old fridge in this location. I asked him if he had shut off the valve in the basement, and assured me he had, and told me not to worry. He and his partner removed the old fridge, and brought the new one in.

While he and his partner were installing the freezer door, they forced it in at an angle, causing a loud ratcheting sound. He assured me it was ok. When they left I gave them each a $20 tip. I spent the next few hours loading up the new refrigerator with food, and testing out the temperature. I discovered the installers had installed the freezer door incorrectly, so there was a large 1/2" gap on the left side where it wasn't sealing. They had forced the drawer in at an angle, and the ratching sound I had heard was the sound of gears jumping a track. I spent about an hour fixing the bottom drawer so it would actually close/seal correctly.
 
The next day, on January 17, around noon, I walked into the basement and immediately felt the squish of water in the carpet. Water had filled up half my main basement area, the entire furnace room (about 1/2” deep of water), half of a recording studio, about a third of our laundry room, half of a spare bedroom, all of the hallway, and an additional closet.

I immediately sprang into action to try to find the source of the water. I called the installer to see what he had turned on in the basement. No answer, so I left a voicemail. I discovered that the valve the installer had turned on went to an open pipe under our stairwell. For 24 hours water had been pouring into this closet, and seeping out into the rest of the basement. I turned off the valve, and cut if off short, directing the end of the pipe into a nearby water basin. The valve is brass, and attached to copper tubing, so it was not rusty.
 
I got a wet dry vacuum, and spent the rest of the day trying to suck up as much water as possible. My wife also helped with the cleanup. Since it was Sunday, Best Buy was not available. On Monday, I took the day off of work and continued cleaning up the water, moving boxes, and saving rare musical instruments from getting damaged. I called the installer again. No response. I called Best Buy support once they opened, and they said they would open a claim, and someone would contact me within a couple of days.
 
The next day, Tuesday, realizing this was too big a job for me to do on my own, I called a company to come in and help with cleanup. They spent the next two and a half weeks cleaning up the water in the basement, cutting out drywall and soaked padding, preventing mold from growing, and getting rid of the smell of wet carpet.
 
A couple days after this happened, on Thursday, the same installer came to my house to install a microwave. In front of the other microwave installer he apologized profusely, said it was his fault that he didn't turn off the valve, and said he had told the insurance company, Sedgwick, that it was his fault. he told me not to worry "That's why we have insurance." He also said he hadn't checked his messages, which is why he hadn't returned my calls. He told me that he told the insurance company
Whatever he says happened is was what happened." He also said that he told them he had tried to "help me out". This raised a red flag with me, because it's not how it went down. I wasn't asking for help at all. The way he said it seemed like he had done me a favor at my request.
 
The cleanup company took photos during the cleanup process. I submitted photos to Sedgwick three separate times using different photo services. Finally they were able to view them. A few days afterwards they called to discuss my claim. The lady on the phone said, "I shouldn't be telling you this, but the installer gave conflicting information as to what he said happened." She said he claimed that I asked him to help me, that the valve was rusty, so that's why this happened. She also seemed to imply that they were leaning towards not paying anything, especially the 80+ hours my wife and I personally put in cleaning up everything before, during, and after the cleanup company arrived.
 
Today Sedgwick called me and told me that they would not be paying anything for damages, or for the clean up. They said the installer claimed he never touched or turned on the valve, even though I saw him turning it with his wrench with my very own eyes. Yet he claims the valve was rusty. So which is it? He knows there was a rusty valve...the exact valve he turned...how would he know it's the one that caused the flooding? Because he went to his truck and got a wrench and turned it and I saw him do it and he claimed he turned it off in front of the other installer. The Sedgwick lady also claimed that the installer said I asked him to help me. I did nothing of the sort. In a huff he came down my stairwell looking for the water line. I didn't ask him to go into my basement, he just went down and started looking for it while I was looking, turned it on, and then didn't turn it all the way off afterwards.
 
Here's what I have learned from this fiasco: 1) Don't trust Best Buy installers 2) Take videos of the installation process and anything the installer touches 3) Don't trust that the installers will tell the truth  - they will lie to save their hide, even though they say they did it 4) Don't let them touch any waterlines unless you have documented video proof of them doing it. 5) Don't expect Best Buy to come good if they damage your home. 6) Always have witnesses with you so you have a record of what happened.
 
Very disappointed in Best Buy and their service. They also ripped out my dishwasher only to tell me that the new one wouldn't fit and I needed a plumber. They installed the microwave too low. And they never leveled my stove.
 
If justice isn't served, and Best Buy don't make good on the damage their installer caused, I will never buy another thing from them again.
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Registered: ‎02-08-2019

Re: Best Buy Installer flooded my basement - Best Buy won't take responsibility

Hey, sys700,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us here on the Best Buy Forums. Buying and installing new appliances should be an exciting experience, and I'm very sorry to hear about the damage that occurred in your home. I'd like to take the opportunity to document this feedback here at the corporate campus. 

 

Additionally, I would refer you to request an update on your claim by emailing "propertyclaims@bestbuy.com,"  and continuing to work with Sedgwick regarding this claim. They are the best team suited to help with that going forward. Please know, decisions provided by Sedgwick cannot be overturned by Best Buy. 

 

Please send us a private message with your full name, email, and phone number and I can get this feedback properly documented. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Best,

 

 

 

 

 

Meg|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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