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Complaint Department

August 25th, 2014 · 24 Comments · Daily

1. Within 24 hours of moving into the house, the kitchen sink backed up and leaked water into the cabinets and onto the floor. Because the sellers of our house purchased a home warranty for us, the warranty company had to schedule an “approved” plumber. He arrived this morning, used the words “retarded” and “illegal” more than once to describe our plumbing (I’m okay with illegal.), told us that what’s normally covered under the warranty isn’t covered today because it’s less than 30 days from the purchase of the warranty, and then mentioned that the work we need to have done isn’t actually covered under the warranty. Ever. He then charged us $100 for our warranty deductible. (I know. I KNOW.)

Plumber: I can fix your problem today for $380.

Me: But it’s not covered under the warranty?

Plumber: Nothing is covered under the warranty for 30 days. And, this would be considered a pre-existing condition.

Me: How long do you guarantee your work?

Plumber: 30 days.

Me: So, you walked into the house and told me that our entire plumbing system was not up to code, and now you’re saying you can fix it for $380, but you can guarantee your work for only 30 days?

Plumber: You’re not going to find it cheaper anywhere else.

I’m going to try to find it cheaper somewhere else. I can’t hand money over to someone who uses the word retarded. I just can’t. Also, his company has received bad reviews online because they take advantage of older people. So, here we sit in a kitchen with no sink in a house that has 1.5 inch pipes where there should be 2 inch pipes, and 90-degree joints where there should be two 45-degree joints.

2. I fell down at the old house this weekend and sprained my ankle. My potato ankle is now barely an avocado ankle, so I’m definitely on the mend. But still. Urgent care and x-rays and limping and hassles. (And, no. I didn’t do it on purpose to avoid moving. I saw The Tin Drum, but I’m no Oskar.)

3. Henry tried to attack the neighbor’s sweet old dog through the fence this morning. It was fine and no one got hurt, but we definitely haven’t made a good impression on that particular neighbor.

But, there are good things, too:

1. Meredith read The Fault In Our Stars on Friday and absolutely adored it, and I love seeing the girls feeling jazzed about books. Harper is currently reading The Hunger Games, and is VERY excited about the reaping. (I generally don’t let the girls see movies until they’ve read the books, so she has no idea what is about to happen.)

2. I’m less than 50 rows away from finishing a cardigan, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect as the temperatures are going to hit 97F/36C this afternoon.

3. Despite the fact that our plumbing is nuts and the ice maker quit and the dryer hose won’t attach to the dryer and none of the upstairs doors actually close or lock, we have a good bathtub. We haven’t used it yet, so I really have no idea if it works. BUT, if nothing else, I can fill it with warm scrambled eggs and take a nap in it.

This is the stuff that happens. None of it is going to ruin our lives. This is the stuff that happens. It just happens.

I finished a cowl out of my handspun.

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24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Neil // Aug 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    No matter what little things go wrong in life, a handmade cardigan changes everything.

  • 2 Meghan S. // Aug 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I seriously just want to stick my face in that cowl and snuggle it.

    I’m with you on not wanting to give money to a guy who uses words like that. What a jerk. I hope your plumbing problems are sorted out, we’re having a couple of our own at the moment so I can commiserate.

  • 3 Nancy R // Aug 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    It seems like the previous owners should be responsible for a pre-existing condition like that, no?

  • 4 Cindy // Aug 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Moving is just stressful. I noticed water dripping from somewhere into the basement yesterday. It was the air conditioner. It’s fixed now but I dreamed that the garage flooded.

    Just think about how dreamy the Holidays are going to be in the new home.

  • 5 Kathie // Aug 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Oh I love the colors of that cowl!! Looks so soft, too.

    Good luck with the house issues.

  • 6 Chris // Aug 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    You’ll probably hear a hundred stories like this, but it was less than a week after we’d moved into our house that the plumbing backed up to such a degree as to require the guy to go retrieve his Special Tools. I remember this vividly because the sink in our basement bathroom overflowed with what can only be described as other people’s food waste (OPFW). Oh, and when the lights started flickering that same week, the electrician we called in told us, “You should be dead.”

  • 7 Kizz // Aug 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    All this and yet you were still able to give us that beautifully odd image of a bathtub nap in scrambled eggs! Home sweet home.

  • 8 Blackbird // Aug 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Listen to Neil.

  • 9 RzDrms // Aug 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    M started AND finished the book in one day?!

    She’s magical in my eyes.

  • 10 Melissa // Aug 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    GORGEOUS cowl! As for the plumber, I’m with you. I just can’t do rude (we won’t talk about the rude, rude, rude cobbler whose shoe shop I walked out of last week). Feel better ARD!

  • 11 elsiroomom // Aug 25, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I believe what you did with that cowl is what those in the journalism business call “burying the lede”. :) Handspun! Cowl! In the most beautiful colors! Eh, plumbing…..just kidding – the plumbing is a bummer, and if I were you I would haul my home inspection person in and give them the what for – I mean really – what for did you inspect my house if you didn’t notice that?! And what for did I pay you money then?! Also – that home warranty thing is probably accurate (about the 30 days) – but if you are NOT using the home warranty then you should NOT be required to pay the deductible (pretty sure about that one – although I guess now that you’ve paid it, the next time you have to use it, heaven forfend, you will have already paid your deductible….so there’s that…arguably. keep a copy of the payment record – this dude can’t be trusted….) And you were 100% right to send that joker away and find a new one that instills confidence and is not a jerk.

  • 12 elsiroomom // Aug 25, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    As for books – my oldest read Insurgent this weekend, and then started on Allegiant. When she and I were discussing Divergent, and I said (trying to be all English Major book club Mommy) something along the lines of how not seeing the value of looking at things in different ways, they way the Divergent would, involved some wrong thinking, and she said “Well, that’s true in all dystopias.” And then I fell off my chair. Because seriously- you are 12 – and you are talking to me about dystopias!? It was a proud moment, I’ll say that for sure!

  • 13 Kathy S. // Aug 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Oh dude. We found out not long after moving in to this house that the electrical work AND the duct were were All Wrong, as in the wrong sized thingies used and some thingies not hooked up to other thingies and I don’t even know how in the heck this thing passed inspection because apparently it was a death trap before we fixed everything we could afford to fix. And just this month, after living here for 11 years, a shelf fell down in one of our kitchen cabinets and that’s when we discovered that some of our shelves were installed with upside-down shelf bracket thingies. And yet I LOVE THIS HOUSE with all my heart, warts and all, almost-killing-us and all. I hope you’re able to make your house well again without spending a bajillion dollars on it, because I’m thinking that house NEEDS you.

  • 14 Bernadette // Aug 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    you and I would be best friends because, besides knitting, you reference The Tin Drum.

  • 15 Aubrey // Aug 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    How is that kind of thing not discovered in the home inspection? Of course I’ve never actually purchased a home so I have no idea what I’m talking about. Yay for readers!

  • 16 Jakgar // Aug 25, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    1. I’m proud of you for standing up to the plumber . I didn’t trust my gut instincts and got railroaded by an appliance guy. Thankfully got MY $380 back after a BBB complaint.
    2. BOOKS!
    3. I’m glad your avocado ankle is not a cantaloupe ankle.????
    4. scrambled egg naps ????????
    5. Beautiful cowl

  • 17 Jakgar // Aug 25, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    The ???? were emojis when I composed it, harrumph

  • 18 Grammy // Aug 25, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Good. We’re all in agreement about the plumber. Schmuck.

    If I could have spun yarn and knitted from it a cowl of such beauty, I could probably muster something akin to your statement: “This is the stuff that happens. None of it is going to ruin our lives. This is the stuff that happens. It just happens.”

    But I couldn’t and didn’t, and I so admire your Zen-like attitude. All that and a vision of filling a tub with scrambled eggs means that life in your new home is going to be wonderful now and ever-after, because you are in it.

  • 19 Shannon // Aug 26, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I shall never look at my bathtub again without envisioning it full of scrambled eggs.

  • 20 Mary K. in Rockport // Aug 26, 2014 at 9:37 am

    New (new to you) houses ALWAYS do that – they baptize you with water.

  • 21 Lori // Aug 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    The shawl is lovely, as is your approach to the new home challenges. Good luck getting them sorted out.

  • 22 Carroll // Aug 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    All of the above regarding the eggs and the cowl and your not-cantaloupe ankle, plus add me to the chorus of horror stories. Building inspector, reeking of alcohol, stood ten feet away from the addition to our house and said “Looks fine from here!” Eager to get on with things (of course) we welcomed that expeditious pronouncement at the time. But a year later, when the improperly grounded wiring caught fire and sent showers of sparks raining down on my husband from the overhead lights as smoke poured from behind the TV and his computer fried? In retrospect, we maybe should not have been so sanguine!

    Hang in there — this house will be so very grateful that you found it!

  • 23 Ani // Sep 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Good for you for standing up to the plumber! Hope all is well with the sink. And perhaps Henry and the next door neighbor dog will eventually be friends. Hope your ankle is on the mend and the cowl is lovely.

  • 24 You can call me, 'Sir' // Sep 15, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I realize this is late, but in the event that the person who did your inspection has fled the country, I believe you should hunt them down and break their legs. Actually (and seriously), you should first contact the company that did the inspection and report the extent of the problems than have been found after the fact. Because, if people who do wrong don’t have their legs broken, they’re just going to continue doing wrong. It’s science.