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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently installed a Vinotemp Cooling Unit in a winecellar I was building. I'm here to warn everyone NOT to make the same mistake I made.

Until this wine cellar, I hadn't even heard of Vinotemp but my client was browsing on the Internet and found this one particular unit that he liked very much. I wasn't crazy about installing a brand I wasn't familiar with but hey if that's what the customer wants I'll give it to them. After all, I didn't see anything alarming on the website that said they were anything but professionals and it certainly wasn't the cheapest product out there so I thought "what could go wrong".

Well, that was until the delivery date came. Yep it was about 10 days late arriving and it's cover was all scratched up. So I called my supplier who dealt with Vinotemp trying to get this cover replaced. It took about 2 1/2 weeks for Vinotemp to finally agree to replace the cover....but the catch was they wouldn't send me the new one until I sent them the old one. Well by this time we were putting the finishing touches on the winecellar so that was a bit inconvenient for our client because he wanted to start using his winecellar (the unit won't run without the cover, the controls are attached to it). I was able to work it out with the client but of course the client wanted to hold back a couple thousand dollars until I got the new cover. :censored:

So I sent the cover back and expected the new one in about a week. Yeah right, so I started calling them every day. I was promised a return call with the updated status. :rolleyes: Apparently at Vinotemp they don't believe in returning calls. After another 2 weeks of this (3 weeks total) they tell me they are sending me the new cover. When I get it, I can tell instantly that this was the same cover, they just tried to buff out the scratches (it's stainless steel). Oh :censored:, now what do I do. It doesn't look awful but I know it's not new and I promised my client a new cover. At this point my client is getting impatient, he wants his winecellar working and I want my money. So I decide to take the cover to the client, show it to them, and let them make the determination. After all they are the ones that wanted to use Vinotemp despite my hesitation to do so. Well, luckily he decided that it probably wasn't going to get any better and didn't hold me responsible for it so he paid up, I was complete, everyone was happy right?

Well after about a week, the client calls and complains and says his cooling unit is making a high pitch noise. He said it was so loud that he had to shut off the unit so that he a friend could play pool in the room next door. So immediately my HVAC guy and I head down there to see what the problem is. We turn it on and it wasn't as loud as it was the night before but it was definitely not normal. We start checking everything to make sure nothing is loose. We are able to locate the noise to the solenoid valve area. I call Vinotemp and try to tell them what the problem is, they pass off from one person to the next but apparently nobody there is familiar with a split system :eek:.

Finally the engineer gets on the phone and I can't understand a word that he is saying. His name was Hamil if that helps you any. So I describe the problem to him and he says oh you need a new solenoid valve. Yep that's pretty much what I thought, but the catch is that means the whole coil needs to be replaced. So he says he's going to send me a new coil. A week later I get a package in the mail, open it up and all they sent me was the electromagnetic controls for the valve. :furious: What the hell? So I talk to them again and they say this will take care of the problem. So we head back down there to install this new part. Nope no luck that didn't change a thing.

So at this point, I'm mad but not furious. So I call them again, try to talk to Hamil again, and he says that the coil needs to be replaced. No sh*t, that's what you said last time (at least I think that's what you said). He says he will tell his manager and she will call me. I said can't I just talk to your manager right now. No she's not in the office today. OK fine.

The next day comes and goes no call. The following day I call and ask for his manager. She finally gets on the phone, and acts like she has no idea what I'm talking about so I have to tell her the whole story again. She puts me on hold to go talk to Hamil, and comes back and says ok she knows what part I need but it's not in stock they are going to have to order it. Then she asks me if she can call me back. :w00t: I said NO WAY! I haven't received one single return phone call from anyone there after leaving at least a dozen different messages, I said I will hold. I wait on hold for 30 minutes while she is supposedly calling her supplier. She finally gets back on the line and says I'm on hold with the supplier, would you like to continue to hold or can I call you back. At this time I'm fuming that I have been on hold for this long, but she promised many times that she would call me back so I agreed. 3 hours later she calls back and gets my voicemail, "well, I wasn't able to reach the supplier today so I'll try again tomorrow and let you know but I promised I would call you back so here it is". Gee thanks, that helps.

That was on Monday, so I've been busy this week and really haven't had time to deal with it but I call again today (Thursday) and of course Amanda the manager is busy and can't take my call. "Would you like to leave a message?" Oh I BLEW UP! FINAL STRAW! IT"S ON!

Then the secretary starts being a smart ass with me, well send back the old evaporator coil and we will send you a new one. YEAH I HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE. So then I demand to speak with as high up as I can go, that's when this real bimbo named Diane gets on the phone claiming to be the boss but she refused to give me her title.

I couldn't get two words in edge wise without her interrupting me with "You have two options, you can send us the old one and then we will send you the new one or you can send us $1,100 and we will send you a new evaporator coil". When I told her to stop interrupting me and let me speak, she didn't say a word to the point where I had to repeatedly say "hello" and she proudly says "I thought you didn't want me to speak". Seriously, are we in third grade now. So I ask did you hear me. That's when she repeated the company line "You have two options, you can send us the old one and then we will send you the new one or you can send us $1,100 and we will send you a new evaporator coil".

Well, to wrap this up. I blew my top today. I think my heart actually stopped for a minute my blood pressure was so high. Bottom line, is Vinotemp is a company that does NOT stand behind their products. They don't have technicians that know their products on the phone or in the field to help better serve you. Their customer service is amongst the worst I have ever dealt with and if you decide to buy any of their products you are taking a huge risk. There are many reputable companies out there selling better products at similar or better prices. There is no good reason to buy from Vinotemp and I'm not just talking about their wine cooling units but their wine racks and wine coolers as well. It's just not worth it dealing with their customer service.

Two thumbs down for Vinotemp. Buyer beware!
 

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Thom
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If the project is a small walk-in cooler, try cool-bot.

I built a walk in beer cooler this last year for a private club. The thing works great.
 

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Captain California
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:censored:
I was able to work it out with the client but of course the client wanted to hold back a couple thousand dollars until I got the new cover. :censored:
Seems to me that if they wanted THAT particular product, they should own up to some of the responsibility.

AND NOT HOLD MONEY BACK for something that isn't your fault.:censored:

:censored::censored::censored::censored::censored::furious:
 

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I like Green things
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Yup, that is some bull snot.

Reminds me of the time I beat the crap out of a faulty ceiling fan (60" fan, massive lights and hung from 14' cathedral ceilings).
When I got it back in the box and taped up, it made an odd sound.

Now, if you want something odd or that you spec, that I am not familiar with, find an installer just for that. I don't want any resposibility.

Someone needs to go fly a kite.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The hold back was a bit excessive but I don't mind making a client feel reassured that I will come back and finish the project as long as I have a good feeling that I will get paid when it's done. This client was very good about paying up to that point and I certainly didn't expect it to take 3 weeks to get a new cover so I didn't think it would be a big deal. When I did get the cover and installed it, I was paid in full on the spot. My problem is that Vinotemp has no respect for it's customers and don't care what their inefficiencies cost us in money, time, or good will with our customers.

Vinotemp's only care is about their bottom line. This is not the type of company any contractor wants to work with.
 

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Thanks for this posting. I've been pondering a wine cellar for my son for a couple of years, and get regular emails from Vinotemp.

Mind if I send them a copy of your experience?
 

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Al Smith
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Thanks for this posting. I've been pondering a wine cellar for my son for a couple of years, and get regular emails from Vinotemp.

Mind if I send them a copy of your experience?

LOL I already sent them a link to this thread. Told them its not nice to piss off a contractor. And i would never ever use their products.


the only experience i had with a wine cellar was near Englewood NJ, They had a wine cellar that had water damage and the wine racks has to be torn out along with all the drywall, The source of the leak was supposedly fixed by roofers and others, We returned one weekend to find the floor wet but mostly below the ceiling hung refrigeration unit, I traced the condensate line and found that they simply put the other end of the condensate line into the underground exterior drainage system for the gutters and leaders LOL. so when it rained it backed up the condensate line to the basement wine cellar room.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Feel free to use my experience how ever you would like. I've done further research on them and saw they had 26 complaints with the Better Business Bureau all regarding the same issues I have had with them. Check it out for yourself but there are much better products out there than Vinotemp. I have built at least a dozen winecellars over the past 5 years or so and this is the only time I've had any issues and it's the only time I've used Vinotemp. You figure out for yourself where the problem lies.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I traced the condensate line and found that they simply put the other end of the condensate line into the underground exterior drainage system for the gutters and leaders LOL. so when it rained it backed up the condensate line to the basement wine cellar room.
Brillant! :rolleyes: It never fails to amaze me to see how other contractors go about their work. I had a one about a year ago, brand new home with a finished basement and a winecellar. Winecellar was always planned to go there. Builder forgot to run a condensate line out of the room so when he was finished he just ran it into a garbage can that sat under the cooling unit and told the homeowners to watch it so it didn't overflow. AND THE HOMEOWNERS ACCEPTED THAT :eek:
 

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Response

Hello Everyone,

I did follow up with everyone here who spoke with this contractor and these were the responses:

From Diana: "this guy called yesterday and was cursing worse then a sailor. I spoke with him in the beginning of the problem when he said his case was scratched, we had to order a new case for him. He took weeks to send it back, once he did we sent out a new case. The whole time I was communicating with Beverage Factory not him. After that I believe he spoke with Yvette, Haoming and then Amanda. When he called yesterday he was cursing at Yvette then I took the call. He was yelling and cursing and telling me to shut up, we have given him two options, to put a deposit on a new one or send the “defective unit” and when we receive it we will send the new unit. He said and I quote “I will make it my life’s goal to bring your Company down”.

From Yvette:
I took the call yesterday, he did ask for Amanda but she was unavailable and I told him…. Per the engineer we will have to switch out the evaporator, so we have two options:
1. We can issue a call tag and have the evaporator picked up and send him a new one.
2. He can leave a deposit and we can ship out the new one, which will refund the deposit when we get the defective unit back here.
He then told me to quote “Get your head out of your ass” and he was just cursing and yelling to he point where you could not understand him- he was yelling so loudly into the phone… never once did he ask to speak to any one else I did tell him to please hold and asked for Diana’s help.

From Haoming:

  • Regarding the evaporator unit (fan coil) The cover is made of aluminum, not stainless steel as this contractor stated. The regular finish is brushed which has never been a problem in the past, yet we switched this out for him.
  • The solenoid valve has 2 components, the body assembly and coil assembly. The body is soldered into the tubing. My first response was to replace the coil only not to de-solder the body. The contractor misunderstood the valve coil instead of evaporator coil. My second response was to replace the whole valve (including body and coil) or evaporator unit.
From Vinotemp:
It helps us in management to get emails so we can be as thourough as possible to help the customer. Believe me, we want happy customers. We dont want someone screaming and cursing at the staff.

We take ownership if the product is damaged or defective, we have for the past 25 years.

We cannot switch out product unless we have the other in. Many times, product is not defective but installed incorrectly. We have spent alot of time to post everything on line to help the contractor install our products correctly and Haoming is a brilliant engineer who can answer any cooling unit question.

Feedback like this is useful for us, as we obviously need to improve our customer service, however we cannot respond to cursing and insults and expect to help.

Sir, if you would like to discuss this civily we are happy to help.

[email protected]





 

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President of the world
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Hello Everyone,

I did follow up with everyone here who spoke with this contractor and these were the responses:

From Diana: "this guy called yesterday and was cursing worse then a sailor. I spoke with him in the beginning of the problem when he said his case was scratched, we had to order a new case for him. He took weeks to send it back, once he did we sent out a new case. The whole time I was communicating with Beverage Factory not him. After that I believe he spoke with Yvette, Haoming and then Amanda. When he called yesterday he was cursing at Yvette then I took the call. He was yelling and cursing and telling me to shut up, we have given him two options, to put a deposit on a new one or send the “defective unit” and when we receive it we will send the new unit. He said and I quote “I will make it my life’s goal to bring your Company down”.

From Yvette:
I took the call yesterday, he did ask for Amanda but she was unavailable and I told him…. Per the engineer we will have to switch out the evaporator, so we have two options:
1. We can issue a call tag and have the evaporator picked up and send him a new one.
2. He can leave a deposit and we can ship out the new one, which will refund the deposit when we get the defective unit back here.
He then told me to quote “Get your head out of your ass” and he was just cursing and yelling to he point where you could not understand him- he was yelling so loudly into the phone… never once did he ask to speak to any one else I did tell him to please hold and asked for Diana’s help.

From Haoming:


  • Regarding the evaporator unit (fan coil) The cover is made of aluminum, not stainless steel as this contractor stated. The regular finish is brushed which has never been a problem in the past, yet we switched this out for him.
  • The solenoid valve has 2 components, the body assembly and coil assembly. The body is soldered into the tubing. My first response was to replace the coil only not to de-solder the body. The contractor misunderstood the valve coil instead of evaporator coil. My second response was to replace the whole valve (including body and coil) or evaporator unit.
From Vinotemp:
It helps us in management to get emails so we can be as thourough as possible to help the customer. Believe me, we want happy customers. We dont want someone screaming and cursing at the staff.

We take ownership if the product is damaged or defective, we have for the past 25 years.

We cannot switch out product unless we have the other in. Many times, product is not defective but installed incorrectly. We have spent alot of time to post everything on line to help the contractor install our products correctly and Haoming is a brilliant engineer who can answer any cooling unit question.

Feedback like this is useful for us, as we obviously need to improve our customer service, however we cannot respond to cursing and insults and expect to help.

Sir, if you would like to discuss this civily we are happy to help.

[email protected]

:eek:

i think this is one of the most unprofessional PUBLIC responses i have read. as an agent of your company, you are really tarnishing your image with a "he said, she said" response! if i was the principle of your company, i would be furious and embarrased.
 

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How would you have handled it?
What is your suggestion?
To be accused and not defend?
To be insulted and say nothing?
We are reaching out to help, we are being proactive.
 

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I hear you. And yes, Customer Service constantly needs to improve. I do suggest that email is so much more efficient, there is back up, theres time stamp...the calling with he said she said is not efficent enough. We do our best to manage the emails efficiently, and true the phone in service needs improvement, a 2010 goal!
 

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The Deck Guy
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Feedback like this is useful for us, as we obviously need to improve our customer service, however we cannot respond to cursing and insults and expect to help.
Hey Vinotemp,

It's really easy to NOT MAKE US curse and insult if you realize that our time is money and that no contractor likes to deal with product defects only to have the manufacturer be non-responsive or inattentive to scheduling and service.

I don't buy for one minute why you can't cross ship a new part out. Do you think there is a black market for defective evaporator coils out there? It's idiotic to think that any contractor would make us a BS story to get a free part out of you. The LAST THING anyone wants to do is pickup the phone and call tech support because it slows us down.

Don't make the process any harder than it is.

You cannot save your reputation with anyone here at this point. You blew it.

The best part is that Google is going to index this thread and IT WILL show up when people research your products.

Way to go!:clap::clap::clap:
 

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Actually, on ebay, we found people are selling our parts.
Also, to keep costs down, and avoid the costs of collections and time spent to get a second unit back the policy works well. Everyone wants to pay little for product, and we are doing our best to make that happen efficiently. Please tell me who actually does send two units out without a deposit or the other one returned? Subzero? GE? I would love to discuss with them how they handle that and do people really return them? To spend our time collecting instead of creating and building units isnt good for anyone.
 
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