Last week, we wrote about a roofing company that had sent out a “Defective Roof Notice” to potential customers. The blogger who received the junk mail thought it was deceptive, and so did we. To make matters worse, he wrote a complaint to the company and was ignored—but a few weeks later a fake “customer review” appeared on his site that was traced back to Feazel. Now the owner of Feazel Roofing has responded and apologized for the junk mail:
Obviously, the real message got lost in “sales language” – the piece went way overboard, and I should not have allowed it. Therefore, it was my mistake, and I sincerely apologize.
We think this is excellent, except for one thing: he never addresses the “customer review” that came from his company’s IP address. Hopefully, though, he’s learned that it’s risky to engage in bad behavior anonymously online (and since we don’t know who left the comment, it’s hard to blame Mike directly anyway).
Here’s the full letter from Feazel Roofing:
Monday, June 16, 2008
To the administrator and readers of holyjuan.com and consumerist.com, and whomever else it concerns:
From our headquarters in Westerville, Feazel Roofing Company has been a leader in the roofing business in Greater Columbus for over 20 years. Great service to our clients has built this company, and keeping our entire team focused on that, everyday, will be one of the keys to our future growth and success.
Of course we provide full roof replacement services when necessary, but our company is very much focused on the service and maintenance of existing roof systems. We believe that this is a unique approach to this industry, because many contractors might try to recommend a more expensive roof replacement before it is necessary. However, we have found that with consistent maintenance and preventative care, a well-designed roof system can last much longer then expected.
In regards to the recent Blog post concerning the March 3rd direct mail marketing piece that you received, let me start by saying that I strongly agree with many of your opinions. I must admit, you’re not the only person which it upset, as I received a few other calls with the same concerns. The original marketing piece in question was designed by a 3rd party direct mail company. Fortunately, the letter was only sent as a test to a small group of individuals. While the language in this marketing piece was quite strong, the main message was supposed to be this, and these are quite verifiable facts: CertainTeed Corporation is the defendant in multiple class action lawsuits currently in process in 16 states (including Ohio), and further litigation pending in 8 other states and Canada. The lawsuits cover several different brand names of shingles manufactured since 1987, all of which have demonstrated premature curling, cracking, or de-granulation.
Here is a simple explanation of the CertainTeed Legal activity:
I paid an ad agency to write the letter because I didn’t know the best way to go about educating homeowners on this issue. Obviously, the real message got lost in “sales language” – the piece went way overboard, and I should not have allowed it. Therefore, it was my mistake, and I sincerely apologize.
We do offer free preliminary estimates for all services that our company performs, including repair and replacement. However, we also charge a $179 fee for a full roof inspection. This is a more detailed and time-consuming written report, which may include pictures of any damages found, detailed measurements and multiple courses of action to remedy any concerns. We also offer this service to business partners in the Home Inspection and Real Estate industries. Our inspection pricing is very much in line with what other companies of our size charge for this service, but we always rebate the fee if any work is found during our inspection, which we do find some about half of the time.
We were offering a discounted fee of $49 for a limited time, thinking that we could perform numerous inspections in one area, saving on gas and drive time. This aspect was my idea, not the marketing company who wrote the letter.
Everything else you stated on your original Blog Post is accurate for 99% of the cases we come across with defective shingles. 100% of the CertainTeed Horizon shingles installed were defective, and are installed on thousands of homes in Central Ohio. If your shingles are defective, your home will not collapse overnight, and more often than not, water isn’t currently entering the home. However, we have had more than a handful of cases in which water has entered walls just a few years after installation, causing mold growth and other severe interior damage.
For anyone who would happen to read this who knows that they have a CertainTeed shingle installed on their home, I suggest contacting an attorney. The law firm’s website I’ve been referring homeowners to is www.halunenlaw.com but there are numerous others working on this case which can be found if you search “CertainTeed class action” in your favorite internet browser.
I would like to close by saying again that I apologize for allowing this type of “scare tactic marketing” to be sent from my company. However, I also want to state that we will continue to educate the marketplace on this issue. The shingle manufactures don’t send out a recall letter (like you might get from an auto manufacturer). Left unaddressed, problems may arise, and in some cases the problems can become catastrophic if not found in time.
Mike Feazel, President
Feazel Roofing Company, Inc.
“Feazel Roofing takes the high road” [HolyJuan]